The Free Press, Mankato, MN

December 14, 2013

Recognition for Pearson deserved

The Mankato Free Press

---- — Thumbs up to the efforts to recognize Lyle Pearson, a World War II vet who served his country in battle and then as someone who worked tirelessly on the behalf of veterans.

Pearson, who died in January, is named in a bill proposed by Congressman Tim Walz that would change the name of the veterans outpatient clinic in Mankato to the Lyle C. Pearson Community Based Outpatient Clinic.

The posthumous honor is well deserved. Pearson flew 50 combat missions over enemy territory, was shot down over Italy in December 1944 and was a prisoner of war until May 1945. He worked as an administrator in Nicollet County for years and also served as state commander of the Disabled American Veterans and later as national commander.

Pearson did much for his country and his community and deserves to have his name on a building that serves veterans.

Recycling organics a plus for environment

Thumbs up to the growing use of organic recycling to keep plant waste out of landfills.

The Hilltop Hy-Vee became the latest area business to begin sending containers full of fruit, vegetable and flower waste to be turned into rich compost for use in gardens. Much of the grocery store’s 4,000 pounds of weekly plant waste is going to Full Circle Organics near Good Thunder.

Full Circle is a new organics recycler that is helping to change the wasteful practice of filling valuable landfill space with stuff that should be reused.

A recent state report said the amount of food waste thrown into the garbage has grown to 31 percent of the waste stream, a 21 percent increase.

That not only creates needless waste but reduces the number of jobs and economic growth that could be created by more recycling.

Shop With Hero program treated kids

Thumbs up to the law enforcement agencies, the Mankato Department of Public Safety, volunteers and others who organized the recent Shop with a Hero program in Mankato.

The event pairs needy children with public safety officers to go Christmas shopping for themselves and family members with gift cards from donations. The kids were excited to go shopping and to get some presents for their families and maybe something for themselves as well.

It’s a good gesture on the part of the public safety officials to spend time with kids who get to know police in a friendly context. Parents and families of the children gain some appreciation for law enforcement as well.

The programs helps kids have a happy Christmas.

Many braved cold to attend ChiliFest

The 2013 ChiliFest planning committee would like to thank all those who came out and braved the cold Nov. 23 to help support Vets and Rett at the sixth annual ChiliFest. This year’s event raised $15,000 that will be split between supporting on-going Rett Syndrome research and the Wounded Warrior Guide service.

The event could not have taken place without all those who support the event through making chili, donating their time or silent auction items, or attending the event. There were over 150 items on the silent auction this year, with an overwhelming majority donated by individual community members. In addition, there were several cash and goods donations by local businesses that helped contribute to the funds raised.

We know that there are a lot of other places that the community’s funds could go towards, so we feel very blessed to have been able to raise these funds this year. Thank you for continuing to support this community event; without it, we would not have been able to raise the money we have throughout the years. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.

Matt DuRose

North Mankato