Whenever I need an interview at the Village of Yesteryear during the Steele County Fair, I seek out Jerry Ganfield. He has a "zeal and commitment to preserving history and sharing it with others," according to the printed program for the Owatonna Rotary Club's Paul Harris/Vern White "Service Above Self" award luncheon held Monday.

Ganfield was recognized for his years of volunteerism in the community. In addition to his work as a tour guide and a board member with the historical society, he was the chairperson for the campaign to raise money to make the History Center a reality.

He was a founding member of the Kiwanis Club in Owatonna and has held several offices over the years. Ganfield works with the Owatonna High School Key Club as well. He also works with Grandparents for Education as a classroom volunteer. Ganfield was a high school teacher for a few years in Dubuque, IA before spending many years in sales with Gandy Company.

Ganfield has held board positions with the Little Theatre of Owatonna and has performed on stage.

Previous winners of the Paul Harris/Vern White Service Above Self Award include Carol Zetah (2017), Arlan Burmeister (2016), Dave 'Ole' Olson (2015) and Sr. Franchon Pirkl (2014). The award goes to a non-Rotarian.

Owatonna Rotary
John Connor/Townsquare Media

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