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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
  • Arneson Distributing honored by Sleepy Eye Friends of Education

  • Arneson Distributing were recognized Monday, Aug. 11 in a ceremony at the Sleepy Eye Public School (SEPS) by the Sleepy Eye Education Association (SEEA) for being Friends in Education.
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  • Arneson Distributing were recognized Monday, Aug. 11 in a ceremony at the Sleepy Eye Public School (SEPS) by the Sleepy Eye Education Association (SEEA) for being Friends in Education.
    Arneson Distributing owners, Al and Rae Ann Arneson together with their children, Toby Arneson and Ann Steffl, received a plaque with the recognition engraved. A separate plaque will be in the display case by the district office and names will be added each year.
    According to the president of SEEA, Mindy Berkner, the organization continues to recognize community members regionally who go above and beyond to show their support and dedication to the public school. SEEA wanted to provide local recognition of community members who do a great job supporting the district in many ways.
    Arneson Distributing is the first organization and second entity to be recognized. Last year Duke Cook and the late Mel Cook were recognized for their support of athletics in the Sleepy Eye area.
    Several community members, including Cory Haala and John Cselovszki spoke at the ceremony.
    “They do a lot things behind the scenes and they really do support our community. They are always there to volunteer or donate. On behalf of the staff here at Sleepy Eye Public School we really appreciate your support,” Haala said
    John Cselovszki, superintendent of Sleepy Eye Public School noted that Arneson Distributing has always stood behind the school.
    “Thank you for all the things you have done for us and for supporting us,” Cselovszki added.
    Rae Ann Arneson said she couldn’t think of a better award to receive.
    “We have so much respect for you as teachers. You have the hardest job in the world and it is so important to the community so thank you for all you do,” she concluded.
    Arneson Distributing was founded in 1972 by Al and Rae Ann Arneson who purchased Barthel Beverage from Norb and Martha Barthel. It was a small operation with 40 accounts and one truck. Their original warehouse was the present dance floor of the Sleepy Eye Servicemen’s Club.
    Over time, Arneson Distributing has continued to grow as a family oriented business. Toby Arneson, sales manager, has worked for the company in all capacities for many years. Daughter, Ann Steffl, works out of the seventh street business office in Sleepy Eye, which also serves as a gift shop with clothing and novelties for the three brands of products the Arnesons own, and, this is the only source to purchase these unique items. The Arneson’s youngest son, Ted, lives in California and serves as a consultant for the company.

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