Ground Broken for Dean Kutz Memorial Chapel

Edited press release

Ground was broken July 1 for the Dean Kutz Memorial Chapel at Canterbury Park, which plans to open it sometime during the current racing season.

The $300,000 structure, named for the leading rider the first two seasons at the Minnesota racetrack, will provide room for nondenominational worship and also serve as a place to hold meetings and events.

"We greatly appreciate all the hard work which the backside employees put in to make Canterbury Park the facility which it is--they deserve a proper place to worship, and that was our goal in creating this new building," Canterbury Park chief executive officer Randy Sampson said.

"This project has been a blessing for everyone involved," chaplain Tommy Bartram said. "This nondenominational place of worship still needs more assistance in order to open as soon as possible."

Said architect Steve Erban said: "The design will be modern and very energy efficient, and the structure will provide an opportunity for us to lift our hearts upward."

The chapel has been in the planning stages for some time, and about $30,000 is needed for it to be fully funded, organizers said. More information is available at

Kutz was born in Harvey, N.D., and began riding at fair meets at the age of 16. He was born with only one kidney, but his sister donated a kidney. In 1999, Kutz was diagnosed with throat cancer, but in 2001 returned to win his 2,000th race.

Kutz won the George Woolfe Memorial Award, the Mike Venezia Award, and was elected to the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. He died in 2004 at the age of 48.