Honored for keeping busy

Lake Benton woman named Lincoln County Senior Citizen of the Year

Photo by A.C.E. Coordinator Rosanne Lasnetski Anne Lichtsinn of Lake Benton was honored at the Lincoln County Fair as Lincoln County Senior Citizen of the Year for all the many hours of volunteer work she does to help senior citizens and the Lake Benton Opera House. Lincoln County Fair Board Director Frank Jorgenson presented the award.

LAKE BENTON — Being 65 years old or older and active in your community can get you recognized — just ask Anne Lichtsinn.

“You have to be 65 or older and do volunteer work,” the Lake Benton woman said. “I have done quite a bit since turning 65.”

Lichtsinn has done so much volunteering, that she was named Lincoln County Senior Citizen of the Year at the Lincoln County Fair on July 27.

Her main volunteer work is as a health insurance counselor with Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging (MnRAA).

“RAA is a senior health insurance program also known as the Senior Linkage Line,” she said. “We work with Social Security and Medicare. I helped people with filling out their applications for Part D Medicare for prescriptions.

“Every year, almost, you need to fill out a new applications because of all the changes,” she said. “People’s medications change, the formula changes or coverage changes.”

Lichtsinn said she averages about 10 hours per month during peak seasons.

“During the fall, when it’s busy, it’s probably about 10 hours a month,” she said. “But not every month. It’s sporadic. It’s busier during months we do presentations.”

Along the same lines as Senior Linkage, Lichtsinn said she volunteers with Senior Surfing — helping people with Internet usage and safety. She particularly helps them find information on health insurance.

One of her favorite places to volunteer is the Lake Benton Opera House.

“I have been on the board for the Opera House for 17 years,” Lichtsinn said. “I was treasurer for about 12 years. Now, I’m doing ticket reservations for each show. I like working with the Opera House because I do a lot of that on computers. I like working with computers.”

The Lake Benton Opera House just finished “Beauty and the Beast” with record crowds, she said, with the last show on Aug. 6.

“We had 10 shows beginning July 27- 30,” Lichtsinn said “We saw about 200 people every night going through the theater.”

Lichtsinn also serves on the Lake Benton Chamber of Commerce board of directors as a representative member from the opera house.

Lichtsinn is also chairwoman of Lake Benton Historical Society. She has been a member for 15 years, the last eight years as chair.

“I keep track of the data base for the cemeteries,” she said. “People call in and ask for information on their family and where they’re buried. We have a (micro) fiche machine with newspaper articles going back to 1879. That gets to be very interesting.

“We keep up our (Heritage) museum,” she said. “People donate items for display.”

Lichtsinn is also a member of the Lincoln County Senior Citizens who put on events twice a year including Bingo with dinner and entertainment.

“I’m also on the A.C.E. (Advocating, Connecting, Educating) board, an organization that meets about five times per year,” she said. “They organize some of the programs like Matter of Balance, Bone Builders and Meals on Wheels.”

Her husband of 58 years, John, also keeps busy with projects and volunteering.

“We haul Meals on Wheels for four days a week right now,” she said. “It was usually three times a month, but one driver fell down and broke his hip. He was doing it three days a week, and we took over his days while he’s laid up.”

“I was on the Lake Benton Public library board for 12 years,” Lichtsinn said. “And the Plum Creek Advisory board for six years.”

She is also active in her church as financial secretary, chairperson of the altar guild and chairperson of the church work group.

The Lichtsinns have three grown children and five grandchildren. One of their adult children lives in Lake Benton. One lives in Apple Valley, and the other lives in Olethe, a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas.