The Minot CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition Proudly Presents

The American
Youth Character Awards


January 29, 2014




Awards Banquet
Award Recipient Archives


Awards Banquet

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Keynote Speaker
Pastor Paul Krueger

The American Youth Character Awards are the only national awards given to young people solely for strength of character. Under the direction of the Josephson Institute of Ethics and the National CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition, these awards identify and honor young people who are the real and proper role models for their generation.

These awards are not given for isolated acts of heroism or generosity, nor are they given simply for high grades, leadership posts, excellence in athletics or the arts. Rather, the American Youth Character Awards are designed to honor young people (regardless of their family background, race, culture, financial status, I.Q., or physical condition) whose lives and achievements demonstrate an enduring commitment to qualities associated with good character. The recipients of these awards are undeniable role models for our community.

The twelfth annual Minot CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition American Youth Character Awards Banquet was held on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at Minot State University. Pastor Paul Krueger was the Keynote Speaker for this event.

The Youth Character Awards banquet was sponsored by the Minot Character Count's Coalition. Mr. Jim Olson was the Master of Ceremonies for this event. The Flags were presented by the Minot High School JROTC Honor Guard under the direction of Capt. Scott Evans.


Dr. David Fuller from Minot State University gave the greeting and Pastor Paul Krueger gave the Invocation. Musical Selections were presented by Our Redeemers Christian School under the direction of Mr. Jonathan Clark. The Youth Character Awards were presented by Jason Rohrer, Carla Dolan, Annette Stach, and Lynda Bertsch. Candid photos from the event are shown below. Photos are courtesy of Steve Beutler.





National Anthem and Flags presented by the Minot High School JROTC Color Guard

 



Musical Selections were presented by a group from Our Redeemer's Christian School under the direction of Mr. Jonathan Clark.

 



Jim Olson, KXMC TV, Master of Ceremonies




Dr. David Fuller, President of MSU, Greeting





Attendees enjoyed a fantastic dinner prior to the awards ceremony.

 

 
American Youth Character Award Recipients
 

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The Minot CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition is proud to introduce the American Youth Character Award Recipients for 2014: First Row from the left: McKenna Hodenfield, Nathan Artz, Eric Artz, Chloe Rickards, Kendra Cruff, and Rhett Pederson. Back Row from the left: Micaela Haider, Courtney Aarseth, Isaac Massey, Makiah Frederick, Mckenna Beeter, and Brenna Tschetter. Absent from the group picture is Jacob Magnuson.


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Courtney Aarseth



Courtney Aarseth

Courtney Aarseth is a Senior attending Bishop Ryan High School.  She is the daughter of Jerry and Jill Aarseth.
 
Courtney takes school seriously while helping to make the learning of others better.  Courtney enjoys working with the younger students helping them in making wise choices in their daily lives.  She shares that nothing is more fulfilling than getting ‘hugs’ from the little kids who really don’t know you, but realize that you are someone that they strive to be like someday.  

Courtney has been active in Honor Society, Student Council, Science Olympiad, and Environathon.  Courtney strives to be a positive leader in all that she does. 

Courtney is the student who will go above and beyond for anyone.  When she sees that someone is in need, she will not only do whatever she can to help, but she will also get others involved.  During a school blood drive, she did not just send around a sign-up sheet; she explained to people the need for the drive.   Courtney has great compassion towards others.  She recently shaved her head for ‘Locks of Love’ to show her support by donating her hair to those who have lost theirs because of cancer treatments.

Courtney has also been very instrumental with numerous fund drives for local organizations that need donations.  These include toy drives, food drives, and sweat days to raise money for these different worthwhile organizations.  She’s helped with blanket drives, worked with “Feed My Starving Children”, school carnivals, and Relay for Life.  Within her church, Courtney has donated her time in serving at mass, helping with Bible School, making cookies, and caroling for the home bound and being involved with 40 days for life, and also helping the Minot Right to Life organization.   

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Eric Artz



Eric Artz

Eric Artz is a sophomore attending Minot High, Central Campus.  Eric is the son of Robert and Brenda Artz.  

