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Doers don’t do heavy lifting just for credit

Published 10:54am Thursday, December 5, 2013

Column: Display Type, by Crystal Miller

It is such a wonderful season of giving and hope. Our community is doing so many wonderful things for others.

I don’t get the chance to attend all benefits, but was glad I didn’t miss the Herr family benefit. It was elbow to elbow with friends and neighbors, an overwhelming amount of auction items and of course the bake sale.

If you missed out on the special chocolate chip cookies, you missed a lot. They were amazing!

The recipe for these cookies came from Madeleine Lundstrom. Madeleine lost her battle to cancer in 2010. Her friends joined together, using her recipe, to bake and sell them for the Herr family.

Such hard work went into organizing the event, and those volunteers ask for nothing in return. Isn’t it cool that we gather as a village, organizing these events and supporting our neighbors?

Our downtown construction is finished and has become a beautiful focal point for our city. So many businesses stuck together during the construction and are now ready for the Christmas season. Visit them and support them.

Civic groups and private parties are also making a difference for our newly renovated downtown. The city government was careful to make cuts to the Broadway construction to keep your taxes in check.

Now it’s up to us to add the finishing touches. Isn’t it cool that we have representatives who worked so hard for Albert Lea that they were able to secure a $1 million grant for the Broadway construction?

Among the finishing touches (insert personal agenda), I’m hopeful that someone will organize more fundraising for downtown Christmas decorations. (Wait, is that me?) The Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce Foundation is working toward it, but we all need to pitch in to make that a reality. These are heavy-duty decorations that need to fit properly; unfortunately they can’t be bought on the sale rack after Christmas.

The Holiday Bazaar on Broadway is in full swing to draw crowds to our beautiful downtown. Merchants have gathered artisans, crafters and small business vendors to enhance the shopping season and promote foot traffic to downtown businesses.

Visit downtown on Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 for this extended shopping. You surely will find the perfect gift you are looking for. The participating buildings for these vendors will be marked with large gift-wrapped boxes in the front windows. And that’s not all. Look for a special visit from Santa on Sunday.

People donated many hours to organize the Holiday Bazaar. People donated building space to support the Holiday Bazaar. Isn’t it cool that people who don’t even know us are working to make our community a better place?

Too often I hear that someone feels donated money or tax money should be spent differently. Often, they don’t know which is which. They don’t know how many hours of planning were put into something; they only want to complain when it’s over. Complaining is not a solution. Doing something and getting involved are solutions.

I wasn’t going to name people because doers do not look for attention and thanks. I just can’t myself though because I’m so proud of these community leaders. While I can’t possibly know who helped all of these people and deserve thanks as well, these were definitely the people who made me take notice: Melissa Wittmer for her work on the Herr family benefit; Chad Adams for his dedication to planning and listening to residents in the Broadway construction; Rich Murray for securing a $1 million grant to help pay for the Broadway construction; the chamber foundation for leading the efforts in raising money for downtown Christmas decorations; Laura Lunde for her work in organizing the Holiday Bazaar on Broadway; Robert and Angie Hoffman for donating building space for the Holiday Bazaar on Broadway.

The doers of our community are part of the solution. They remind me of a favorite quote: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Thank you to all of the doers. You make our community a better place for a lifetime.

 

Albert Lea Tribune Publisher Crystal Miller’s column appears every other Thursday.