Weather Forecast


Florine Bannick recognized for paying it forward

Florine Bannick (center, with plaque) was recognized by Pay it Forward, Stevens County for her work making hats for cancer patients and survivors. Bannick is pictured with members of her family and friends who received one of her hand-made hats.

MORRIS – Cancer patients and survivors across Stevens County and west central Minnesota have benefitted from Florine Bannick’s talent for sewing and generous spirit.

On Friday, April 18, Bannick was presented with the Pay it Forward, Stevens County award for her work making caps for cancer patients and other individuals struggling with an illness.

Bannick was nominated by Sandy Thorstad who met Bannick at West Central Christian Homes where Thorstad’s mother was also a resident.

“[Bannick] is a customer at Helen’s Fabric where I work part time,” Thorstad wrote in her nomination letter. “She would come in looking for buttons and piece of fabric she could use in her sewing.”

Bannick’s hats can be found in hospitals around the region. Her granddaughter, a nurse in Alexandria, brings them to the hospital there. Bannick’s hats also get distributed at Stevens Community Medical Center and the hospital in Willmar, Thorstad said.

“You cannot buy them from her. She only makes them for cancer victims at no charge,” Thorstad wrote. “I told her she should have these for sale – women would buy them  – she said, ‘No, then it would take away the purpose for making them.’”

“Last fall I was moving my mother to assisted living and we had some fabric that we couldn’t use so we gave it to her – she was very excited to get it,” Thorstad continued. “In return, she made me one because I told her she had to take this piece of fabric because it was my favorite (a white brocaded piece). She is a wonderful elderly woman, very humble and enjoys everyday to the fullest.”

“She is very modest, she said she doesn’t see much in life, but if she could help someone have a better day, it’s worth it. I feel she would be very honored to have this award.”

Pay it Forward Stevens County is a program designed to reward individuals who make life better for other people in our community.

Pay it Forward Stevens County is sponsored by Morris Pizza Ranch, Morris Sun Tribune, Bank of the West, West Central Screen and Print, the Regional Fitness Center, Superior Industries and Hancock Concrete, Stevens Community Medical Center, KMRS/KKOK Radio Stations and Sonia’s Hair Clinic.

Nominations can be dropped off at any of the participating businesses. The committee will meet once per month to pick one person who best exemplifies paying it forward.