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Meet the Team

Meet the team of individuals who make the Morels & Memories event happen. Without our generous volunteers we wouldn't be able to make this event possible. We're hugely grateful for all of those who’ve supported us along the way.

 

Courtney

Meet Courtney, she’s our founder and started the event in honor of her mother, Heidi Vanderlinde. Heidi was diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in 2011, at the age of 49.  She sadly lost her battle to the disease in August 2019.  As a lover of the outdoors, plants, and sunshine, we remember her with the event.


Courtney’s favorite thing about the event is the kindness and generosity involved in creating inspiration and hope for a disease where there has been little hope for a very long time. She’s a mushroom hunter and shared that her favorite thing about mushroom hunting is “it’s like a natural treasure hunt with delicious rewards; it’s also a fun activity we do as a family”.  Courtney said she’s looking forward to, “seeing so many old friends that participate in some way with the event, and meeting more people who advocate for a cure for Alzheimer’s” this year!

 

M.J.

Meet M.J. he’s a part of our facilities crew. His favorite thing about the event is all the people who attend and volunteer. He’s been participating since the very beginning and is Courtney’s husband. He’s a mushroom hunter and his favorite thing about mushroom hunting is the thrill of the hunt. M.J. is looking forward to seeing how the fundraiser grows this year!

 

Max

Meet Max, his favorite thing about the event is the morel Piñata. He’s been participating since the beginning and he’s Courtney’s son. He’s a mushroom hunter and his favorite thing about mushroom hunting is how fun it is.  Max is looking forward to the candy in the morel Piñata this year!

 

Lindsay

Meet Lindsay, she's a part of our coordination crew. Her favorite thing about the event is that it inspires hope, following a personal tragedy of losing her mother Heidi.
She's been participating since the very beginning of the event and she’s Courtney’s sister. What motivates her about the Morels & Memories event is that it’s a tribute to her late mother.  She feels that the event’s an opportunity to educate and support families currently navigating Alzheimer’s disease.  Lindsay’s hope this year is that the event is even larger with record breaking fundraising!

 

Shaun

Meet Shaun, he’s a part of our food and beverage crew. His favorite thing about the event is honoring the memory of his aunt Heidi along with raising money for Alzheimer's research and awareness.


He's been participating for 6 years and he’s Courtney’s cousin. What motivates him about the Morels & Memories event is being a volunteer and assisting with different tasks. Shaun shared with us that he’s looking forward to, “seeing how many attendees will be at the event. Each year the event seems to grow and it’s great to see all the returning attendees and meet new ones”. 

 

Kari

Meet Kari, she’s a part of our marketing and coordination crew. Her favorite parts of the event are the music, people and food. Kari has been volunteering with us since the very beginning, and knows Courtney as former coworker turned close friend.

Never having mushroom hunted before attending the first event, she wasn't sure what to expect, but was immediately hooked! In fact, she now takes her mom foraging for ramps every Mother's Day.  She let us know that her most exciting foraging find so far was a Chicken of the Woods she found while camping a few years ago. Kari is looking forward to this year's event and wanted to share, that she is “excited for 2022 to be our biggest and best year yet!”

 

Zach

Meet Zach, he’s one of our creative artists for the event. He has been volunteering with Morels & Memories from its start. Zach makes our prized Morel Piñata and the annual flier. A lover of the outdoors, Zach enjoys fishing and mushroom hunting with his wife Kari. Zach is looking forward to seeing the children's excitement when they get to take a crack at the Piñata that he creates for them this year!

 

Natasha

Meet Natasha, she operates the silent auction and retail area. Her favorite thing about the event is honoring Heidi; meeting the attendees and running the silent auction/retail area. She's been participating for 4 years, and knows Courtney as a childhood friend. What motivates her about the Morels & Memories event is crushing our goals and supporting Courtney.  Natasha is looking forward to seeing how many attendees come this year and raising more funds than the prior year!

 

Matt

Meet Matt, he’s a part of our food and beverage crew. His favorite thing about the event is how it combines his love of nature, science, and giving back to the people that he loves. He’s been participating for 6 years, and knows Courtney as a childhood friend. He's a mushroom hunter and his favorite thing about mushroom hunting is that it gets him into the woods where he feels most at home.  Matt shared with us that he’s looking forward to “allowing people to experience my love for nature while helping them to have an unforgettable day” this year!

 

Jaime

Meet Jaime from Chick of the Woods, she’s a part of our mushroom guiding crew. Her favorite thing about the event is socializing with the crowd and helping teach attendees about mushroom hunting. She’s been participating for 2 years, and knows Courtney through volunteering for the Morels & Memories event. She’s a mushroom hunter and told us her favorite thing about mushroom hunting is, “taking people hunting for their first time and seeing the excitement in their face when they start finding them”.  Jaime is looking forward to finding more mushrooms than the Gentleman Foragers group this year!

 

Mike

Meet Mike the Gentleman Forager, he’s a part of our mushroom guiding crew. His favorite thing about the event is raising money for the cause in a fun way. He’s been participating for 3 years, and knows Courtney as they’ve both lost parents to Alzheimers. Courtney reached out for his support several years ago and he’s been participating ever since. He’s a mushroom hunter and his favorite thing about mushroom hunting is that he likes the challenge of figuring out the places few people will travel to and finding a reward. Mike shared with us, he’s looking forward to “having fun meeting lots of new faces and seeing some familiar ones too” this year!

