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KAXE/KBXE 2022 Community and Volunteer Award Winners

Small trophy with the text 2022 KAXE/KBXE Awards
Congratulations and thank you to all award winners

Last month, KAXE/KBXE held its annual meeting to celebrate another year of connecting its listeners to the communities of northern Minnesota. An important part of the annual meeting is recognizing the community members and volunteers that do the work that makes KAXE/KBXE possible. With deep gratitude to everyone who has contributed their time, effort, and talent over the years, it is a pleasure to announce the winners of the 2022 KAXE/KBXE Community and Volunteer awards.

Marcia Nottingham Community Impact Award goes to Itasca Clean Energy Team. The Itasca Clean Energy Team has been working with the city's municipal utility to build a 1-megawatt community solar array and battery storage system in Grand Rapids.

Harry Hutchins Conservation Award goes to Mark Jacobs: Described as a "forest visionary" in his former role as Aitkin County Land Commissioner, he now produces monthly segments for KAXE/KBXE dealing with climate change bird decline, forests and carbon, and more.

The Phil Collins Volunteer of the Year Award goes to Jack Shelton. Jack has been an on-air host, board member, member, contributor, at-home party host, and now, spokesperson for how to continue volunteering when your body fights against you.

Debbie Lentz Silent Star Award goes to Tom Pagel. As the City Administrator for Grand Rapids, Tom is always thinking up new ideas for the community. Ideas with lasting impacts, economic benefit, ways to progress this logging town on the river. Last year, his big ideas was Grand Rapids Riverfest and tapped us in. Ready, Set, Go! We are grateful for his willingness to make stuff happen, big or small.

Dodger Community Art Award goes to Sonja Merrild. Sonja and Dodger shared a passion for rural arts. Sonja grew up in Denmark in a home filled with love of the arts and was instrumental in the creation of the Grand Rapids Arts and Cultural Commission. And she attends everything she possibly can - from First Friday events to orchestra performances to KAXE concerts, Sonja is always there.