Alexandria resident Laurie Via was recently named manager of the Carlos Events Center, 210 Victoria Ave. The non-profit events center is owned by the Lions Club. Via has a background in health care and special event planning. As manager, her goal is to continue to make improvements to the events center by increasing its volume of events.
West Central MN Communities Action, Inc. has chosen Rob Janousek as its volunteer of the year. He came to the agency in October 2014 needing housing assistance. He had been homeless, staying in the basement of a church, when he heard about the organization. Janousek, who was unable to work, was able to move into a small studio apartment with the help of staff and a housing voucher, and eventually a 1-bedroom apartment. He was also successful in finding reliable transportation.
Janousek has volunteered at United Way food distributions, at WCMCA’s annual cardboard brigade and soup dinner and its Ready Ride program, where since last July he has driven more than 30 hours and 800 miles. He is vice chairman of WCMCA’s Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program More Than Shelter Advisory Board. In March, along with another board member, he attended Homeless Day on the Hill with WCMCA staff.