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McKaia Ryberg, an 11 year-old in sixth grade at St. Mary's Elementary School in Bird Island, has been invited to sing the national anthem during President Barack Obama's visit to Minneapolis on Saturday.

St. Mary's sixth grader to sing anthem for Obama visit

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West Central Tribune
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St. Mary's sixth grader to sing anthem for Obama visit
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

BUFFALO LAKE -- An 11-year-old, sixth grade student at St. Mary's Elementary School in Bird Island has been invited to sing the national anthem when President Barack Obama makes a campaign visit to Minneapolis on Saturday.

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McKaia Ryberg was "discovered'' by gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton when she sang the national anthem for a Tim Orth Foundation benefit he attended last March, according to her mother Sandy Ryberg. Her parents, Brian and Sandy Ryberg, live and farm in the Buffalo Lake area.

Sandy Ryberg said they received a call recently from Dayton's office asking whether their daughter would sing the national anthem for the president's visit.

They also asked if she would be okay with singing before a crowd that's estimated to number around 20,000.

Her mother said her daughter has performed before crowds of 1,000 and 3,000, and she quickly responded: "What's a few thousand more?''

Sandy Ryberg said their daughter's musical talents are hers alone. She's very musical, her mother said, adding: "She just has the gift.''

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335
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