Student honored for community serviceMitchell Hintz, a junior at Dickinson High School, was presented with an engraved bronze medallion to signify his selection as a distinguished finalist in the 2009 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Mitchell Hintz, a junior at Dickinson High School, was presented with an engraved bronze medallion to signify his selection as a distinguished finalist in the 2009 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program.
The nationwide program honors young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
Hintz was recognized during an awards ceremony at DHS on Tuesday. He received the medallion as the third-place state winner. First place went to Ali Karpenko, Grand Forks, followed by Kimberly Biasotti, Grand Forks Air Force Base.
The son of Mike and Donalda Hintz, he was honored for raising nearly $48,000 over the past four years — plus an additional $26,000 this year — by organizing teams to participate in the MedCenter One’s Great American Bike Race held recently in Bismarck. This annual stationary-bicycle “race” benefits people with cerebral palsy.
The money generated by Hintz, who has cerebral palsy, and the other members of his teams, goes to purchase medical equipment that is not covered by insurance.
Hintz recruited three teams of 10 participants each to fundraise and participate in the 2009 event.
The race at Bismarck included 110 teams which biked a combined 9,687 miles, according to a press release.
The top fund raising team award went to Mitch’s “Mighty Dickinson Riders,” led by team captain Hintz with $22,463. The two “Grammas and Grampas Rock” teams rocked in rocking chairs and raised an additional $3,738.
The top individual award went to Dickinson’s Jason Lachemeier from Mitch’s Mighty Dickinson Riders with $16,260.
“Everybody wanted to ride,” said Donalda Hintz. “We are very proud of Mitch. He earned the medallion. It’s beautiful.”
She added that Dickinson has been a strong supporter of the Great American Bike Race. She knows of 12 teams from Dickinson that participated.
Elaine Lindemann, who is Hintz’ case manager at DHS, described him as a silent leader in his classroom.
“He gets people to do things. It’s actually been an awesome ride so far,” she said.
Participating in the Great American Bike Race is something to look forward to, said Hintz.
“My involvement in GABR has helped others with cerebral palsy and I have benefited as well,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of new friends from my involvement — I guess I’ve gotten a lot of attention from it.”
He likes to visit with people during the race and cheer on his teams.
“My teams get together and design T-shirts to wear to support the cause. The money contributed to this event makes life easier for kids like me and families like mine with cerebral palsy,” he said. “My teams all travel at least 100 miles to participate in this event and give us a Saturday. I feel honored when I see them there.”
Hintz’ nomination was submitted by DHS counselor Cherie Mack.
“He’s impressive overall for what he’s done,” she said. “He has a lot to offer. He’s very personable. He knows how to bring everybody together.”
More than 5,000 local honorees were reviewed by state-level judges, who selected the winners from each state, based on criteria such as personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.
The awards program, sponsored by partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, is part of a broad initiative created by Prudential Financial to encourage young people to become involved in community service.
Prudential is a financial services provider, serving approximately 50 million individuals and institutional customers around the world.
For more information on this year’s Prudential Spirit of Community finalists, visit spirit.prudential.com