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Sandy Brecht has 'biggest heart' in Hammond

Sandy Brecht was named this year's Heartland Award winner. Brecht said it was a complete surprise, albeit a pleasant one.

This year's "biggest heart" award was given with much applause, and many hugs of congratulations, to Sandy Brecht of Hammond.

Brecht said she feels very humble and honored to receive this award, which is presented during Hammond Heartland Days. She said winning the award was "shocking and surprising."

"In a good way," Brecht said. "It's always nice to win."

Brecht's father Louis Rolf said he was notified that Brecht would be receiving the award a day before the presentation, so he could be present for it. He said he is absolutely proud of Brecht, who is his oldest daughter, and he thinks the award is well-deserved.

"She's a good person and a member of the community over here," Rolf said.

Brecht was nominated by other Hammond residents for her work on the HELP committee, the Hammond Heart Alliance, and the Running the Llamas committee, as well as her work with the Hammond Public Library.

"Our goal hopefully is to someday get a new library," said Brecht of her work with the library.

Brecht said the goal of the groups to which she belongs is to help make Hammond a better place, and she said cooperation is the key to building a better community in Hammond.

"You've got to all work together," she said.

In addition to being an active community leader, Brecht, proprietor of Sandy Brecht Photography on Davis Street, makes sure to spend time with her family through a yearly camping trip.

Brecht said she is very grateful to everyone who voted for her.

"Thanks to everybody. It was quite a shock," Brecht said. "I had other people in mind."

Brecht said she will display her award and the flowers she was given with it in her shop on Davis Street.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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