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Hurd receives president’s volunteer service award

Robert Hurd received the President’s Volunteer Service Award in December. He’s pictured here with Amy Vanderscheuren, the volunteer services director at Essentia Health where he has been volunteering for a decade. Submitted photo.

Bob Hurd has spent about seven months of his life volunteering – that’s close to 5,000 hours.

In recognition of this achievement, he received the President’s Volunteer Service Award in December. It’s an award established in 2003 to recognize the contributions volunteers make and to encourage more to give their time. Recipients get a presidential seal pin, a certificate and a letter from the White House.

Michelle Miller, coordinator of AEOA’s RSVP program, works with retired volunteers and said that Hurd’s accomplishment is particularly significant because he tallied those 5,000 hours in the years following his retirement. He volunteers an average of 50 hours a month. That commitment made him a stand out for the award.

“It is a special honor in a community this small to have someone receiving it. It’s not something that happens every year,” Miller said.

Since 2006, Hurd has been volunteering regularly at Community Partners, a nonprofit in Two Harbors that helps seniors stay in their homes longer and his efforts have made a difference there, said director Kirsten Cruikshank.

“Bob has been a great volunteer for Community Partners,” she said, “he always has a friendly hello for everyone and, as a board member, he kept an eye on our finances so we could maximize any gifts and donations received from the community.”  

Hurd is also a weekly volunteer at Essentia Health - St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. Essentia’s director of volunteer services, Amy Vanderscheuren has worked with Hurd since 2004. 

“He has a unique way of making everyone – patients, families, visitors and staff – feel at ease, whether he is working at the Garden Café or providing wayfinding services on campus,” she said. “You can always count on Bob for a smile and a laugh. We are thrilled to see Bob honored with this award.”

Reliably humble, Hurd was touched to be recognized.

“This is recognition for all the Bobs and Joes and others out there who volunteer. I really enjoy what I do,” Hurd said.