Friend of League Award

Friend of League Award

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The Friend of League Award is awarded to a community member or group who assists LWV ABC in achieving our goal of good government.  The award, initiated and designed by longtime members Sandra Shanley and Mary Jo Truchon in 1991is presented in fall of each year.  Members may submit nominations to the Communication Committee Chair.

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TJ Tronson holding 2023 Friend of League Award

TJ Tronson and NorthMetroTV 

in recognition of their work in producing widely viewed Candidate Forum video to inform voters during each election season.


Rebecca Ebnet-Desens, Executive Director of Anoka County Historical Society, and LWV ABC President with 2022  Friend of League award

Rebecca Ebnet-Desens, Executive Director of Anoka County Historical Society, and the staff of the Anoka County Historical Society

in recognition of their outstanding partnership to celebrate the history of women’s suffrage, honor the accomplishments of Anoka County women, document the 100-year history of the LWV ABC, inform our community about the work of the LWV and share the history and stories of the people and communities of Anoka County.

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 Anoka Election Manager accepting 2021 Friend of League Award  from LWV ABC President Gretchen Sabel

Anoka County Elections Manager Paul Linnell and the Anoka County Elections Staff

for empowering voters, creating the trust crucial to preserving our democracy and educating the public about elections and voting.

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Lydia Pottfoff and 2020 Friends of League Award


Staff of Anoka County Library Rum River and Anoka County Library Northtown (Lydia Potthoff pictured) 

These libraries went above and beyond in contributing to community awareness of the men and women who contine to make democracy work for all by hosting the LWV traveling exhibit celebrating 100 years of women's suffrage and the League, hosting opening ceremony events of the exhibit, displaying LWV ABC local history artifacts and featuring books about the people and events leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Cortni O'Brien and 2020 Friends of the League Award

Cortni O'Brien, Adult Services Librarian, and the Columbia Heights Library

for hosting the LWV ABC historical exhibit and hosting, promoting and assisting LWV ABC with voter registration drives and dissemination of information to the public about the Presidential Primary.

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Lori Anderson

Lori Anderson, founder of Transformative Circle

for creating a safe environment where people of diverse cultures can come together to gain understanding and build relationships for a stronger community 

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Mel Aanerud receiving Friend of League Award 2018

Mel Aanerud

for his portrayal of Will Rogers in our successful community fundraiser, his support and participation in Observer Corps at Anoka County Board, and forging our civic partnership with Ham Lake Chamber of Commerce. 



Leslie Sauer Smith receiving Friend of League Award

Leslie Sauer Smith, QCTV Community Television producer

for her enthusiastic cooperation and community spirit that provides exceptional production of LWV ABC programs that educate and motivate viewers regarding public policy and community involvement. Examples of her work are available on the QCTV website.  

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Andover Mayor Julie Trude with LWV ABC President  Jeorgette Knoll

City of Andover 

for its continuous support of providing free monthly meeting space and use of council chambers, as well as promoting horticultural practices that favor pollinators.

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 Katherine Lenaburg and LWV ABC President Jeorgette Knoll

Katherine Lenaburg and Quad City Television (QCTV) 

for recording LWV ABC discussions and providing a separate listing of LWV ABC recordings on the QCTV website

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John Von Linde

John Vonde Linde

for his outstanding work in improving the Anoka County Park 

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President Susan Anderson presenting award to Peter Bodley 

Peter Bodley, ECM Publishing editor

for the strong support he gave to publicizing our forums and community events 



Student Senate of Anoka-Ramsey Community College
for their positive, non-partisan and energetic hosting of the LWV ABC election and public information events


Steve Ericson
Steve Ericson 
for helping to keep League in the public eye  


No awardee


No awardee


Babcock, Manella, & Klint, attorneys at law 
for their faithful financial support


Julie Jones
 for spearheading a ten-year effort to restore the Springbrook Nature Center working with cities, a water maintenance organization, state and federal agencies, and the Northtown Shopping Center to get things done

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Elizabeth Shanley
for guiding LWV ABC into the computer age and the World Wide Web (plus helping her Mom get things right)


Amy Altman and Caroline Smith of Integrated Waste Management 
for their commitment to Anoka County's residents and keeping homes safe

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Dick Brown

Dick Brown
for his constant attention to the environment


No awardee


Irene Meier
who specializes in Anoka County's elections and provides data to the public to our league's benefit


Bernie E Steffen

Bernie Steffen
for providing a base for us to raise funds for our future and sound advice on how to get there


Vernon Clapp
for helping us in court and in the environment


Lynda Rodgers 

Linda Rodgers
who worked with us to benefit our children's education and future 


Jim Hulber
who opened his workplace and his business, World of Natural Health


Sandi Hitch

Sandi Hitch
who made us feel at home at Anoka-Ramsey Community College


 Gene Merriam

Gene Merriam
for knowing the political territory and the politicians 


Lyle Bradley
 Lyle Bradley
 who knew the subjects that drive us and how fast to go 

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George Garclavs
who showed us what was under the ground and in the water


Robb Tronson
who introduced us to the bright lights of cable television


Harvey Buchite
who knew the information we needed to be educated in the world


   Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt
who helped us find the money we needed to accomplish our goals