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Outstanding seniors named

Florretta Bunko and Odelia "Deel" Hoffman pose after the senior luncheon at the Lake County Fair last Thursday. The two women were named the county's outstanding seniors at the luncheon. Photo by Jennifer Havlick.

The first day of retirement is the last day of work for some people, but for Odelia "Deel" Hoffman of Two Harbors and Florreta Bunko of Silver Bay, it was just the beginning.

The two seniors were named Lake County's outstanding seniors on Thursday at the Lake County Fair, recognizing their sizable contributions to the county through their volunteer work. They will represent the county at the Minnesota State Fair and be considered for the state's outstanding senior award.

Between the two of them, the women have contributed to more than a dozen local nonprofits.

Bunko is heavily involved in church activities, particularly non denominational activities offered to anyone. She helps with the monthly noon luncheon and annual community Thanksgiving meal at her church, which welcome all community members to participate.

She has volunteered at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay for 14 years, helping people transition into the assisted living facility, helping with bingo games and other celebrations and assisting residents with off-campus trips.

She was a longtime Meals on Wheels volunteer, a Relay for Life helper and a dedicated volunteer and proponent for the Golden Age Club in Silver Bay.

Just down the shore in Two Harbors, Hoffman has also touched numerous parts of the community with her hard work.

Her biggest involvement is with the American Cancer Society, for which she still chairs the annual Daffodil Days sale.

She is on the board for Socially Active Seniors and helped found the nonprofit Friends of the Two Harbors Public Library that supports the library's activities.

She also is involved in the American Legion Auxiliary and the Lake County Historical Society. She keeps seniors at both the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay and Ecumen Scenic Shore company at regular intervals and used to volunteer with Community Partners, helping keep seniors in their homes.

She is a tireless cheerleader for Two Harbors, starting the Welcome Wagon in 1971 and working as a greeter for the Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce.

Arna Rennan of Socially Active Seniors said they broke from tradition this year in naming two women as outstanding seniors -- it's usually one woman and one man -- but the two applicants were distinguished enough to change the normal course of action.