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Village Ecumenical Ministries Food Pantry director named Carthage Citizen of the Year

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CARTHAGE — The director of the Village Ecumenical Ministries Food Pantry will be honored April 23 as the 2013 Citizen of the Year.

Darlene A. Jensen was chosen as this year’s recipient for the award presented by the Carthage Area Chamber of Commerce and Elks Lodge 1762.

Mrs. Jensen has been director of the food pantry for the past two years.

“I’m very humbled that people would nominate me for such an honor,” Mrs. Jensen said. “I serve those in need because it’s in my heart to help. I couldn’t have done it without Jody Mono and all of the other volunteers. I may be the face of the ministry, but I can’t do it all.”

Mrs. Mono credits Mrs. Jensen with extending the food pantry’s hours and obtaining funding to buy new equipment.

“She has the leadership skills to bring the pantry to the success it is today,” Mrs. Mono said in her nomination letter. “When she has an idea of a way to be a blessing to those in need, she finds a way and the people to do it.”

Since 1981, except for two years, outstanding residents have been honored as Citizen of the Year. A panel of seven anonymous citizens from the twin villages chooses the honoree from those nominated.

The award is based on a “contribution in the civic or social welfare activity,” according to the official entry form. Entries are judged on five key components: citizenship, achievement, leadership, dedication and motivation.

The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. April 23 at the Elks Lodge, 511 Fulton St. The $17 tickets must be purchased prior to the event from the Elks Lodge or chamber office, 120 S. Mechanic St.

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