Eric has a twin brother, Nathan, who was diagnosed with cancer in November, 2012.  Although Nathan and his Mom had to spend much of the year in hospitals for Nathan’s cancer treatment -- Eric always did his best to handle chores at home and to keep up with his school subjects and other responsibilities.  Eric and Nathan have always been extremely close enjoying many of the same kinds of activities and supporting each other throughout their lifetime.  Having Nathan gone was extremely difficult for Eric.  But, Eric has maintained his 4.0 average in school along with keeping up with his leadership positions in Boy Scouts such as Chaplain Aid, Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, and Quarter Master.  He also keeps up with his viola and trombone.  He has served as an altar server in his church and serves at Mass at least once every month.  He also volunteers his time doing service projects like removing carpet for a local nonprofit center and doing painting.  Eric helps in nursing homes, he collects food for food drives, works at local soup kitchens and a food pantry.  He helped in picking corn and potatoes for the local food pantry, picking up garbage in the parks, helping to clean at the zoo, and also helping in the flood clean-up as he was able.  Eric has volunteered his services for many Eagle scout projects and landscaping projects in the Minot area.  Eric learned how to deal with his brother’s absence and his brother’s treatment through learning to pray when he felt lonely.  Eric became determined to help his brother through the cancer treatment and with his school work whenever Nathan was strong enough to try completing his school assignments.  Eric was Nathan’s biggest supporter and became his brother’s teacher.  Although it has been difficult for Eric to continue in all activities that the boys have always pursued together, Eric has continued in band, orchestra, and Boy Scouts.  Eric decided to miss a Boy Scout National Jamboree rather than attend without his twin by his side.  He felt his brother needed him more.  

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Nathan Artz



Nathan Artz

Nathan Artz is a sophomore attending Minot High, Central Campus.  He is the son of Robert and Brenda Artz.
 
Nathan exemplifies the six pillars of Character Counts!  In spite of battling cancer since November, 2012, Nathan has been able to maintain his 4.0 in school and has finished the 9th grade course work which was largely missed because of his treatment schedules in both Rochester, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota.  Nathan has been very active with Boy Scouts which he loves.  He has been involved with numerous community service projects and in leadership positions through his time in Boy Scouts.  Nathan has served as an altar server at church, and helps with other church projects.  Nathan has worked at our local soup kitchens, he’s collected food for food drives, picked corn and potatoes for the local food pantries, and helped with picking up garbage at our local parks.  He also has assisted other Scouts in working for their Eagle projects.  Nathan always is fair in helping his brothers which in turn has brought much fairness back to him.
 
While battling his cancer, Nathan always shared with his family to just have ‘faith and trust’.  Nathan was able to keep his faith and trust along with his very positive attitude.  Nathan’s perspectives show his great character.  I know each and everyone of us has an unique and gifted purpose in this world.  I know that this was not mine; that this was just a needed and valuable lesson in my long journey called life.”  Nathan shared with others at the hospital who were battling cancer. 

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Mckenna Beeter



McKenna Beeter

McKenna Beeter is an 8th grade student attending Jim Hill Middle School.  McKenna is the daughter of Raymond and Kathleen Beeter. 

McKenna has been a significant part of his father’s health battles over the years with his heart, and the medical battles that this has brought to her Dad, Mom, and the entire family.  McKenna’s Dad received a heart transplant on May 12, 2006.  Following the transplant, McKenna’s Dad had to be in the hospital for 3 months.  This past year, her Dad’s pancreas virtually exploded.  Her parents were again gone to the hospital for 3 months.  Finally they came home the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving.  Then right before school got out her dad went into 100% heart rejection which meant that his body was fighting the heart and he went into cardiac arrest two times.  He was air lifted back to Rochester for another 3 months.  McKenna’s parents have had to be gone for months at a time to Rochester, Minnesota for Dad to be close to the medical team of doctors.  Presently, McKenna’s father is on kidney dialysis 4 days each week and is waiting for a kidney transplant.

McKenna volunteers at her church’s nursery and is an altar server at mass.  McKenna also volunteers at the Humane Society, and helps at a local food pantry, and is part of the Police Explorer Post program.  She enjoys walking neighborhood dogs and she is watching two small children free of charge for a mother who is waiting for a heart and lung transplant so this Mom can get some peace and quiet.

