Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - News 18's latest Jefferson Award winner loves one thing above all else: his community.
Chuck Card has been a resident of Chippewa Falls his entire life and has spent that life making Chippewa Falls a better place. The 82-year-old Chippewa Falls resident lives by one motto: build on what's good to make your community great.
"I've been associated with Lake Wissota Improvement and Protection Association, Friends of Lake Wissota State Park, I've been helping up here at the Heyde Center, the Chippewa Historical Society. There are probably a few more," Card said with a chuckle.
No one can blame Card for forgetting a few of his many volunteer endeavors. After all, he's been making the community better his whole life. Card's love for Chippewa Falls is like a full-time job.
"I can't imagine how he gets it all done and takes care of his family and takes care of his house and everything else,” said Debra Johnson, the executive director of Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls.
He's been a longtime member of the Heyde Center's Monday volunteers by first helping to restore his childhood school and now preserving its history. Ask Debra Johnson, and there is no need for the Heyde Center to hire a repair man.
“"We have a Chuck. And the thing about Chuck is, he's a jack of all trades. He's a Chuck of all trades," said Johnson. "He goes above and beyond....He can do carpentry, he can do painting, he can do metal work. He can even work on our HVAC system.”
And, you cannot walk through the center without seeing something Card has repaired or built.
“He's just a renaissance man in all definitions,” Johnson said.
Card is also a walking history book and shares that knowledge with area children every year at the annual “Past Passed Here” event.
"It's neat to be able to show these kids how things started, and we have a lot of neat things to look back at,” Card said.
He gives so much; he was the obvious choice to play Chippewa Falls' biggest, jolliest helper.
"I put in my 27th year as the downtown Santa Claus last year,” Card said. “We've just had a ball with the whole thing."
So, while many would be happy to enjoy a quiet retirement, you'll find Card is quite content to make Chippewa Falls a little better each day.
?“This is just a great community to be in, and I'd like to keep it that way,” he said.
Card volunteers five to six days a week, but he has slowed down a bit. For him, that means taking an afternoon nap.
Johnson said beyond Card's many skills, his real gift may lie in his infectious personality, saying it's impossible to be in a bad mood when he is around.
If you know a volunteer making a difference in your community, click here to fill out a Jefferson Awards nomination form.