Rice Lake (WQOW)- Duke Thurs is the type of volunteer who doesn't brag about what he's involved in or expect to be praised. Which is one reason why he is being honored with the Jefferson Award for his years of dedication to the Rice Lake community.
Since 1994 Duke Thurs has been one of the first faces guests at Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake see. That face, almost always has a smile, and on the tip of his tongue is a joke just waiting to be shared. "I try to cheer them up," chuckled Duke. "Whether I'm wheeling them in or wheeling them out, at least they're alive and I'm still wheeling them!"
Those who know Duke say his positive attitude is contagious. "If you're not having that great of a morning and you go downstairs to the front desk Duke is going to give you a smile and make you feel good about your day," said Tammy Koger who nominated Duke for the Jefferson Award.
Duke has logged over 4,400 volunteer hours at Lakeview Medical Center and has also installed 370 Lifeline devices, traveling to patients homes to test and troubleshoot the devices.
But Duke has earned impressive numbers elsewhere. Next year will mark 10 years that he's volunteered in the Rice Lake school district. He also gives his time to many other organizations including the Rice Lake Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels. He is a member of the Rice Lake Lions Club and the Elks Club as well as the Blue Hills Masonic Lodge and is active as a Shriner.
Congratulations Duke! If you know a volunteer who deserves to be recognized with the Jefferson Award click here to nominate them.