Frueh named Elks Citizen of the Year


Len Frueh has been selected as Citizen of the Year by the Minden-Douglas Elks Lodge. Frueh received the award at the Elks' annual banquet on Jan. 30. The evening was a surprise since he thought he and wife Denise were attending to honor someone else. It was not until he spotted members of his family in the audience that he knew something was going on.

Elks member Bob Allgeier notes that their Citizen of the Year award is determined by a candidate's long-term record of service outside the scope of professional duty or advancement. He calls Frueh a giant among the volunteers in this community.

Frueh's record of community service is impressive, indeed. He has been active in the Carson Valley Community Food Closet since 1988, serving for 10 years as president and now as vice president. He was instrumental in bringing the Channel 2 Share Your Holiday food drive to Carson Valley and schedules the entertainment for this event each year. This year's food drive brought in more food and donations than ever before. 

Another of his pet projects is the Wacky Waddlers Wiver Wace rubber duck race in Lampe Park, a primary annual fundraiser for the food closet.

He has been an active member of the Carson Valley Kiwanis Club for 15 years, serving as a board member and as president from 1998-99.

In 2000, Frueh received the prestigious George Hixson award for his work in raising more than $1,000 for the Iodine Deficiency Project, one of Kiwanis International service projects. He takes an active role in organizing the Gene Zimmerman Memorial Stars of Tomorrow talent show, which showcases and awards scholarships to talented local high school students.

Kiwanis president Tom Peters said Frueh has "a service heart."

"He's a servant for his family, he's a servant for God and he's a servant for this community," Peters said.

His children, Chris, Heather and Ryan, all attended Douglas County schools, where he volunteered in his children's classrooms and chaperoned countless field trips. He is an active member of the Douglas High School Music Boosters and was vice president for many years. You'll find him in the snack bar at most home football games making popcorn as a representative of the boosters. Frueh helps to organize trips for the Douglas High School band and has chaperoned many trips, including the 2005 Inaugural parade.

Blessed with a wonderful singing voice and extensive musical background, Frueh performs solo and in ensembles at community events and churches. The annual Messiah Sing, held for many years in Carson Valley, was organized by Frueh. He is active in the Carson Valley United Methodist Church choir and volunteers in many capacities there.

What makes all of this even more remarkable is that Frueh was born with a congenital eye disease that restricts his sight. He is unable to drive and depends on family and friends to get him to the many business and volunteer opportunities that he pursues. He is also an insurance agent for New York Life.

Frueh has been accused of being an eternal optimist.

"Everybody has their stuff," he said. "It is how you deal with it that makes the difference. My difficulties with my sight really haven't affected me that much. I'll continue to volunteer. I'll continue to sing."

Lucky for us! Congratulations, Len. You deserve it.

Elks crab feed

Everyone is invited to crack the crab, Feb. 20 at the CVIC Hall. Social hour starts at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $35 per person.

The feast includes Dungeness crab flown in fresh from their Oregon supplier, crunchy garlic bread and coleslaw. Shrimp cocktail will be available for additional purchase at the no-host bar area. In lieu of crab, steaks will be available by advance notice only.

Required reservations must be made by Feb. 13. Call Rodney or Shaaron at 267-5066, or the Elks Lodge 265-4523, and mention if you'd prefer steak.

n Amy Roby can be reached at

It is truly my pleasure to be the spokesman for the Minden-Douglas Elks Lodge in recognizing Len Frueh as the candidate selected for our prestigious Citizen of the Year Award.

Our selection criteria has evolved over the years. Our candidate is not determined by popular vote. In this lodge, the candidate, be it male or female, truly earns the title.

The candidate must have proven themselves through a record of service to this community. Long-term service is the rule. A flash in the pan record should certainly not be considered nor is it.

If your service to the community is a result of employment or a business opportunity you are not considered a viable candidate.

In physical stature Len is normal size, however, when he walks among the volunteers, he walks as a giant.

n From Bob Allgeier's speech -honoring Len Frueh as the Minden/Douglas Elks Citizen of the Year on Jan. 30. Allgeier was chairman of the event.


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