Danielson-Nelson Award

The Danielson – Nelson Award is given to honor those who have improved ProWorks ability to provide services to people with disabilities.

1995 ~ Genevieve Danielson of Manannnah & Janice Nelson of Litchfield

1995 ~ Genevieve Danielson of Manannnah & Janice Nelson of Litchfield

Genevieve (Gen) Danielson (May 17, 1913 – April 9, 2003) lived her life serving others; she touched the lives of many through service to her Church and God; as a teacher, she helped to shape the lives of her young students, and as a wife, mother and grandmother her love of family shown most brightly. Her good works could fill many pages, but here, this simple remembrance expresses our appreciation for Gen’s devotion to improving the lives of people who live with developmental disabilities; her work in this area brought together a small group of parents of children with disabilities and other Meeker County residents who envisioned a day program for the developmentally disabled in Litchfield. In the early 1970’s, a few day programs did exist, but this was still relatively new ground. Their hard work and dedication was successful; on September 2, 1975 , the Meeker County Daytime Activity Center began serving 18 people in Litchfield , MN . Today, ProWorks serves 78 people with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury and other mental health issues; this program serves people within a 30 mile radius of Litchfield, and draws from Cedar Mills, Cokato, Cold Spring, Cosmos, Darwin, Dassel, EdenValley, Hutchinson, Richmond,Watkins and Willmar.

The “vision” shared by that small group of people 30 years ago; has improved the lives of those living with disabilities, and each year the Danielson-Nelson Award is given to an individual or a business that has helped the dream to grow. Gen was a voice for those who sometimes could not be heard, and that voice is not silenced by her absence, but rather may be heard in those who work within the program that was her dream.

Thank you Gen, from all of us who have learned from your wisdom.

2012 ~ Jim & Jodi Danielson on behalf of Dorothy Danielson

2012 ~ Jim & Jodi Danielson on behalf of Dorothy Danielson

2011 ~ Dave Kotzenmacher

2011 ~ Dave Kotzenmacher

2010 ~ Judy Gabrielson

2010 ~ Judy Gabrielson

 

 

Judy Gabrielson served many years on ProWorks Board of Directors – most of those years she served as Board President. Judy has always shown a strong compassion and commitment for persons with disabilities.

 

 

2009 ~ Steve Dille

2009 ~ Steve Dille

 

 

Throughout his service as a Meeker County commissioner, a Representative in the Minnesota House and a State Senator, Steve has always shown compassion and commitment to persons with disabilities; he often represented those who are so often not heard. Senator Dille has announced that he will not seek reelection this year – his presence, in St. Paul, will certainly be missed.

 

 

2008 ~ Joann Homann

2008 ~ Joann Homann

Joann’s dedication and service to ProWorks, as a member of ProWorks’ Board of Directors, is truly extraordinary; she has been a member of our Board of Directors since 1989. Joann has seen the steady increase in demand for services; she has seen the development of our Red Rooster Site in Dassel, and she has seen our struggle to survive due to a lack of resources; this program has seen many changes during the past twenty years, and Joann has been there for guidance.

2008 ~ Pedro’s Company

We, at ProWorks, know how truly blessed we were to enjoy such a long-term relationship with Pedro Companies. We are so grateful for the wonderful people, within your company, that were our contacts, and we know that “good” companies do not just happen – we know that your leadership, your values and your kindness permeated the Pedro Companies. We are so very grateful for this wonderful relationship that we enjoyed for so many years.

2007 ~ Watkins Lions Club

2007 ~ Watkins Lions Club

2006 ~ Church of Our Lady in Manannah

2006 ~ Church of Our Lady in Manannah

On March 29, 2007, sixty consumers and staff from ProWorks were treated to a meal and music at the Community Center in Manannah. In this photo, the award recipients are pictured; in the back row, left to right, are Tootie Rothstein, Mary Boyer, Doris Sullivan, Pat Thielen and Joyce Henfling; in the front row, left to right, are Lucille Dillon, JoAnn Topp and Donna Caron
Many years ago, Gen Danielson, Lucille Dillon, Margaret Reagan and Peg Rueckert began entertaining people from the Kandi-Meeker DAC. This party began as a picnic and activities in Gen’s backyard – behind the Manannah Store. In 1975, the Kandi-Meeker DAC split into two programs – one in Atwater and one in Litchfield, and the party continued for the Meeker County Daytime Activity Center. The party eventually moved from Gen’s backyard to the Church’s Community Center; for many years the event was a Valentine’s Day party; some years it was a St. Patrick’s Day party, and some years it didn’t coincide with any specific holiday, but it was always a much anticipated and very much appreciated event.

