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Minnesota PGA Junior Golf Association Awards Five Valspar Scholarships

June 7, 2016

The Minnesota Section PGA and The Valspar Corporation are proud to announce that five high school seniors have been selected to receive a 2016 Valspar Minnesota Section PGA Foundation Junior Golf Scholarship.

The scholarship recipients are: Amber Eckstein of Big Lake, Emily Funk of Eagan, Blake Kahlbaugh of Mahnomen, Olivia Klefsaas of Motley, and Adam Thelen of Roseville.

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Starting this fall, each of these five junior golfers will receive a four-year $8,000 scholarship. The Minnesota Section PGA Foundation awarded these scholarships on the criteria of high school grades, class rank, ACT/SAT scores, extracurricular activities and involvement, financial need, an essay and an interview.

Valspar provided $40,000 to the Minnesota Section PGA to fund the scholarships. Since 2011, Valspar has donated more than $232,000 in scholarships to worthy junior golfers.

“Valspar is proud to partner with the Minnesota Section PGA to help these impressive young people pursue their academic and professional goals,” said Gary E. Hendrickson, Chairman and CEO of Valspar. “These students have outstanding credentials and bright futures, and we’re pleased to support them as they go on to make their mark in college and in their careers.”

“The Minnesota Section PGA Foundation is honored and proud to help so many young and talented youth continue their academic careers at the collegiate level,” said Minnesota Section PGA Executive Director, Jon Tollette. “The Foundation is also thankful to have a tremendous partner in Valspar helping support the program.”

About the winners:
Amber Eckstein collected five varsity letters in golf and six in swimming, and capped her career at Monticello High School by earning all-conference honors in golf, and state champion and all-American accolades in swimming. She also was involved in band, Honor Society and the math team. This fall, she will study engineering and physics at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Minneapolis.

Emily Funk attended Eastview High School in Apple Valley, earning four varsity letters in golf and two in soccer. She also was involved in Honor Society and band. She will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison for chemical engineering.

Blake Kahlbaugh was a two-sport varsity captain in golf and basketball at Mahnomen High School and was involved with student council, band, math team and the Honor Society. He will attend Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, to pursue a degree in business and finance.

Olivia Klefsaas earned five varsity letters in golf, including an all-conference selection, and three in volleyball at Staples Motley High School. Her extracurricular involvement included theatre, speech, student council, choir, band and the Honor Society. She will attend Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, OK, where she will study business administration.

Adam Thelen received four varsity letters in golf at Mounds View High School and was a part of the Honor Society as well as other extracurricular clubs. He will attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Minneapolis to study mechanical engineering.

Minnesota Section PGA
The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members. For more information, visit

Valspar: If it matters, we’re on it.®
Valspar is a global leader in the coatings industry providing customers with innovative, high-quality products and value-added services. Our 11,100 employees worldwide deliver advanced coatings solutions with best-in-class appearance, performance, protection and sustainability to customers in more than 100 countries. Valspar offers a broad range of superior coatings products for the consumer market, and highly-engineered solutions for the construction, industrial, packaging and transportation markets. Founded in 1806, Valspar is headquartered in Minneapolis. Valspar’s reported net sales in fiscal 2015 were $4.4 billion and its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: VAL). For more information, visit and follow @valspar on Twitter.

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