Henschel, Huhta named Carlton County Outstanding Senior Volunteers for 2010On Friday, Aug. 20, two of Carlton County’s seniors were honored with the Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award at the Carlton County Fair. Lorraine Kotiranta Henschel of Cloquet and Richard Huhta of Cromwell were chosen for the diversity and quantity of their accomplishments and also the variety and quality of activities and organizations they give of their time.
On Friday, Aug. 20, two of Carlton County’s seniors were honored with the Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award at the Carlton County Fair.
Lorraine Kotiranta Henschel of Cloquet and Richard Huhta of Cromwell were chosen for the diversity and quantity of their accomplishments and also the variety and quality of activities and organizations they give of their time.
Four other seniors, Lois Jobe, Helen Lusk, Shirley Rudebeck and Earl Erickson, were named runners-up and also celebrated for their “outstanding” giving.
This award, sponsored by the Minnesota Board on Aging, the Minnesota State Fair Board and the Minnesota Federation of County Fairs, also recognizes winners at the state level. Henschel and Huhta were entered into the state Outstanding Senior Volunteer competition to be held at the Minnesota State Fair on Sept. 2.
Henschel was chosen because of her compassion for people of all ages and disabilities and her desire to volunteer for organizations that strive to make a difference in people’s lives. For over 30 years she has volunteered at the VFW, where she has shared her gift of creativity on the sewing committee and her love of people by providing companionship to veterans in nursing homes. She has also been with AARP for many years, advocating for seniors and sharing information with all the groups she belongs to.
Henschel spends her days taking people to the grocery store or medical appointments. She provides a friendly face and companionship to people who are unable to get out of their homes and provides homemaking services to those who need it. She also spends every Wednesday at the Outreach Center and offers sewing and ceramic classes, providing an opportunity for people with emotional needs a creative outlet. Over the years, Henschel has received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award numerous times for her commitment to service.
Huhta is also a strong community service-minded person. As Cromwell’s current mayor he has gone above and beyond his “job” responsibilities and has given of himself whole-heartedly to making life better for people of all ages in the Cromwell area.
Over the years, Huhta has been instrumental in the development of a swimming beach in Cromwell, the construction of a horse arena for the Riverside Saddle Club and the implementation and continued upgrades of the Cromwell Park Pavilion. He is involved and active in organizations such as the Young Old Timers, the Highway 73 Task Force, the Harvest Fest Committee and other community events such as fundraisers, dinners and sporting events.
Huhta is known for his dedication, commitment and his Finnish “sisu” (determination). His strong leadership skills and knowledge of many issues makes him a strong advocate for making life better in Cromwell and all of Carlton County. He has received the Harvest Fest Leadership Award in 2006 and in 2010 a Certificate of Appreciation from the Carlton County Economic Development.