Nicolle LaFleur of Snellman won the title of Great American Storyteller at the conclusion of Saturday night’s storytelling contest at Calvary Lutheran Church.
She received a check for $1,000. In the first round she entertained with a charming story about raising their first child in a household that included both sets of grandparents and the challenges of successfully negotiating cultural differences among them.
Other storytellers were Maeve Bolton of Park Rapids, Noel LaBine of Andover and Donna Marie Todd of Black Mountain, NC. Todd won second place and was awarded $500. Bolton and LaBine each received $250.
In addition to the two rounds of storytelling, Richard Rousseau, St. Paul, also engaged the audience as ballots were being counted. Rousseau is Minnesota liaison for the National Storytelling Network and recently was presented with the Network’s prestigious Oracle Award. Rousseau and project coordinator Steve Maanum shared duties as emcee. Lori Goulet Reich provided music while the audience was being seated.
Heartland Arts (formerly Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council) sponsored the event with funding provided, in part, by a Region 2 Arts Council Grant through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund passed by Minnesota voters on Nov. 4, 2008.