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2018 Tjaden Educational Assistance Awards

2018 Tjaden Educational Assistance Awards

Each year the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation awards nearly $30,000 in educations scholarships and ambassador awards funded by the Rod Tjaden Memorial Golf Tournament. Here are our 2018 recipients:

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First Ever Kids FREE Week in Medora June 28 – July 4

First Ever Kids FREE Week in Medora June 28 – July 4

New Medora WISH Endowment building off of Harold Schafer’s dream to help more families enjoy the Badlands the way he and Theodore Roosevelt did.

(Medora, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation alongside the generous “Wish Wranglers” of the Medora WISH Endowment, are delighted to announce the first ever Kids FREE Week for select attractions in Medora.

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Meet the cast of this year’s Medora Musical!

Hosts Chet Wollen and Bill Sorensen to lead star-studded Medora Musical cast made up of returning talent, new performers, and several North Dakota natives!

Each year thousands of performers audition at locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Florida to find the best talent for the Medora Musical. So let’s meet the cast!


The 2019 Medora Musical, Hosts


Chet Wollan, a Medora favorite is back to host the Medora Musical. Chet (pictured above) is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota but now lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with Princess of the Prairie, Candice Lively Wollan. 

This will be Chet’s fourth year hosting the Medora Musical and his 13th year starring in the show. 


Bill Sorensen will return to the Medora Musical for his “final ride” co-hosting. Bill has been performing in Medora for the past 40 years as a magician, comedian, and entertainer. Don’t miss this dynamic duo together on stage this summer!

Read the full press release here about Bill Sorensen’s time in Medora, and what’s next for Wild Bill.

The Burning Hills Singers! 

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Here’s What’s Next in Medora: Point To Point Park

Originally Published in the 2019 Spring Newsletter

We’ve been looking at that big open space beside the Badlands Motel, as you first arrive in Medora, for many years, wondering “What would be the best use of that land?”

Finally, we’ve settled on an answer to that question: Welcome to Point to Point Park!

Named for Theodore Roosevelt’s favorite game, we’re creating a brand new place for families to enjoy the Badlands together—a perfect downtown Medora destination for adventurers of all ages.

The Park will have a combination of free and ticketed attractions, including all-new mini golf, Medora’s own “slant house,” a zero-entry pool and 400 foot long lazy river, a community splash pad, a kid-friendly “jump pillow,” and shade structures. And, what is sure to become one of Medora’s main attractions, a Badlands Zipline Ride.

We’ve been talking about a Medora Zipline ever since a few of the participants in our 2007 TRMF sponsored Panama Canal cruise tried one, on one of our cruise stops. We thought the North Dakota Badlands would be a perfect place for such an attraction. So here we go! The Zipline will run up and down the big butte behind the Badlands Motel.

The Point to Point Park will tuck in between the motel and the existing Children’s Park, as well as in the big vacant space beside the motel. It will be the first thing families see when they arrive in town, and for many it will be the first stop on their Medora adventure.

It’s the newest in a series of major investments in Medora to enhance and expand the experience our visitors and guests have.

The idea and concept is driven in large part by the longheld awareness of the need to create attractions and attractors for what we have come to call the “missing middle,” young people in their teens and their families. The new park is just the attraction young families and grandparents have been waiting for.

This park will also encourage the “more adventurous” members of the family to experience the picturesque buttes by taking a marked climbing route to the top of the Badlands overlooking Historic Medora, where they’ll find native geology and vegetation, and the park may one day showcase the remarkable personalities of Medora through statues or other historic preservation ideas.

It will also offer the community and its visitors nearly 100 new paved parking spaces. Although geared toward a younger crowd, the entire experience will be enjoyed and utilized by young and old.

It will be a place to socialize, to relax, to exercise and simply play together, surrounded by the beauty of the Badlands and the history of Medora.

As with our other major projects, we’re seeking sponsors for this new attraction. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Joslyn Tooz, our Major Gifts Officer at: 701-223-4800, or e-mail her at joslynt@medora.com

To read the rest of the Spring 2019 Newsletter follow this link.

Bill Sorensen’s Final Ride

Long-time Medora entertainer to co-host the Medora Musical for a final time

(MEDORA, ND) Bill Sorensen is a household name around Medora, and this summer, you’ll get to see him on stage at the Medora Musical one last time, co-hosting for his final season alongside a star-studded cast.

