Cliff Larson , an ageless heroLarson
is among 14 honored as an Ageless Hero in Minnesota.
On October 3 , Cliff Larson
received recognition at the 2001 Ageless Hero Awards Program in the Mall of America for his
extensive community involvement.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota honored 14 of Minnesota's Ageless Heros during the ceremony.Larson
started volunteering so he
had something to fill up his
I'm not the type of person who can just sit and do nothing , said Larson
Willingly , he
speaks about his
life and where he
has been.There is never a boastful tone , a true hero , he
gives without expecting.
Of all the volunteer-related things I've done , the best thing has been working with children , said Larson
.They get to be just like grandchildren..
Watching the kids grow-up into accomplished young adults has been Larson's reward.He
isn't able to work with children as much as he
would like to anymore , but the gap is filled by spending time with his
for the award was Elaine White , who has worked with him on a number of committees and boards.
volunteered as a math tutor at Challenger Elementary School in Thief River Falls
for eight years.Larson
was first asked to help a new student get caught up with his
schoolwork.From there on , two or three times a week he
would tutor fifth-grade students in math.He
also assisted kindergarten , first- and second-grade students at science fairs.Larson has been a member of the Minnesota Office of Citizenship and Volunteer Services' Advisory Committee since 1992
.As a member of MOCVS , he does fundraising for the group , and informs legislators about older adult and volunteer issues
The nomination letter stated that friends describe him as a person who's extremely kind , a hard worker , an organizer , he
motivates others , and as a doer..Larson
put these words into action when a 94-year-old volunteer won the MOCVS Acts of Kindness Award , but was unable to attend the award ceremony due to health reasons.Even though he
didn't know the individual , Larson
award and three legislators to her
home in Badger for the presentation.
In 1996 , Larson
was named Pennington County's Outstanding Senior Citizen.He
and recipients from other Minnesota counties were honored at the Minnesota State Fair that year.It was here , he
received word he
had been named one of Minnesota's two Outstanding Senior Citizens for the year.There was a male and female winner.Although his
wife had been informed , Larson
was left in the dark.He
was busy congratulating the other winner , and didn't even hear the announcer call his
name.It was truly a surprise.
began volunteering after retiring from his
job of 35 years as resident engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation
in 1985.His volunteer career began at the Heritage Senior Center in Thief River Falls
.After this , Larson
started branching out and began donating his
time in other areas.
In 1977 he
helped to start the.first Kiwanis Club in Thief River Falls , and has since recruited 75 members.He is a chairperson of the Lutheran Social Service Senior Dining Project Council , Vice Chair of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program , a member of the Concert Association Board of Directors , and a member of the Advisory Committee for the School Volunteer Program
.The list does not end here.Cliff has had an exceptional life and serves as a role model to many
.The American Heritage Dictionary defines a hero as a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose , especially one who has risked or sacrificed his
life , and ageless is defined as seeming never to grow old..
These definitions ring true for Larson
has selflessly given his
time not because he
has to , but because he
wants to.Seventy-six years ago , this man was brought into the world.It is said that every life has a special purpose , but it's up to the individual to put it into action.Larson
has done this.Over the years he
has touched hundreds , possibly thousands of lives , and there are many more to come.
I've lived all over the world , was Larson's response when asked how long he
has been in Thief River Falls , and where he
has been before.A briefing on his
incredible life issued proof to this statement.Larson
was born in Hibbing , and attended high school in Karlstad.Immediately following graduation , he
was drafted to serve in World War II.
I graduated on a Friday in June , and left for basic training the following day , said Larson
.And I shipped out some time in '44..
Among the places Larson was stationed were France , the Philippine Islands and Japan.Serving in the Army Corp of Engineers
became a prerequisite for his
future career.After being discharged in 1946 , Larson lived in California , and attended the University of California , Berkeley for engineering
.After receiving his degree , Larson started working for the Minnesota Highway Department in St. Paul in 1950
Thief River Falls was his
next stop , and has been here since 1951.
wife have two sons , Mark and John , and six grandchildren.
About the award
, Thief River Falls , has been named an Ageless Hero.He
received the award at a ceremony at the Mall of America on October 3. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota honored 14 Ageless Heros from across Minnesota for health , vitality and accomplishments.Larson
was awarded for his
extensive community involvement.
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