Community Pride

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PRIDE community


When a midMarch snowstorm shut down every highway in southwest Minnesota a couple of weeks ago, Hilary Mathis asked a simple question on Facebook: What happens to all of the motorists stranded in Windom?

The answer was equally simple — the Business, Arts & Recreation Center would be opened as a shelter, and people could stop there until the weather cleared up and they could safely get back on the road.

More than a dozen people were already at the BARC when Mathis put out a call to her friends in Windom, asking for pillows and blankets for the BARC travelers. And as Mathis knew they would, the residents of Windom came together to care for their 52

stranded visitors, bringing in three tables of food, drinks, personal hygiene supplies, cards, puzzles, piles of blankets and pillows.

It was truly a community effort — and one of many examples of Mathis’ efforts to serve as a conduit, bringing people together and channeling their efforts into a powerful force for good.

Many of her projects begin at her store in downtown Windom, Enspired, which offers a wide variety of items, including artwork, jewelry, honey, soaps, lotions, candles, wax melts, teas, food, books, crystals, greeting cards and decor. Much of it is locally-made, including Mathis’ own product lines.

She opened the boutique in October of 2011, with no background in sales or retail. It wasn’t always easy, but she

learned the ropes, developed her own product line and forged the shop into a place not just for buying and selling, but for people.

“A lot of the efforts that I have been involved in happen through this place,” Mathis said. “It’s a connecting point.”

The effort to help the stranded motorists was just one of many times she’s brought people together to help others. It’s an excellent example of how she likes to do that, too — a shortterm, high-impact project that involves contributions from a diverse group of local people who care, often including other organizers and groups coordinating together.

Mathis herself often isn’t even technically part of those groups — she’ll just put out a post or two asking for help and letting people know how they can.




WORTHINGTON — Conversing with Than Than Kyaw, a Class of 2017 Worthington High School graduate, is a pleasure.

Kyaw’s velvety voice, which translates to a singing baritone, is easy on the ears. The 24-yearold’s confidence, descriptive phrasing, calm delivery and broad vocabulary rarely hint that Kyaw spent the first 12 years of his life in Thailand’s Nupo Refugee Camp and that he was an ESL student through his junior year of high school.

The youngest of five children, Kyaw’s family arrived in the United States on Sept. 2, 2010—a date burned into his memory — and initially settled in Roseville.

“I went to sixth grade there,” said Kyaw, who is fluent in English and Sgaw, the language spoken by those of Karen

heritage, and is additionally proficient in Thai and Burmese. He became a U.S. citizen on Sept. 11, 2018.

“I walked into school (Roseville) and looked for the number ‘6,’” he recalled, not realizing there was a registration process. “They sent me to the office.”

Such experiences make Kyaw an ideal fit for his current job as a Community Engagement Specialist with Southwest Initiative Foundation. Kyaw was previously employed at JBS as a community liaison for immigrants and refugees, and prior to that he worked for the Nobles County Integration Collaborative NCIC.

“The whole community of Worthington helped raise me,” said Kyaw, who moved to Nobles County with his mother in 2011 when she began working at JBS. The globe | Wednesday, march 29, 2023 | THE GLOBE’S COMMUNITY PRIDE | B1
“You have to have a lit fire to keep going in small business, especially lately. And all these community efforts have been that lit fire.”
Hilary Mathis
Kari Lucin / The Globe Hilary Mathis holds Randy, the second of two foster cats from Cottonwood County Animal Rescue to stay at Enspired until adoption. Mathis plans to continue fostering with another cat now that Randy has been adopted. Photo courtesy of Than Than Kyaw SWIF Community Engagement Specialist Than Than Kyaw, right, celebrates Welcoming Week, intended to create new connections between Worthington residents, including immigrants and refugees.
KYAW: Page B4


The Globe

WORTHINGTON — It’s Jason Turner’s personal philosophy that makes him completely comfortable calling Worthington his permanent home since 1994.

“If you’re going to spend years of your life in a place, you might as well put time and energy into making it better, too,” said Turner, a pharmacist and committed community contributor.

“And relationships are huge; they’re what make life go, whether they’re ones we’ve maintained for decades or newer ones. Relationships are what give us fullness of life.”

Thoughtful, patient and always dedicated to getting it right, whether professionally or in one of his numerous volunteer roles, Turner focused on Worthington shortly after graduating from Storden-Jeffers High School in 1988.

“Dad (the late Dennis Turner) was from Round Lake and mom (Mary Turner) grew up around Okabena/ Sioux Valley so I had some familiarity with the area,” Turner said. “I was kind of a shy kid whose courage emerged on athletic fields or basketball courts — that was my element.”

“Talking to people I didn’t know was really outside my box,” he added.

But as a pharmacist, Turner has spent nearly three decades talking to all kinds of people multiple times a day about their prescriptions, vaccinations and doctor’s recommendations. His desire to fulfill the most noble aspects of his profession has long since overcome any reluctance to interact.

“I love health care because it really comes down to helping others,” said Turner. “People don’t always know what’s best for them, healthwise, so if I can help them navigate the system, maybe explain why their doctor prescribed something and


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teach them how a medication will improve their condition, that’s what I like doing.”

Three-year start

Turner jokes that, in spending his initial postsecondary educational years at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington, he made a two-year college into a three-year one.

“I got several classes done before transferring to the University of Minnesota (where he completed his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy in 1994), and it allowed me to take things at a little slower pace than credit overloading,” Turner said.

He was a Bluejay basketball player for two years and a student coach the next year, while also working parttime at Sterling Pharmacy. Therefore, saying yes to a full-time job at Sterling in 1994 was an easy decision.