“Medora has been a place of great importance to me. I watched my daughters grow up here, I myself have grown in this place with these people, and whether I’m performing for five people of 2,000 people I am always grateful for the experience,” remarks Bill.

Bill first stepped on stage as co-host in 2013 with Queen of the West, Emily Walter. One of his favorite memories of co-hosting came from him sharing the stage with Emily. One hot night they were performing a scene in which Emily shot his pants off and come to find out he had forgotten to wear his long johns underneath that night – he says he has never seen Emily laugh that hard while on stage.

Bill began a battle with cancer which removed him from the stage for the 2016 season but in 2017 he returned guns a blazin with a new co-host, Chet Wollan. He and Chet have a natural on stage chemistry that is the perfect mix of humorous and playful.

“Sometimes Chet gets this little glimmer in his eye and it reminds me of when he was a little kid and I just think to myself, here we go, we’re going off script,” Bill recalls.

While this is his last season in the Medora Musical, he plans to still be around this awesome little place in different roles. In 2015 he started the hit Magical Medora Christmas show that tours during the holiday season and this summer, he is opening a brand new attraction, “Perception: a Magical Slant House” for kids and families in Medora. Bill’s partner in this attraction is “High Diving Fool”, Don Otto. The two met many years ago when Don was a featured variety act in Medora and they have had the idea for this addition since.

“We both love illusions and tricking the brain and that is exactly what this experience will be. Showing people that their perception is the difference between the truth and what their mind is believing will make this attraction in Medora so much different than anything that already exists there,” says Bill.

Beyond his work in Medora, Bill has held some unique jobs such as his time spent managing boxing champion, Virgil Hill and working with folks like Don King. He founded the Bismarck Wizards Basketball team; and was the Mayor of Bismarck for 12 years.

Bill is excited for his final season as a co-host of the Medora Musical and looks forward to the ways he will continue impacting Medora in the future.

The full cast, band, and featured variety acts of the Medora Musical will be released next week.

Women of Medora: Candice Lively

 

Originally published in Inspired Women Magazine.

 

Women of Medora features inspiring women who have made an impact on the world through their time living and working in Medora.

 

Candice Lively Wollen, an Inspiring Woman

Candice Lively Wollan may be a Tennessee girl at heart, but North Dakotans have warmly claimed her as one of their own since she began performing as a Burning Hills Singer in the Medora Musical in 2009. (In fact, when the Musical rolled out a newly penned song about North Dakota in 2011, Candice was chosen to sing the ballad night after night—if every single North Dakotan who heard her sing “Always North Dakota” didn’t get a little choked up and want to invite her home for a hotdish dinner, then I don’t know what’s wrong with them…)

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Shooting of Riley Luffsey

Shooting of Riley Luffsey

This is an expert from local Medora author, Rolff Sletten’s book, Medora: Boom, Bust, and Resurrection. It goes into detail on the shooting of Cowboy, Riley Luffsey. READ MORE »

Big news from Medora, North Dakota…Teddy Rides Again!

Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation announces Joe Wiegand to return as Theodore Roosevelt for 2019 through 2021 seasons.

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Women of Medora: Kathy Solga

 

Originally published in Inspired Women Magazine.

 

Women of Medora features inspiring women who have made an impact on the world through their time living and working in Medora.

 

Kathy Solga, an Inspiring Woman

If you stop out at Medora’s Bully Pulpit Golf Course on a September afternoon, you’ll notice a few things.

First, the summer tourist season doesn’t appear to be over in the least, with a full parking lot, bustling pro shop, and shiny, scoria-colored golf carts zipping around almost every breathtaking hole. (While the famed Medora Musical wraps up the second weekend of September, Bully Pulpit keeps hosting golfers until late October, or until the snow flies—whichever comes first.)

Second, if you’re looking for golf shop manager Kathy Solga, you may have to get in line, as it seems just about everyone on the course knows her and wants to give her a warm hello. But don’t worry—not only will she be happy to take time to visit, she’ll make you feel like you are the only person in the room.

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Women of Medora: Joslyn Reichert

 

Originally published in Inspired Women Magazine.

 

Women of Medora features inspiring women who have made an impact on the world through their time living and working in Medora.

 

Joslyn Reichert, an Inspiring Woman

Life sometimes has a funny way of putting the right opportunity in front of you at just the right time.

Dickinson native Joslyn Reichert had built a career in the food and beverage industry, attending culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, holding various chef positions on the west coast, and then transitioning to food and beverage management roles at mountain resorts in Wyoming and Montana.

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