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Masters couple a staple in Mankato East sports scene

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 8:52 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2021 at 10:39 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - For more than two decades, high school sports fans have been greeted at Mankato East events by two friendly faces.

Lee and Wendi Masters spend ample time helping out in the Mankato community and it starts with their love for sports.

“Not only is it our Cougar community that experiences that welcoming feeling, I think other towns to as well. The consistency as they come to our building or to our events,” Mankato East activities director Todd Waterbury said.

The duo wears a smile in the ticket booth and will often take their enthusiasm to the game to cheer on the home team. Something they’ve done since their own daughter played for East softball.

Their presence even goes as far as baking treats for the student athletes.

“A lot of times, Wendi will bring her wonderful cookies and I’ve been treated very well over the 19 years of mine, but the teams, if it’s chocolate chip or M&M or iced cookies, that’s a staple for the Masters and teams I know truly appreciate that,” Waterbury added.

Lee began selling tickets for high school games in the 1970′s, stemming from his career in accounting. Amidst that time, the Waterloo native served a total of 31 years between the army reserve and national guard.

Wendi was patient during his absences, but once they reunited, the two bonded over their love for getting out in the community, inevitably building relationships along the way.

“You might see the same parents for ten years or more, because they’ve got younger siblings. So, you get to know them pretty well and that’s kind of nice. And, you get to know the grandparents and who they belong to and who they’re rooting for,” Lee Masters said.

Outside of sports, Wendi puts her art degree to use and Lee is always along for the ride.

“We like to volunteer for things, right now we’re working on Santa’s House for the Kiwanis Holiday Lights,” Masters added.

This year’s Santa House is inspired by ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,’ painted wall-to-wall by Wendi.

As for how many more years the couple will remain involved in the community?

“My goal is to have them here for seven more years, cause then it’ll be someone else that’ll have to worry about it,” Waterbury said.

“We do one year at a time. It’s like ‘This year might be our last year’ like two years ago, ‘This year might be our last year’ maybe this year will be our last year, or this year will be our last year, but we’ll see,” Lee said.

Only time will tell for the Masters.

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