Cokato Chamber of Commerce presents Outstanding Citizen of the Year award
By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN Ninety-one-year-old Mayme Martinson of Cokato was the much-deserving recipient of this year’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year award, presented annually by the Cokato Chamber of Commerce.
Martinson was chosen by the board because of all the ways she has contributed to her community, according to chamber president Dorene Erickson.
During the Cokato Chamber of Commerce Christmas luncheon Tuesday, Martinson was presented with an engraved clock as a gift of appreciation for her many volunteer endeavors.
“Her first volunteer activity involved selling poppies on the corner of 26th and Emerson in North Minneapolis,” Erickson read. “She was 12 years old.”
She married Donald Martinson of Cokato in 1941, who was living in Minneapolis at the time.
In 1947, the couple moved to Brooks Lake Road in Cokato and had four children, Alan, Steven, Ann, and Philip.
Since her first volunteer endeavor, Martinson has been involved in a number of capacities within the community and her church.
At the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, Martinson has been involved as a Sunday school teacher, member and president of Women of the ELCA, church choir, lay ministries, and more.
She has also helped with the Community Chest drives throughout the years, Meals on Wheels, and the bloodmobile. Throughout her lifetime, Martinson has donated 59 units of blood.
Though each has their own rewards, Martinson said, the most rewarding of all has been reading to Cokato Elementary students.
“I loved working with the kids at the school,” she said.
“It was more fun than work you got to have a little fun in life,” she commented.
Margaret Salo has worked with Martinson in several ways, including Community Chest Drive and the bloodmobile, and knows what a good sense of humor Martinson has.
“She’s always lots of fun,” Salo said.
Though Martinson was surprised and felt somewhat undeserving, she was happy to accept the award.
“I don’t think I deserve it, but I will take it and treasure the thought,” she said.
Cokato Chamber member Brita Ylitalo found Martinson to be very deserving of the award.
“Everywhere I go, Mayme’s hands are busy . . . I’ve always admired her for that,” Ylitalo said.