Throughout the thirty some years that we, at ProWorks, have enjoyed the hospitality of Church Of Our Lady and the Manannah community, many people have helped with the event, and to everyone we say, “thank you.” We also wish to recognize the Manannah Sno Blazers for their contributions; their help has certainly been appreciated.
In this photo, Dale Miller, ProWorks Director presents the Danielson-Nelson Award for 2006 to Lucille Dillon and Donna Caron, and representing the Danielson and Nelson families is John Danielson and Brad Nelson. Congratulations to everyone at Church Of Our Lady in Manannah; your kindness has touched the lives of many people – you are very deserving recipients of this long overdue recognition.

 

2005 ~ Catherine Krouth, John Levin & Jay Mischke of Custom Products of Litchfield, MN

2005 ~ Catherine Krouth, John Levin & Jay Mischke of Custom Products of Litchfield, MN

The Danielson-Nelson Award is given to individuals or businesses who consistently strive to improve the lives of persons living with disabilities; the 2005 awards recognize individuals who have created a business relationship that significantly benefits both Custom Products and people served by ProWorks.
Custom Products has, since 1987, supported ProWorks’ program through cleaning and packaging contracts; Randy Reinke, Custom Products’ Executive Vice President, received the Danielson-Nelson Award in 1996; his ability to see the human value of every person’s contribution is clearly shared throughout this company.

 

 

 

The Fellings own and operate Quality Craft in Litchfield; through their business they market advertising and promotional products such as pens, mugs, business forms, clothing, etc.; they offer architectural and traffic signage; they offer engraving; they provide shipping services through UPS, Fed Ex, Speedy and common carrier, and provide packaging and crating services of shipped items; they provide Western Union and money orders. Ken and Dollie, through ProWorks, have provided work opportunities to several individuals; job responsibilities have involved maintaining shipping supplies, packaging products, cleaning and straightening display cases and work areas.
For more information about Quality Craft – their products, services or their commitment to providing work opportunities to persons with limitations, contact the Fellings at quality@willmar.com.

2003 ~ Martha Moreno

2003 ~ Martha Moreno

Martha has been an instructor in ProWorks’ program since 1983; her dedication to the agency and the people it serves is truly extraordinary; many lives have been enriched through Martha’s work. Martha and her husband Daniel live in Grove City – they have two children, Jasmine and Jonathon. Martha’s work is truly exceptional.

2002 ~ Arlene Groskreutz

2002 ~ Arlene Groskreutz

Arlene and her husband Bob live in Litchfield; they have four grown children. Steven, their oldest child, was born with cerebral palsy; Steven lives with Bob and Arlene, and comes to ProWorks each day. Arlene has been an active member of ARC Meeker County for better than 30 years; within the local ARC organization she has held every office, ARC honored Arlene with their ARC Minnesota Volunteer of the Year Award in 2000; they described Arlene as, “the glue that has held ARC Meeker County together.
Arlene has served on ProWorks’ Board of Directors since 1994; she was elected Vice President to this Board in 1995, and has served in that capacity to the present time. Dale Miller, ProWorks’ Director, was asked to write a recommendation supporting Arlene’s receiving the ARC Minnesota Award, and he stated, “I have had the great honor of knowing Arlene, and her family, for nearly 15 years; we first met when her son, Steven, was graduating from Litchfield Public Schools and transitioning into adult services. I have always been impressed with Arlene’s gentle manner; she is highly regarded by others – because she treats others with great kindness.” These words remain true today; Arlene demonstrates extraordinary leadership by her gentle ways. Arlene Groskreutz has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to persons with developmental disabilities and to ProWorks’ program, and is a most deserving recipient of the Danielson-Nelson Award for 2002.

