Eau Claire (WQOW)- He's a volunteer who spends time in many different parts of the community, whether on the sidelines at a sporting event, volunteering at the local Boys & Girls Club or building sets for a local theatre production, Jim Mueller is there helping.
"My first day on the job he showed up in my office and asked permission to work for the department for free. You don't get that very often," says Scott Kilgallon, athletics director at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.
The un-official "Mr. Blugold", Jim is a staple at UW- Eau Claire sporting events, doing everything from sweeping the floors to hosting visiting teams and officials. "I affectionately call him the adopted grandfather of all our kids," adds Scott. "Just being around the student athletes, and picking them up. If somebody is having a bad day he figures that out pretty quick and will go make them laugh a little bit."
Though now retired Jim remains a familiar and friendly face around campus. "I leave his uniform in my office hanging up," continues Scott. "Both as a tribute, but I also know I'm going to give that back to him anyway because he'll be the first one to come in and say where can I help you out?"
When asked about his busy schedule, Jim replies,"I was always under the impression that you can't retire and do nothing."
"Jim has really been our go to volunteer for almost 5 years, anytime we need something at the Boys & Girls club we can make a quick phone call and Jimmy will be down here," comments Tracey Smiskey. From helping with renovations at the club, to cooking in the kitchen slowing down doesn't seem to be in his plans.
"He's one of those special people that when this award came to my attention, it was really within 10 seconds that I knew the perfect person to spend a little time on nominating," says Scott. "I think he fits exactly what this award is about."