“I already had a comfort level there,” said Turner, who stayed at Sterling for 10 years before operating his own shop, GuidePoint Pharmacy, for 10 years. Nine years ago

Sometimes Enspired serves as a drop-off point for donations. Lately, it’s also served as a home for Randy, a golden-eyed white-and-orange cat from the Cottonwood County Animal Rescue, and before him, a ginger tabby named Barry. Both were quickly adopted, and Mathis intends to keep bringing in foster cats now that Randy has a family.

“You have to have a lit fire to keep going in small business, especially lately. And all these community efforts have been that lit fire,” Mathis said.

Her family is often involved as well, from her husband, Bryce, to her kids, Ethan, Evan, Eli, Eja and Evelyn.

Every year at Christmas, Mathis and two friends, Esperanza Esquivel and Lynn Ortmann, do a holiday project together. Mathis writes just one post on Facebook asking for participants to donate funds, letting everyone know they will never know

he returned to Sterling.

“My dad was a high school biology teacher and coach, and I liked the sciences,” explained Turner of his career choice. “But I didn’t feel drawn to teaching, so when another teacher said his sister-in-law was a new pharmacist, I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll say I’ll be a pharmacist until something else happens,’ and I just kept plugging along.”

He credits the solid educational base and instructors at Minnesota West for laying the necessary groundwork to finish his degree at the U of M. Influenced by his father’s teaching and coaching experiences as well as by his own conviction that education is a great equalizer, Turner ran for the ISD 518 school board when he was 28 and not yet a father, serving a four-year term from 19982002. “There were some hotbutton issues, and back then I was bothered when people were upset about decisions we were making,” Turner

who their funds go to, what they go for or receive any credit for donating them.

Then the three leaders identify a family in need, connect with them and tell them they want to help. Last year, recipients got $2,500 in gift cards for food, gas and clothing using those donations, and everyone in the family also got a feel-good gift.

“All of these people contributed to this unofficial cause. We’re not linked to any big group. It’s unofficial efforts that have a really big effect,” Mathis said.

She emphasized that it’s the group effort that’s important, pointing out that she’s just using her gift for connecting with others on social media for good causes. It’s a simple process of identifying a need, helping address it and moving on to the next need, Mathis said.

That process has repeated itself multiple times, with Mathis spearheading an effort to purchase a new e-bike for a local person whose bike was stolen — a drive that took

said. “But, over the years, I’ve realized that sometimes you have to step up and take tough stances on things that might not make everybody happy — but you do it because it’s the right thing to do.” “I gained a real appreciation for all the inner workings of a school district; there’s so much long- term planning and budgeting, aside from the more visible things that happen in the classrooms and athletic fields, and it changed how I viewed public service,” he added.

Living to serve Turner committed himself to community involvement, willingly pushing himself out of his comfort zone again and again when opportunities to serve arose.

To date, he’s been on the boards of King Turkey Day, International Festival, Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival, Worthington Regional Economic Development Corporation, Sunset Hospice Cottage, Phileo’s (owned by Journey Church) and WAYBA.

less than 24 hours to raise enough for a new e-bike, an extra battery and a new lock.

“It wasn’t me. I just spread the word about it because I wanted to help,” Mathis said. “I’m not doing all these fantastic things by myself.”

Another of her projects happened after a fatal car crash, in which a man was killed and his daughter severely burned. Mathis intended to bring over a card with a little money in it for the family, and offered to help the family too. Learning they had company coming for the funeral, she asked for help on Facebook, and Enspire’s back room quickly filled with food and supplies for the visitors.

“It’s unbelievable what people brought in, and they were so thoughtful,” Mathis said. “The whole community came together, and we were able to contribute thousands of dollars and so much food and love and support, just off one social media post. And everyone is better for it.”

Another project came when a boy

He’s also been on several District 518 referendum committees and co-chaired the last two.

“Talk about facing a firestorm head-on,” he laughed. “Our schools were bursting at the seams, but the divisiveness was heartbreaking. We tried to keep the focus on the issue that needed to be addressed and, after sitting down at a table with some of the loudest ‘no’s’ and ‘yeses,’ in the hopes of quieting that negativism, we finally got it to go.

“The intermediate school is not elaborate by any means, but it’s very nice and I’m happy it’s relieved a lot of the pain for our local schools.”

Turner, who starts most of his always-busy days either on his elliptical or with a two-mile neighborhood walk, has also coached youth sports in support of his six children in the blended family he shares with wife Kylie — another local health professional and active community volunteer who currently serves on the Worthington Area YMCA board.

“I’m such a huge advocate for the many life lessons learned from sports involvement,” Turner said. “There are so many things to be gained from participation in athletics, or band, or the arts — I learned that from my dad.

“And from my mom, I learned the value of service and giving time to your community.”

Balancing work, family and faith is a challenge, but Turner’s daily devotions point him in the right direction.

“Today’s verse was Luke 22:27: ‘For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves,’” Turner cited.

“The words of Jesus: exactly what I needed to hear.”

born with a heart defect became ill as a teenager. Mathis worked with the local Lions Club to organize a pancake breakfast and raise money for the boy’s family, eventually gathering $17,000 to help them with the expensive medical bills.

“That was very much a group effort,” Mathis said.

Even the group Mathis belongs to, the Jamie Torkelson Fallen Biker Memorial Run, for family and friends of her fallen cousin, comes together for a bike run, a raffle and a party, to raise money for the Windom Youth Hockey Association.

“It’s a community effort,” Mathis said. “Here’s the need: can we fill it?”

Mathis received 49 nominations in The Globe’s Community Pride project, with all of the individuals sharing stories of Mathis inspiring people in her community of Windom to help others. She was referred to as a bright light in the community, an angel, an exceptional voice for the community, and the person with the biggest heart.

