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Good Samaritan Award presented

Catholic Charities presents the Good Samaritan Award to true Spirit Givers

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud recently presented its annual Good Samaritan Awards to Fred Smoger, Larry Mareck and GNP Company.

Recipients are recognized for following the example of the biblical “Good Samaritan” by helping those who are in need without an expectation of reward or acknowledgement.

Fred Smoger and Larry Mareck, volunteer coordinators, Share the Spirit program

Share the Spirit is Catholic Charities “Adopt a Family” Christmas program. Fred Smoger has coordinated volunteers for the program for many years. When he decided to retire from the position a few years ago, Fred asked Larry Mareck to take up the torch.

“Fred and Larry are a key piece to this program. They have engaged a wonderful group of individuals in providing this program, especially during those key days of collection and distribution of gifts,” said Mishon Bulson, Catholic Charities Community Counseling Manager.

Fred is very happy to do his part in the program. “My working with Share the Spirit, is a thank you for the gifts that I received years back and I thank the community for even giving me the opportunity to do it, I am very happy to do it.”
Larry sees his work as spreading care in the community. “If I can be a Good Samaritan to you or to others, maybe it will rub off to you and you’ll spread that and then that will make a better community.”

Fred and Larry’s nomination video can be found at: https://vimeo.com/user36460952/review/166756504/f54381e4ff

Shown above from left to right are Fred Smoger, Catholic Charities Executive Director Steve Bresnahan and Larry Mareck.

GNP Company

GNP Company has a notable tradition of philanthropic giving. The company pledges to donate at least five percent of its earnings to charitable causes, freely shares their chicken products with the hungry and encourages its employees to volunteer their time for non-profit organizations.

Clients of Catholic Charities are often the beneficiaries of GNP’s philanthropic  actions. The organization routinely donates chicken to Catholic Charities Emergency Services Food Shelf, and other programs. Employees volunteer at the Food Shelf, and employees adopt at least one family each Christmas in Catholic Charities Share the Spirit program.

 “Our mission statement is dedicated to healthy foods, families and farms, and when we look at the word ‘families’ we’re not looking just at our own immediate family at home, we are also looking at our family within the GNP company organization as well as the communities which we give back to and serve,” said Lynn Holmvig, Communication Specialist at GNP.  

GNP’s nomination video can be found at: https://vimeo.com/user36460952/review/168959686/fe3ae7948d

Shown above from left to right are GNP employees Cindy Skirwa, Jody Clubb, Jenny Otte, Lynn Holmvig, Don Helgeson, Mike Helgeson and Catholic Charities Executive Director Steve Bresnahan.


Catholic Charities is a nonprofit organization that advances the charitable and social mission of the Diocese of St. Cloud. It builds communities, promotes family life, and enhances human dignity by providing quality services to meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of individuals and families of all faiths and beliefs.