Tri-Valley Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs Hold Recognition Luncheon

(L-R)- Joe McKenna, Rosemary Naeseth, Mary Thorstad, Lucille Skogstad, Betty Floan, Gabe Amon, Jeanie Jacobson.

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs held its annual recognition luncheon at the Crookston Eagles Club on Wednesday, October 8. The event acknowledged the hard work and dedication provided by so many generous individuals. All volunteers were recognized from new enrollees to those who have provided an outstanding 23 years of service volunteering 15 hours or more per week. In total, the volunteers accounted for over 421 years of combined experience. Last program year, Tri-Valley Senior Programs provided 72,399 hours of volunteer service working with over 800 children and 30 senior clients.

The Starfish Award was given to individuals who have been nominated by teachers or others the volunteers work with. This year there were seven recipients of this award from the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs. The award is based off the story of an old man who walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish.  It goes:  A young man was picking the starfish up and flinging them back into the ocean. “Why do you bother?” the old man scoffed. “You’re not saving enough to make a difference. The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back into the water. “Made a difference to that one,” he said.

Recipients of the Starfish Award were Joe McKenna (Senior Companion/5 yrs), Rosemary Naeseth (Senior Companion/2 yrs), Lucille Skogstad (Senior Companion/7 yrs), Mary Thorstad (Foster Grandparent/15 yrs), Betty Floan (Foster Grandparent/14 yrs), Gabe Amon (Foster Grandparent/11 yrs), and Imogene (Jeanie) Jacobson (Foster Grandparent/23 yrs).

Prior to the meal, Andy Wells, President of Wells Technology spoke to the group about pursuing and achieving your dreams. As a child, Wells lived from the land with his family in a one-room house on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.  By the age of 45, Wells felt it was his time to make a difference. Therefore, to live his dream, he invested his life savings of $1,300 to start a new business called Wells Technology that would do manufacturing for customers and create jobs in his community. During recent years Wells has received numerous prestigious awards in recognition of his leadership in building a better America where dreams do come true. Visit for more information.

For more information on how to become a Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion or how to receive Senior Companion Services call Heidi, Jeanette, or Jessica at 218-281-5832.