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“I’m such a huge advocate for the many life lessons learned from sports involvement.”
Jason Turner
Pharmacist and dedicated community contributor Jason Turner is a member of Journey Ministries. Tim Middagh / The Globe

The Globe

ADRIAN — Since 2018, Ashley Kane has been a member of the Adrian Police Department, and in that time, few things have become as important to her as the local community she serves.

Part of Kane’s drive to work in law enforcement stems from the events of 9/11. It was a scary time, she recalled, but in the wake of it, a question stuck with her, one that has shaped her career.

“I had a teacher who asked our class, ‘Do you think you’re the type of person who could run into danger?’” she said. “And I just remember thinking, yeah, I could do that … just to help one person, I could do that.”

Partway through her law enforcement education, though, Kane began to have doubts. She dropped out of the program and took odd jobs for a period of time. She spent some time working retail, then took a job with Polaris.

With Habilitative Services, Inc., she worked with people with disabilities — an experience Kane says has helped her be more understanding during her interactions as a police officer.

As she tested out

other careers, her uncompleted law enforcement training was eating at her.

“My parents raised me with the idea that … if you can help somebody, you should help,” said Kane, who

joining the Adrian Police Department.

“This town has been nothing but welcoming and open-armed to me,” Kane said. “I’ve been here five years, and I just like it here a lot.”

Typically, Kane works the afternoon shift. She goes on patrol, monitors traffic and takes calls when they come in. Some days, she spends her entire shift going where dispatch needs her. On slow days, she goes out into the community and talks with people — one of her favorite parts of the job.

“Bridging that gap and communicating with people, that’s so important,” she said. “The more people know you, the easier your calls go. It’s good to build that trust.”

drug use prevention and violent behaviors.

The training was one of the hardest things Kane said she’s done during her law enforcement career. Not only was it a lot of information to cover, but to then translate all that information into something understandable for kids was a challenge.

“As much as the training wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t trade it for anything because I’ve gotten to communicate and have a relationship with these kids,” said Kane. “My goal is to prevent them from making a poor decision, but if they do make a mistake … I want them to feel like they can come to me.”

Along with her involvement in the DARE program, Kane started Adrian Community United, a non-profit group that focuses on bringing the community together. The organization puts on community nights out, which include free food, activities for kids and demonstrations by first responders. It gives the police, fire department and EMS teams an opportunity to interact with the public.

grew up in the Round Lake area. “It was just kind of hardwired in my brain, and I can’t even really put my finger on why, that this was the way I could help people if I would just go and do it.”

Kane reenrolled, and in 2015, she graduated from Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s law enforcement program. She was hired as an officer in Heron Lake, where she stayed for three years before

The part of Kane’s job she likes best is working with kids, especially the students she interacts with through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

Shortly after joining the Adrian Police Department, Kane was approached about an opportunity to get involved with DARE, a 10-week program where, once a week, she goes into fifth-grade classrooms and talks with students about different topics like

“You don’t want people, especially kids,

to be scared of you and only see you during a bad time,” Kane said. “I love being able to be there for someone when it might not be the best hour of their life, and being a friendly face, someone they know, can help calm them down, make things easier.”

It is Kane’s role as a DARE officer and founder of Adrian Community United that earned her a nomination for The Globe’s Community Pride project. She was nominated by Sarah Lenz, who had this to say about Kane: “Ashley is always going above and beyond for the citizens in Adrian. No matter the time of day, Ashley is there for anyone. She has organized events for youth, found services for people in need and shelters people when they are stranded in storms at the emergency services building.

“When EMS volunteers, city staff, or residents need something, she is always willing to jump in and help,” Lenz added. “If all they need is someone to listen to them, she lends an ear.

Ashley is an extremely valuable asset to our community! Adrian is lucky to have her.”

Kane admits her job can be difficult. There have been some rough calls during her time in Adrian, and she’s glad to have other law enforcement members and first responders to talk through some of the hardest times with, as well as support from her family.

In 2021, Kane was awarded special recognition for saving a life on a call, for a person who had nearly severed their hand. While Kane was the first on the scene and applied a tourniquet, she credits the save to the dispatchers, medical providers and other first responders. It’s a call she says she’s unlikely to ever forget.

“I’m always trying to learn from my past calls,” Kane said. “How can I do better next time, how do we reach more people? I’m always trying to keep moving forward.”

Despite the challenges that come with the job, Kane loves her work and being a part of the Adrian community.

“I don’t ever want to be a big town cop, with no time to talk to people,” she said. “I like where I’m at here. I’ll stay as long as they’ll have me.” The globe | Wednesday, march 29, 2023 | THE GLOBE’S COMMUNITY PRIDE | B3 507-483-2486 or 507-920-7736 Soil Conservation - SitePreparation Underground Utilities Aggregate Sales Custom Aggregate Crushing
“I love being able to be there for someone when it might not be the best hour of their life.”
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Officer Ashley Kane has been with the Adrian Police Department since 2018. Emma McNamee / The Globe


In the classroom and in uniform, Dan Harrington making an impact


Teacher, marine, father — Dan Harrington has played many roles in his life, but a constant, it would seem, is giving the next generation the tools they need not only to succeed, but to thrive.

Before becoming a computers and technology teacher in District 518, Harrington served in the Marines. He joined


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in 1987 and worked in communications, spending five years in Japan. When he left the service at age 28, he entered a career in IT, where he stayed until 2006. It was then that a local Veterans Affairs office reached out and asked if Harrington had any interest in going back to school.

He attended Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and received his bachelor’s, and eventually his master’s

“Educators and community organizers here were a great support to me, and I’m super grateful.”

In turn, Kyaw strives to give back to others and lends a hand to more recent newcomers in the area so they too can make similar strides in acclimating and progressing in their new hometowns.

“At JBS, I learned about how businesses work, and at every job I’ve learned new strategies in how I approach my career — and the best part is I can take all of that and use it to nurture the community,” said Kyaw. “That’s a beautiful thing.”


