2015 Legacy Award Recipients
Join us as we congratulate the 2015 Lakeview Legacy Award Recipients!
Alyssa Ettl Legacy Award
Alyssa Ettl left behind a legacy of enthusiasm, service, kindness, excellence, leading by example, and living a faith-filled life. In what would have been Alyssa’s senior year at Lakeville North High School, it is only appropriate that the 2015 high school awards are designated as Alyssa Ettl Legacy Awards. And it seems even more appropriate that two of Alyssa’s classmates and best friends, Rachel Miller and Caleb Bussler, are each recipients of this year’s Alyssa Ettl Legacy Award. In everything they do, Rachel and Caleb’s lives reflect those same attributes.
Alyssa Ettl Legacy Award
Space doesn’t allow a full resume of Rachel Miller’s activities and achievements. Her involvement at Lakeville North High School is extensive—National Honor Society, 2015 Senior Class officer, Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team, member of the girls’ soccer team, boys’ tennis team manager, SADD, peer tutor, and Panther Prep leader—and that just scratches the surface.
Impressive, yes—but it’s only a small part of Rachel’s story. At Church of the Risen Savior she has shared her faith as a Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Faith Formation teacher. But even more significantly, Rachel has put her faith into action by organizing events at both Lakeville North and South High Schools and on mission trips to Montana, Kentucky, and the Dominican Republic. And on top of all her involvement, she started and runs her own cleaning business!!
On Rachel’s resume are multiple events in which she has had a major organizational role—not the least of which was the inaugural Alyssa Ettl Kickball Tournament that raised $10,000 for the Alyssa Ettl Scholarship Fund. Next year she will enroll at Iowa State University where she will expand her considerable organizational skills with an Event Management major and a Business minor.
When asked what she has learned from all her involvement, her response is insightful: “It is inevitable that I make an impact, whether positive or negative, with every action I take. This means that age, gender or lack of resources can never serve as an excuse as to why I’m not making a positive difference in other’s lives.” And what a positive difference she has already made and will continue to make in the future!
Alyssa Ettl Legacy Award
As might be expected from one of this year’s Alyssa Ettl Legacy Award recipients, Caleb Bussler’s list of high school achievements and involvement is lengthy—National Honor Society, DECA president at Lakeville North High School and state DECA vice president, Senior Class Officer, meeting manager for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, four year member of the football and baseball teams, Best Buddies Club officer, SADD, mock trial—all of which paints only part of the picture.
But according to Caleb, it’s what he’s done outside the classroom where he has learned the most. Whether working with the food shelf or teaching Sunday School at Messiah Lutheran Church, taking a leadership role as president of his 4-H club, helping to organize and fundraise for the Alyssa Ettl Kickball Tournament, or playing an integral role in collecting 4,500 books in Alyssa’s honor to benefit the Anderson United Community School in Minneapolis, Caleb has learned the importance of hard work, dedication, and the power of collaboration. As his dean, Cheryl Meger at LNHS said about Caleb, “he approaches leadership with passion and intensity.”
Ben and Mary Zweber
Citizen/Volunteer Legacy Award
When you’ve been married for 60 years, run a successful dairy farm for most of those years, raised 12 children and now enjoy 34 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren, what more is there to do in life?
Plenty, if you ask Ben and Mary Zweber!
After lifetimes of service to their church and community, the Zwebers would be entitled to life with a more measured pace. Their idea of slowing down, however, is primarily to limit their travel to more local destinations rather than the international travel they have enjoyed over many years!
Their list of service is lengthy, both individually and as a team. Mary has been active in the Mayo New Prague Hospital Auxiliary, where she also volunteers at the admissions desk. She has coordinated blood drives for the American Red Cross, visited hospice patients in surrounding communities, and been active in Christian Mothers. Ben runs the hospitality cart for patients at Mayo New Prague at least one day a week, and mows grass for St. Nicholas Church in New Market and Holy Cross School in Webster. Together, Ben and Mary served and cooked meals for Sharing and Caring Hands for many years, still read to school children at Holy Cross School, and volunteer a minimum of one day a week to help at fundraisers for a variety of church and community causes. Ben has served as president of the Elko New Market Lion’s Club three separate times, while Mary has seven years of service as the club treasurer.
For Ben and Mary, volunteerism isn’t only about keeping busy, however. Through their giving, they hope to set an example of service to their children and grandchildren while making a difference in someone’s life. In their words, “We try to encourage others to get involved so they may get some of the same satisfaction as we do in helping others.”
Business Owner Legacy Award
Serendipity: finding something of value when it isn’t necessarily being sought.
For Ken Barnhart, the knee injury that occurred during a strike operation at the end of the Desert Shield and Desert Storm conflicts likely did not seem serendipitous at the time. Planning a military career through an officer training program at the University of Minnesota, Ken was an officer in the Marine Reserves when he was deployed to the Gulf. There, he served combat tours with a Surveillance and Target Acquisition platoon until his knee injury effectively ended his military career.
Home again and working at UPS to pay for college, Ken’s military technical training was noticed and he was promoted to an IT project management role. That experience ultimately led to his formation of the Occam Group, LTD some ten years later, helping organizations use technology in four primary areas to efficiently achieve their goals: project management, developer productivity, cyber security, and cloud solutions.
The company’s growth is impressive, but what Ken does in a servant capacity really sets him apart…like ensuring that 25% of Occam’s team members are veterans or active reservists. Or donating over $25,000 to the Laura Baker Services Association to update their computer infrastructure so that staff can effectively focus on meeting the needs of their clients with disabilities, or over 1,000 hours of personnel time to Brothers in Blue, a prison ministry at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility…or supporting the Wounded Warrior Project with time and financial resources…or providing affordable, accessible education in Ethiopia through Leadstar University College.
The depth of Ken’s service to others is remarkable, indeed. But, as Ken notes, his approach to life is summarized in Micah 6:8: “…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Clearly, Ken Barnhart does all three.