Outstanding Senior Volunteers Recognized In Brainerd
Many of the organizations in Brainerd seek help from volunteers on a regular basis. Senior citizens in the community have been filling up many of the volunteer spots, and today, two outstanding senior volunteers were recognized.
The executive director of The Center recognized one male and one female for this year’s Crow Wing County Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award. The Center hosted a picnic at Lum Park, where the seniors first enjoyed a meal and afterward the recognition of those that went above and beyond in their volunteer work.
Both of the winners today were asked to come help out at the picnic by their coordinators – little did they know, they would be walking away with a plaque.
“I am excited, I’m thrilled. I was thinking to myself, oh my goodness, my family should be here and I turned around and there they were. This was all planned behind my back,” said Karel House, winner of the Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award.
The award recipients did not know before the announcement they had won; however those who nominated them did and were able to watch the reaction of their nominees.
“Total deserving, of course she is. I’m really happy because it’s nice to be able to give it to somebody does do so much for the whole community, not just for one organization but the whole community and do a lot of different organizations. She is very well deserving and I am very happy for her,” said Deb Anderson, Karel’s Coordinator.
Karel isn’t the only one who volunteers at multiple organizations throughout the community.
“He is so deserving and I am so glad he is getting the recognition he deserves because he helps at the curling center, he helps at Breath of Life, he helps with pickle ball, tennis, and at the school district. He really covers a lot of ground. I think he works more hours as a volunteer as he did when he was working,” commented Paul Welch, the Breath of Life Executive Director.
Why put in so many volunteer hours? For Jim, the answer is simple: it’s all about the people.
Jim Koski the winner of the Outstanding Senior Volunteer said, “I worked with the public my whole life, so when I retired, I missed it.”
Both Jim and Karel will now go on to compete at the Minnesota State Fair for the 2017 Minnesota Outstanding Senior Citizen Award. You can also see winners being recognized at the Distinguished Service Awards Banquet and Crow Wing County Fair.