About the time Marie Hansen was scheduled to receive her Pay It Forward Stevens County Award on May 31, she left the concession stand at Chizek Field in Morris to get more supplies.
No one on the Pay It Forward committee really worried because they knew Hansen would return but they did remark that it was fitting that Hansen was fulfilling her community involvement duties. After all, Hansen was going to receive an award for her community service. And, the game between the Morris Eagles and Chokio Coyotes was still about three innings from being over.
Hansen had to be coaxed from the concession stand to home plate to receive the unexpected award.
She said she was very surprised and honored by the award.
"The entire committee is benefiting from Marie's involvement," Julie Picht said in her nomination letter.
Hansen is involved with many organizations including Morris Women of Today, Morris Hockey Association and Morris Area Sports Boosters. "I have made some great friends and there is a great feeling when a project makes a difference to kids like new play ground equipment, the spray park, Easter Egg Hunt, Skating with Santa, and the babysitting clinic just to name a few, Hansen said to the Stevens County Times on June 1.
On May 31, Hansen was working for the Morris Baseball Association.
Hansen said volunteering started when she was a kid in Girl Scouts. Then, she volunteered and got involved in the activities her kids were participating in.
Now, several daycare mothers said Hansen is showing her daycare kids how to volunteer.
"...Marie instills a love for our community within her daycare kids," daycare parent Jennifer Maras said.
Hansen said that earlier on May 31 her daycare kids were at the baseball field helping to pick up garbage and do other things to prepare for the baseball tournament. The daycare kids have also volunteered at Feed My Starving Children and contributed to other fundraisers. Hansen said she wants her daycare kids to know that's important to get involved.
Not only does she encourage her daycare kids to get involved, she has encouraged at least one daycare parents.
Parent Jodie Bratton said Hansen encouraged her to be on the Morris Hockey Association Board. "I probably wouldn't have done it without her encouragement," Bratton said.
Friends, current and former daycare parents and kids were at the May 31 ceremony for Hansen. They congratulated her and so did the fans in the baseball field.
Watch for a video story from the award on the Stevens County Times website and check the June 8 edition for more coverage.
Nominations for Pay it Forward Stevens County can come from anyone, and the Pay It Forward group reviews the nominations on a monthly basis to pick one person who best exemplifies paying it forward. Pay It Forward Stevens County is sponsored by Morris Pizza Ranch, Stevens County Times, Bank of the West, West Central Screen and Print, the Regional Fitness Center, Riverview, Superior/WestMor/Hancock Concrete, Stevens Community Medical Center, KMRS/KKOK Radio Stations and Shear Designs. Nominations can be dropped off at any of the participating businesses.