ST. PAUL - Annette Perry of New Ulm and Darryl Hill of Owatonna received Minnesota's 2012 Outstanding Senior Citizen Awards Thursday at the Minnesota State Fair.
Perry entered state competition after she was received the 2012 Outstanding Senior Citizen Award at the Brown County Fair.
"It was exciting to see Annette's reaction," said Brown County Support Services/Transit Coordinator Bob Apitz. "She jumped up off her seat. She was overwhelmed to say the least, totally shocked and surprised."
Perry was recognized for her efforts in helping many people, but she always credited someone else, Apitz said.
At the state fair, Perry was judged for her diversity of accomplishments, how she touched the lives of others in the community and the total scope of her activities after age 65.
At the Aug. 9 Brown County Fair award ceremony, Apitz described Perry as a person who helped others in whatever way possible.
Her project list included soliciting donations and recruiting people for the "Little Dresses for Africa" project. Volunteers made dresses and shorts from pillowcases, donated fabrics and notions. Completed clothing items went to Haiti, Jamaica, India, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and the needy in other countries.
Perry and other volunteers have sewn and distributed hundreds of quilts for Brown County Family Services, Brown County Public Health, hospitals, day-care facilities, fire victims, newborns, families in crisis and military personnel deployed in overseas wars.
Last year, Perry and her cohorts received the Minnesota Community Education Department Outstanding Project Award for the Little Dresses for Africa and quilting projects.
Perry has raised money to pay for milk and juice for students who could not afford the usual fees. If she learned of children needing winter clothing, she raised funds to provide it.
Perry worked with the New Ulm Park & Recreation Puppet Wagon, helped provide items to the New Ulm MRCI bargain store, and became a People Reaching Out (PRO) mentor. She always showed a bubbly personality, according to Apitz.
"She's a fun-loving person who always makes people smile. She's unselfish, optimistic, compassionate and caring," he said.
Perry said she enjoys volunteering and added it lessened her stress level.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).