Volunteers make things happen

Published 5:28 pm Saturday, April 25, 2015

Vision 2020’s Community Pride and Spirit committee is teaming up with Bremer Bank of Austin highlight community service in 2015. This month, volunteer Erin McClimon shares this story of a serving the community.

Austin has a lot to offer for a community of 23,000 people. Volunteers make it all possible.  They support the activities their kids are interested in. They share their passions. They offer to help a friend. Just think about the all of the organizations in town that wouldn’t exist without many dedicated volunteers.

An Austin native, Jon Bednar is one of those volunteers. Anyone who has been to a musical at Riverland, enjoyed the Alumni Band at the Fourth of July parade, went to the Austin Symphony Orchestra, enjoyed a meal at the St. Olaf diner at the Mower County fair, attended an AHS swim meet, or watched a fast pitch softball game at Todd Park has probably benefited from Jon’s willingness to donate his time to his community. You might even see him helping a friend at the Hormel Historic Home’s Foodie Throw Down.

“I do the things I enjoy doing. Music, cooking, and supporting the activities my girls are involved in,” Jon said.  “Getting involved in the community is a great way to meet people and expand your social circle.”

Of course, like most volunteers, Jon isn’t looking for recognition.  “There are a lot of people who do more than I do.”

So much of what we have in Austin is due to the time and dedication of people like Jon.  They make Austin a great place to live. So, next time you are at the Paramount for a show, make sure to thank the ushers for helping you enjoy the arts. And, don’t forget to thank your son’s basketball coach for all of the time she spent teaching him how to shoot a layup and the importance of teamwork. Without the dedication of these volunteers, we wouldn’t have the opportunities we do today.

Does Jon’s story inspire you? Consider participating in Vision 2020’s Community Pride and Spirit community service challenge for the year 2015. It’s called ‘Keep the Spirit Alive’ and we are asking everyone in Austin to consider making a commitment of 24 hours of volunteer service to the community in 2015.

You can volunteer anywhere you like, doing any activity that you like. You can work on it 30 minutes a week or plan a blitz weekend. There is no paperwork or registration process—simply a personal commitment to serve the community this year. It’s a way to celebrate the tradition of service in Austin and keep it alive for future generations.

To find—or post—volunteer opportunities, make the connection on the Vision 2020 Community Pride and Spirit website www.vision2020austin.com/spirit or find us on Facebook at “Spread the Spirit in Austin, MN.” Keep the Spirit Alive in 2015!