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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
  • Bridging Brown County awards Bridge Builder 2013

  • Bridging Brown County awarded Julie Schmitt with the 2013 Bridge Builder Award on Thursday, Nov. 21, at their annual fundraising banquet held at the Eagles Orchid Inn.
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  • Bridging Brown County awarded Julie Schmitt with the 2013 Bridge Builder Award on Thursday, Nov. 21, at their annual fundraising banquet held at the Eagles Orchid Inn.
     
    The Bridge Builder award recognizes an individual who collaborates and builds bridges of communication and understanding across Brown County. The award began in 2007.
     
    This year’s award was presented to Julie Schmitt of Comfrey.
     
    Julie was born and raised in Sleepy Eye and graduated from Sleepy Eye Public School and Rasmussen College. Julie and her husband, John, have been married for 31 years and have two daughters and five grandchildren.
    Julie has been a member of Comfrey’s First Responders since 1993. In 1998, she was elected as the First Responder Captain and held that position until she retired in 2013. She also served as an EMT in Sleepy Eye from 2007-2013.
     
    She has also volunteered her time in Comfrey with the Comfrey Community Days among other organizations in Comfrey.
     
    Julie was a member of the first Bridging Brown County leadership program in 2003 and then went on to serve on the Bridging Brown County Board of Directors for the next five years. She also served on the Brown-Nicollet Red Cross Board and has helped with Ride for the Red event for several years. In addition, Julie has also been involved with the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program in support of the military in Brown County.
     
    Julie was the Sleepy Eye Chamber Director from 2006-2013. During her tenure there she started the Little Miss and Mr. Holiday program to get the youth involved in being ambassadors in the community. As chamber director she organized and recognized the Business of the Year and the Manufacturing and Technology award program.
     
    Julie was instrumental in the annual Buttered Corn Days festival in Sleepy Eye.
     
    Currently, Julie is KNUJ’s voice of the Community Accent radio program where she highlights various activities and events for Brown County and the surrounding areas.
    “Her hard work and dedication is apparent in everything she has done. She gives 110 percent and always with a smile on her face,” said Bridging Brown County board member Angie Gode. “She inspires people to be better people, better neighbors and better for the community.” 
     
    Julie said she is extremely humbled and honored to have received the award and the communities in Brown County have so much to be proud of.
     
    “There are unique businesses in our county that strive for our towns to prosper and grow,” Julie said. “Networking Brown County was just a starting point to see what impact we have on promoting and sharing our stories. Thank you for this recognition and for the support. I’m so grateful and so blessed to be part of this community.”

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