2001 ~ Dale Miller

2001 ~ Dale Miller

Dale has been ProWorks’ Executive Director since October of 1981; during these years he supervised the program’s move from the basement of Longfellow School into the “new” building at 427 East 10th Street; developed a center-based preschool program, and when legislative changed in the early 1980’s, supported the preschool program’s transition into the Litchfield public school system. Under his direction the agency changed it’s name from Meeker County Developmental Achievement Center to ProWorks, Inc., and the program itself changed from an emphasis on “recreational” activities to one of increased vocational independence; during this time of expansion the number of people served increased from eighteen in 1981 to sixty-five in 2001; in the early 1990’s he sought funding to build ProWorks Annex, and in 2001 sought funding to purchase a program site in Dassel – know as ProWorks Red Rooster Site.

2000 ~ American Time & Signal
In December of 1994, American Time and Signal contacted ProWorks about the possibility of placing a “crew” within their company. AT&S had observed a work crew in another company and clearly saw this model to be a “win-win” situation.
With guidance and assistance from the State of Minnesota’s Rehabilitation Services, ProWorks developed a crew of 5 to 7 workers and 1 or 2 job coaches; the crew worked on about 30 different jobs. Five years later, ProWorks sends about 13 workers per day (out of a pool of 19) and 3 or 4 job coaches; the crew has about 160 different jobs.
ProWorks has become an important part of American Time and Signal. The “crew” does most of the packaging of clocks, subassembly of clock components, ready parts for the paint room, operate an arbor press for small subassemblies and shipping as needed.
American Time and Signal was nominated for this award by ProWorks’ Work Coordinator, Audrey Oster. She states “American Time and Signal has provided a remarkable opportunity for our workers to prove their worth in a growing company. They provide a safe, friendly workplace that respects everyone’s individual skills, good work habits and people skills. They recognize and reward productivity with the opportunity to earn a good wage and they offer our workers an environment that promotes confidence and self-esteem.”

1998~Karen Schneider & Audrey Oster

1998~Karen Schneider & Audrey Oster

Karen is a Program Coordinator at ProWorks. She works with each person’s interdisciplinary team to determine their needs, abilities and dreams, and then develops an individualized program to meet the training and care needs of each person. Audrey is a Job Developer at ProWorks. She works to secure center-based work contracts and community-based work sites. Audrey must balance the training and care needs of each person with the contractual needs of the individuals and businesses who work with the ProWorks program. Karen and Audrey have worked in the ProWorks program since it began on September 2, 1975. Their roles have changed many times over the years, but they have both demonstrated an ability to change and grow with our society’s ever changing expectations of human services. Karen and Audrey, remain to provide a foundation for the program and they provide the inspiration to those “new” employees who will also see great purpose in this work.

 

1997 ~ Ron Mattson, Plant Manager of Minnesota Rubber Litchfield, and Robert Carlson, Chairman of the Board of the Quadion Corporation.
ProWorks and Minnesota Rubber Litchfield have, for nearly a decade, worked together to provide vocational opportunities to persons with developmental disabilities in Meeker County. Since 1988, ProWorks has received many center-based work contracts from Minnesota Rubber. This has been a “business” relationship based on trust and goodwill. It has been a mutually beneficial relationship within which all have had many opportunities to better understand and appreciate the “abilities” of others. Minnesota Rubber’s willingness to provide opportunities for those with limited abilities is not, however, surprising when one considers that the Minnesota Rubber Company is part of a larger corporation known as Quadion. The Quadion Corporation has long realized the value of individuals who are often overlooked in our hectic society. Quadion has also supported community projects which strengthen and empower individuals.
Within the Minnesota Rubber Company and the Quadion Corporation there are many people to thank, people who share the same perception as the two leaders who are now being recognized. That perception is quite simply believing in the value of all people. Mr. Ron Mattson and Mr. Bob Carlson have opened Quadion’s doors to ProWorks and the people this agency serves, and for this ProWorks in appreciative.

1996 ~ Randy Reinke of Custom Products of Litchfield.
Between 1987 and 1996 Randy provided ProWorks the opportunity to develop and maintain a “janitorial crew” within his company, and over the years, a number of people were able to benefit from this opportunity. What was most appreciated, is that the ProWorks “crew” was treated as co-workers and friends.

1995 ~ Genevieve Danielson of Manannah, and Janice Nelson of Litchfield. Genevieve and Janice devoted significant amounts of time and effort, in the early 1970’s, towards working out an agreeable separation of the Kandi-Meeker DAC, and successfully negotiating a grant-in-aid agreement with the then MN Department of Public Welfare. Their dream of a DAC in Meeker County was realized in 1975. The Danielson – Nelson Award holds special significance to Genevieve and Janice, as it bears their names.