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Maanum chosen as 2017 Great American Storyteller

The finalists who competed at the 2nd annual Great American Storyteller contest last weekend were, from left, Amy Mathew, Bemidji; Carol McCormick, Plymouth; Jan Smith, Clitherall; and Steve Maanum, Park Rapids. (Submitted photo)

Steve Maanum won the title of Great American Storyteller at the conclusion of Saturday night's storytelling contest at Calvary Lutheran Church.

Maanum, who is from Park Rapids, received a check for $1,000.

The audience chose the winners after an initial round of storytelling by finalists Maanum, Emily Mathew from Bemidji, Carol McCormick from Plymouth and Jan Smith from Clitherall.

Mathew won second place and was awarded $500. McCormick and Smith each received $250.

In addition to the two rounds of storytelling, Richard Rousseau also engaged the audience as ballots was being counted. Rousseau is Minnesota liaison for the National Storytelling Network. Bruce Bolton served as emcee and presented the awards.

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council sponsored the event with grants from Itasca-Mantrap Roundup Funds and 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.

For more information on the Great American Story, go to thegreatamericanstory.org.

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