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Thorstad receives West Fargo Exchange Club honor

Mike Thorstad, left, is presented with the Exchange Club award by President Larry Weil.

Mike Thorstad has been recognized by the West Fargo Exchange club with their prestigious Exchangite of the Year designation announced at their last June 25 meeting.

Thorstad said he was surprised to be the recipient of the award that is presented annually to a club member for contributions both to the community and the organization. “We have a number of active members that do so much not only for the club but within the community, so I was certainly surprised and humbled to be honored,” he stated. “I guess winning the Exchangite of the Year award is kind of full circle for me. In 1975 I was a recipient of the West Fargo Exchange Club’s Student of the Month Award, wow, 38 years ago already. I have had the good fortune of being recognized twice by the club, both great honors.”

Exchange Club President Larry Weil who presented the Exchangite of the Year honor to Thorstad on behalf of the club, said it was a well-deserved one. “The club has been very fortunate to have Mike as a member. He is so active and has helped the club in so many ways.”

Thorstad has been a member of the West Fargo Exchange Club for four years serving on the fundraising, business social and Christmas party committees. Most of his involvement time has been spent “behind the scenes” helping with the planning, marketing and implementation of the club’s annual fundraising event “Fun Night,” held each year in April with the proceeds going to fund the various civic projects the Exchange Club supports.

In addition, Thorstad has helped organize social events the club puts on internally as well as for the community, i.e. - the recently established business social to promote more community business networking, as well as to better introduce the Exchange Club to businesses. The social was not only a successful event that businesses want to see continue, but also generated several new Exchange Club members.

Thorstad has also been instrumental in promoting the club through Facebook and other media outlets; has been a valuable member of the committee accepting nominations and organizing the Civic Excellence awards; and has been key to coordinating the annual Christmas party as well as donating the entertainment for the event.

Community pride has always been important to Thorstad who has made West Fargo his home for 46 years. He is a 1976 graduate of West Fargo High School; attended Moorhead State University; and was a partner in Tri-State Auto Auction for many years until it was sold to ADESA Corporation in 2007. He and his wife, Mona, presently own and operate a successful business, Sign Pro based in West Fargo. Mike is also a partner in DSI Automotive along with being involved in several real estate investments, and has served as a West Fargo City Commissioner since 2008.

The Thorstads are the parents of three grown children: Matt, Mindi, and Mason, all West Fargo High graduates, and five grandchildren. The family is a longtime member of Blessed Sacrament Church of West Fargo where Mike has served on the finance committee for several years.

Thorstad said he was initially attracted him to the Exchange Club because of its commitment to the community, especially with youth and school activities. “The Exchange Club also supports Americanism and works to prevent child abuse, values that are important to me as well. I enjoy the interaction with the club members that includes many business and civic leaders.”

He noted that people often asked “what we “exchange”. We exchange ideas on how to make the community a better place to live and help support those efforts through volunteerism and/or financially. With a growing city with more needs, I encourage new members to join us.”

Both individual and business memberships are available. The group meets each Tuesday noon at the Speedway Event Center and everyone is welcome to attend.