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Emily Welker, Published February 13 2014

At almost 90, Kiwanis volunteer still going strong; Paulson to be honored at annual pancake feed

MOORHEAD – Excuses for not volunteering often include a lack of energy.

You wouldn’t hear that from Lloyd Paulson, a Kiwanis Club member who will be 90 years old in August. He’s been volunteering 45 years and is still at it.

Excuses, meet inspiration.

“It’s very rewarding for you. It makes your life worth living,” said Paulson of the many causes he’s raised cash for in his time with the Moorhead chapter of the service club.

Paulson will be honored Saturday at the big Kiwanis event of the year – the 57th annual Pancake Karnival at the Fargodome. He’s this year’s recipient of the Fargo Kiwanis Community Champion for Kids award.

“I get free pancakes,” Paulson said. “That’s the best part.”

In his long volunteering career, Paulson has worked for close-to-home causes such as the Dorothy Day Food Pantry and Dollars for Scholars. He’s also donated his time and funds to far-flung concerns like tetanus shots for women and children in underdeveloped nations and iodine plants in Third World countries.

In all that time, Paulson said he has never met with a person his hard work has helped. Instead of being moved by a personal connection, he simply had the time and resources available, he said, so he put them to good use.

Some of those resources came from his long employment with Scheels All Sports. In 1957, he started with the company, looking for some wintertime work during the slow season on his and his brother’s farm.

Plus, at the time, the young then-bachelor farmer “needed money for girls,” Paulson said.

He was the first executive for the sporting goods retailer who wasn’t a member of the Scheel family, and he helped build and open the store in Moorhead.

Paulson admits he’s made some sacrifices to donate like he has to his causes. For instance, he said he’s never owned a new car.

But those sacrifices allowed him and his wife, Beverly, to donate a new kitchen and handicapped entrance to his old hometown church in Parkers Prairie, Minn.

Paulson retired more than 30 years ago to enjoy life on the Red River with his wife. She died in 2009, the year he almost lost his home in the historic flood.

But through it all, he hasn’t stopped volunteering – and he wants the rest of us to get involved, too.

“I think if they’ve got the ability and got the means, they should,” he said.

If you go

What: 56th Annual Kiwanis Pancake Karnival

When: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Fargodome, 1800 N. University Drive

Info: $7 in advance, $8 at the door, children 2 and younger free


Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541