Lynx Honor Winkelman as Part of Inspiring Women Platform

Alxander Shun

Web Editor Associate | @alexpshun 

On Sunday, July 12, the Minnesota Lynx beat the San Antonio Stars handily, winning 66-49; however, basketball was not the only focus that night.

In the second quarter of the game, the Lynx took a moment to honor Heather Cannon Winkelman for her work off the court.

Winkelman was honored as part of the Minnesota Lynx Inspiring Women platform, sponsored by Land O’ Lakes. Through the platform, the Lynx look to honor women throughout the state who inspire, motivate and encourage others through personal and professional leadership. The Lynx definitely made a good choice in Winkelman.

Winkelman, born and raised in Southeast Minnesota, is the Executive Director and co-founder of Uniting Distant Stars, a non-profit organization focused on bringing together global citizens to inspire and support youth in Liberia through educational opportunities and promoting positive sustainable economic development, including a recent Backpacks for Peace initiative.

The initiative teaches youth in Liberia the importance of learning through sewing or knitting their very own backpacks. By learning to sew and knit, the children are taught that learning is the key to success and are able to see that, through eventually repairing their own clothes through sewing, continued practice leads to a developed skill.

Winkelman is extremely proud of such an initiative, so much so that she continued to volunteer her time and assistance; the likes of which eventually received great recognition.

In 2013 Winkelman was recognized by the Minnesota International NGO Network as an outstanding volunteer for her work to organize the first ever IDEA summit in Minnesota. The IDEA summit successfully brought over 250 leaders from across the United States together to network with and learn from one another.

To recognize Winkelman as part of the Minnesota Lynx Inspiring Women platform, sponsored by Land O’ Lakes, Winkelman was presented with a team autographed basketball.