Press Release: For Immediate Release
Date: March 11, 2021
From: Brenda Roux, Board Chair Thumbs Up High 5K
Thumbs Up High 5K welcomes Katie Shatusky as Executive Director
Elk River, MN – Thumbs Up High 5K (TUH5K) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping others who struggle with mental health disorders to connect with resources, to prevent future suicides and to help families who have lost loved ones to suicide.
We are pleased to announce the selection of Katie Shatusky as our Executive Director. We have been led by volunteers over the past seven years and Katie will be our first paid position within the organization.
We are very excited to have Katie take on this role of Executive Director. Katie brings to the job an exceptional combination of energy, passion and proven leadership to the challenges of working with people in crisis. She has a gift of connecting with people and showing compassion. We expect Katie to not only continue TUH5K’s current mission, but also to work with partners and sponsors to help expand our programs in the community.
Katie, a long-time resident of Elk River, is no stranger to the TUH5K organization. She is also one of the co-founders along with Jessica Hackenmueller and Jody Kreuser. Katie lost her grandfather to suicide in 2010. It was his tragic death that helped inspire her to do more. “I knew that I couldn’t just sit by the wayside. God was nudging me to do something bigger than me. I listened and I am so glad that I did. I know that over the past seven years, TUH5K has not only helped people through a mental health crisis, but we have also helped to save lives. At the end of the day, if we can help one person, we have accomplished our goal. I have been privileged to witness the impact of good people giving back to our community and the surrounding communities. Together, we are stronger, and it is in this spirit that I begin my work at Thumbs Up.”
The mission of Thumbs Up is “We value LIFE and we ASPIRE to help others in our COMMUNITY by talking about MENTAL HEALTH.” In addition to sharing resources, we have provided thousands of dollars in the community for suicide prevention efforts and mental health awareness. We have formed many important partnerships including but not limited to: ISD 728 School District, Open Doors for Youth, Sherburne County Area United Way, The City of Elk River – First Responders, Spectrum High School, K9’s from Carrie and Elk River Senior Living.
With the addition of a full-time staff member, we are excited to expand our current programs including: Calming Corners, Emotional Support Dogs, Smiles for Seniors, Cheer Bags, a counseling service provided in partnership with Open Doors for Youth as well as others. We are able to provide all of these services with the help of a dedicated board, volunteers, partners and donors. Together we have helped create something really special in our community and we are grateful to everyone who has supported Thumbs Up from the beginning.