Volunteers named to Neighborhood Honor Roll

Rebecca Rowe
Review staff
Outstanding residents representing 14 community council districts in St. Paul were recognized on Jan. 25 at the Neighborhood Honor Roll Volunteer Awards Night. Held at the University of St. Thomas, individuals from the East Side’s District 1, District 4 and District 5 were singled out for their significant and sustained contributions to the community. “It is an absolutely amazing night and a wonderful opportunity to hear about the great work completed by volunteers all over St. Paul,” said City Council president Kathy Lantry, who represents a portion of the East Side. “These are remarkable people who inspire others through their actions and make our neighborhoods a great place to live.” Each district council nominates three individuals or organizations a year to the Neighborhood Honor Roll. Names of the 2012 recipients join a list of past honorees gracing the exterior of the St. Paul City Council chambers. Located in the northeast corner of the East Side, District 2 Community Council did not receive any honor roll nominations this year. District 1 Individuals receiving recognition from District 1 included Elias Anthan, who directed a clean-up initiative and the Rev. Andy Berreth, a former District 1 board member who helped organize community events. “Elias is a citizen whose daily good work was brought to our attention by nomination, and we have worked with Pastor Andy for years,” said Community Organizer Betsy Leach. Berreth arranged the 2012 community-wide National Night Out celebration and was humbled by the city’s recognition of his volunteer services. “You never are involved in activities such as these for the honor, but am thankful for being able to serve the community,” Berreth said. The Conway-Harding Booster Club, which has fostered its youth football program into one of the largest in the city, was also honored. The program serves youth in the Battle Creek, Conway, Eastview, and Highwood Hills neighborhoods. District 4 A past recipient herself of the St. Paul Neighborhood Honor Roll Volunteer Award, District 4 Community Organizer Karin DuPaul congratulated Dayton’s Bluff’s honorees. “It is wonderful to recognize the hard work of these everyday community heroes,” said DuPaul. “These are really good people who take the extra steps to make the neighborhood a better place.” Carlos Stewart, a District 4 honoree, volunteers 20 to 25 hours each week running the Regime Basketball Program for 13- and 14-year-olds at the Dayton’s Bluff Recreation Center. An initiative started six years ago, Colin and Mary Moore and Steve Randell offer the Youth in Transition program, helping kids get out of gangs, learn new skills, find jobs, and make positive contributions to the community. Paul Broderson has volunteered in Dayton’s Bluff in a variety of capacities during the 30 years he’s lived in the neighborhood. Broderson is currently on the Neighborhood Housing Services Board of Directors, as he has been for the past 16 years, and previously served as an energetic block club leader and community council representative. District 5 The Payne Phalen Community Council’s choices included Dr. Troy Vincent, a leader whose educational initiatives have benefited pre-kindergarten through high school students. Vincent has inspired multiple generations with his enthusiasm for aerospace and engineering. Calling themselves the “Precious Metals” team, Bill Beck, Ray Lambert, Russ Oberg, and Paul Sorenson have led more than 20 clean-up efforts in which they salvage discarded metals for recycling. Jim Smith, honored in memoriam, inspired all through this lifelong dedication to social justice in St. Paul’s West Seventh, Frogtown, and East Side neighborhoods. Smith also served as a past District 5 board director. Honoring Community Recognizing St. Paul’s rich history of active and distinct neighborhoods, the district council system was created over 30 years ago to support neighborhood participation in governance. “The Neighborhood Honor Roll began sometime around the 10th anniversary of the district councils,” explained Chuck Repke, executive director of the District 2 Community Council. Repke has been involved in St. Paul activities for more than 20 years. However, the recognition program faltered and “lay dormant” for a number of years, Repke added. In more recent times, he and other district staff revived it. “It was revised around 10 or 11 years ago as staff from the districts started meeting together on a monthly basis. We wanted to create some sort of opportunity to honor contributions to the community,” he said. A motivating example of teamwork itself, the Honor Roll is jointly organized by all 17 district councils throughout the city. “We all pitch in to make the event happen and give an overwhelming round of applause to all the wonderful volunteers,” Repke said. In his address at the ceremony, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman joked about his second annual run on a portion of the Red Bull “Crashed Ice” course as challenge to those in the audience to volunteer. “For those of you who didn’t run the ‘Crashed Ice’ course, I ask ‘What are you going to do to show your love for the city of St. Paul in 2013?’”

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