Cokato Chamber awards its Citizen(s) of the Year

December 10, 2007

Jerry Terning, Rollie Severson, and Russ Irvin honored for hard work

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

They are called the “Three Amigos” and together, they work to make the community a better place, which is why they are recognized by the Cokato Chamber as Citizens of the Year for 2007.

Jerry Terning, Russ Irvin, and Rollie Severson grew up just four miles from each other and went to Stockholm Lutheran Church together as children.

Today, the “Three Amigos” band together to do God’s work in the Dassel-Cokato community.

“Each have their special gifts and are humble gentlemen,” said Jill Plowman, Cokato Chamber of Commerce president at Tuesday’s Christmas luncheon.

“They go in boldness to help the community,” she said.

Plowman read letters from three different individuals who have witnessed the men’s dedicated work – Al Nagel, Becky Thielsen, and Pastor Wally Glucklich from Elim Mission Church in Cokato.

Nagel knows first-hand the hard work and dedication the three men offer after working with them on the Hurricane Katrina relief trips to Mississippi, as well as flood relief in Rushford, Minn.

Nagel described each man in a letter to the chamber – Jerry, with his big heart; Russ, a humble servant; and Rollie, willing to be where he is asked to go.

“I am so blessed to have people in my life like these three guys to set the standards, be the examples, show us how we should live our life. God put us on this earth to serve, and these guys live their life that way,” Nagel said.

Thielsen writes of the three men: “They are three of the most giving people, who are willing to lend a hand to anyone. After my husband (Brad) was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and was weakened by his chemo and radiation treatments, the “Three Amigos” (as Brad called them) were there at our house on a moment’s notice, willing to do anything they could help us out with.

“As soon as they finished one project, they wanted to know ‘What next?’

“These gentlemen are so caring, thoughtful, and funny, that a person can’t help but want to be around them as they work . . . the light and laughter they brought in those last months of my husband’s life meant the world to Brad and me.

“They are certainly an asset to Cokato, as well as anyone else with whom they come into contact.”

Pastor Glucklich has only kind words to say of these three men, and gave several examples of their work including home repairs, helping people move, and unloading large amounts of food for the food shelf.

“These men have a heart for God’s love. I am so grateful that these men put love into action,” Glucklich said.

Plowman also testified to the three men’s commitment to helping others.

“Doing for others is not hard work for them,” she said.

The three men humbly accepted their awards. Irvin explained how they all grew up together and are still able to get along, Severson thanked everyone for the award and gave appreciation for the chamber’s work, and Terning jokingly said, “It takes three of us to make one,” since the award is usually given to only one citizen.

The men received a Citizen of the Year plaque and a specially-designed shirt that says, “Three Amigos Pulling Together” with three men paddling a boat.