McKenna is very compassionate towards others and reached out to a 23 year old girl who had experienced two heart transplants and visits and checks on this girl.  McKenna is always respectful and polite.  She has a good sense of humor, possesses a ready smile, a delightful personality, and a genuine concern for others. McKenna is a very generous friend to everyone! 

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Kendra Cruff



Kendra Cruff

Kendra Cruff is a sophomore attending Our Redeemer’s Christian School.   Kendra is the daughter of Mike and Joni Cruff.
       
Kendra likes to help others.  This past summer Kendra went to Minneapolis to serve on a mission trip where she helped teach Vacation Bible School to children.  She also assisted in cleaning Sibley Park, and she was able to participate in Feed My Starving Children.  Kendra also has been a student leader at her church’s youth group.  She has been teaching a small group and she feels happy doing this and that this opportunity has been a great learning experience to her. 
       
Kendra looks for ways to help make positive differences in her time at school.  Recently, at a volleyball game Kendra observed a fellow student taunting and making fun of the losing team.  She spoke up that she didn’t think the taunts and teasing were right and she asked the person to please stop.  Kendra is willing to risk herself in these kinds of situations. 
       
Like so many families, Kendra’s family lost their home in the Minot flood.  She shared that losing everything and living in a FEMA trailer for two years was difficult, but that she learned to keep a positive outlook throughout this challenging experience.
       
Kendra is involved in her school’s chapter of National Honor Society; she serves on the school’s Chapel Committee, and is involved in the United Way Youth Board. 

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Makiah Frederick



Makiah Frederick

Makiah Frederick is a 7th grade student attending Our Redeemer’s Christian School.  Makiah is the daughter of Ken and Melissa Frederick.

Makiah is always looking for new ways to reach out to others in school, the community, and at her church.  Makiah helps her Dad when he needs to talk on the telephone because her father is hard-of-hearing and has difficulty communicating with others by phone.  Makiah also volunteered for a Thanksgiving outreach this past November to Inner City Christian Ministries in Minneapolis to serve and feed people who are homeless.  Makiah also volunteers with a truck and trailer ministry called, “About the Father’s Business”.  This ministry shows love to others through acts of kindness such as caroling and handing out Bibles and candy canes during the holiday season to those impacted by the Minot flood.  Makiah assisted in raising money for ‘About the Father’s Business’ by giving away beverages to individuals coming to the family’s annual garage sale and also she raised money for “Speed the Light” which helps provide needed equipment for missionaries by making and giving homemade Norwegian pastries away at her church.  She was able to raise over $200 for these worthwhile ministries.

Makiah assisted many individuals impacted by the 2011 Souris River Flood.  She also helps with her church’s nursery, Little Kids Church, and Junior Bible Quiz. She also worked with “Feed My Starving Children”, which packages food for starving or malnourished children in third world countries.  Makiah also has been a buddy to her cousin, Kayla, who plays baseball for the Minot Dream Catcher’s.  Kayla has epilepsy and Makiah has assisted with helping Kayla on different occasions. 

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Micaela Haider



Micaela Haider

Micaela Haider is a senior attending Minot High, Magic City Campus.  Micaela is the daughter of Joseph and Darcie Haider.       
       
Micaela is an organized, resourceful, and responsible young lady.  She is constantly thinking about how to help others and make her school and community a better place.  Macaela is willing to take on any new challenge to see positive results helping others.
 
Micaela is responsible, respectful, caring, and a very hard working young lady.  She is employed at Barnes & Noble and still finds time to participate in school, community, and church activities.  Micaela is a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, Magic City Renaissance Team, Operation Orientation, Art Club, Key Club, and Character Counts! Club.

Micaela enjoyed her community service projects of helping with the YMCA Halloween party, and taking part in the yearly Operation Christmas Child.  She also had major commitments for helping plan Homecoming week.  Micaela is involved at her church from a very young age and now she serves as an usher.  Micaela also has taught dance to young children at the Minot Academy of Dance and Cheer which she found very enjoyable and rewarding. 
      
