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Laporte couple honored for work with The Arc

Don and Gail Larsen of Laporte accepted the Volunteers of the Year Award earlier this month from The Arc Minnesota Awards Committee Co-Chairs Karen Larson, left, and Hunter Sargent, right. Submitted photo

LAPORTE – Don and Gail Larson of Laporte recently received the Volunteers of the Year Award from The Arc Minnesota.

The award honors an individual or family who gives generously of time and talent to support The Arc organization and/or promote the inclusion and independence of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Larsons have volunteered faithfully at the past seven state conferences held by The Arc Minnesota, and the couple’s service at the events has taken them to a number of Minnesota towns and cities, including Walker, Rochester, Mankato, Duluth, Plymouth, Brainerd and Bloomington, according to a news release from the organization.

“Don and Gail’s enthusiasm and energy are contagious, adding to the success of any event in which they’re involved,” said Karen Larson, The Arc Minnesota Board Secretary, who nominated the couple. “Their pleasant personalities make them a perfect fit for any assignment where people are gathered. They are so willing to help in any and every way to make our state conferences successful.”

In addition to state conferences, the Larsons also helped at the national Self Advocates Becoming Empowered conference last summer in St. Paul, and they have served at statewide self-advocacy conferences.

In addition, the two are active in People First in Bemidji; Gail is the organization’s board secretary.

The Arc Minnesota is a statewide, non-profit organization that promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. It has more than 3,000 members and 12 affiliated chapters statewide. For more information, go to