NEW RICHMOND -- Four area residents have been nominated for the 2019 Citizen of the Year: John Anderson, Kelli Espiritu, Steve Skoglund and Aaron Anderson.
Voting is open through 5 p.m. Dec. 6.
The award recognizes a New Richmond area resident who has made a positive and noteworthy contribution to the community this year. The recipient will be announced at the New Richmond Chamber of Commerce meeting and gala Wednesday, Jan. 29, at R&D Catering.
To cast your vote, visit newrichmondchamber.com/citizen-of-the-year. People also may vote in person at the chamber office, 245 S. Knowles Ave. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 715-246-2900.
Aaron Anderson is New Richmond's school resource officer, responsible for seven buildings throughout the district, including St. Mary School. He interacts with students in every building, as well as out in the community. While keeping our families safe is obviously part of his job, it's they way he goes about it that makes him stand out.
Officer Anderson also led an initiative to get students to engage with each other rather than using cellphones and technology to interact by playing ladder golf, corn hole and four-Square during lunch at the high school. Not only is he a familiar face in school halls, you also will find him at sporting events and in the community and always with a ready smile and a greeting for the students!
John Anderson was born and raised in the New Richmond area and, after leaving for seminary and assignments with the Catholic Church, he came back to serve in New Richmond as the pastor for Immaculate Conception and St. Patrick's churches as well as St. Mary School.
His nomination did not come on behalf of what he does at his “job,” but what he does for the whole community. Since coming back to the area, Father Anderson has served on several boards outside of his church community including the New Richmond Area Community Foundation. You would be hard pressed to find a stronger supporter of school athletics, community art initiatives and events all around town.
Kelli Espiritu is the co-founder and president of Halos of the St. Croix Valley. Halos provides support to families suffering from the loss of a child (up to age 20). Espiritu leads a team of volunteers to help people during some of their hardest days.
The New Richmond community has had some tremendous losses and it is Espiritu, quietly working in the background, helping with everything from the immediate need for financial support to connecting resources for the ongoing emotional support for so many families.
Steve Skoglund, born and raised in New Richmond, is a local business owner and friend to many. Skoglund is an active Rotarian and, while raising his family here, has been a part of countless important projects to improve our community.
Skoglund's nomination came on behalf of his tremendous effort to see the vision of the new Tiger Stadium come to fruition. Skoglund doesn't currently have kids in athletics, he just feels compelled to be a part of something that he sees as important for our youth and the greater community.