Micaela was extremely involved with supporting the family of her Aunt Colleen Couture who passed away after a battle with brain cancer.  Micaela helped with the 3 children while her Aunt and husband were so heavily involved in medical treatments.  Micaela states that Aunt Colleen’s youngest daughter, Natalie, has shown her what incredible strength one can have throughout her Mom’s battle with cancer.  Micaela says that Natalie is her inspiration and will be for the rest of her life.

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McKenna Hodenfield



McKenna Hodenfield

McKenna Hodenfield is a senior attending Minot High, Magic City Campus.  McKenna is the daughter of Scott and Colleen Hodenfield.

McKenna gives 100% of herself in all that she does.  She is a 4.0 student.  She is active in school, church, and community.  She is involved in National Honor Society, Orchestra, Student Council, and Soccer.  In her church, she takes leadership roles with youth activities and service projects to help others.  Words that come to mind in describing McKenna are nice, kind, respectful, responsible, giving, diligent, conscientious, caring, and hard working.  Currently, McKenna is president of her Lutheran Youth Organization.  She realizes how important being a positive role model for younger students is in this leadership position.  This past year her group raked leaves at the zoo, helped with science day at the library, made tied blankets to help others, and numerous other smaller service projects.  Through National Honor Society and Student Council, McKenna volunteered at the YMCA Halloween Party; she passed out flyers about an upcoming weekend canned food drive, filled a box with goodies for kids for Christmas, and helped with the Thanksgiving food basket project at her school. 

McKenna was requested to take on a nanny job for a 6 year old autistic girl.  After spending the day with this girl who was only seven and could not talk, McKenna shared with her Mom that she wasn’t sure that this challenging job was something she could do.  After visiting with her encouraging Mom, McKenna accepted the nanny job and has been caring for this girl over the past year and she loves this girl and job.  McKenna believes that family and friends are the best things in life.  McKenna is a joy to all.

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Jacob Magnuson



Jacob Magnuson

Jacob Magnuson is a senior attending Bishop Ryan High School.  Jacob is the son of Thomas and Nancy Magnuson.

Jacob Magnuson is involved in many community happenings.  He is a participant in both varsity basketball and baseball for his school and the Legion.  He is a football player.  Jacob is in National Honor Society.  Jacob always strives to do his best in academics and to help others do their best.    He is admired by his classmates and his teachers.  Jacob can always be counted upon to do what is right.  Jacob shares his outstanding reading and speaking abilities with his church as a Mass lector.  He has been an altar server since second grade. Jacob is one of the assistant chaplains at Bishop Ryan.  He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a group for Catholic men who do service work within their parish.  Jacob has made spiritual pilgrimages to Medjugore and Rome.  Jacob is considering joining the seminary and would like one day to become a priest.  Jacob volunteers at his school’s annual carnival and he volunteers cleaning and decorating at his church four or five times throughout the year.
       
Jacob’s home was filled with 4 1/2 feet of water in the 2011 Minot flood.  He and his family lived in a two bedroom apartment with 5 people while he helped with the clean up and rebuilding of his home. Jacob never lost hope and he reached out in helping other families through their rebuilding experiences following the flood.  Jacob and his Mom assisted a family needing help with painting their home.  They became angels that touched others’ lives and renewed their hopes.  

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Isaac Massey



Isaac Massey

Isaac Massey is a senior attending Bishop Ryan High School.  Isaac is the son of Chuck and Joan Massey.

Issac Massey is an outstanding young man who has learned the value of leading by example.  Others look up to Issac and have trust in his leadership capabilities.  Issac is class and Student Body President who is in charge of numerous meetings of members who must organize activities and events for the school.  Issac is a fair leader who listens to everyone’s opinions and ideas before reaching consensus on a plan of action.  Issac was instrumental in organizing a pancake breakfast benefit for one of his friend’s Dad who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in August.  Following a week of fundraising, over $1,000 in donations was raised and more were coming in prior to the conclusion of this collection.  Issac is a member of the Assistant Chaplains at Ryan High School where his committee organized Catholic Schools Week. Issac also volunteers at the Red Cross as needed.  Issac assisted many friends and their families in cleaning out their homes following the Flood of 2011 in Minot.  He is a member of the National Honor Society and Issac’s inspirational leadership and life was recognized when he was nominated for Homecoming King and North Dakota Mr. Tennis.  Issac shared his love for the game of Tennis by teaching tennis lessons to children ages 5 to 12 this past summer.

