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Kudos to the community heroes

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What a beautiful, wonderful place we live in, northern Minnesota. After reading the Pioneer this morning, I couldn’t help but think I’m blessed to have my life here in the Bemidji area.

The story of "Dilemma for dentists" following the unbelievable kindness and generosity of people like John Lueth, and the hundreds of volunteers who showed up in our community to give free dental care to over 1,000 needy residents, touched all our hearts in the North Country. I’m so proud to know John and call him my dentist.

Then below that story is "He’s safe" about Bemidji native Jerry Hemstad’s act of heroism, in saving the life of a stranger on a ball field Monday. I was equally proud to have known Jerry in the Bemidji Jaycees many years ago, and what a gift he has. And then I saw who Jerry helped, a boy I watched grow up on a resort next to my wife and me. What a hero he is.

I personally have never thought much of sports stars or movie stars as heroes or people I look up to. They don’t seem real to me, or they are just in it for the limelight.

Years ago when I traveled in Central or South America, and I would bring a few medical or school supplies and donate them to the small islands I would scuba dive on, I realized how wonderful it made me feel to make a little impact on the locals’ lives. Mostly no one would know who did the donation, and that pleased me greatly. But I am not John Lueth, or Jerry Hemstad. They are my heroes, and in this ever-changing world we live in, we in northern Minnesota have so much to be thankful for; the real life "heroes" who surround us.

God bless you all.

Terry Larson

Cass Lake

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