2021 J. Stanley and Doris Hill Legacy Award recipient named

Steve Wolgamot

Steve Wolgamot has been selected as the 2021 J. Stanley and Doris Hill Legacy Award recipient. Established by the Century College Foundation, the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation and the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, the award honors the memory of Stan and Doris Hill for their remarkable commitment to community service. Wolgamot is being recognized for his extensive volunteer service to the White Bear Lake/Mahtomedi area and beyond its borders.

Born in 1947, Wolgamot grew up in Albert Lea. He attended the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in Glen Cove, New York, receiving his Bachelor of Science in 1969. He worked for the U.S. Coast Guard designing Icebreakers from 1969-1972. He then returned to Minnesota and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota in 1975. He and his wife, Karen, have been married for 52 years. They have two children, Megan (Mike) and Doug (Christy) and four grandchildren. He is an avid sailor, water skier, neighborhood float builder and a founder of Camp White Bear, a neighborhood organization.

Wolgamot and his family moved to Mahtomedi in 1978. He joined St. Andrew’s Church and served as treasurer and church council member from 1979-1985. He was founder and coach of the Mahtomedi Basketball Association from 1985-1991, coaching both girls and boys.   

Along with Stan Hill and a few other community leaders, Wolgamot was a founder of the Mahtomedi Area Education Foundation (MAEF). They established the foundation’s vision, its structure, and worked to get it funded. He was MAEF’s second president and is an Honorary Life Trustee. 

Wolgamot served on the Mahtomedi School Board from 2000-2014. He was instrumental in securing the land for the new Wildwood Elementary school and in passing 10 referenda in 10 years to fund much-needed school repairs for the existing schools. He led the charge to establish the FAB Lab and Engineering program. He researched and executed physical security measures for the Mahtomedi schools. He donated his stipend for being on the school board to MAEF every year that he sat on the board.

Wolgamot served on the Mahtomedi Park Board in 2016 and served on the City Council from 2017-2020.

Wolgamot has served on the board and construction committee for the White Bear Center for the Arts since 2015. He worked on expanding the footprint and education programs for the arts in the White Bear Lake Area.

In 2017 Wolgamot, along with Michael Brooks and others, picked up the torch to realize the 21-year-old regional Lake Links Trail vision of connectivity and safety. The plan for the bike path around White Bear Lake had been formulated in 2000 but stalled. Wolgamot led the charge to build consensus and get resolutions of support from each of the five communities and two counties. He wrote letters, contacted people to get abandoned railroad land donated, engaged local legislators, and wrote legislation to get almost $8 million secured for the Lake Links Trail around the lake.

Wolgamot’s passion has been kids and to make a more connected community. When interviewed, he stressed the importance of teamwork, collaboration and finding the right people for the task at hand. He said, “I am honored by this recognition, but I am really happy that it brings to light and mind the vision of what this community can be.”

A reception honoring Wolgamot will take place on Tuesday, June 8, at the Lakewood Hills Park Pavilion (behind the YMCA), 2110 Orchard Lane, White Bear Lake. The event, open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m.

— Contributed

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