NEW ULM - What would Brown County be without all the senior citizens? Their volunteer efforts enrich not only their lives but also the lives of other people.
Seniors who have made significant contributions to the county or their city were honored Thursday at the Brown County Fair.
Bert Marth of New Ulm was chosen as the 2014 Outstanding Senior Citizen.
Staff photo by Elena Kretschmer
Individuals honored at the Brown County Senior Citizens program on Thursday at the Brown County Fair were (left to right) Leo Guggisberg, Century Farms; Alberta ‘Bert’ Marth of New Ulm, 2014 Outstanding Senior Citizen; and Albert and Donna Ebnet of Springfield, 2014 Good Folks Community Service award.
Bob Apitz, organizer of the Senior Citizens Day, described Marth as a wonderful woman who has led a life of dedicated service in many ways. She has been a member of the Brown County TRIAD organization and involved in a corresponding program to help reduce criminal victimization among seniors for several years. She has also put a lot of time and energy into the American Legion Post 132, being elected the first female commander and serving as Americanism Chairperson. She served as Adjutant Officer for the 2nd District American Legion as well, where she put her heart and soul into the annual Memorial Day program.
In addition, Marth helped in various baseball tournaments, was a secretary of the Brown County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and National Guard Citizens Committee as well as a volunteer "greeter" at the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, and she has been very active in Our Savior's Lutheran in New Ulm.
"Bert chooses to make a difference. Congratulations!"Apitz said while presenting her with the award.
Marth thanked everyone and told the audience about her first volunteering experiences as a little girl during World War II. "And I've been doing it ever since," she said.
Albert and Donna Ebnet of Springfield were surprised when they received the 2014 Good Folks Community Service award. Donna has served as president of the Springfield Senior Citizens for 10 years, has also been involved with the Brown County Committee on Aging and helps with community projects through her church. Albert is also an active member of the Springfield Senior Citizens and has served as treasurer for the past seven years as well as a volunteer driver with the Brown County Heartland Express for over 10 years.
"Reaching out to help others, which in turn makes their community a better place to live, is what makes Albert and Donna really good folks," Apitz said.
"We were very surprised that they chose us, and we are very happy," said Donna Ebnet.
Leo Guggisberg was recognized by Brown County Century Farms for his sesquicentennial farm (150 years). He reviewed the farm's history and how he manages it today. When he mentioned that in all these years he has never been to the northwest corner of his farm because it is in the middle of a lake, he earned a good laugh from the crowd.
The Brown County Fair Board thanked Apitz for organizing the Senior Citizens Day for the past 38 years.