Gas for Grads Awards 2022

On May 23rd, we recognized 5 High School seniors who have an inspiring story of personal growth and awarded them with our Gas for Grads awards. Each of these young adults was nominated by someone who has witnessed their growth and development. We are proud to celebrate with you!

Congratulations to our 2022 Gas for Grads recipients:

Eden Dunker, Thalia Fernandez, Zackary Jenks, Ryan Singleton, & Colton Urban

2022 Community Impact Award

Congratulations to our 2022 Community Impact Award Recipient

-Megan Sukalski! Megan is a talented and busy woman who finds time for community volunteerism in addition to her work as a farm wife and mom of five boys. Her service benefits a variety of organizations including: ECFE, Early Childhood Initiative, East Chain 4-H and 4-H County clubs, Fairmont Youth Hockey Association, East Chain Lutheran Sunday School, and CommonGround MN (a network to support women in agriculture). Megan chose her Charitable Donation to benefit ”Kids Just Want to Have Fun” and is pictured here with Laura Olson and Betsy Tino.

Thank you Megan for your joyful service enriching the lives of young people in our community. You are an inspiration to us all!

Gas for Grads 2022

Fairmont Women of Today and Poppe’s Cenex & Car Wash are excited to offer 5 Gas for Grads awards to Martin County High School Seniors!

Each year our Gas for Grads awards focus on one of the 3 pillars of Women of Today (Service, Growth, Fellowship). In 2022, we are seeking nominations of high school seniors who have demonstrated Growth – personal, emotional, academic, social, etc.

We invite the community to help us by nominating a senior who deserves one of the Gas for Grads awards. Simple nomination form is HERE, with more info available on the Gas for Grads tab above.

Thanks for helping us recognize some remarkable young people!

2021 Gas for Grads recipients!

5 local seniors were awarded the Gas for Grads awards by Fairmont Women of Today & Poppe’s Cenex Store.  Gas for Grads recognizes seniors for their service and commitment to their community. 

Congratulations to our winners (left-right), Sady Ringnell, Emma Bolen, Lathon Rogge, Tayviah Lowe, and Caleb Schultz.  Thank you for all you have done in service to your community!

Community Impact Award

Curtis Moeckel, founder and director of the Shepherd’s In soup kitchen in Fairmont, was recently awarded the Community Impact Award by the Fairmont Women of Today.  This award was created by the Fairmont Women of Today to recognize a person in our community what demonstrated outstanding positive contributions resulting in the improvement and enrichment in the lives of others, and doing this with integrity, service and joy in their work and philanthropy.  Since there are many deserving individuals in the community, it is our desire to make this a yearly recognition for so that others may also be recognized for their service.

In September of 2018, Curt realized there were so many needy people in the community facing loss of home or employment that he felt compelled to do something about it.  He said he prayed for guidance and used his own money to get a plan started and the idea of a soup kitchen was born.  The program began as a small-scale operation offering homemade soups monthly.  With help from other individuals and organizations, he began serving once a week, and then once a day, sometimes feeding up to 25 people.   After COVID changed the ability to gather, he continued serving by delivering meals to homes. 

The Fairmont Women to Today recognize Curt as a humble, caring person sympathetic to the basic needs of others.  He is enthusiastic and demonstrates much joy in the hard work and success of the program.  He does this out of love and concern for others. And finances much of the expenses out of his own pocket.

Congratulations, Curtis, on being our 2021 Community Impact Award recipient!

Gas for Grads award nominations

Fairmont Women of Today and Poppe’s Cenex & Car Wash are excited to offer 5 Gas for Grads awards to Martin County High School Seniors!

Our Gas for Grads winners have been selected and notified, and an awards ceremony will happen later in May.

Thanks for helping us recognize some remarkable young people!

The Turquoise Table

I am a lifelong learner and one of my joys is reading books. I enjoy gaining further insight on a variety of topics or just sitting back and relaxing over a good book. I also enjoy being able to engage with others and have discussions on common interests. I invited our organization to read The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell for a book club evening. The theme of the book is also one of Women of Today’s founding principles, building friendships. We had a wonderful evening of discussion and fellowship and may even have a few community service projects that come from it!

