Heroes in the Making: Jim and Merlene Stiles

The Minnesota Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation recognized Minnesota Environmental Partnership volunteers Jim and Merlene Stiles during last night's game against the Suns. Jim and Merlene were recognized as part of Think Green Month, powered by Juhl Wind, Inc., in which the Foundation focuses on organizations and individuals helping preserve and improve the environment by thinking green.

Jim Stiles is president of the Austin Izaak Walton League, which is involved with conservation efforts in the Boundary Waters area as well as the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge and the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest and many others.

"We protect and enhance and make sure those areas are there for everybody to enjoy," said Jim.

Merlene Stiles is president of the Austin Autobon Society.

"The Izaak Walton League, along with the Autobon groups and many other groups are part of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership--over 80 non-profit groups," Merlene said.

Together, their coalition members and supporters work for clean energy, clean water and investments in Minnesota's great outdoors through policy initiatives, public education and community events.

"Everybody enjoys Minnesota's outdoors. We get people who want to live here and vacation here, and it's because we value our lakes and outdoor areas," said Jim.

Timberwolves team president Chris Wright presented Jim and Merlene with an autographed team print during the game.

"It's so fun. We volunteer because we love it, but to be recognized is just amazing," Merlene said.

"I really didn't know what to expect, so going out on the court was really neat," said Jim. "A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I'm sure." About the FastBreak Foundation