Moose Lake, MN
Nominated by Lynn Haglin
Moose Lake KIDS PLUS and AGE to age
Length of Service:
Hours per Month:
March 13, 2012
Rita Baresh is an incredibly passionate and energetic community volunteer. She has been an active volunteer for the Moose Lake KIDS PLUS and AGE to age initiatives. The Northland Foundation helped initiate these community-based programs in Moose Lake in 2003 and 2008 respectively. Rita has shared with Northland Foundation staff that Moose Lake KIDS PLUS has provided her with a renewed sense of purpose after losing her husband suddenly several years ago. She is a caring, inspiring, and giving person. Rita always has a smile on her face and provides children and youth with the caring and nurturing support they need to become healthy, productive adults.
Rita has provided steadfast leadership and helped to rally her community to tackle a major community improvement project through Moose Lake AGE to age. As part of this multigenerational effort, Rita engaged her Autumn Voices choir (she is a volunteer and leader for this senior vocal group) to hold a benefit concert to raise funding to support the construction of a Community Pavilion which will serve as a gathering place for people of all ages, along with a Farmer's Market. Through this concert, CD sales, and an intergenerational bake sale, Rita helped to raise nearly $4,000.
Through the Northland Foundation's AGE to age initiative, Rita has had the opportunity to attend two National Conferences where she has shared her wealth of knowledge and expertise as a community leader and volunteer who is dedicated to helping children and youth thrive. She has also provided leadership to help create a community-wide genealogy education program. Rita volunteers countless hours to help community members of all ages learn more about their past.
Rita Baresh is truly deserving of the Salute to Senior Award. The Northland Foundation, along with Vicki Radzak, Community Education Coordinator, Moose Lake Community Schools, and several Moose Lake community members (Ron Eastman, Deb Shaw, Kris Lyons, Tim Hobaugh, Eleanor S. Steen, Louise Engstrom, Jean DeRungs) are pleased to nominate Rita Baresh for this honor to recognize how much she gives back each and every day to her rural community.
From our tally, Rita contributes over 130 hours of month to Moose Lake AGE to age/KIDS PLUS, Autumn Voices, and her other activities including Sons of Norway and newspaper article writing. If you were to put a financial value on this contribution it would be nearly $2,600 per month or more than $31,000 annually (Minnesota volunteer rate is $20.90 per hour). WOW!
Rita shared the following letter that she wrote to the Northland Foundation on March 6th when she learned that we wanted to nominate her for this award:
"I don't even know where to start to tell you all just what my volunteering means to me. To connect with young and old and see the smiles and the acceptance of hugs wherever I go, I can't begin to explain it all.
The experiences I have had and lessons I have learned; I think writing a book might take me the rest of my life and too heavy to lift in the end.
The other volunteers from all over the country I have met, talked with on the phone and shared seminars with me have broadened my thinking process beyond words. So much I can bring to every single deed I do every day.
Our Community Director; Vicki Radzak along with the gals at Northland Foundation and my family, have given me so much strength to do much of what I am trying to accomplish and they never cease to amaze me with the faith they have in me no matter what I present to them. They are all my rocks!
When you see a child from KIDS PLUS or Gener-Reading, at the Super Market or a child to tell me how excited he or she was to find a great great grandparent and information even their parents didn't know, or in the school halls and they run up for that extra hug or say to you, When am I going to see you next?" Wow! It is so beyond words. How can a person not keep going and try to make a difference in someone else's life?
When asked about this nomination, I have to say I hesitated because I don't want any of this to be about me, but when presented with the possibility of helping my favorite organization/s with a wonderful donation, there was no doubt I would accept this wonderful nomination with a huge smile on my face.
I will never stop doing what I am doing when I see what difference it has made for others and for myself as well and I promise if I am selected, I will do everything in my power to do the right thing with the donation.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart." Rita
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