As a kid in the Nupo Refugee Camp, Kyaw joined his family to labor in cornfields, pepper plots and rice paddies during harvest seasons.

“And they taught me how to forage, to find edible fruits and vegetables in the forest,” said Kyaw.

“My mother taught me how to build a shelter and my grandparents, too, taught me how to really survive in the wild. So when we were able to come to America, I knew it might be wild but I was ready to face that because I told myself, ‘I’ll survive, no matter what.’”

At WHS, Kyaw gravitated to the arts; he was a four-year member of the WHS choirs, participated in theater and musicals and was in the WHS marching band’s color guard, plus he joined the AOK Club despite being unable to fit art classes into his

degree in education. He spent several years working as a technology education teacher at Prairie Elementary until the Intermediate School opened its doors, and Harrington switched campuses.

“I wasn’t sure how teaching middle school students would go,” Harrington admitted, “but the kids I have this year, I had at Prairie, so the relationship is already there. I think the kids have been

schedule until his senior year.

Upon graduating in 2017, he was named the WHS Senior Student of Excellence in Art; earlier, he’d qualified for the 2016-17 Minnesota All State Men’s Choir.

Kyaw grasped every art-related opportunity he could, including serving on the Worthington Public Arts Commission, volunteering with kids’ art activities at local

pleased to have me back, which helps a lot when you’re stepping into a whole new environment.”

With five children of his own, Harrington has always enjoyed working with and watching kids learn.

“It’s very rewarding. I get to see the lightbulb click when kids really understand something,” he said of his students. “I just felt I wanted to make some kind of difference in their lives.”

In the STEM class

work with our elders; that’s how I got into community organizing work.”

Kyaw studied at Minnesota West Community and Technical College for two years, initially intending to become an art teacher.

“NCIC was very flexible with my work schedule, which allowed me to teach art at summer camps and coach the WHS band’s color guard, something I’m going to do again after taking a break from it for two seasons when I had my new job with Community Education,” said Kyaw.

Kyaw fully intends to finish his degree at some point, but since starting his job with SWIF last August, work has taken top priority.

His SWIF duties include guiding a focus group that’s researching the broader community’s strengths and challenges, and assessing how services can best aid those in need of them. SWIF serves 18 southwest Minnesota’s counties and two Native American nations.

for middle schoolers, Harrington works with students on a coding program. In many assignments, he allows students to develop according to their interests because they’re more invested in their work that way. With coding, the students receive immediate feedback on what works and what doesn’t, he says, and failing is just as much a learning opportunity as getting something right.


all community members and help towns be more welcoming to all who reside in the region.

Positivity rules

Kyaw displays an inherent optimism that belies the many hurdles he’s already overcome. How does he do it? Letting curiosity shine through, for one, and drinking in all he encounters.

When not working or volunteering, Kyaw loves being outdoors — paddle boarding, playing volleyball — and spending time with friends and family.

“One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein,” said Kyaw, reciting, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Valuing diversity in all its forms is another takeaway.

Windsurfing Regattas and International Festivals and assisting with the Center for Active Living’s courtyard mural, among other contributions.

“I’ve been volunteering since I was in middle school,” said Kyaw. “And employment with the NCIC gave me opportunities to participate in more community projects and events and

“We want to really support employers to make sure they have inclusive policies and practices in the workplace and retain the talent they have,” said Kyaw. “The ‘Reinventing Community’ project focuses on increasing educational skills in underrepresented and marginalized communities while also addressing systemic barriers and workforce development.”

Other areas in which Kyaw’s work concentrates include a teacher pathway program and Welcoming Week, the latter a September event aiming to celebrate values that unite

“The respect I have for our community diversity and culture is a huge inspiration for me,” said Kyaw. “No matter where I go, I have a place for Worthington in my heart.” Recently, Kyaw fulfilled a childhood dream of visiting New York, something he’d dreamt about since seeing a shooting star at Nupo Refugee Camp.

He viewed Central Park as an oasis amidst the city’s bustle.

“I loved its green space,” said Kyaw, drawing a lesson from it.

“When you meet people in your life, no matter how chaotic or broken they are, there’s always that ‘green space,’ that goodness inside of them. “That’s a great hope for humanity: seeing the good things in each other.”

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“No matter where I go, I have a place for Worthington in my heart.”
Than Than Kyaw
“As much as I teach them, they’re teaching me too, and then I get to go and share that with other students.”
Dan Harrington
Computers and technology teacher Dan Harrington looks over a student’s display during the Worthington Intermediate School Science fair. Photo contributed by Dan Harrington



WORTHINGTON — Ten minutes outside of Worthington’s downtown and just off Interstate 90 sits a small building tucked in the backyard of Jarrett and Heidi Hanten’s acreage. While it might look like a simple, slightly larger than usual shed, there’s a lot going on inside .

It’s the home of J&H Screen Printing, and the inside is practically covered with tumblers, T-shirts, hats and more — all sporting custom designs. What started out as a screen printing business some 30 years ago has grown to include three embroidery machines, a laser engraver, and whatever else owner Jarett Hanten decides to try his hand at next.

“We do the full, start-to-finish for almost anything anybody could ever need,” Hanten said, gesturing around the space. “Usually, people come to us and they ask ‘oh, can you do this?’ and I just kinda figure, yeah. Yeah, why not? It’s a learning experience every time you turn around.”


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“I don’t know what happens as adults, but I think we lose this, but kids are always looking at new ways to learn something,” Harrington said. “As much as I teach them, they’re teaching me too, and then I get to go and share that with other students.”

While Harrington enjoys his work inside the classroom, after his own kids grew up and moved on, he began looking for a new purpose. Around that time, he helped get a Marine Corps Detachment started locally to serve former Marines, Navy and other veterans.

