Guest Column: Why I love Albert Lea

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

By Linda Bottelson

Linda Bottelson moved to Albert Lea over 30 years ago. She met her husband and worked out of the area for nine years as a social worker and then worked as a guardian ad litem for Faribault County for five years. She then went on to work for Minnesota Reading Corps at Sibley Elementary School. Volunteer opportunities appeared, including volunteering with Big Island Rendezvous Education Days. She now sits on the Senior Resources board of directors, works as an election judge and substitute teaches with the school district as needed.

When I was asked if I could write about 600 words as to “why I love Albert Lea” I thought that would be easy enough. I was wrong. I started writing, and 2,700 words later I knew I needed to rethink my enthusiasm.

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I love Albert Lea because of the people I’ve met over the past 30 years. My list is long, and I am so appreciative of the energy, kindness and time these people have given me. People that are in the service clubs, City Hall, courthouse, Senior Resources, District 241, United Way, police and sheriff’s departments, hospital, Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Big Island Rendezvous and people just walking down the street have all given me so much.

People ask me where to volunteer. Senior Resources is looking for volunteers. Check with your church, The Rock, food shelf, the theater, the elementary schools have volunteers read with students and election judges at the voting polls. Everyone who volunteers their time will meet people you would not have met if you had not given your time.

The people of Albert Lea are resilient to say the least. Change is hard, we watched a fire take a large employer, new companies come and go from our community and now some of the retail has gone as well. Albert Lea continues to work on bringing more retail, employment and services to our great town.

We have beautiful lakes, golf courses, a great county fair, churches, Myre-Big Island State Park, Big Island Rendezvous and many more options to join and meet the wonderful people of Albert Lea and Freeborn County.