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Boy Scout leader honored for his many good turns

Churck Nettestad is this year's recipient of Sertoma's Service to Mankind award.1 / 2
Chuck Nettestad, a deserving volunteer in Scouting as well as other areas, received the 2012 Sertoma Service to Mankind Award last Wednesday. (Photo by Al Edenloff)2 / 2

"Do a good turn daily" is the Boy Scouts' slogan.

It also applies to Chuck Nettestad of Alexandria. As a Scouting volunteer, he's been doing good turns for others for more than 25 years.

Last Wednesday, the Alexandria Sertoma Club turned the table on Nettestad, recognizing his many good deeds in Scouting and other capacities by presenting him with its highest honor to a non-member - the Service to Mankind Award.

The award is given to the area's most deserving volunteer. It was presented during a lunch at the Broadway Ballroom.

Nettestad, who served as Alexandria police chief for 20 years before retiring in 2006, was lauded for his many contributions to the community, including his efforts to end domestic violence and his work with Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Viking Sportsmen and the Masons.

As is typical of Nettestad, upon receiving the surprise honor he was quick to credit others for their efforts to make the community a better place to live.

"I am truly humbled," he said. "I commend those who have received this award before me for all their commitments to the community of Alexandria. I want to thank my wife, Joann, for all she has done. I could not have done any of this without her support."

Jim Stratton, district executive with the Northern Lights Council of the Boy Scouts, nominated Nettestad for the award.

In his nomination letter to the Sertoma Service to Mankind selection board, Stratton traced Nettestad's involved with the Scouts when Nettestad's son, Ole, joined when his was a first grader.

After Ollie earned his Eagle Scout rank, Nettestad continued to volunteer for the Scouts as Scout Master and later in the Lakes District Committee.

Nettestad was instrumental in helping the community become more aware of domestic violence issues by leading seminars and the United Communities Advocating Non-Violence (UCAN) effort, Stratton noted.

Nettestad also continues to work to inform the senor population of the risk they face by scammers and others trying to take advantage of them, Stratton said. He's involved in a triad association of three separate law enforcement agencies that monitor current schemes used to steal money from unsuspecting seniors.

Others at Wednesday's award luncheon talked about Nettestad's untiring commitment to the community.

Mike Woods, a good friend of Nettestad, said, "I have known Chuck for 25 years and watched as he became active in every kind of civic function possible. He is definitely like the Energizer bunny! Chuck surely is committed to making the world a better place."

Alexandria's current police chief, Rick Wyffels said, "Chuck was my mentor for years and to me, he will always be my chief. Thank you for all you have done for this community and continue to do."

Susan Keehn of Someplace Safe, said, "I have known Chuck for five years and it is my distinct honor and joy to call him my friend. He selflessly serves on UCAN as president and serves on multiple committees within that group. He is the driving force of many of the things that get done within this committee."

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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