“During that process of getting that set up, I learned about the Young Marines,” Harrington said. He imagined a sort of boot camp for kids, or

The business began with some help from Hanten’s cousin, who had experience in screen printing in downtown Worthington. In 1997, Hanten moved out to the craft shed on the family’s property, and for the last 15 years, it’s been a fulltime business for Hanten, his son Nicholas and his wife Heidi.

While the shed has grown since the 1997 move, the business has also expanded to include an online store, which allows the Hantens to take orders and ship all over the country. Still, the largest part of his business stays in Minnesota, and Hanten likes being able to provide a service for the surrounding area.

“We like to help the community out. We like to give them a good price because we want people to be able to make money on their end too,” he said, noting that they’ve done shirts as part of fundraisers for people struggling with medical conditions. “We usually end up giving them back, probably 50% of the proceeds, just to try and help them out.”

For Hanten, creating a quality product has always been the main

a marine recruitment program. “But it wasn’t that at all. In the Marine Corps, we learned about honor and integrity and discipline, and had to better ourselves and become better citizens. And that’s what Young Marines is all about — it’s passing those traits on to the kids and helping them develop into better leaders and citizens.”

Three years ago, the Buffalo Ridge Young Marines was started.

Since then, Harrington says they’ve had about 20 kids, ages 10 to 17, involved in the program. Currently, the local group has 10 Young Marines. Several have retired once they the reached age 18, but stay involved as alumni and adult volunteers.

“We don’t push the military at all,” Harrington said, adding that only about 30% of Young Marines end up joining the service.

“Our focus is teaching them how to serve their communities.... We ask for 50 hours of community service a year through different opportunities, and we’re always looking for more.”

Through the Young Marines, kids can participate in Drug Demand Reduction, which focuses on peer education on the dangers of drug use. They learn to speak in public; they sit and talk with veterans, and participate in flag presentations and marches.

But, one of the Young Marines’ favorite activities, Harrington says, is their involvement with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Having wrapped up a fourth campaign this year, the Young Marines help with the collection and distribution of toys during the holiday season, which then go

goal with his business. A self-taught artist, he does most of the artwork in-house, with customers sending in their ideas and Hanten making changes when necessary.

“Probably 97% of the product we put out is made here,” he noted.

to kids whose families might not otherwise be able to afford presents.

This past year, the Nobles County Toys for Tots program provided toys for approximately 1,200 children, and next year, Harrington said, there are plans to include Jackson County as well.

“The Young Marines just love it, and there’s so many people who volunteer. Without our boots on the ground, this wouldn’t happen,” he said. “In three or four years, if all of

“There are a lot of people out there that say they do screen printing and they’re doing heat transfers or they’re putting vinyl on. It’s not the same. You’re looking at apples to apples. Here, I like to know what product we’re putting out.”

J&H has done T-shirts for King Turkey Day races and sports teams, engraved tumblers for wedding parties, and embroidered hats, shirts and even gloves with business logos. Hanten estimates they do approximately 5,000 T-shirts a year, in any color the customer picks — and no order is too big, or too small.

“We always want to provide the highest quality work, for the lowest price available,” Hanten said. “I’m always willing to try anything once, and sometimes, it’s just doing the job no one else is willing to do.”

J&H Screen Printing was nominated for The Globe’s Community Pride project by Robert Munkel, who said it’s a business “that can always be depended on for prompt, speedy and friendly service. A nice asset to the business community.”

this should go away, just the idea of all those kids we made a difference for, gives a lot of hope.”

Harrington was nominated for The Globe’s Community Pride project by Michael Merren, who said, “Supporting the success of Worthington youth is something that has been a cornerstone for Daniel Harrington since joining the Worthington school district as an educator in 2012. As a technology teacher he

has provided incite on how technology can be a valuable resource to help students succeed in both their academics and lives outside of the classroom.

“Having served in the United States Marine Corps from 1987 thru 1992, he understands how leadership, honor, courage, commitment and hard work are the cornerstones for success in life and is able to bring that knowledge to the classroom.” The globe | Wednesday, march 29, 2023 | THE GLOBE’S COMMUNITY PRIDE | B5 [[l[ifi I iii I [ili)C[1 HISTORIC DAYTON HOUSE 1311 Fourth Ave I Worthington MN 56187 I (507) 727-1311 I ���--meetings I conferences I receptions I showers I parties anniversaries I reunions I tours I weddings I guest house [[l[ifi I iii I [ili)C[1 HISTORIC DAYTON HOUSE 11 Fourth Ave I Worthington MN 56187 I (507) 727-1311 I 376-4149 call BUILDERS & REALTY, INC.
“I’m always willing to try anything once, and sometimes, it’s just doing the job no one else is willing to do.”
Jarett Hanten
Jarett Hanten stands with a screen printing machine — the same one J&H Screen Printing used when it first opened for business over 30 years ago. Emma McNamee / The Globe


The Globe

LUVERNE — When Katie (Dooyema) Koop was in the fourth grade here, she was taking dance lessons.

“Then the dance school left and I tried figure skating,” she says. “And I fell in love. I feel like this is a lifelong thing.”

As a little girl, Katie joined the Blue Mound Figure Skaters. Now more than 20 years later, she is a coach and board member of the highly successful and respected organization.

Not so many years ago, basketball was considered the winter passion of Luverne youths. But skating — both hockey and figure skating — is now extremely popular. The Luverne boys and girls varsity hockey teams qualified for their Minnesota state tournaments this winter, and the Blue Mound Figure Skating Club is concluding yet another successful campaign.

“For sure it’s pretty cool,” says Katie, a 2003 graduate of Luverne High. “For the size of our town and what we have to offer it’s a great thing.”

