The Goodhue County male and female Outstanding Senior Citizens of the Year were recently announced.  Diane DeBoer of Pine Island and Frank Aunan of Zumbrota were both nominated by Darla Vieths, President of the VFW Post 5727 Auxiliary in Zumbrota.  Vieths told KDHL POWER 96 she was honored to make the nominations after working with both individuals on various projects.

Vieths says, "Diane is a very special volunteer that works with hospice patients and their families giving comfort, support, and care through the end of life journey for terminal patients."  DeBoer will be 75 Friday and Vieth adds, "Diane coordinates the four blood drives each year at the American Legion in Pine Island for the American Red Cross.  She works all year on the blood drives and is a blood donor."

DeBoer is active in her church in Pine Island.  She is the funeral coordinator, service group co-chair person and makes quilts that are sent to missions.  She folds the bulletins each week, is a communion helper and usher.

Vieths says, "Diane also volunteers with the Pine Island Home Services.  She delivers Meals on Wheels and helps with all functions and fundraisers for that organization."

I've known Frank Aunan for a number of years and can tell you the former school teacher loves kids.  I first met him when he was the head Zumbrota American Legion Baseball Coach and High School Baseball Coach.  He drives the bus to games for many of the high school teams.  I always enjoy visiting with him about baseball and other topics.

Vieths says, "Frank helped organize the charter organization of the Boy Scouts Troop 59 and Cub Scout Pack 59.  He continues to be part of the leadership and activities.  Frank is very involved in the American Legion Baseball program, co-sponsored by the VFW Post 5727.  Frank is a volunteer coach, driver, manager, and groundskeeper for the fields.  He has been a part of it since 1969."

The 77 year old restrings and repairs baseball gloves for the players also.

Aunan is the Commander of Post 5727 VFW of Zumbrota and Vieths says, "Goes above and beyond those duties.  He heads up the poppy program distribution, organizes the monthly walleye and steak fry, coordinating the volunteer help, setup, preparation of food, serving of food, and cleanup.  He has done that since 2001."

That's not all.  "Frank organizes the VFW calendar raffle sales.  These funds support the Minnesota VFW Department Charitable organization to assist veterans at the local and state level."

He organizes two pancake breakfasts each year with Mazeppa Honor Guard and American Legion and a Palm Sunday dinner.  Fundraisers that only support baseball but also the Zumbrota-Mazeppa schools, Arts, Academic and Athletic programs, After Prom Party, Community youth programs, scouting, senior activities, community trust fund and the Historical Society.

Vieths adds, "Frank coordinates with area funeral homes when a veteran passes away and military honors are given.  He works closely with Wanamingo and Mazeppa VFW and Honor Guard units to give honorable salute to our fallen comrades and ahave a respectful service for the veteran's family."

The high school baseball field in Zumbrota is named in Frank Aunan's honor.

The State Fair Senior Citizen of the Year recognition program only takes into account a person's volunteer efforts after age 65.

This Holy Bible verse is appropriate in honor of the Male and Female Goodhue County Outstanding Senior Citizens of the Year, Diane DeBoer and Frank Aunan.

Matthew 25:21 (King James Version)  "His lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things.  I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."




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