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Blackwood, Minske honored volunteers

The Bemidji Pioneer, Paul Bunyan Broadcasting, Ken K. Thompson and the United Way recognize Someone Special Volunteers who have made significant contributions to the community.

Northwoods Habitat for Humanity has nominated Roy Blackwood and Kent Minske as Someone Special volunteers.

In November 2011, Habitat for Humanity experienced the loss of its mentor, friend and construction manager, Al Bontrager. Blackwood and Minske immediately stepped up to fill Bontrager's boots.

Although Blackwood was already intimately involved in Habitat and its mission, he quickly stepped up to manage Habitat's newest program, "A Brush with Kindness." Projects were completed on time because of Blackwood, and Habitat for Humanity was able to move forward through the winter, completing four more projects. Blackwood's talent, compassion and support of Habitat and the families with whom it partners is second to none.

Despite his already full schedule as owner of Swan Lake Builders, Minske stepped up to fill Bontrager's boots in home construction, and to provide oversight to "A Brush with Kindness." Minske has assumed the role of construction manager for Habitat's "Blitz Build" - building a home from slab up in one week. A longtime Habitat volunteer, Minske can be counted on in a crunch, any time.

It truly takes dedication to undertake the task of project manager and construction management. Such volunteers are rare, and Habitat for Humanity is honored and proud to recognize these two stellar volunteers.