And not just for those who live in

the Luverne city limits.

“Last time I counted we had like 18 different communities that make up our club,” she says. “We even pull kids out of Brandon and Sioux Falls (South Dakota), and I think that really says a lot about Luverne.”

This is the 32nd year for the Blue Mound Figure Skaters. Katie competed for the club until she graduated from high school. She

moved back home after finishing college and is now a teacher.

Coaching is a big part of her life. The Blue Mound club has more than 100 skaters and offers skating lessons to young boys and girls who hope to play hockey or one day compete in figure skating disciplines.

Katie is an advocate of the program.

“The thing I like the most is all the different opportunities,” she says. “It’s not just an individual sport; you’re part of a team. You can do so much that benefits your strengths on the ice. It’s also a great way to be active.”

The club these days is very young.

“We’ve got a lot of kids coming up who are working really hard,” she says, adding that diligence and persistence is as important as skating talent. And that the benefits of involvement in the organization are undeniable.

“You look at all the coaches who have returned after competing and are now on our staff,” Katie says. “I always talk with my grandmother, who wishes (she) would have learned to skate. It’s a great skill to have. You can do it recreationally for

a long time. That’s really something to appreciate.”

Marisa Thier is a Worthington teen who has been a member of the club for about eight years. And she loves it.

“I feel like our team is very welcoming,” Thier says. “They make sure everyone is included. We’re all from different towns and this brings us all together.”

Marisa travels to Luverne at least twice a week. She used to practice at 5 a.m.on winter Wednesdays.

“I’m not a morning person,” she laughs. “But we always had fun and the hard work is worth it.”

Marisa is not sorry she’s been committed to the Blue Mound club for so long.

“It takes a lot of hard work and effort,” she says. “In the end it’s worth it. I love doing it.”

She hopes to keep skating for a long time and aspires to be a coach. What would she say to young folks considering the club?

“Give it a try,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to meet people from different towns in a network outside of your hometown. You’ll meet a lot of wonderful people and it’s just a great thing to be a part of.”



stuffing one bag full of empty bags before leaving on her walk.

Every community has its movers and shakers — people who seem to know what needs to be done and just do it. They may be heads of businesses, leaders of local groups, or, in the case of LeeAnn Stenzel, a retiree who saw a growing problem and decided to take matters into her own hands, literally.

That problem is garbage. Garbage that litters the streets, sidewalks, boulevards and parking lots along Stenzel’s daily walking loop from her Homewood Hills neighborhood to Diagonal Road, Industrial Lane, Rowe Avenue, Stower Drive and a short stretch of Oxford Street.

“I walk the same path every day through the neighborhood, and somebody was deliberately putting trash by our stop sign — old toys, old notepads they stacked in a circle around the stop sign,” Stenzel said.

“As I’d walk, I’d see beer bottles, pop cans — I was tired of seeing all of this trash so I started picking it up.”

That was a few years ago.

“The first year, I didn’t keep track of how many bags I filled right away,” Stenzel said. She uses plastic grocery bags instead of the larger garbage bags,

Between April and November 2021, she filled 262 grocery bags with litter, plus a 27-square-foot box she found in a ditch and a five-gallon bucket, also found alongside the road.

In 2022, she filled 224 grocery bags.

The garbage wasn’t just from her daily walking route on the city’s northwest side. She also began picking up litter near her daughter’s home just down the

street from Sailboard Beach. Oftentimes on those walks, her granddaughter, Stella, was along.

“She’d say, ‘Grandma, people don’t care about the Earth,’” Stenzel recalled.

It was Stella’s mom, Jenalee Mahoney, who nominated Stenzel for The Globe’s special Community Pride edition.

“She was on a mission — a mission to clean up our community,” Mahoney wrote of her mother.

“We need more people like LeeAnn in our

community. Take pride in our beautiful city and keep it clean!

“Thank you LeeAnn (Mom)! You are community pride!” Mahoney said.

Not only did Mahoney nominate her mom, but she gave her a rather unusual Mother’s Day gift in 2021 — a garbage picker-upper that Stenzel could use without having to bend over so frequently, or put someone else’s garbage in her gloved hands.

B6 | THE GLOBE’S COMMUNITY PRIDE | Wednesday, March 29, 2023 | The Globe dGlobe.coM
BMFS is comprised of skaters from 18 different communities!
We are proud of all our skaters & are overwhelmed by the strong community support!
Thank you!
“It’s not just an individual sport; you’re part of a team.”
Katie Koop
The Blue Mound Figure Skaters pose for a portrait on the ice. Photo courtesy of the Blue Mound Figure Skaters LeeAnn Stenzel. Julie Buntjer / The Globe


The Globe LAKEFIELD — Though many farmers hope to pass their land onto the next generation, doing so isn’t always as simple as handing over the keys to the tractor and riding off into the sunset. It takes planning, legal strategy and experience — and that’s what Costello, Carlson & Butzon bring to the table, as probate lawyers who administrate estates.

“It is fun and interesting work,” said Patrick Costello, who graduated from Hamlin University in 1974 and Creighton University School of Law in 1977. The firm has two offices, with one in Lakefield and the other in Jackson.

People want things to be simple, Costello said, and they also want a lack of friction between family members.

“My experiences have taught me how to structure farm asset ownership so the family can pass the farm on to the next generation without or with the minimal estate tax,” he explained. “Correctly planned, the new generation has a better chance of success and getting along.”

Often, that involves steering people through co-ownership of a house or farm owned along with one’s siblings, nieces or nephews.

“There’s solutions,” Costello said. “They come down very often to practicality, ties and experience. It’s the art of getting people through co-ownership.”

Sometimes it simply comes down to timing, particularly since inheritance often involves grief, loss and relationships, all of which change based on time.

