The biggest heart in Hammond
The winner of this year’s Hammond Heartland Award missed the first attempt of the Lions Club to present her the award at the Heartland Days community dinner because she was at the Village Park playground with her grandchildren instead of under the tent.
Sue Frank, Hammond resident and St. Croix Central family and consumer education teacher, was voted this year’s award winner. She was completely shocked when she came up from the playground to the stage under the tent to receive her award.
“I just didn’t have any idea,” Frank said. “My daughter tried to stall my granddaughter from taking me to the playground because she knew what was going on. I was surprised when Chuck Fedie came down to get me. He said someone needed me under the tent and I couldn’t figure out who it would be.”
Hammond Lions Club President Jay Ditlefsen lauded Frank for her big heart and passion for community service.
“She is alive with ideas for people who have suffered in the community,” Ditlefsen said.
Her sister Beth Monson said her priorities in life show in everything she does.
“Her family comes first,” Monson said. “Her grandchildren are a major part of her life. She has been service-minded for as long as I can remember.”
Monson said Frank was instrumental in starting a toy program for children in the community. She was a major contributor in implementing the district’s ALIVE (Aid Local Individuals Via Educators) program, which helps families in the district facing traumatic situations and monetary hardships.
Frank’s career foods class makes all the food for ALIVE sponsored events, such as the homecoming dinner. Frank will begin her 36th year of teaching at SCC this fall, Monson said.
Frank is also an avid sports and school organization supporter, according to Monson.
“If there’s a dress-up day at school, she’s going to be dressed up and you can count on her to go with whatever theme,” Monson said. “She’s just that kind of person.”
Frank is also an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where she designed and implemented the building of the memory garden, Monson said.
While others laud Frank for her good deeds and service, Frank herself shies away a bit from the attention, though she appreciates everyone’s kind words.
“It’s very humbling to me,” Frank said. “There’s a lot of other people that do things for people. It is an honor to me. I’ve lived in the community all my life and I have a very strong bond with it. My heart is here.”