PRAIRIE STAR DISTRICT ARCHIVES

Because Prairie Star District has become part of MidAmerica Region, this page has been archived as of July 15, 2013, for reference purposes. It will not be updated in the future, and some links may no longer work properly.  For more up-to-date information, please visit the Mid America UUA site.  Thank you!

2010 Awards

Keeping the Faith Award

to honor those who have worked to keep Unitarian Universalism alive in their community and who touch the lives of congregation and community members in a positive way

Kathy ParkKathy Park
Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Bloomington, Minnesota

Kathy Park exemplifies Unitarian Universalist values through her forward-thinking, open-minded commitment to strengthening her congregation and the UU movement. She created and maintains the church website that has brought many visitors to services. Kathy attends General Assembly and PSD training sessions, and shares what she learns with members of the congregation. She has served on PSD committees and in many positions of leadership in her church. Currently Kathy is the Communications Committee chair, produces the congregational picture directory, and updates the monthly calendar on the website. She has also served on the Board, has co-chaired the Minister Search Committee, and has led the congregation in creating its first five-year strategic plan. Kathy’s many years of hard work and her positive attitude have touched lives, both in her congregation and in the larger community.

 

Debbie HunsbergerDebbie Hunsberger
First Unitarian Church, Omaha, Nebraska

Since joining First Unitarian Church in 2000, Debbie Hunsberger has made significant contributions, especially in promoting conservation of natural resources and in music. She is active in environmental groups such as Friends of Heron Haven, and two other wildlife refuges, and has served on their boards and as a volunteer at the sanctuaries. She plays French horn in the Omaha Philharmonic Orchestra and in a chamber orchestra. In her congregation, Debbie has made major contributions on the Caring Committee, serving as chair, informing the congregation of members who needed assistance, preparing and delivering meals and assisting with funeral receptions. She has also served on several other church committees. Debbie has worked faithfully to promote UU values, both in the church and in the wider community. Her life exemplifies the UU principles in quiet, unassuming ways.

 

Unsung Unitarian Universalist Award

to honor those Unitarian Universalists whose actions inspire, support and express Unitarian Universalism

Gordon HarringtonGordon Harrington
Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County, Cedar Falls, Iowa

As a young adult, Gordon Harrington realized that the racism he saw everywhere had to be changed. Trained as a UU minister in the 1940’s and later a research professor of psychology and child development at the University of Northern Iowa, Gordon has been a pioneer in fighting for human rights all his life. Gordon was instrumental in creating the first Human Rights Commission in Cedar Falls, and served as its first chair. After many years of work on this commission, he was granted a Distinguished Service Award from the city of Cedar Falls. Gordon earned a PhD from Yale in Child Development, and during his academic career, both his research and his practical application centered on working toward progressive ideas in human rights. Gordon’s lifetime actions inspire, support, and express Unitarian Universalism.

 

Social Justice Award – Adult

to pay tribute to those individuals who witness to the ideals of social justice and responsibility so important to our Unitarian Universalist heritage

Manny and Sara PedramManny and Sara Pedram
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, Kansas City, Missouri

Sara and Manny Pedram have modeled leadership and social justice in their church and the broader community for many years. Manny served three years on the church board, provided Humanist symposiums, assisted with stewardship canvassing, and was a speaker on several occasions. Sara taught an adult RE series on retirement, served as a youth mentor, was on the Social Responsibility Board, and sang in the church choir. She has been a lay reader and presenter. In the larger community, Manny was a charter member of the UN Association chapter in Kansas City and served on the board. Sara was chair of the UU-UNO local chapter for ten years and coordinated UN Sunday. In all areas of their lives, Sara and Manny have contributed to the ideals of social justice and responsibility.

 

Social Justice Award – Youth

to pay tribute to those individuals who witness to the ideals of social justice and responsibility so important to our Unitarian Universalist heritage

Keely SchuckKeely Schuck
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Mankato, Minnesota

Keely Schuck is a young girl who is interested in helping others. For her birthday, Keely requested that people give to the charity, Heifer International. She combined the contributions to get the best animal she could for those in need, a cow. She created her own You Tube video to publish her vision on the web, and raised $2000 for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Keely demonstrated activism from age five, after she read an article about Polar Bears and their threatened environment. She became diligent about conserving electricity, and encouraged others to do so, also. Keely has said that she wants to have a big purpose in her life, and she exhibits a willingness to make things better. She demonstrates the ideals of social justice and responsibility and is a model for all of us.

 

Betty Gorshe Heritage Award

to recognize those who have made a significant contribution to preserving, understanding and celebrating our Unitarian Universalist history is presented to

Calvin ElandCalvin Eland
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Since Calvin Eland became a member of the Chippewa Valley Fellowship forty years ago, he has been the congregation’s historian. A skilled researcher, he writes fluently, evoking vividly the historical contexts for who we are today. He has written Fellowship histories for every occasion, including the Eau Claire entry in “Bring, O Past, Your Honor.” His research about the first Universalist congregation in Eau Claire in 1856 and the first Unitarian congregation in 1889 are an important part of the congregation’s history. Among his many historical projects, four stand out: 1) Monroe Husbands’ role in starting Fellowships in the upper Midwest. 2) Video interviews with several long-time members. 3) Sunday services that celebrate the history of Unitarian Universalism in Western Wisconsin, and 4) documentation of current congregational services. Through his work as the UU Congregation historian, Calvin Eland encourages us to reflect on who we are, in part, by illuminating our history.

 

Marguerite AndrewsMarguerite Andrews
Unitarian Church of Underwood , Minnesota

Marguerite’s desire and passion for preserving our UU history includes sending a summary of the services to over 140 congregants, recording conversations with long-time members of the Unitarian Church of Underwood and assembling a scrapbook. Perhaps the most significant of her work in exemplifying this award has been her involvement in writing the history of Camp UniStar while sorting through binders and boxes of information. She is an active member of the Otter Tail County Historical Society and serves as a mentor at a local nursing home. As a member of the Underwood congregation for more than 35 years, she also served on the Board and is the church’s “constant greeter,” welcoming each new member with enthusiasm and genuine interest. She sets the standards for others and is an inspiration for all who get to know her!

 

President’s Award

for Outstanding Service to Prairie Star District

Mark SandersonMark Sanderson
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

This award is given in grateful appreciation for your years of service to Prairie Star District on the PSD Board including serving as Secretary and as a Board Liaison to the Young Adult Network, and for your willingness to share your time and talents on the Long Range Planning Committee, the Committee on Committees, as a Resource Liaison, and serving twice on the Nominating Committee. Thank you for your dedication and immeasurable contribution at the district level to our liberal faith.