Local Heroes Celebrated by United Way

Local Heroes Celebrated by United Way Click to Enlarge

DETROIT LAKES, MN--The United Way of Becker County held its Celebration of Heroes Thursday night in Detroit Lakes. 2017 United Way of Becker County President Annmarie Lacher presented the Community Spirit Awards. The 2018 honorees included Brygge Taps and Tastes for the Community Spirit Business award for promoting local involvement, local events and local shopping and their willingness to conduct fundraisers and benefits for those needing financial assistance and their "Burger of the Month" is another way they raise money to give back to local non-profit organizations.

Brygge Taps and Tastes receives Community Spirit Award for Business


Hans Gilsdorf was awarded the Community Spirit Individual for his work in the community through his art. Gilsdorf most recently designed and helped build the Ice Palace, he also is the sculptor behind numerous sculptures in the community, the iconic sailboat on West Lake Drive, the sunfish found around the community and the library's "Once Upon a Time" sculpture of a reading child.

Hans Gilsdorf


The Everyday Hero awards were presented by incoming United Way of Becker County President Tanya Clem. The Everyday Hero Youth was Ethan Walz. Walz is involved in the School-to-Work program at Detroit Lakes High School and has been working with Olander Bus Service who says Ethan has gone above and beyond the call of duty in every aspect of his work to the extent he's obtained his CDL with a school bus endorsement and now drives Bus Route 12 for special needs kids. Ethan also volunteers with numerous local non profit groups. He will be attending South Dakota State for college.

Ethan Walz


The Everyday Hero Adult award recipient was Bobbi Jo Koons who was nominated for her care and compassion in all that she does. She works as a nurse for Ecumen, trains in new employees, works with the School-to-Work program and teaches a Certified Nursing Assistant class. Koons also coaches high school diving and has had a state champion and numerous regional champions.

Bobbi Jo Koons

The Bob and Michelle Harris Award, given annually to a person who demonstrates the community and leadership that was personified by Bob and Michelle Harris was presented to Bruce Imholte. The United Way's Luann Porter highlighted Imholte's community involvement as a lifetime member of Kiwanis, the founding member of the local chapter of Toastmasters, a former Jaycee and Water Carnival Admiral, advocate of local bike trails working with the Heartland Trail Committee, past United Way Board member. Imholte was elected to the Detroit Lakes City Council in 2001 and still holds his At-Large seat. He is also is a member of the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Advisory committee. Imholte was also recognized for making family time a priority as he and his wife Ginny raised three children Philip, Kyle and Greta and now have five grandchildren.


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