Isaac loves family and was committed to his grandmother who suffered a severe stroke and was confined to a nursing home.  Issac’s grandmother was unable to communicate and Isaac wasn’t always certain whether she fully understood his presence, but faithfully visited her in the Nursing Home twice a week until her death.    

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Rhett Pederson



Rhett Pederson

Rhett Pederson is an 8th grader attending Erik Ramstad Middle School.  Rhett is the son of Steve and Jodi Pederson.

Rhett Pederson is a quiet young man, but his actions speak volumes.  He is polite, courteous, and accepting of others.  People enjoy being around Rhett because he makes everyone around him feel good.  Rhett is involved with the school newspaper, Science Olympiad, and he’s Vice President of the Honor Society.  Rhett is heavily involved with Boy Scouts and his Church youth group.  He, also, ushers at his church and helps out in any needed capacity.  Rhett is involved with athletics and wrestles at the Junior Varsity and Varsity levels.  His involvement is not for attention or recognition, but rather to truly make things better and be a positive role model for others!  Rhett can always be counted on to do his best and to be there for others when the need arises.  Rhett helped other families during the flood recovery.  He also likes to volunteer at a local soup kitchen and at the zoo.  Rhett and his friend painted the gazebo at the zoo.          

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Chloe Rickards



Chloe Rickards

Chloe Rickards is a senior attending Minot High, Magic City Campus.  Chloe is the daughter of David and Lexi Rickards.
       
Chloe Rickards is very involved in school and community activities.  In school she takes part in the National Honor Society, Science Club, Thespian Society, Peer Tutoring, and the diving team.  She is an exceptional student, takes challenging classes, and is currently at the top of her senior class.  Chloe’s teachers share that she is an exceptionally motivated, responsible, mature young lady.  Raised in a military family, Chloe has lived in eight different states and has learned to make these transitions to new schools and new communities in a most graceful way.  She is a young lady that persistently works hard at everything she does and she reaches out to others and she always strives to do the right thing wherever she is located.

Chloe has enriched Minot High with the addition of the Model United Nations Club which brings fresh perspectives of global events.  Prior to coming to Minot, Chloe was instrumental in organizing and running Camp Sunshine which was a program offering outdoor activities, crafts, and sports activities to inner city children in Montgomery, Alabama.  

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Brenna Tschetter



Brenna Tschetter

Brenna Tschetter is an 8th grade student attending Erik Ramstad Middle School. Brenna is the daughter of Greg and Nancy Tschetter.

Brenna is a natural leader!  She is a gifted student and athlete yet she remains humble and modest about her gifts and abilities.  She is a phenomenal role model for her siblings and peers.  Brenna possesses a smile on her face which is contagious and you can’t help feeling good when you are around her.  She exemplifies all 6 Pillars of Character Counts!
Brenna is a member of Honor Society, Student Council, and many of Ramstad’s athletic teams, while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. 

Students seek out Brenna because she is a trusted listener who cares about their individual needs.  She has the biggest heart and she deeply cares about her family, her little sister, friends, and peers.  She cheers for the underdog and is the first student to bring great ideas to Student Council and Honor Society.  Brenna has a compassion and empathy beyond her age and she is a role model to everyone.

Brenna also reached out to other families in their flood recovery helping them in so many varied ways.  She assisted in a dodge ball tournament where the school was able to raise $2,000 that went to a school devastated by the Colorado floods, just as Ramstad had been devastated by the Minot flood.  Brenna has been active with the student council in “Feed My Starving Children”. 

Along with playing volleyball, Brenna manages to coach her 6th grade sister’s volleyball team.  She also is active in church and community activities. 

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Character Builder Award Recipients
 

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The Minot Character Counts! Coalition realizes that building character doesn't take place in a vacuum and that it takes many people pulling together in order to make lasting character changes in our community.  The Minot Character Counts! Coalition is pleased to recognize the numerous accomplishments of the 2014 Character Builder Award recipients. The recipents are: Dr. David Fuller and Pastor Paul Krueger.





