Rum River Health Services: Civic group of the year

Jeff Larson, executive director of Rum River Health Services, accepts the civic group of the year award from Scott Berry, president of the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Rum River Health Services was honored Thursday, Dec. 6 with the perfect end to its 25th anniversary year.

The Princeton-based health organization was honored by the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce as the PACC’s 2012 civic group of the year.

Princeton attorney Scott Berry was named volunteer of the year and Marv’s True Value was named the Chamber’s 2012 business of the year.

Rum River Health Services incorporated in 1987, with a mission to respond to the community’s health needs. Today, RRHS focuses on alcohol and drug abuse, housing and supportive services, and community health. The organization has been instrumental in helping members of struggling families rebuild their lives.

Recently, RRHS has launched a program called ARCH, or Area Resource Community Hub. ARCH connects people with resources through the use of both an onsite staff and community-based website.

“What an honor it is to be recognized by the business leaders of the community during our 25th anniversary year,” said Jeff Larson, executive director of Rum River Health Services.

This year has seen great accomplishments for the organization, but especially for the people it serves, Larson said.

“We launched the great community resource ARCH. This web-based resource has provided information to over 1800 people in need throughout Mille Lacs County this year. Our addiction treatment programs have treated over 250 people this year. We have provided housing to 47 children who otherwise would have been homeless,” Larson said.

Most recently, RRHS opened a primary health care clinic that serves both the uninsured and underinsured in our community.

“This year we started our primary care clinic where we provide access to medical care for people regardless of their ability to pay,” Larson said.

People who have no insurance or limited coverage can see a doctor and get the care they need. Next year RRHS anticipates increasing its hours to provide more care, Larson said.

“It is great to be recognized for the impact we are having on the community,” Larson said.

The thanks goes to RRHS’ magnificent staff and its board of directors which provides great leadership, he said.


Volunteer of the year

Berry, the 2012 volunteer of the year, is not only the 2012 Chamber president, but is a man being credited with re-energizing the PACC.

Berry’s nomination letter states that a former Chamber member, who left the organization because of a perceived lack of activity, rejoined because of Berry’s energy, ideas and involvement.

In addition to serving as Chamber president, Berry is one of the founders of the annual block party. He is also involved as a volunteer in many community organizations and events.

“Scott is making connections with the community,” his nominator stated. Scott finds the time to involve himself in many community events each year and contributes extensively with his efforts and financial support.”


Business of the year

Marv’s True Value has been in business since 1946, and opened its current store in 1979. Brothers Brad and Jon George completed a complete remodel of their store in 2012.

Marv’s has made an impact on the community with donations to Habitat for Humanity home constructions in Princeton and is a constant contributor of tables, chairs, inflatable games and carnival games at events throughout the community. Marv’s staff is always available when a call goes out to volunteers for Chamber events.

In addition to the Chamber, Marv’s is an important contributor to the Princeton Lions, Princeton Fire Department, 4-H, County Fair Board, Princeton Legion, the VFW and school programs.