On Friday, Aug. 19, local seniors were honored at the Carlton County Fair for their volunteer service to their communities. This year's winner of Carlton County's 2017 Outstanding Senior Citizen Award is Jennie K. Hanson from Wright. Hanson was chosen for her outstanding commitment to community service since reaching the age of 65. She will now move on to competition at the state level. No men were nominated this year.
Never one to be idle, Hanson is on the go more often than not, volunteering wherever needs pop up, and where she can make a difference in the community Volunteering is a way of life for her.
Hanson an energetic, lifelong resident of the Cromwell-Wright area, wears many hats in the community, and is known for her involvement and leadership.
A retired educator, Hanson is widely known for writing a weekly news column for the past 32 years, the Cromwell-Wright News. Her articles, published in four area papers including the Pine Journal, have a nostalgic, Lake Wobegon flair to them that keep the community informed of pertinent local events and happenings.
Serving the community as a whole is what Hanson is all about. While she enjoys the youth and still substitute teaches, she also cares greatly for the seniors in the community and spends countless hours volunteering at Villa Vista-Cardinal Courts. She also currently serves as president of the Cromwell area Young Old Timers, a group to keep seniors connected and active by doing community service projects.
Hanson is also known for her patriotism. Often seen wearing red, white and blue, she actively promotes the patriotic holidays. She helps head up the local Fourth of July program and emcees a Veterans Day program at Villa Vista-Cardinal Courts to honor and pay tribute to local vets for their service and sacrifices.
In addition, Hanson is active in her local church. She currently serves on the church council as a deacon and vice president and often gives the children's sermons. She is a prayer chain coordinator, publishes prayer requests and a monthly newsletter article, and is the women's WELCA president. And for years she has been fondly known as the "Craft Lady" for vacation Bible school. She also serves as a lay preacher for several area churches from time to time.
Over the years, Hanson has worn, and continues to wear, many other hats as well. She serves to ensure local residents have necessary food and clothing, assists various organizations with fund-raising drives, does grant writing for several community causes, and has served on numerous boards in a variety of capacities. Additionally, she has served as the president for Carlton County Retired Educators for the past 10 years. In 2011, Hanson was honored with an award from the Retired Educators Association of Minnesota (REAM) for her outstanding service and leadership.
In short, if something needs to be done, ask Jennie. Hanson attributes her faith in God and her family's support for her success. She says they have always supported her involvement in her endeavors, even if sometimes they think she tries to do too much!
To follow Hanson's Outstanding Senior Citizen journey at the state level, stay tuned to happenings at the Minnesota State Fair.
The Outstanding Senior Citizen Award Recognition is sponsored by the Minnesota State Fair, the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, and the Federation of County Fairs. After selection at the county level, winners throughout Minnesota are invited to the state fair to sit on the stage during the State Fair's Outstanding Senior Citizen Award ceremony, followed by an open house at the JV Bailey House for them and four guests of their choosing. Winners will be announced at the ceremony on Aug. 31.