Zephanie Cole, FWT Member

Country Bumpkin Trunk or Treat

One of our newest members Sara Hugoson had a vision of service and fun for the latest FWT project. Once again, the collaboration was rewarding and successful as several members came together for plan and execution. Crafty ideas and many helping hands made a “farm-themed” favorite stop for about 500 or so Trick or Treaters and their families. The very windy day made setting up the cardboard barn challenging, but the FWT problem solvers made it happen! Within the first hour, 300+ treats had run out, but FWT President Joanna was quick on the task to replace so no child was turned away.
Hy-Vee has donated to FWT past projects and the FWT group wanted to give-back support for their “Trunk or Treat” project. Fairmont is fortunate to have a Hy-Vee; and FWT applauds their success and service to our community.
The interaction with families during the event proved to be delightful and rewarding too. Families of diverse backgrounds were greeted with smiles, welcoming conversation and an Interactive Farm Display. The “Trunk or Treat” project was a great way to serve local kids, demonstrate gratitude, build trust and “cultivate” friendships within the Fairmont Women of Today circle of members and beyond.

Fairmont Women of Today demonstrate teamwork and creativity in a new community-building Halloween event: Fairmont Hy-Vee’s “Trunk or Treat.”

Become the Change

I’ve been asked before: Why do you like butterflies so much? Looking at a butterfly we can see that it’s beautiful and delicate. What’s not to like, right? But if we look more closely we can see a symbol of strength and endurance. A butterfly doesn’t start out beautiful. It isn’t born with wings. Instead, a butterfly starts out as an unassuming larva, a deceptively unassuming caterpillar crawling along the ground. It eventually enters a chrysalis, commonly called a cocoon. Inside that chrysalis the butterfly undergoes an immense amount of change. If you compare a caterpillar and a butterfly side-by-side it becomes apparent just how much change had to occur for the final result to emerge. As humans we tend to fight change. We find it frightening and, quite honestly, it’s often painful. And yet, even in the midst of the hardest, most devastating changes in our lives, we can emerge stronger and more beautiful on the other side. A butterfly to me is a reminder that not all change is bad. Sometimes change transforms us in ways we couldn’t have imagined. And sometimes we can even emerge buoyant and ready to take flight.

Christine Rupp, FWT Parliamentarian

Christine Rupp, FWT Parliamentarian, radiating joy when a butterfly lands on her hand.

Eve in the Orchard

This year, the Fairmont Women of Today hosted a new event. “Eve in the Orchard” was a night for women to leave all their cares behind, laugh and have fun, make new friends, and leave newly inspired.
Our generous hosts for the evening were Gordy and Karen Toupal of Center Creek Orchard. If you have not yet visited Center Creek Orchard, it’s an absolute must! The picturesque apple orchard is just eight miles southeast of Fairmont, off County Road 18. While you could spend all day picking the most perfectly crisp apples off the over 500 apple trees, you may miss a few other fun things.

The women who attended “Eve in the Orchard” were able to participate in all of these activities, along with a few special event additions. Guests also enjoyed wine tasting, a photo scavenger hunt (with prizes), a meal, chair massages by Jessica Larson, horseback riding, and delicious fudge samples. If that wasn’t enough, attendees also learned a few Instant Pot skills as Sue Bay and Denise Lewison showed us how to whip up a mean pot of homemade applesauce. Furthermore, Dee’s Floral demonstrated how to craft a fall floral arrangement to add that perfect pop of color to any fall event.

The evening concluded with a special presentation from our guest speaker, Mandi Kosbab. Mandi shared some humorous and inspiring words of motivation and support. Her words left us feeling enlightened and encouraged to build ourselves and each other up.

Overall the event was deemed a success, and The Fairmont Women of Today continue to receive positive feedback from the attendees. We thank everyone who helped make the evening special and look forward to repeating this event next year. We can’t wait to see you…and a friend or two!