By Mike Max

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sports are not just under the jurisdiction of school districts. Also in play are community education programs.

Minnetonka’s program is led by Tim Litfin, who is serving his city by getting creative.

This is supposed to be the season of outdoor competition. That’s in part what a community education division does – but not this year.

“These are tough times, and I think everyone’s looking for signs of normalcy and hope,” Litfin said. “In our case, I think people are looking for, ‘Wow, look at that!'”

So they went to work to find a way by engaging the community in a variety of ways.

“We came up with this … Virtual Family Challenge, and it’s doing different things. Every week we have a new challenge,” he said. “The first week were things like Tonka picture, or you’re doing a Tonka pose.”

And they invited people to submit videos of activities as a way of suggesting creativity, and competing virtually.

“We had families do all kinds of cool things. One was a trick shot video, families really liked that. And one was a chalk art drawing on their driveway. And these families would vote on each other’s winners, and we’d award them with gift cards for Minnetonka Community Education classes in the future,” he said.

They have some annual events that are signatures still, which are still up in the air, like Tour de Tonka. So they try to think about staggered starts, and ways to adhere to rules and allow the show to move on.

“How can we do that differently than we’ve done in the past to make this event possible for people from 42 states who come for this great event,” Litfin said. “We think we can do it if we’re allowed to do it.”

With a body of water like Lake Minnetonka, who knows what else might come out of creative minds. That’s what keeps Litfin moving; an obligation to motivate the people who are looking for something to do.

“I think we’re doing something different for families, and we’re hearing they appreciate it,” he said.

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Mike Max

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