Annual youth citizenship, service awards given at Pumpkin Bowl

Karin Larson and Tanner McArdle – a pair of civic-minded and compassionate Anoka High School seniors – won the 2012 Youth Citizenship Award and were each presented a $750 scholarship during halftime of the Oct. 12 Pumpkin Bowl football game.

Anoka Halloween President Jeremy McFarland presents the Youth Citizenship Award to Anoka High School seniors Karen Larson and Tanner McArdle. The presentation was made during halftime of the Oct. 12 Pumpkin Bowl football game. Photo by Bill Jones

Anoka Halloween President Jeremy McFarland presents the Youth Citizenship Award to Anoka High School seniors Karen Larson and Tanner McArdle. The presentation was made during halftime of the Oct. 12 Pumpkin Bowl football game. Photo by Bill Jones

Since 1962, Anoka Halloween has presented the Youth Citizenship Award to two Anoka High School (AHS) seniors. After demonstrating outstanding involvement and leadership in community and school organizations, Larson and McArdle were chosen as this year’s recipients from among the dozens of students who applied.

Larson, who maintains a near-perfect GPA at high school, is the daughter of Brian and Jenifer Larson of Ramsey, and has contributed to the betterment of her community through volunteerism and leadership, especially working with younger children.

As a member of the National Honor Society, Larson has helped raise funds to benefit charities, and was recently selected to participate in the American Legion’s Girls State, where she spent a week in leadership roles with other young women and participated in mock government experiences.

Anoka Halloween Oct. 12 presented Brad and Deborah Holmbo with the Youth Service Award. Photo by Bill Jones

Anoka Halloween Oct. 12 presented Brad and Deborah Holmbo with the Youth Service Award. Photo by Bill Jones

At church, Larson volunteers in the nursery with children three years old and younger. She also served as a group leader for Vacation Bible School and has volunteered with Feed My Starving Children.

Inspired by student coaches she had when she was younger, Larson now serves as a student coach for Anoka girls’ hockey, acting as role model and helping young hockey players improve their skills and confidence.

Larson plans to pursue engineering or economics in college and is considering attending the University of Minnesota, Duluth, or the University of Minnesota, Morris.

McArdle, the son of Todd McArdle and Robyn Petron-McArdle, has also proven himself as an outstanding student. He employs his leadership and community service with hours spent running his own lawn care service, which he’s had for the past three years.

In the community, McArdle volunteers with Feed My Starving Children and the ACBC food shelf. At church, he volunteers at suppers and has participated in several community service projects.

At school, McArdle excels in mathematics and is a leader in AHS concert and jazz bands.

Last summer McArdle was selected to participate in the American Legion’s Boys State, where he spent a week participating in citizenship and mock government activities.

As the AHS National Honor Society community service project Leader, McArdle is working with other officers to plan service projects, encourage student involvement, keep records and set project goals.

McArdle plans to study biomedical engineering during his college career and may eventually pursue a degree in surgical medicine.

 

Youth Service Award

Brad and Deborah Holmbo were awarded the 2012 Youth Service Award, also presented Oct. 12.

Back in the 1960s Brad entered the Anoka youth wrestling program and became a state champion. He participated throughout high school until he graduated from AHS in 1973.

In 1975 he met Elk River High School graduate Deborah, whom he married in 1976. The Holmbos have three children, triplets Adam, Joshua and Rachael. All three children became wrestlers; Rachael was a state champion in the female division.

Both Brad and Deb have a passion for youth wrestling and, with the help of Tim Murray, restarted the Anoka Wrestling Group after the program had ended in the mid ‘90s. The program helps all Anoka youth who want to enter and learn more about the sport of wrestling.

This year the Holmbos became active leaders with the Anoka Classic Car Show that takes place downtown Anoka nearly every Saturday throughout the summer. As car show leaders, the Holmbos invite the youth to volunteer in activities associated with the show.

Both are also active volunteers with Riverfest, Anoka Halloween and are members of the Anoka Alumni Wrestling Club.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com


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