Hometown Heroes

We want to know who the Hometown Heroes of the area are!

We will take nominations on our website for anyone that would like to submit a Hometown Hero. We want to recognize people who are making a difference right now during this pandemic. We will pick a submission every weekday starting on Tuesday, April 7th through Thursday, May 14th. Every nominee picked will win a $25 gift certificates to one of the following grocery stores:

  • Cub Foods
  • Pequot Super Valu
  • Schaefers Foods
  • Pine River Family Market

On Friday, May 15th, all entries will be eligible to win one of four $500 gift cards from the grocery stores mentioned above.

    • Tuesday, April 7th: Dave Demcho – Paramedic. First Responder “Always there to help everyone !!!!! Selfless”
    • Wednesday, April 8th: Scott Friis – Sheriff’s Deputy “He is amazing and always wants to help even outside of work.”
    • Thursday, April 9th: Dr. Ryan Fier – Doctor  “Went above and beyond reviewing a CT scan to notice that I have cancer. Would never been detected if he didn’t do the little extra to notice the issue.”
    • Friday, April 10th:  Mary Kay Anderson- RN  “Mary Kay is the only nurse on site at MN Adult and Teen Challenge. She is responsible for the daily health needs of approximately 90 clients at the center.”
    • Monday, April 13th: Mike Davis- Chief of Police- Emily MN  “Always checking on people to make sure they are okay everyday”
    • Tuesday, April 14th: Theresa Fox- Manager @ Speedway.  “Theresa has been the manager of Speedway (SuperAmerica) for many years and is a caring, helpful, reliable member of the Pequot Lakes community. A small town friendly face!”
    • Wednesday, April 15th: Gary Guntenkauf- Crow Wing County Deputy Sheriff.  “Gary Gutenkauf has worked for the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy for 30 years! In our 19 years of marriage, he has selflessly worked this very challenging job so that I could stay home with our 4 children. He has always been a dedicated provider for us, and for that we are so thankful! His level of commitment to his job and the people of Crow Wing County is able to be seen in everything he does. He is compassionate and caring while helping people through the most traumatic moments of their lives. He has risked his life time and time again for perfect strangers. Yes, he has even helped deliver a baby! It hasn’t been easy, and he has seen much heartache, but still, Gary LOVES being a deputy! Although he may not have a “Deputy of the Year” award on his desk, he certainly has deserved to have one more times than I could ever recount. He is a selfless, loving, and compassionate man, and we are so proud to call him our Hero! We love you, 113!!”
    • Thursday April 16th: Dr. Brett Nienaber- Essentia Health Doctor.  “Brett is my brother and has the world’s biggest heart. He genuinely cares for the people he cares for and travels the world doing medical missions. This is a really scary time for the people on the front lines in the hospitals and clinics and I know that there is no place that he’d rather be. Because he cares.”
    • Friday April 17th: Jonah Lundgren- Grocery Produce Worker.  “He is a great worker and always puts his job first. Well deserving of the title.’
    • Monday April 20th: Dustin Zeimet – Car Maintenance/Firefighter.  “I am disabled and have underlings condition.  He has been going and getting me my liquids for my liquid diet. Due to only being able to buy 2 juice at a time. And I am not able to go into the stores every few days. He is risking getting Covid 19 for me! He is my best friend.  Volunteer firemen for Pequot Lakes and for the Brainerd International Raceway.  He also works full time at Body Works. He helps all of his friends and asks nothing in return.”
    • Tuesday April 21st: Jessica Herron – Director of Inpatient surgical care/Wound care.  “For her tireless hours working at Essentia (St.Joes) hospital to help and prepare for this covid-19 crisis in our community!!!”
    • Wednesday April 22nd: Sgt Tim Melin– Police Sergeant. “For 27 years of dedicated service to the city of Brainerd as a field training officer, police sergeant, tactical response team member and mentor.”
    • Thursday April 23rd: Jessica Rooney– Registered Nurse.  “Jessica always goes above and beyond not only at work but outside of work as well. She always does whatever she possibly can to help those around her. She is always working hard and going the extra mile to put others needs before her own!”
    • Friday April 24th:  Steve Ahlrich –Meat Cutter.  “Steve works 7 days a week, taking meat orders of local customers and customers that are passing through coming north.  He always has a smile on his face, no matter the situation or how busy he is during this stressful time.   As he always says, customers always come first.”
