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Everyday Hero: Sarah Wasvick

About four years ago, Sarah Wasvick's son Taylor took to the football field for the Hastings Raiders.

Wasvick wanted to help, and one thing she figured she could do was snap a few photos for the players. She wanted better photos of her sons, so she began clicking away and hasn't looked back, spending her Friday nights in the fall running up and down the field with camera in hand. She's continued the work, even though she no longer has a son on the team.

She then shares the photos with players on websites like Flickr, where they can log on and download the photos for free.

"They can grab them and use them for everything," Wasvick said. "I'll go to grad parties and see my pictures all over the place. I've had moms do full-blown scrapbooks of their kids, and a lot of the pictures are mine. It's cool to see a finished product of them."

Wasvick was nominated as an Everyday Hero by an anonymous Hastings resident.

"Sarah gives an incredible amount of her time to the youth in Hastings," said the resident. "Over the years she has taken football, show choir, wrestling, lacrosse pictures and is on the sidelines at many games. She makes her pictures available online for the players and their families at no cost. You never know where you will see her and her camera.

"This is done out of love and concern for the students, and not out of any personal gain. She enjoys watching kids grow and take their next steps in programs, whether it is show choir, football or wrestling. You would think that she personally has 100-plus kids of her own."

Making Wasvick's time on the sidelines a real joy for her, she said, are the relationships that she develops with the players.

"They become my boys," she said. "(Coach) Dana (Strain) has given me an all-access pass. I consider that an honor. It is hallowed territory to be there, right in the trenches.

"I just enjoy that. There's nothing like the energy of being on the sidelines. It's pretty amazing."

Wasvick said she has no formal training in photography.

"Whatever I've learned I've picked up on my own," she said. "I'm just a mom taking pictures. Fortunately, I have a husband who supports it."

On living in Hastings

The Wasvicks moved to Hastings in 2001, when Sarah's husband Bob landed a job in the Twin Cities.

They have three sons - Taylor is a student at Gustavus Adolphus.

Brady coaches the sophomore team at Hastings High School.

Blaine is in eighth grade.

Wasvick works in Hastings. She practices accelerated recovery performance, a form of therapy that aims to help the body quickly recover from injuries.

When the family was considering where to move based on Bob's job, it didn't take long for them to fall in love with Hastings.

"The football field being in the heart of the town spoke volumes to us about the sense of community, and their pride in their students," she said. "The excitement of a small town, gathering around a football field, has always been a draw for me.

"It's the coolest downtown and the neatest little community. It drew us in."