 

Andi

Meet Andi, she’s one of our creative artists!  Her favorite thing about the event is having fun for a great cause! She’s been participating for a year and she knows Courtney through a family member. She’s a mushroom hunter and shared her favorite thing about mushroom hunting is “Mushroom Hunting satisfies the primitive desire to hunt and gather your own food. I love cooking with my found mushrooms. It creates a deeper connection with yourself and the Earth”. Andi’s looking forward to seeing friends and family this year!

 

Jena

Meet Jena, she’s a part of our auction and retail crew. Her favorite thing about the event is the live music and the silent auction. She’s been participating for two years, and knows Courtney through a friend of a friend. What motivates her about the Morels & Memories event is that it’s a great cause to be a part of. Jena’s looking forward to delicious food and the silent auction this year!

 

Ann

Meet Ann, she’s a part of our support and donations crew. Her favorite thing about the event is seeing family and friends get together for a cause that is close to our hearts. She’s been participating for 7 years, and she’s Courtney’s cousin. What motivates her about the Morels & Memories event is supporting Courtney and Lindsay. The event helps ensure Heidi and Leon will never be forgotten, as they were such special people.  Ann’s looking forward to seeing the event grow and evolve this year! What started as a thought has turned into a special event that people look forward to each year.

 

Justin

Meet Justin, he’s a part of our mushroom guide crew. His favorite thing about the event is bringing people together for a great cause and enjoying the outdoors. He’s been participating since the beginning, and knows Courtney as a friend. He’s a mushroom hunter and his favorite thing about mushroom hunting is getting outdoors and being able to eat this delicious fungus!   Justin’s looking forward to seeing the continued growth of the event and to help teach first time participants what to look for and the excitement of their first find!

 

Natalie

Meet Natalie, she’s a part of our mushroom guide crew. Her favorite thing about the event is seeing people coming together for such a great cause. She has been participating for a few years, and knows Courtney as a friend. She’s a mushroom hunter and her favorite thing about mushroom hunting is being in nature. The best thing about mushroom hunting is the second you see one, you usually then see 20 more! It’s a rush!! Natalie’s looking forward to bringing her children and continuing to teach them how to hunt and the importance of these types of events.

 

Sandeep

Meet Sandeep, he’s a part of our auction and retail crew. His favorite thing about the event is helping out with the fundraiser. He's been participating for 2 years, and knows Courtney as a friend. What motivates him about the Morels & Memories event is meeting new people and how many mushrooms the attendees find.  Sandeep shared that he’s looking forward to “raising more money this year than last year”.

 

Noelle

Meet Noelle, she's a part of our mushroom guiding crew. Her favorite thing about the event is sharing the knowledge of finding the morel. She's been participating since the beginning and knows Courtney as a neighborhood friend. She’s a mushroom hunter and her favorite thing about mushroom hunting is spending time with her family. Noelle’s looking forward to finding more morels this year!

 

Monica

Meet Monica, she’s a part of our retail crew. Her favorite thing about the event is the way the community really pulls together to support the event and honor Heidi’s memory. She’s been participating for 2 years, and knows Courtney as a friend. What motivates her about the Morels & Memories event is being a part of all the fun. Monica's looking forward to returning to the event and helping out this year!

 

Julie

Meet Julie, she's a part of our mushroom guiding crew. Her favorite thing about the event is hunting for mushrooms. She's been participating for 6 years and knows Courtney through the Morels and Memories event. She's a mushroom hunter and her favorite thing about mushroom hunting is finding tasty mushrooms to eat. Julie said she’s looking forward to seeing how big the event is this year!

 

Bryan

Meet Bryan, he’s a part of our mushroom guide crew. His favorite thing about the event is seeing faces new and old gather in support of Heidi. In addition he enjoys guiding people to their first mushroom finds. He’s been participating since the beginning and knows Courtney as a friend from school. He’s an avid outdoorsman and mushroom hunter, his favorite thing about mushroom hunting is being outdoors. Bryan has been known to be called the “mushroom magician”.  Bryan’s looking forward to helping people find their first finds, friendly faces and spending time at the Vanderlinde farm this year.

 

Josh

Meet Josh, he's one of our creative artists. His favorite thing about the event is helping create awareness for Alzheimer's through a family friendly activity. He’s been participating for 4 years, and he’s related to Courtney. He’s a mushroom hunter and his favorite thing about mushroom hunting is identifying locations of mushrooms by understanding where species grow, be it Morels, Chanterelles, Dryad saddles, etc and how it's a great activity to do with friends as well as loved ones. Josh is looking forward to trying prepared mushrooms, the hike through the woods, and seeing folks again this year!

 

Laura

Meet Laura, she’s a part of our volunteer crew. Her favorite thing about the event is music and the people who attend. She’s been participating for 6 years and knows Courtney as a friend. What motivates her about the Morels & Memories event is helping Courtney with anything she may need. Laura’s looking forward to seeing how much the event grows this year!

 

Special Thank You's

A big part of our behind the scenes volunteers are our sponsors. A special portion to call them out and give a big “Thank You”. 


Special Thank You’s to:

  • Craig Jongerious-Co owner of Southwest Rental - Through Craig's family's company we can count on our tables and chairs every year

  • Biffs Inc in Shakopee - Donates portable restrooms


  • Jazziblu our music team


  • Troy Vanderlinde


  • Psychedelic Society of MN


  • Vanderlinde/Storms Family - Who graciously provide their time and donations