“I think people don’t want it complicated. There’s many complex solutions, involving entities and trusts or the desire to have it in perpetuity,” Costello said.

He praised his clients for being organized, planning and doing their best to follow the rules and be responsible.

That works best “when the architecture is in place so it can be administered and distributed in a way that fits the circumstances of the family,” Costello said.

The firm is the eighth oldest in Minnesota,


From Page B6

The dirty, the disgusting and money

Stenzel realizes that not all of the garbage she picks up was tossed from a car window. Southwest

Minnesota’s winds, after all, can blow an empty pop bottle or fast food container down the street for blocks. And if residents don’t put all of their garbage inside garbage bags before rolling their bins to the curb, litter from the bins can be carried away by the wind as well.

“When the wind blows and everybody’s recyclables are out, oh there’s so much,” she said.

Along her walking loop, Stenzel has picked up “tons of pieces of bread ties” and “a thousand little plastic tags for bags.”

She’s cleaned up untold numbers of alcohol bottles, floss picks, pop bottles, dirty diapers, even underwear.

“I stopped picking up cigarette butts because I’d never get done,” she said.

Stenzel said it just blows her mind, some of the things she finds. The most disgusting and unusual pieces of garbage she’s picked up? A dirty feminine product, a full box of condoms, two pounds of butter and an entire, unopened box of donuts.

“Why would someone spend that kind of money

tracing back to W.A. Funk, who started a practice in Lakefield in 1887. Currently, it includes Hans Carlson, a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, who joined in 1980, and Chris Butzon, a Creighton graduate who joined in 1995.

The business began as a general law firm, but during the Farm Crisis of the 1980s, Costello, Carlson & Butzon started specializing in agricultural law.

“I was 30 years old and I was representing banks and debtors,” Costello recalled. “Debtors and banks didn’t know where to turn.”

It was a difficult time.

The self-blame was overwhelming, and Costello himself dealt with something like 150 debtor cases in a

and then throw it out?” she asked, then said, “I bet people think I’m loony (for picking it up).”

Then again, she’s had people stop and thank her for doing it. Or they will honk their horn as if to say “Thanks!”

In 2021, a couple of neighbors gave her a huge mum as a thank you gift,

wide area, much wider than the firm usually reached. It wore him down though he still soldiered on, knowing the situation wouldn’t change for a while.

Throughout all of it, good times and bad, the lawyers stayed involved in their communities, joining organizations for corn and soybean growers, as well as those for people producing pork, sheep, cattle and wool, Costello said. They join commercial clubs as well as service organizations and sports leagues.

“We volunteer at schools, give speeches at commemorations, teach adult extension classes and perform our civic duties,” he added. “We are active in our churches, attend local

“I bet I picked up 500 of those flavored Tootsie Roll wrappers and a few hundred Mr. Freeze wrappers — and tons of candy wrappers — after King Turkey Day,” she said.

After the races at the Nobles County Fairgrounds, she’s out there picking up water bottles, beer bottles and cans.

sporting and cultural events, contribute to charities and fund drives, and serve on government boards.”

Those activities are particularly important in a small town, Costello said. His membership in the American Agricultural Law Association extends back to those Farm Crisis years, when graduates from the land grant colleges would come together to discuss their profession, and that’s his favorite professional organization. He’s also part of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, who must be nominated and elected in order to join. Costello attributed his election to his expertise in farm succession planning.

Costello received a


Now, she has an idea for another sign — one shared with her by a friend. It says: Why are you littering, with boxes to check from the following options: I am a jerk; I don’t care about natural areas; Mommy still cleans up after me; and All of the above.

“I’m going to make that sign,” Stenzel said. “I get frustrated when I find things day after day in the same area. A lot of times it’s in front of the same homes.”

Home and family

Stenzel is a lifelong resident of Worthington. She raised her three children — Chad and twins Jennifer and Jenalee — here and retired from early childhood special education, a job she loved, when Jenalee couldn’t find daycare.

Minnesota State Bar Association Lifetime Achievement award in 2019. “Pat has volunteered for almost every community betterment organization or cause that has existed in his hometown of Lakefield,” wrote David Stowman in Costello’s nomination letter for the award. “His activities range from serving all the churches, Boy Scouts, Kiwanis, 4-H, historical society, food shelf, political parties, blood drives, fundraisers and on and on. He is the City Attorney, sexton of the cemetery and a trustee for several foundations. His contributions to the community are immeasurable. He loves his little town.”

labeling and then moved into quality control.”

She left Campbell’s Soup about six months after she was married and began working in the classified advertising department at the Worthington Daily Globe. Then, three years later, she accepted a job as a substitute paraprofessional in District 518. That job ultimately led to her work in early childhood special education.

In retirement, and aside from picking up garbage, Stenzel keeps busy. She loves to read, go camping, ride bicycle and bake. During the winter, she’d walk 4.5 miles per day on her treadmill. A fall last November, however, has put an end to her walking.

saying, “We see you out there cleaning up the neighborhood and we appreciate it.”

“I don’t know why people think the Earth is just a giant garbage can,” Stenzel said.

“I grew up here and this town has never looked so horrible.”

Along her route, Stenzel uses business dumpsters to dispose of the trash — especially if her hands are full. She’s received permission to do so.

After community events, Stenzel can be found picking up the litter.

Occasionally, Stenzel has had a stroke of luck while picking up litter. She’s found three $20 bills, a couple of $5 bills, some $1 bills and “a bunch of quarters.”

Another time she found what looked like a brand new Yeti mug.

Stenzel once made a sign to post at a habitual litter spot at a stop sign, noting there is a fine for littering. It didn’t deter people.

Her next sign said, “You might think it’s funny to throw out your trash, but your mother would be ashamed of you.” That sign

“I took care of Stella and now she’s in the first grade,” Stenzel said. “I don’t regret retiring early to take care of her — it was so much joy.”

