By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Every town could use a few people like Dave Carroll.
In addition to owning a successful local business (Dave’s Town Club) for about 25 years, Carroll is also known for his extensive volunteer work, generous donations, and kind personality.
“Our members were very impressed [with Carroll’s accomplishments],” said General Federated Women’s Club (GFWC) member Alice Fink, who nominated Carroll as Delano’s 2011 Citizen of the Year.
GFWC will honor Carroll at its spring banquet Saturday, April 9 at the Delano American Legion.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6 p.m., dinner will be at 7 p.m., and a program will follow.
Despite his qualifications, Carroll was surprised to be chosen for the award.
“I don’t know if I necessarily do more than other people,” he said. “It’s kind of humbling.”
One of Carroll’s favorite places to serve is St. Peter’s School. His wife, Sherry, is the librarian there, and all three of his children Nickki, Jenni, and Kelli have been students.
“I help out with lunchroom and recess duty every Tuesday,” Carroll said. “That’s the highlight of my week.”
Carroll has been on the school board the past six years, and he also donates pizzas and other items for the children.
Every year, Carroll organizes a field trip for the students to Fall Harvest Orchard between Delano and Montrose.
“A bus takes them out there, and we get them each a pumpkin to take home,” Carroll said. “They have a blast.”
In 2009, Carroll laid the groundwork for an annual street dance on River Street, with proceeds benefiting St. Peter’s School.
“It was a little bit of work, but I had a ton of help from other volunteers,” he said. In the first two years, the school received a total of about $18,000.
“It brings a lot of people into the community,” Carroll said, adding that this year’s event is set for Saturday, June 4.
In addition to helping the school, Dave’s Town Club also sponsors pool, volleyball, basketball, and baseball teams, couples’ bowling, a Delano Relay for Life team called “Dave’s Angels,” and much more.
He also assists with Girl Scout activities, coaches softball, and supports an assortment of other organizations in the area.
The theme for Carroll’s award banquet is “Our downtown kid at heart,” a description that many would find fitting.
“I’m kind of an overgrown third-grader,” Carroll said. “I act a little like a kid sometimes, and I just love kids.”
Big city to small town
Carroll said he enjoys living in the small town of Delano, even though he grew up in the Twin Cities.
After high school, he obtained his undergraduate degree in business and finance from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
While in graduate school at the University of Minnesota, Carroll saw an ad in the newspaper offering a business for sale in Delano.
“At that time, I had never even heard of Delano,” he said. “I was just open to anything. This popped up, and I thought I could make it work.”
The name was changed from Town Club to Dave’s Town Club, and Carroll has been serving happy customers ever since.
In 2010, the restaurant was named Delano’s Business of the Year.
One of the big draws of Dave’s Town Club is its low prices.
“We’re dirt cheap,” Carroll said, explaining that his ability to keep the restaurant full of customers has helped him keep costs down.
Carroll also has a commitment to high-quality food.
“Rieder Meat Market is basically next door to us, and that’s where we get all our hamburger meat,” he said. “We have good burgers.”
Dave’s Town Club also caters to a wide variety of age groups, including families with small children, young adults, and people who enjoy going to the bar.
“We get them all,” Carroll said. “Everyone goes to different sections.”
Carroll said one of the best parts of owning Dave’s Town Club has been meeting people in the area.
“Everybody knows everybody,” he said. “It’s kind of nice when you can know your neighbors. I like it here.”
This will be the 34th year that the GFWC of Delano has recognized and honored a citizen from the surrounding area of Delano.
Tickets for the Saturday, April 9 banquet are $22.50 per person, and are available at Downtown Beauty Salon in Delano during regular business hours, or by calling the salon at (763) 972-3939 or Ann at (763) 972-3137.
Citizen of the Year
Here is a list of the people who’ve been honored as Delano’s Citizen of the Year:
• 1978 Loretta Diem
• 1979 Mary and Bill Wallisch
• 1980 Cliff Lundsten
• 1981 Dr. Guilfoile
• 1982 Angie VanLith
• 1983 Jack Schumacher
• 1984 Phil & Helvie Carlberg
• 1985 Don Gilmer
• 1986 Perry Ditty
• 1987 Horace Keplinger
• 1988 Gerhard Meiners
• 1989 Char & Jim Iten
• 1990 Bill Diem
• 1991 Winnie Sinkel
• 1992 Mary Robinson
• 1993 Don Hamilton
• 1994 Maria Logsdon
• 1995 Rich Ditty
• 1996 Art Zitzloff
• 1997 Ann and Jim Lundsten
• 1998 Jon Hanson
• 1999 Cliff and Sandy Simon
• 2000 Scott Shoutz
• 2001 Carol Lundeen and Gordy Wetter
• 2002 John Tackaberry
• 2003 Gail Sinkel
• 2004 Wayne Estby
• 2005 Margaret Parsons
• 2006 Dave and Gary Zitzloff
• 2007 Donna Anderson
• 2008 Clarence “Deacon” Bruhn
• 2009 Ted May
• 2010 Steve Gilmer
• 2011 Dave Carroll