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Elwell in running for the Energizer Hall of Fame

ST. LOUIS -- Adela "Laddie" Elwell of Bemidji is being honored for her unstoppable energy and perseverance.

In March, baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and Energizer began a national search for the next member of the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame, a program dedicated to celebrating everyday people who live with the same spirit and enthusiasm as the Energizer Bunny. From more than 1,200 submissions, Elwell's nomination rose to the top. She is now one of 100 semifinalists in the running to become the 2010 inductee into the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame.

Elwell has been compared to the Energizer Bunny for years. Born in 1929, she decided to pursue a career in science when it was uncommon for women to do so. She went on to become a science professor and then founded her own non-profit called Opportunities in Science, Inc. Through that organization, she initiated Bemidji's Headwaters Science Center.

Never accepting compensation herself, Elwell has worked for decades to secure funding, expand educational opportunities and improve facilities at HSC. Now in her 80s, she is as active as ever. When she's not working on a community project, she might be hiking or cross-country skiing.

The goal of the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame is to create a place where the inspirational stories of everyday people can live. Baseball's Ironman Cal Ripken Jr., who holds the record for the most-consecutive games ever played (2,632), was the inaugural inductee in 2006. This year, the program's fifth anniversary, people wrote in by the hundreds about their friends, family members, neighbors, teachers, coworkers and more who live everyday with optimism and determination.

"We are honored to hear how people all across the country relate personally with the spirit of the Energizer Bunny," said Jim Olsen. vice president of marketing for Energizer North America. "We couldn't be prouder of this year's 100 semifinalists, who truly bring that perseverance to life."

Elwell will move on to the second round of judging, which will narrow the 100 semifinalists down to a pool of 10 finalists. Then, it's up to America to determine the 2010 winner by voting for their favorite of the 10 finalists at Voting will begin July 6 and extends through Aug. 20. Each vote triggers a $1 donation, up to $10,000, to the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged youth through baseball-themed programs.

The 2010 inductee will receive a $10,000 cash prize plus a $5,000 donation to his or her favorite charity. That person will also be formally honored at an induction ceremony with Cal Ripken Jr. in September at the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Mo.

To read more about the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame, past honorees and current semifinalists, visit