Oakdale names Ted Bearth 2013 Volunteer of the Year

If “Ted Bearth” isn’t already household name in most Oakdale homes, it should be. Bearth has lived in and served Oakdale in a multitude of ways over the years, and now the city council is making its recognition of his hard work official.

Mayor Carmen Sarrack announced the selection of the county commissioner for the city’s annual Volunteer of the Year Award at the Dec. 10 meeting.

“I can honestly say that this year’s Volunteer of the Year could more easily be called ‘Volunteer of the Decade,’” Sarrack said. “This year’s Volunteer of the Year’s effort and commitment to Oakdale are without equal.”

Commitment to Oakdale, indeed; Bearth is a vital component of several Oakdale staples that residents have come to know and love. He has coordinated the city’s annual Summerfest celebration for the past 30 years (he’s handing over the reins for 2014), is a founding member of the Oakdale Athletic Association and helped envision and create the Veteran’s Memorial at City Hall.

Bearth currently represents District 2 on the Washington County Board of Commissioners (an elected office), as well as serving on the Oakdale Parks and Recreation Commission. The long-time Oakdale resident was elected to the city council in 1974 and spent 26 years as either a council member or mayor.

Additionally, Sarrack pointed out, Bearth is a Marine veteran, member of the Maplewood-Oakdale Lions Club and former youth baseball coach.

Bearth says it was an honor to be chosen from the pool of 19 nominees.

“There are a lot of people qualified to get this. and I’m happy that I’m one of them,” he said. “It’s something I’ll treasure.

“It’s been fun, all the things I’ve done over the years, and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

— Johanna Holub

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