Jeanne Larson, Lowell Johnson Named 2019 Outstanding Senior Volunteers
Two Crow Wing County residents were honored today for their outstanding contribution and volunteerism in the community. The two 2019 Outstanding Senior Volunteer award honorees were surprised by friends and family during a picnic at Lum Park.
An “Outstanding Senior Volunteer” is someone who is passionate about their community and about giving back.
“They volunteer so that they can give back and they usually volunteer in organizations of all ages. They just want to benefit the community overall,” said DeAnn Barry, The Center Executive Director.
This perfectly describes Jeanne Larson and Lowell Johnson, who were named as the 2019 Crow Wing County Outstanding Senior Volunteers.
“I am truly overwhelmed. To have my friends come out of the woodwork was especially rewarding,” said Larson.
“I’m just elated. This is so much fun. I’m really grateful to receive this honor,” added Johnson.
The Center awarded the two outstanding seniors at their annual picnic Wednesday at Lum Park. The Center was established over 30 years ago and became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1979. The organization names an outstanding male and female senior volunteer every year in July.
Larson and Johnson were nominated for their numerous contributions to the community. Larson was nominated for her work with the Crossing Arts Alliance, the Northland Arboretum, and The Center, and Johnson with The Shop, the Self-Healing Communities project, and the Crow Wing County Jail, just to name a few.
“The community has made me who I am, whether is be good or bad. It’s who I am. I love Brainerd. It’s been my home since I was four and anything I can do to give back is just a joy,” said Larson.
For The Center, it’s important to recognize these volunteers who give so much back to the community and never ask for anything in return.
“I think it’s really important that we recognize them because that’s how we encourage others. The people that are here today, maybe they’ve thought about trying that, but they don’t know how they’d do it,” explained Barry. “Today they hear from individuals who just do it.”
Johnson and Larson emphasize that everyone is able to make an impact on their community – it just takes that first step.
“Try it. Think about what you like to do, a group that you are maybe interested in and just try it,” Johnson said. “To me it’s as simple as that. One step at a time.”
The Crow Wing County Outstanding Senior Volunteers will travel to St. Paul where they will participate in a state-wide Outstanding Senior Volunteer Day at the State Fair on August 29th.