Free to Be names Cummins Partner of the Year

Cummins Power Generation was awarded 2012 Partner of the Year and Paul Havel, aka Dr. Bones, was named 2012 Volunteer of the Year at the Free To Be, Inc. annual volunteer appreciation dinner May 9 at the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.

Niki Yuds, Cummins Power Generation, receives the 2012 Partner of the Year award from Jim Kugler, Free To Be board president.

Niki Yuds, Cummins Power Generation, receives the 2012 Partner of the Year award from Jim Kugler, Free To Be board president.

Niki Yuds, Cummins employee and liaison for all Cummins volunteers, accepted the award.

Cummins employees have logged many hours for Free To Be, volunteering at its three major fund-raisers, according to Valerie Jensen, Free to Be program coordinator.

“Without their support and manpower, we would not be able to hold successful fund-raisers,” Jensen said.

Paul Havel, who volunteers as a mechanic at the car repair clinics, has been a faithful volunteer for many years, repairing safety issues on vehicles so they can continue to be driven, she said.

“He coined the nickname, Dr. Bones, because he is an orthopedic surgeon but also for his extensive repertoire of jokes,” Jensen said.

“We are so thankful for the volunteers that make our mission possible of fostering independence by providing car care.

Even though the weather was not the best for a picnic, Sam’s Club employees grilled steaks for everyone there, Jensen said.

“With coats and hats on, the volunteers enjoyed, along with the steaks, cheesy hash browns, Texas toast, salad and cake,” she said.

“Without the help of the community and corporations, we would be unable to help families challenged with transportation issues.”

To find out how to donate a vehicle to Free To Be, visit the website at freetobeinc.org, or call the office at 763-717-7755.

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