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Outstanding senior to be named at Life Connections on Friday, April 22

The Outstanding Senior Award will be presented at 9:45 a.m. Friday, April 22, 2022, to an individual age 50 or older who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment that benefits the community and its citizens.

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Life Connections is an annual event put on by the West Central Tribune.

The selection of an outstanding senior for the year is a favorite feature of Life Connections. This year will be the 12th year of the award. The award will be presented at 9:45 a.m. Friday, April 22.

The Outstanding Senior Award will be given to an individual age 50 or older who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment that benefits the community and its citizens.

Leadership qualities include creativity, volunteerism, responsibility, problem-solving, respectfulness, cooperation and organizational skills.

Nominees must live in Kandiyohi, Swift, Chippewa, Renville, Meeker, Pope or Stearns counties.

The winner will receive a $100 award, plus $100 donated to the charity of his or her choice. In addition, the person providing the nomination will receive $50. Nominations must include a description of the projects, activities and/or volunteerism the person has been involved in; the end results and benefits of the individual’s efforts and contributions; and comments as to how this person’s efforts have helped to make their community a better place. For more information, call 320-214-4317 or email csteffel@wctrib.com. Sponsor of the award is West Central Sanitation of Willmar.

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2019 recipient

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Bonnie Kluver, left, receives congratulatory praise from her long-time friend Arlene Nissen after Kluver received the 2019 Outstanding Senior Citizen award during the 20th Life Connections event at the Willmar Civic Center in Willmar. Kluver and Nissen were committee members together for the Swift County Relay for Life fundraiser.
Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune file photo

Bonnie Kluver, of Kerkhoven, was named the 2019 Outstanding Senior three years ago. The event was canceled in April 2020, and initially rescheduled for September 2021. That event was also canceled.

Kluver, known for her community service, was nominated for her work in facilitating the Helping Hands Club in Kerkhoven. The group’s members create handcrafted items and donate them to charities such as Bethesda and Safe Avenues. She also helped establish the monthly Food and Fun events on Thursdays for seniors, which gives seniors a chance to learn, socialize and have fun.

In addition to her volunteer work, Kluver also was a founding member of — and vendor at — the Kerkhoven Farmers Market, which provides local and fresh produce, baked goods and meat during the summer months.

“Bonnie sets an incredible example for the rest of us on what it means to serve and show love to those around you,” according to the nomination letter.

Kit Grode joined the West Central Tribune as the features and sections editor in July 2021. She oversees the weekly Showcase and Extra feature segments and also the WCT's special sections.
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