Mesabi East track star Lee Storbeck loves to help students through scholarships

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Lee Storbeck has humble beginnings. He grew up on a farm in Becker County, with no running water or electricity.

His family moved to Aurora for mining when he was in the 6th grade. It was there, the school helped catch him up and get him on his way.

“The coaches, the teachers, and the community all helped me. Especially the coaches, helped me become who I am today. They got me up academically. And then found I had some athletic ability. I really wanted to go out for baseball. But we didn’t have money for a glove. So I decided, well, I’ll just run track instead,” Storbeck told us.

And run he did. And really fast. He earned a scholarship to Southern Methodist University in Texas, and performed quite well there as well.

“But the biggest thing I got out of there was business education. It’s a wonderful, wonderful business school,” he said.

He went on to become a very savvy businessman. And he realized he wanted to give back to the school that helped him succeed.

So he helped start up the Mesabi East Foundation, and started giving out scholarships to track athletes.

“Just talking to the kids, encouraging them to do more than what they’re doing, they can always do more and try to take a positive role model on them. I also try and stay in touch with them,” he said.

Recently, he donated $100,000 to make sure there can be a continuous flow of scholarships for those athletes.

He’ll be back in Aurora on Wednesday, handing out more scholarships. He also gives out a baton to each senior.

“I tell them, as of right now, you have just completed your first lap around the track,” he said.

His main message to kids is that you should work hard, stay positive, and stay strong.

For more about the Foundation: