Outstanding Community Members And Nonprofit Recognized At Distinguished Awards Banquet
Every year, Brainerd Community Action awards people and organizations for the outstanding work they have done and the positive impact they have had on the community. A Distinguished Service Awards banquet was held last night to celebrate the honorees.
“We are celebrating ten individuals in the community who have made a huge impact in the Brainerd Lakes Area,” said Cassandra Clarken, Distinguished Service Awards Banquet Chairman.
The Distinguished Service Awards are put on by Brainerd Community Action as a way to recognize those who make the Brainerd Lakes Area a better place.
“We recognize these recipients because they are so deserving, and it’s really great for me because I am on the back side of things where I get to surprise them with their recognition, and tonight we’re just here to celebrate with their friends and family,” explained Holly Holm, Brainerd Community Action Executive Director.
Nominations for Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Outstanding Nonprofit, and Outstanding Youth Volunteer were gathered throughout the year with the honorees being chosen earlier this month. Erik Haapajoki was chosen as the 2018 Citizen of the Year. The Crossing Arts Alliance was named as the Outstanding Nonprofit of the Year, and Haley Helmin was honored as the Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year.
In addition, Mark Nesheim was named Outstanding Agribusiness Person, Krystal DeChaine Outstanding Child Care Provider, and June Dahlgren Outstanding Educator. Two people, Nick Reindl and Peggy Saumer, were named Senior Volunteer of the Year, with Nick Haglin being named Community Service Provider of the Year and Scott Lykins being named Young Citizen of the Year.
The organizers of the awards know how important it is to recognize community members that go above and beyond.
“If it wasn’t for them and the volunteers in our community, our community wouldn’t be the way that it is,” added Clarken. “That’s what brings us together. That’s what keeps us as a whole.”
“They make a difference in this community. They make it better. They are influential for the up-and-coming people that perhaps will be receiving these awards later on,” said Holm. “They’re just a significant part of this community, and they should be recognized for what they do.”
Brainerd Community Action is currently accepting nominations for next year’s awards. To nominate a community member or nonprofit, visit their website at www.brainerdcommunityaction.org.