Community Builder Award

2023 Community Builder Awards

The recognition is presented each year to individuals, community groups and businesses who – through their volunteer or work life – build a brighter future for Burnsville.

Examples of community building include environmental stewardship, improving neighborhoods, volunteerism, youth leadership, and events and projects that build community pride and spirit.

Nominations for for 2024 Community Builder Awards will open next August.

The Burnsville City Council celebrated ten Community Builder Awards recipients on Oct. 17, 2023. Congratulations to all our honorees and thank you for your acts of kindness.

Brian and Eileen, Padraigs Place: Brian and Eileen have been dedicated volunteers with Padraigs Place since 2010. For those who aren’t familiar, Padraig’s Place is described as a place to have fun. This local non-profit organization partners with the ski and snowboard school at Buck Hill Ski Area to provide a fun experience for skiers and snowboarders with physical or cognitive disabilities. They provide an opportunity to experience winter fun in a safe, family-friendly atmosphere with lessons tailored to individual needs and creating wonderful memories. Brian and Eileen Foley with City Council
Chelsea and David Weinstein, Kids 'n Kinship volunteer: 

Chelsea, David and their entire family open their home and hearts to encourage and support their mentee, with endless patience and through unique challenges. Their commitment to Burnsville goes well beyond their year and a half mentorship with Kids ‘n Kinship. As residents for nearly 10 years, Chelsea and David have been active in local schools and community programs. Their family's openness, warmth, and personality has brought them great success not only as compassionate mentors, but also amazing volunteers. 

The Hayden Family
Dan Gerner, youth wrestling coach: Dan started as a volunteer coach when his boys were wrestlers and continues his involvement years later. Dan mentors his team by teaching respect, initiative, teamwork and integrity. Whether it is displaying great patience, offering to help families during difficult times or working with those who have special needs, Dan supports his team on and off the mat. His program provides families with the opportunity to participate at an affordable rate with volunteer coaches. Dan is an advocate for equality with all participants so that everyone has the opportunity to join.Dan Gerner with Council
Jerry and Marlene Martinek, Lions Club and school volunteers: As Burnsville-Savage Lions members, the Martineks go above and beyond to make sure students have a positive start to the school year. They coordinate school supply donations, make sure everything is organized, and find ways to partner with our schools in a positive, meaningful way. They are the first to welcome each member and remind the group of the importance of community service and commitment. Jerry and Marlene serve Burnsville with humility and thoughtfulness, and make others feel empowered and cared for. Dr. Bellmont, ISD 191, accepted the award on their behalf.Todd Buchwald
Jim Claude and Rob Roy, tax assistance program: 

Jim and Rob dedicate an incredible amount of time before and during the tax season to obtain comprehensive understanding of tax laws and software so that they can coordinate teams to prepare tax returns for community members at no cost. They provide services at community locations, like the Burnhaven library, and senior living facilities. Each year, they help hundreds of community members with their taxes. In addition, Jim is one of our election judges, and Rob is very involved in youth and high school sports, and previously served as director for the Burnsville Community Foundation.

Renita Eidenschink
Vel Bostick, Burnsville Festival Event Committee: Vel Bostick is known for being an energetic and inspirational volunteer, dedicating time and talents to the Burnsville Festival. As it says in her nomination, “Her energy and smile are contagious!” Vel quickly jumped into the Festival Volunteer Event Committee taking on a large double role as their new Volunteer Chair and Parade Coordinator. She worked tirelessly seven days a week for months to make sure volunteer recruitment was strong, and that the Festival had a full parade for the community to enjoy. The Burnsville Festival success is  a direct by-product of Vel's positive attitude, energy and hard work.
Vel Bostick with Council
John Hamilton, Burnsville Festival Event Committee: John joined the Burnsville Festival volunteer team in 2022, and since then has been a one-person machine of endless work and dedication to the community. He started with a new Sensory Friendly Zone, taking over the role of chairing this initiative. In this role, he connected the team with a local Burnsville business who specializes in families with sensory-related challenges to best serve the community during the festival’s largest days of attendance. John also helped with fundraising and spent significant time and effort in connecting with local businesses. Then he took his commitment another step when he helped recruit volunteers to support the festival’s new Inflatable Zone, and served as trainer and coach for other new volunteers. John’s business wisdom, resourcefulness and positivity helped others be successful in their roles.
John Hamilton with Mayor Kautz, Burnsville City Council and City staff
Melissa (Mycie) Tew, Court Place community: 

Almost all the residents on Court Place know Mycie and her dog, Dot. Mycie is the person who builds connections and cares about others. She organizes gatherings, cares for children and pets, and offers rides when needed. She’s served as the Neighborhood Watch Block Captain and helped host Night to Unite and Independence Day celebrations, all while working full-time and keeping an immaculate yard. When a neighbor is experiencing a challenge, Mycie always finds a way to help. And when a neighborhood child required on organ transplant, Mycie organized a fundraiser including entertainment, a raffle and all the logistics. From rescuing loose dogs to providing water to children at the park, Mycie is always ready to help.

Emily Heimerl accepting award on behalf of Melissa Tew
Naseema Omer, International Festival: Naseema has been a valued volunteer and integral part of the International Festival of Burnsville’s success for 15 years. Her time and talents are key to making the event fun and meaningful to our youngest community members with the Family Arts and Activities area, which she has chaired for many years. From finding creative activities to securing volunteers, Naseema always makes sure the area is successful and accessible to families, and her talents were especially appreciated during the challenges of the pandemic. Naseema is also devoted to providing wellness opportunities for the community through activities like leading Zumba and yoga in the park, and educating people about natural health products. Amber Jacobson accepted the award on behalf of Naseema who was unable to attend.City staff representative accepting award for Naseema Omer
Shannon Matthews, veterans support: Not only is Shannon Matthews a veteran, civil servant and Burnsville resident, he is also the first living veteran to donate his Purple heart medal to an institution of higher learning, which he did to Oklahoma State where he is from. There is a scholarship for veterans in his name as well. Mr. Matthews has helped veterans achieve the proper information to receive benefits and care, and has assisted families of veterans who have passed in securing their benefits. Mr. Matthews has been recognized locally and beyond for his service. In 2021, he was inducted into the Purple Heart Mission Project Hall of Fame, for outstanding achievements to the country he proudly served. Shannon Matthews with Council