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Seniors awarded for ministering roles

Art Wood1 / 2
Gail Walters2 / 2

Arthur Wood and Gail Walters are Hubbard County's 2010 Outstanding Seniors, honored Friday at the county fair for their volunteerism.

Wood's role in the community includes serving as American Legion chaplain, St. Joseph's and Heritage Manor's on-call clergy, Hubbard County Ministerial chair, Living at Home clergy representative for caregivers and Mahube Community Action Council.

As the American Legion chaplain for 15 years, he counsels returning veterans and represents the Legion at veterans' funerals.

"Art Wood has been our chaplain for many years, conducting himself with the utmost dedication and giving of time," Legion commander Dave Free and sergeant at arms Glenn Harvala wrote in a letter of nomination.

"Just one of the multiple tasks that he volunteers for is the outstanding Memorial Day service held in Park Rapids. It has become known as one of the finest services in the area.

"The countless hours that he puts in make it happen in nothing short of remarkable for a man who is also the pastor of a local church (Assembly of God) with all the duties that entails," the Legion reps wrote.

"Pastor Wood has a true servant's heart and often does so much behind the scenes to help people from various walks of life get back on their feet and regain a positive outlook on life again," Sandy Gjovik, a member of his congregation wrote. "He does these things without recognition and has a strong sense of passion for his country and a sense of patriotism that inspires others to give back to the community."

Walters, a Nevis resident, wears a variety of "hats" in her volunteerism roles.

She delivers quilts on behalf of Bethany Lutheran to Evergreen Homes in Bemidji. She serves as a church hostess and has assisted in a variety of roles in women's ministries. Walters makes home visits upon request.

St. Joseph's Area Health Services also benefits from her energy. The hospital gains from her "collaborative spirit - valuing teamwork partnerships, her sensitivity - having the ability to determine the needs of others and accountability - being responsible for timelines."

She "does whatever is requested of her," including logging hundreds of volunteer hours in a variety of humanitarian roles.