By Amanda Schwarze
From ensuring that recreational activities can take place to keeping the roads in drivable conditions, people who have made a difference in Maple Plain were recently honored.
For the past several years, Maple Plain officials have given out community service honors. Typically the council gives out one volunteer of the year award and two community service awards to people who served Maple Plain during the previous years. Award recipients were nominated by members of the city council for demonstrating sustained commitment to meeting community needs, developing and fostering the virtues and skills of civic engagement and social responsibility, utilizing unique and creative approaches to meeting city needs and exhibiting a lifetime of service and dedication toward building a better community.
Earlier this year, the council voted to change the name of community service awards to the David T. Grandstrand Community Service Award.
Grandstrand was a long-time Maple Plain resident who earned the 2009 Volunteer of the Year award for his years of service to the city and specifically the time he spent as a planning commissioner for the city. Grandstrand died April 4 and the council renamed the award at its April 9 meeting.
This year, the council named a group of 10 people the volunteers of the year for 2011. Lyle Brandt, Lon Limesand, Todd Brandt, Chris Doyle, Troy Hughes, Mike Lensing, Allen Overturf, Mike Smith, Pete Stahlmann and Steve Thompson earned the honor for donating their time to keep the Rainbow Park ice skating rink ready for skaters. For the past nine years, the group has flooded the rink each winter and performed maintenance on the rink each night after it closes to users.
Two former city employees were given the David T. Grandstrand Community Service Awards. Don Loebrick served as Maple Plain City Clerk/Treasurer from 1963 until 2003. Loebrick was instrumental in developing two industrial parks in the city. Roger Meyer started working for Maple Plain in 1979 and he spent more than two decades working for the city. Meyer worked to keep Maple Plain’s streets free from snow in the winter and in good condition throughout the year.
This year the council also recognized Proto Labs, Inc. The company began operations in 1999 in Maple Plain as The Protomold Company Inc. Since then, the company has grown and it now has manufacturing plants in Telford, England and Tokyo as well as sales offices in France and Germany. The headquarters, though, have remained in Maple Plain. Worldwide, Proto Labs employs 565 people.