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Jelsing named Chamber’s Volunteer of Month

By Staff | Jan 31, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Melinda Jelsing is the Rugby Area Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer of the Month for January.

A rare tenure in service to the Rugby Convention and Visitors Bureau ended this year as Melinda Jelsing stepped down after 25 years on the CVB Board.

Jelsing, 62, is being honored by the Rugby Area Chamber of Commerce as the first Volunteer of the Month – a new award recognizing some of Rugby’s most dedicated individuals.

Jelsing, who has worked at Bremer Bank for more than 32 years, never hesitated when she was asked repeatedly to remain on the board.

“It’s hard to find people to volunteer to do those things and I enjoyed it,” Jelsing said. “It was a fun group of people. Really they do good things for the community as far as promoting the community, which Rugby’s always been near and dear to my heart.”

Jelsing, a Rothchild by birth, was raised in Rugby and married the late Selmer Jelsing. One of her favorite parts of working with the CVB was the grant process, which supports the Prairie Village Museum, Village Arts, sports tournaments and other events that bring visitors to Rugby.

“To me that is really a great service to your community to try to support those type of things,” she said.

Jelsing expects to remain involved and looks forward to volunteering at events like the Samboree to help chamber executive director Shelley Block.

Said Jelsing: “Seeing that they’re satisfied, seeing that they’re happy, chasing them around, bringing them this, that and the other thing – those are the type of things that are, I know, I’m sure she’d be happy to have somebody volunteer with some of that stuff.”

Former chamber executive director Don Sobolik worked with Jelsing for years and said her type of service is hard to come by.

“She’s dedicated and you don’t find people like that anymore that will stick with a committee for the number of years she has,” he said. “It’s in her blood.”

Michelle Lake said she served on the CVB board with Jelsing for at least 12 years.

“She’s just an all around good person,” Lake said. “She volunteers for a lot of things in the community that I don’t even think I know about. When it comes to our grant applications, she’s been instrumental in helping determine if an entity qualifies.”

Jelsing has five children, and her daughter Tanya lives in Rugby with husband Kevin Lashman and their four children.

Members of the community can recommend people for the Volunteers of the Month by contacting the chamber.

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