    • Monday April 27th:  Taylor Erickson – Medical Assistant.  “Taylor is my daughter and I couldn’t be more proud of her!  She has been relocated from her position in dermatology to the front lines for Essentia Health.  She was terrified to take on her new role, but she has stepped up.  It fills my heart to have a daughter that is so brave and compassionate about the job that she does!”
    • Tuesday April 28th: Valerie Diller – Business owner of Valerianns in Ossippee.   “Always going above and beyond to keep the community stocked with great meals, desserts, and pizza.  She has the heart of a saint and it radiates throughout our community.”
    • Wednesday April 29th:  Deb Riddering – Social Worker at Essentia Health. “Deb has compassion and empathy for the patients she serves during the Pandemic and always! She is dedicated to her profession and adds to the quality of the social work team with her dependability and respect for her patients, coworkers and the position she holds!”
    • Thursday April 30th:  Sharon Roy – ER Nurse Crosby Hospital.  “She is a loving, caring nurse, when she is on duty nothing stands in her way to do what needs to be done.”
    • Friday May 1st:  Nicki Triebenbach – Pequot Lakes School Kitchen Staff / Bus Driver.  “Nicki is an essential hero for the Pequot Lakes School district as a kitchen staff member, preparing all the breakfast and lunches for all the kids in the school district, and also as a bus driver ensuring that all the meals and school work make it to kids on her route.  She is a hero that is a critical link and a familiar smiling face between what the kids knew as normal before and now in their current quarantined state.  Every interaction with them always brings a smile to their faces.”
    • Monday May 4th:  Carter Gosch – Student. “Carter is a 9 yr old young man that has been spending hours on end sewing masks to donate to people who need them. Carter even has his own sewing machine so he keeps right up with his Mom Barb Gosch. Carter is such a compassionate, caring boy that deserves being our Hometown Hero!”
    • Tuesday May 5th:  Rachel Pusc – Dietary Aide, St Francis Health Services, Little Falls.  “She is only 18yrs old but goes to work during this uncertain times to serve her “clients”  as if there is nothing else going on in the world.  She is on the “front lines” in a medical environment, doing her senior year of school online and preparing for college all during this world crisis!  Very proud of her!!!”
    • Wednesday May 6th:  Jessica Berg – RN CRMC med/surg. And RN Essentia Urgent Care.  “Through this pandemic at 8 months pregnant is still fulfilling her RN duties at both facilities.”
    • Thursday May 7th: Brian Holmvig – Flight Nurse / Paramedic Life Link III.  “My husband has been a first responder fire fighter for almost 30 years . He has been a member of the Cuyuna Fire Department,  Zone 4 first responder for the last 21 . He currently works as a Flight nurse for Life Link III at their Brainerd Airport base. Not only does Brian work everyday taking care of the critically sick and injured , his children Kati and Ryan have followed in his foot steps and are working for Alina Health in the cities , fighting the current pandemic. Our family does not have to read or watch TV to see how terrible this is , we are living this nightmare everyday . Please , stay home , it saves lives .”
    • Friday May 8th: Laura Stumpf  – Director of Nursing.   “Laura is the Director of Nursing for the Little Falls Care Center. She is an amazing leader who puts her staff and residents first. She went above and beyond to make sure the staff have the proper PPE and support through this crisis. She’s at the front line daily to ensure the facility is kept safe. She’s at work everyday and gives 200% to the staff, residents, and facility. She’s a home town hero that needs to be recognized.”
    • Monday May 11th: Lori Elson – Little People Learning Center Owner.   “Lori is keeping daycare open and running and keeping our children safe so essential workers can continue to work as well. She is running a great staff and my kids love going. Thankful to her and all her staff, I feel at ease knowing my kids are loved and well taken care of.”
    • Tuesday May 12th:  Jeenah Stern – CRMC – Emergency Room and Intensive Care. “Jeenah is working full time at CRMC and is a full time student at Central Lake College.  She is completing her RN degree.”
    • Wednesday May 13th: Randy Rinke – Delivery/oxygen technician Brainerd Medical Supply. “Loyal long time employee always puts the health and wellness of our patients first especially with these changing covid -19 times.”