Why wait ‘til Christmas when you can celebrate Christmas every day? Santa doesn’t box up and gift-wrap people, but we are blessed by folks, many quietly behind the scenes, who we consider presents. Santa’s list here is just a sampling of some we appreciate.

Billy Dablow, KBMW DJ, who can interview anybody and any topic with professionalism and knowledge. It must go with redheads as we remember Scott ‘Lars’ Nulph and Scott Sorum, who doubled as a Daily News Sports Editor at one time.

Jason Ehlert, excavating guy who donates it all for John Randall Field and baseball. He’s following in the footsteps of father LeRoy, who could strategically place any rock anywhere along a river bank.

NDSCS teachers like Jeff Jelinek/Civil Engineering, Bryan Wolfgram and Jeremy Hoesel/Building Technology, whose students learn first-hand about the value of supporting the community with projects like garden plots, park storage building, softball/football storage building, etc.

Thor Mitskog, a former Wahpeton native, who sponsored the Chahinkapa Park pond overlook renovation in memory of his sister, Nikki.

Troy Vosberg, who coaches our Special Olympics basketball team. He also coaches his son’s youth basketball team and we are grateful for all the parents, grandparents and volunteers who coach youth sports teams.

Jessica Kostuck, who manages the Gardeners Market, a great local opportunity to purchase and eat healthy, locally grown garden produce.

Abby/Kelly Carlson, Becci/Rich Truesdell, Mary/Nathan Rausch, Melissa/Stuart Schumacher and other young couples who volunteer many hours for the Red River Area Sportsmen’s Club that gives young people many hours of outdoor recreation experiences like fishing, hunting, archery, trap shooting and bird-watching. They show we are in good hands with the next generation.

Kathy Lenk, Tri-State Safety Association President who goes the extra mile to offer safety training in fun, creative ways.

Kent Loken, the Community Band director who leads people of all ages, teenagers to 90-year-olds, who love music to offer sweet tunes to appreciative audiences. Kent and Jana Berndt co-directed local singers and esteemed Concordia band students to produce a phenomenal Christmas Cantata!

Heather Retzer, Nathan Hill, Mike Goroski, Jeff Jelinek and others who teach archery and a highly successful National Archery in the Schools (NASP) program. Archery is a lifelong recreation activity and it trains youths to enjoy outdoor bow hunting.

All the people who volunteer for special interest boards and their spirit, passion, enthusiasm and hours of public service to benefit many. Some representatives include Mike Ferrell/Bois de Sioux Golf Course, Brian Nordick/BW Blades Hockey, Korey Skovholt/Three Rivers Gymnastics, Brian Rugland/Head of the Red Youth Activities Association, Shannon King/Southern Valley Figure Skating Club, Lois Berndt/Richland County Historical Society, Richard Peterson/Slowpitch Softball, Joe Schreiner / Baseball Committee, Lori Jensen / Red Door Art Gallery, Cindie VanTassel / Junior Wildlife Club, Laura Youngbird / Three Rivers Arts Council, Brian Gefre / Trap Shooting Team and so many more.

Public officials often go the extra mile to serve people, too. Roger Jensen is a Park Commissioner and former NDSCS Architectural instructor who has designed dozens of park, city, art sculptures and zoo facilities the last couple years. Or course we appreciate all the elected government leaders on the County Commissions, City Councils, Park Board, School Boards and others.

Santa knows our best gifts wear walking shoes, blue jeans and T-shirts. Whatever they wear as they devote the best gift ever – time.

Wayne Beyer is director of Wahpeton Parks and Recreation.

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