Simpson recognized for volunteer efforts

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Latest winner of Jack Wedel Award humbled

Jack Wedel Award winner for 2014, Alison Simpson with her family. "I'm honored to be among such an amazing group of people -- including my father," Simpson said, fighting back tears. "I've always wanted to be behind the scenes, so standing in front of the crowd is hard for me."

Alison Simpson took the podium "emotional and humbled" after being named the Spencer Chamber of Commerce's Jack Wedel Award winner at the local business organization's annual meeting and luncheon Thursday afternoon at the Clay County Regional Events Center.

"I'm honored to be among such an amazing group of people -- including my father," Simpson said, fighting back tears. "I've always wanted to be behind the scenes, so standing in front of the crowd is hard for me."

"My parents set an example through their volunteerism," Simpson explained. "Being a life-long member of this community makes me want to continue the tradition of all the great things Spencer has to offer."

Last year's Citizen of the Year Mark Lawson, who could not be present, introduced Simpson via a pre-recorded video.

"This person is a lifelong resident of Spencer and an enthusiastic volunteer for our schools, their church and believes in giving back to the community as shown by this person's efforts. This person is a true example of why the Jack Wedel Award was formed, to recognize those who truly want to volunteer and not just for the pay or recognition," Lawson said.

Without identifying her, Lawson detailed many of her activities and volunteer efforts, noting she is a soccer parent and assists with games; a backstage parent for the Spencer Community Theatre and a member of the First Congregational Church and is active with its youth group. Simpson has maintained many positions on countless boards and committees in Spencer including positions with the Volunteer Network for Clay County, Positively Spencer Youth, Spencer Municipal Utilities, Safe Routes to School, and co-chair for Spencer Blue Zones.

Alison Simpson receives a heartfelt hug from Spencer Chamber of Commerce Director Bill Campbell after being announced as the 2014 Jack Wedel Award winner at the chamber's annual meeting and luncheon Thursday afternoon at the Clay County Regional Events Center. (Photos by Randy M. Cauthron)

"I think finding out what you are passionate about, then using those gifts and talents to make your community a special place," is what Simpson suggested helps drive her.

She added, "Teamwork is the name of this community. Where there's a great cause, people come together to make things happen. And that is the spirit of our community."

Citing her strong commitment to Spencer, Lawson said in his video introduction, "The city of Spencer is fortunate to have her talents, energy and enthusiasm."


Previous Jack Wedel Community Service Award Winners

SCT Playhouse

Donna Hull

Gene Thill

Roger DeGeest

Dan Maxwell

Dixie Lampe-Orthel

Tom Manley

Dick Hoffman

Dave Hessman

Bob Porter

Sharon Stadsvold

Larry Harden

Harry Rasdal

Randall and Kathy Anderson

Susan Zulk

Steve Fox

Bob and Kayleen Rose

Tom Howe

Kris VanBerkum

Rhonda Wedeking

Mike Fideler

Diane Kitterman

Dean Jacobsen

Steve Pick

Kevin Tlam

Sam and Suzi Harper

Bill Campbell

Dan Heissel

Tracy Small

Jarrett Smith

Mark Lawson

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