Meet our 2020 Winners Below:
We would like to introduce you to our 2020 MVP scholarship winners! These student athletes were chosen because their dedication to academics, athletics, and community. These three seniors will join our seven other scholarship recipients, making a total of 10 winners of The Mike Zimmer Foundation MVP scholarship program. We have now awarded a total of $100,000.00 since 2016 to help students with the cost of their future education! Thank you to all our supporters, partners and sponsors who have helped make this possible! Your donations are helping our team change lives!
Usually, we invite the winners and their families to attend our Mike Zimmer Golf Classic pre-party where we would present to them the award and scholarship check. However, due to these challenging times, we will be introducing the winners to you virtually, and hope to have them and their families to a game at US Bank Stadium this season, where Coach Zimmer can present them their check for $10,000.00 in person.
Learn more about our three outstanding winners below:
Gavin graduated from Maple Grove senior high and plans to attend the University of (Nebraska, or Kansas) and study Pre-Med/Biology. Gavin is a three sport athlete dominating in Soccer, Track and Wrestling despite being legally blind in his left eye. Gavin is a 5x letter winner in wrestling alone with 155 career varsity wins and has been the captain of his track and wrestling teams. Gavin has also won 4 academic letters, and scored in the 95th percentile in the US on his ACT.
Gavin enjoys giving back in his community by volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, the Patrick Schoonover Foundation, Maple Grove Youth Wrestling, and Saint Joseph Catholic Church.
Last November Gavin was diagnosed with myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart, this motivated him to work towards becoming a doctor. After medical school he would also like to serve in the Army Reserves as a combat physician, fulfilling his other career goal of serving as a US Army Officer and following the footsteps of his dad.
Alison graduated from Mankato West High School in Mankato continuing onto Minnesota State University, Mankato where she plans on studying Bio-Medical Sciences. Alison is a four year varsity soccer starter, two year captain, earning all-conference and all-state first team in 2019. Alison is also heavily involved in extra curricular activities at her school including: key club, link crew, project 4 teens, and knowledge bowl.
She was awarded the Big 9 scholar Athlete for being an outstanding scholar athlete and was awarded the Spotlight on Scholarship award by her high school, recognizing her for academic excellence.
Alison’s hobbies outside of school and athletics include baking, hiking, wakeboarding, paddle boarding and yoga. She is excited to major in Bio-Medical Sciences, followed by furthering her education in medical school, where her dream is working in pediatrics and caring for children.
Isabelle graduated from Grand Meadow High School in Grand Meadow, Minnesota and will continue her education at the University of Minnesota where she plans on studying Mass Communications. Isabelle is an impressive three sport athlete, with 14 letters in basketball, volleyball, and track. She is the captain of her basketball and volleyball team and a three-time state track participant, where she won 3rd place in the 4x100m state meet in 2019. Isabelle was also Class Vice President, Class Secretary and Executive Treasurer in student council, and a member of the national honor society at her high school.
She also earned the nickname “QB #1” from her basketball coach when she started as a varsity point guard in 9th grade.
When Isabelle isn’t at school, playing sports or volunteering she enjoys spending her time at the lake, fishing, golfing, boating and attending Minnesota sporting events.
Isabelle is excited to continue her education at the University of Minnesota and aspires to start a career that allows her to use her creativity in business advertising. She plans to study abroad, join a sorority and continue playing sports.
Mike Zimmer Foundation Awards $10,000 Academic Scholarship
The Mike Zimmer Foundation on Thursday awarded its first academic scholarship to a student who overcame adversity with the help of athletics.
Gabriel Lammers, the recipient of the $10,000 Bill Zimmer Scholarship Award, is a senior at Lockport Township High School (Illinois). Bill Zimmer, the late father of Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, served as the wrestling coach and head football coach at LTHS for more than 30 years.
Mike Zimmer’s daughter, Corri, runs the foundation and had the opportunity to interact with members of the Lockport community while handling the specifics of the scholarship.
“I have constantly been told what a great man [my grandfather] was and how his impact on the school, community and athletics is still there today,” Corri said. “It’s really touching, and I know he would be so honored to be able to change a young athlete’s life in a way that this scholarship will.”
When Bill Zimmer passed away in August 2015, scholarship donations were made by friends and family in lieu of flowers. That amount, combined with an additional donation made by Coach Zimmer, comprised the $10,000 presented to Lammers in a ceremony at the school Thursday.
Each applicant was asked to submit a sports-centric essay, and it was Lammers’ that stood out the most to both Corri and Coach Zimmer. Lammers shared in the essay that his older brother tragically passed away in 2014. In the midst of grieving, Lammers seriously considered giving up sports. However, he wrote the following:
“I was a captain and a leader on my team, and I was determined to show them that I could maintain both mental and physical toughness for the game.”
Corri said it was that line in particular that especially struck her.
“The amount of strength and toughness Gabe showed during the season he lost his brother was admirable,” Corri said. “It was something I saw firsthand when my dad coached an away game in 2009, the weekend after my mom passed away. My brother and I watched that game in the stands along with my grandpa and grandma.
“We all found some sort of healing through sports,” Corri added.
Corri said she’s always admired when people are able to turn their heartache into helping others – it’s that very goal that drives the Mike Zimmer Foundation.
“We hope to honor [the spirits of] my grandpa and my mom in our hearts,” Corri said. “We want to do some great things for some great people who deserve it, like Gabe.”
Qualified applicants for the scholarship met the following criteria: they participated as a varsity athlete in football or wrestling; held a GPA of 2.75 or higher; planned to attend an accredited college, university or community college; and participated in extracurricular activities at LTHS or as a volunteer in the community.
In addition to being a four-year member of the honor roll and regular volunteer in the Lockport community, Lammers was a member of the varsity lacrosse team and a two-year starting linebacker on the Porters varsity football team. Following graduation, he plans to attend the University of Iowa.
Choosing a student athlete was significant to the Zimmers.
“My dad was in the Hall of Fame at Lockport,” Coach Zimmer said. “When he retired, he was the sixth-winningest coach in Illinois. He felt it was important that we pick someone that played the sports he was involved with, and we also wanted to keep his legacy going there.”
The Mike Zimmer Foundation, created in memory of Coach Zimmer’s wife, Vikki, has gained a large support system since its official introduction in March.
“The people that have helped us – it’s been amazing, all the people that have donated, purchased shirts and went to the foundation kickoff,” said Zimmer, preparing for his third season in Minnesota. “My daughter, Corri, has done an unbelievable job running it, as well.”
The foundation focuses primarily on youth of the Twin Cities but has also helped in other areas, including recent support for Flint, Michigan, and the academic scholarship at LTHS.
NFL reporter Laura Okmin, who served as the emcee for the foundation launch, has gotten to know the Zimmers and their efforts to make a difference.
“The only thing Coach Zimmer talks about more than football is family,” Okmin told Vikings.com. “Every time I’m around the Zimmers, I can feel the love they have for each other – and for Vicki. That’s the heart of this foundation in every single way.
“I love this foundation for making such a difference to so many families’ lives,” Okmin added.
Corri and Coach Zimmer plan to continue their work to impact youth, make a difference in the community and honor their loved ones.
“It’s important to us that we keep Vicki’s spirit alive,” Coach Zimmer said “And my dad’s, as well.”