Sertoma Club announces 2011 award winner

Published 9:25 am Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sertoma board member Ron Sorenson stands with Service to Mankind 2011 winner Elaine Peterson, of Albert Lea. -- Submitted photo

The Albert Lea Sertoma Club is honored to present Elaine Peterson as its 2011 Service to Mankind Award winner. Peterson has volunteered for many years with the Shriner’s Auxiliary, Red Cross, Naeve Hospital Auxiliary and her church. Her baking for others has made her very popular among her peers.

Peterson became involved in the Shriner’s Auxiliary in 1985 and was president for several years. She was introduced to the great work of the Shriner’s through a granddaughter, who is handicapped and received services at their facility. She continues to make soft books, baked potato bags and a variety of baked items for sale to fund the hospital’s activities for children.

She has volunteered at the Naeve Hospital coffee shop twice a month since 1990. She is the auxiliary activities director and plans special events. She organizes bake sales, enlists blood mobile volunteers and also coordinates the oncology volunteers.

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She volunteers with the Red Cross Bloodmobile as needed, and is also a Thrivent Financial for Lutherans church advocate.

Peterson is a member of First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. She is a former Sunday School teacher, is currently on the church council, and serves on the Evangelism Committee. She counted Sunday offerings for 31 years. In 2012 she will be co-president of the church WELCA group.

Peterson was born on a farm in rural Hartland and graduated from Freeborn High School in 1947. She has been married to Milo Peterson for 51 1/2 years. She has two children Randy and Lynette, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Their children do not live in Albert Lea, but they enjoy their visits and keeping up with their various activities.

Peterson worked for Scotsman-Queen Products and Alamco for 42 years and currently serves on the Queen Products Credit Union Board.

Peterson and her husband are retired and in 2000 they traveled to Norway and Denmark to trace family heritages. In past summers they traveled by motorcycle throughout the country.

Peterson continues to bake for various bake sales, does alterations for family and friends and helps out when she can. A comment she made was “I enjoy helping others and in general enjoy people.” She does her part in making our community a better place to live.

Many people in our community have benefited from the volunteer efforts of Peterson.