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THE JEFFERSON AWARDS: Our May winner helps raise funds for high school events

GRAND MEADOW, Minn. (FOX 47) – Every month, FOX 47 features someone in our community who is making a difference and we honor them with a Jefferson Award.

Our May winner volunteers to help ensure high school students have fun activities to enjoy outside the classroom.

A high school athletics event at Grand Meadow wouldn’t be complete without a concession stand.

And there wouldn’t be a concession stand without Marla Kassel.

For six years now, she’s been in charge of organizing the concession stands.

The proceeds help the Grand Meadow student council hold events throughout the year.

“There were a couple teachers that were in charge of it, and we are so blessed with all of the teachers here in Grand Meadow they wear so many different hats, and it just ended up I had volunteered to help organize it a little bit because they had their plates extremely full at that time so they took me up on the offer,” she said. “And I just ended up having so much fun with it I told them I would love to keep helping with it as long as my kids were in student council.”

With at least 30 games a season, Marla stays busy.

Some games can bring in a few hundred dollars.

They’re also a chance to reconnect with friends.

“It’s so much fun to get to visit with all the people in the community when they come up to get their stuff, and just get to say hi to everybody and see how people are doing.”

The volunteers that work with Marla say she’s an organized leader, but she keeps things fun.

“She’s always willing to put 110 percent in and go that extra mile to ensure that whichever activity she’s helping with succeeds and is beneficial to those that are involved with it,” said Heather Voigt, who nominated Marla for the Jefferson Award.

“She spends a lot of her time away from her family here organizing the concession stands,” said Tabitha Hoffman, another Grand Meadow parent who volunteers with Marla. “And a lot of times she’s here every night helping run the concession stands too so a lot of personal hours that could be spent doing other things, she volunteers at the school.”

Marla says she gets more out of volunteering than she gives, and she hopes to inspire others to give back too.

The more a person puts out into their community, the more the community gives back,” she said.

Marla says there’s a good chance she’ll continue volunteering even after her youngest son, a sophomore, graduates.

And if you know someone who’s also making a difference, you can nominate them for a Jefferson Award here.

Erin O'Brien

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