Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:50 pm Friday, June 9, 2023

To the naming of Gerry Vogt as this year’s Third of July Parade grand marshal.

Congratulations to Albert Lean Gerry Vogt, founder of Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen, who this week was named grand marshal of the Third of July Parade by the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.

Vogt, who moved to Albert Lea in seventh grade, is a great example of someone who started their own business and saw substantial success but who still has remained humble and willing to give back to her community.

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In addition to her involvement in the business community, Vogt has also given back on several boards and committees and has financially supported numerous efforts to better the community, including many donations to organizations that help the less fortunate.

Albert Lea is a much better place due to the generosity of Vogt and her family, and we thank her for all she has done.

We hope you will see this recognition as a thank you from everyone in the community.

To the passing of Albert Lean Dave Mullenbach.

Social media came alive this week to honor Albert Lean Dave Mullenbach, one of Albert Lea’s greatest community advocates, who died this week after battling cancer.

Mullenbach was known for his efforts to better the community, including with the construction of the new MercyOne clinic, his efforts with the Freeborn County Historical Museum, his time as a Freeborn County commissioner, his dedication as a member of the American Legion Honor Guard and the magic and joy he shared with families in his role as Santa Claus, among others.

Mullenbach was dedicated to whatever he joined — always giving his all.

We give our condolences to his family, and we hope you remember all the good he did.

Mullenbach was the type of person we should all aspire to be like, and he left a lasting impact that will be felt for many years to come.

To moving forward with the trail action plan for the former Union Pacific rail line.

We were pleased to see the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners earlier this week vote to approve the action plan for the former Union Pacific rail line from Albert Lea to Hartland that is slated to become a trail in the future.

The Albert Lea City Council is also slated to vote on the same plan next week at its Monday meeting.

The plan looks at goals for the trail, what the existing conditions are and the next steps in the development process.

The plan has been in the works for eight months after trail advocate groups, city and rural residents, and staff and elected officials from both the city and county took part in a public mapping workshop and walking and biking audits.

While we know this project won’t happen overnight, we hope this plan is the first step toward making it a reality. It will be used when applying for grant funding.

We are excited about this project and look forward to seeing it develop in the future. It will be an asset not only to our existing residents but also to people from outside the area who could come here for biking and other recreational opportunities.

To the Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp this week.

Thanks to the organizers of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp this week that provided a wholesome opportunity for the community’s youth.

From what we’ve heard, the camp was well received. The youth who participated had a fun time, got to practice sports and gather together in faith.