Stenzel’s husband, Krayton, continues to teach business and economics at Minnesota West Community & Technical College. It’s where the two met. They married in September 1989.

At the time, she was working at Campbell Soup Co.

“I started at Campbell’s Soup a day after my 16th birthday, boning chickens,” Stenzel said. “I believe I was there for 14 years. I got into

Stenzel recently learned she has a chronic torn ligament and tendinitis in her foot. At this point, she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to return to her walking route anytime soon.

And so, Stenzel has a request for this community she calls home.

“Even if everyone would go out and pick up just in front of their property, this town would look so much nicer,” she said. “Even businesses. You go by (businesses and parking lots) and there’s a lot of trash.”

Who knows, you might just find some money — or something you can’t believe was tossed from a car window. The globe | Wednesday, march 29, 2023 | THE GLOBE’S COMMUNITY PRIDE | B7
“We need more people like LeeAnn in our community. Take pride in our beautiful city and keep it clean!”
Jenalee Mahoney
“His contributions to the community are immeasurable. He loves his little town.”
David Stowman
Patrick Costello of Costello, Carlson & Butzon stands in front of the law books at his office in Lakefield. Kari Lucin / The Globe



— When Brad Pagel graduated from Balaton High in 1987, he wasn’t sure about his future.

So the man who grew up on a Garvin dairy farm enlisted in the U.S. Army.

“The only branch to be in,” he smiles. “I think it would benefit everyone to be in the service at that age. Then they’d figure out what life’s all about.”

Pagel served from 1987-91 as a PFC E3 and participated in Desert Shield/Storm. He was in a rear support unit that in part refueled Chinook helicopters in the middle of Saudi Arabia.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen at that time,” he says softly. “Because the last major conflict we’d been in before that was Vietnam. In Desert Storm we had no clue if our equipment would work right or not. And it did.

“We all had a job to do and that’s what we did.”

Pagel is the commander at the American Legion post in Slayton. It happened, he says, very quickly.

“I went to the first meeting about nine years ago when they were putting up the Veterans Memorial (just east of the courthouse in Slayton),” he says. “I went to one meeting, paid my dues at the next meeting, and

wish I would have joined when I first got out in ’91,” he says. “Especially after seeing what the Legion does and what we stand for: Veterans rights and benefits and our youth. It’s very rewarding.”

Pagel says his life was changed by his military service. And now he’s trying to make a difference for others.

His passion these days is a planned Vietnam Memorial Wall and Cost of Freedom exhibit that is planned for midAugust in conjunction with the annual Murray County Fair. The Memorial Wall replica consists of 144 panels dedicated to the memory of those U.S. troops who perished in Vietnam. The Cost of Freedom exhibit pays tribute to veterans from many other conflicts, including World Wars I and II, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq, Desert Storm and Desert Shield, the Cold War, Beirut and Grenada.

There are seven American Legion posts in Murray County, including the Edwin March Post 64 in Slayton that is sponsoring the exhibit.

“I’m hoping, by bringing this event, we may be able to engage more of our younger veterans,” Pagel says. “This is a way for people who can’t make it or afford to go out there to D.C. There is certainly a historical aspect, but this could also be

that you and I were in school.”

The Vietnam Wall is an 80% replica of the monument in Washington, D.C. Like the real thing, the replica bears the names of the more than 58,000 soldiers — including about 20 from southwest Minnesota — who lost their lives in Vietnam.

The hope is that the exhibit has a profound effect on all who see it.

“I think it will,” Pagel says. “From the time we set it up until the time we tear it down (five days later) it’s open 24 hours per day. With no charge.”

The cost of bringing this to the Murray County Fair is more than $11,000. Pagel and the Slayton Legion post, the host, are currently in full fundraising mode. The reception has been tremendous.

“Really, really good,” Pagel says. “We really haven’t had any organizations turn us down.

“No matter how much money we raise, if we have any left over it will remain in that particular account to be used the next time we do something like this.”

The Murray County Fair has an excellent reputation.

“It’s one of the best in the area in my opinion,” Pagel says.

This year, because of the Slayton Legion club’s plans, it promises to be better than ever.

It’s a huge endeavor. Pagel, who still works on the family

“It’s a personal thing,” he says. “My dad served. He was stationed in Germany during Vietnam. I have an uncle who was a door gunner in a Marine helicopter. We don’t see much of him because of what went on over there.

“So it’s personal, but it’s also about educating our youth. And for a lot of other people.”

Southwest Minnesota is special to Pagel. He’s a Murray County man who said living in this area means much to him. In fact, Pagel has plenty of reasons to be thankful for his home.

“People here, we all work together in time of need,” he says.

He knows this from personal experience. About four years ago, Pagel was in a serious accident when a tractor tipped over, pinning him for nearly an hour.

“I was trying to invent a new sport,” he grins, “called tractor wrestling.”

The immediate response from emergency crews in Garvin and Balaton helped save his life. He knew people from both organizations. He was friends with many of them before the accident.

Those friendships have become stronger ever since.

“That’s right,” he says.

And now, by bringing a solemn and patriotic event home, Pagel hopes to help people of his community just as he was helped.

“Pay it back, pay it forward,” he says. “That’s really what it amounts to. There’s more ways than one to do that. And that’s what I’m trying to do.”

B8 | THE GLOBE’S COMMUNITY PRIDE | Wednesday, March 29, 2023 | The Globe dGlobe.coM
“People here, we all work together in time of need.”
Brad Pagel
Brad Pagel dons his American Legion hat and shirt for a portrait. Scott Mansch / The Globe
We received many nominations, these were the ones chosen for stories. Thank you for nominating these individuals, businesses & organizations who YOU thought make a positive impact on our community.