Jefferson Award Winner: Abigail Beguhn - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Jefferson Award Winner: Abigail Beguhn

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Jefferson Award Winner Abigail Beguhn Jefferson Award Winner Abigail Beguhn
Sheryl Paullin, manager of Bethesda Thrift Store Sheryl Paullin, manager of Bethesda Thrift Store

Eau Claire (WQOW) - We've all heard that age is just a number, but a 91-year-old said the real key to having a long life is making life better for those around you.

Abigail Beguhn is this month's winner of the Jefferson Award for Public Service.

Most people look forward to retiring, sitting and relaxing. At least 91-year-old Abigail Beguhn has the sitting part down, as she stocks shelves at Bethesda Thrift store in Eau Claire.

“I grew up helping others. I grew up in a rural area, and there was always someone that needed help," Beguhn said.

That lifetime of volunteerism led her to the Bethesda Thrift Store, where she has been providing help and smiles for the past 14 years.

Sheryl Paullin, the store manager of Bethesda Thrift Store, nominated Beguhn for the Jefferson Award. She said for Beguhn, there is no need for a schedule.

“She just has that drive behind her. Just watching her is motivating," Paullin said. “She chooses her own hours to work. She always tells me that she's going home – that she's had enough. But then, an hour later, she's still here, and an hour later, she's still here, 'I'm going home now' – an hour later she's still here."

When Beguhn does make time for hobbies, a similar theme persists: "I also belong to a quilting group, and our quilts go to charity,” Beguhn said. “I also knit baby caps for the newborns. Those go to the hospitals."

Paullin said Beguhn purchases clothes from Bethesda Thrift Shop and takes it down to the Bolton Refuge House. “She just -- she does it all,” Paullin said.

Despite doing it all at age 91, Beguhn said she has no plans of slowing down.

“They're like family. They're like family, and you miss working with them when you're not here,” Beguhn said. “I don't plan on going down to one day a week. I never did work one day a week.”

Paullin said Beguhn shows no sign of slowing down.

"They'll have to put her in the ground before she quits," Paullin said. "And, I know that's going to be a long time away."

Beguhn's dedication was also on display two years ago when she had a slip and fall. As soon as the doctor gave her the green light to drive, she went straight to the store and got to work.

A big congratulations to Beguhn! If you know a volunteer making a difference in your community, click here to fill out a Jefferson Awards nomination form.

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