Duluth residents recognized for community service with Golden Shovel Award
[Duluth, MN] – This winter season has brought in record snowfall amounts. Each snowfall is accompanied by the task of shoveling sidewalks. For many, this can pose a challenge. Some Duluth residents have taken this task to heart for the benefit of their fellow neighbors and have committed their lives to ensuring safe and accessible sidewalks. A group of residents were recognized today with a Golden Shovel from Mayor Don Ness for their community service.
This winter, a group of local residents formed Duluth Digs to focus on educating and alerting residents to the importance of maintaining accessible sidewalks for all users. In partnership with the City of Duluth, the group has been reaching out to businesses and residents to raise awareness. The City and Duluth Digs requested and received nominations for individuals or groups who demonstrated care and a commitment to serving their community members during the winter season.
“The goal of this community initiative is to raise awareness but we also hope our work motivates the community to help each other. What benefits us individually benefits the community as a whole. Safe and accessible sidewalks are critical to livable neighborhoods,” said Heidi Jaros, a co-founder of the Duluth Digs community group.
The City and Duluth Digs have identified the following group of individuals to receive the Golden Shovel award in recognition of their exemplary efforts to help maintain accessible sidewalks. One individual made sure to shovel his neighbor’s sidewalk before heading off to gall bladder surgery. The recipients are:
Clifford Tchida: Spends hours shoveling sidewalks and driveways for neighbors
William Tomczak: Helps his elderly neighbors and others unable to clear their sidewalks
Robert (Bob) Nordland: Helps shovel out three neighbors before cleaning the sidewalk at his church
Mark Anderson and Dave Tollefson: Clears the sidewalk on their entire block
Mark Lanthier: Helps shovel sidewalks for five retired neighbors
Greater Downtown Council Clean and Safe Team: Accumulated over 126 hours of snow removal time this winter and keeps downtown sidewalks clean and accessible
“These individuals demonstrate genuine kindness, inspire us, and demonstrate a deep sense of community spirit. Their efforts help keep neighborhood sidewalks safe and accessible for everyone. I commend these individuals and thank them for their compassion and exemplary service,” said Mayor Don Ness.