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Dr. David Fuller



Dr. David Fuller

Our first Character Builder award is being presented to Dr. David Fuller, President of Minot State University.  Dr. David Fuller has demonstrated personally and professionally the 6 Pillars of Character Counts! since his arrival at Minot State University in 2004.  David and his wife, Nancy, are proud parents of two children.

Dr. Fuller has instilled a culture of engagement at Minot State University and in the Minot community throughout his years in Minot.  He is an advocate for students and is always willing to listen, consider, and care for their needs.  Dr. Fuller promotes growth and under his effective leadership MSU Athletics has entered the Northern Sun Collegiate Conference; The Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning has provided students with volunteer opportunities, internships, and tutoring; Swain Hall, the Student Center, Crane Hall, and Herb Parker Stadium have all been renovated creating an exemplary group of facilities on the campus of Minot State University; and the construction of the Wellness Center has given students a place to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

All of these are examples of the hard work, good character, and dedication Dr. Fuller has revealed in his time in Minot escalating Minot State University to new heights. 

Dr. Fuller played a major role during the flood of 2011 in opening MSU facilities to the community and helping in Minot’s recovery.  Dr. Fuller saw the need of 125 faculty and staff who lost their homes during the flood and he hired an ombudsman to work directly with them in their recovery.  Dr. Fuller’s membership and active participation with the Souris Valley Humane Society Board of Directors, the Trinity Health Board of Directors, the Minot Area Development Corporation, and the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce highlight his committment to the Minot community.  Dr. Fuller lives the pillars of character in his daily life and he is a very visible role model for others to follow. 

President David Fuller is retiring at the conclusion of Spring Semester.  The search for a new president has begun, and constituents of Minot State University have been asked for traits to look for in the hunt for a new president.  The results have been mirrored by the traits possessed in Dr. Fuller’s character.  Acceptance, loyalty, integrity, accountability, honesty, compassion, dignity, politeness, passion, and drive are all values that the people of Minot State University are hoping to find in Dr. Fuller’s successor.  Dr. David Fuller is going to be a tough act to follow. 

Dr. David Fuller’s extraordinary leadership for Minot State University and his incredible community involvement of being a man of great character make him a perfect choice to receive a 2014 Character Builder Award.


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Pastor Paul Krueger





Pastor Paul Krueger

Our second Character Builder Award recipient is Rev. Paul Krueger, Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church and Chair of Hope Village.

Paul and his wife, Julie, are the proud parents of 3 sons, one daughter, and one grandson.   Promoting the 6 pillars of Character Counts! is an important mission for Pastor Krueger.

Rev. Paul Krueger is a man of deep faith and conviction who cares deeply for the Minot community!  The flood of 2011 brought great hardship and loss to many families in the City of Minot.  Families lost their homes, their belongings, their way of living and were in great need of help.  Paul Krueger observed that volunteers from across the United States were not able to assist with the disaster due to lack of housing in the Minot community.  Pastor Krueger’s caring heart broke for those suffering from their losses.  He immediately began to write grants and rally together partner organizations to create Hope Village.  Paul Krueger recognized that not only had homes been lost but families were being lost too. 

Families were being torn apart in their struggles.  Mothers needed to be able to tuck their children into bed, their own beds.  Fathers needed to succeed in providing a home for their families again.  They needed help rebuilding their homes but they also needed spiritual help in rebuilding their lives.

With Hope Village, volunteers from across the United States were able to come to Minot.  Their hearts were touched as they gave their time to rebuilding homes.  Many returned multiple times to volunteer.  The Hope Village that Paul Krueger worked so diligently to create not only helped rebuild homes, but gave hurting families the chance to hope again.  Hope replaced hoplessness!  Pastor Paul Krueger has been blessed with a loving heart and the God given skills to create Hope Village.  The community of Minot has been blessed!

  • Hope Village was involved in rebuilding 550 homes.
  • Hope Village had 5,300 volunteers come to Minot.
  • Hope Village had approximately 170,000 volunteer hours. . . . These volunteers' hours of labor have a value equal to 3.25 million dollars.

Because Rev. Paul Krueger is a man of deep faith and conviction who cares deeply for his community, Paul Krueger is a very worthy person to receive a 2014 Character Builder Award.



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This page was created by Steve Beutler on March 4, 2014