Marie Hanson (center, with plaque) is surrounded by the Pay It Forward Stevens County Committee that chose her as the Joan Spaeth Pay It Forward Person of the Year. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

After reviewing their slate of monthly award recipients of the past year, the Pay It Forward Stevens County committee bestowed its annual Person of the Year award to Marie Hanson at a ceremony Wednesday night at the Pizza Ranch in Morris. The award recognizes volunteer efforts of people in the community. Hanson is active with Morris Women of Today, the Sports Boosters, the hockey and baseball associations, and sits on the Park Board, where she played an instrumental role in the establishment of the Morris Dog Park.

“I’m very surprised and honored to have gotten this award,” Hanson told KMRS. “Plus, all the other people nominated this year for the Pay It Forward — there’s a great group of people that have done a lot for our community. Very happy, excited, just thankful for my family and friends, and my day care moms that nominated me. It was very, very nice of them to do that.”

Rob Lucas (l) of the Pizza Ranch in Morris showed Marie Hanson (r) the plaque that now bears her name as one of those named Person of the Year for community service efforts. Nominations for candidates for the monthly award can be given to any Pay it Forward board member. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

The award has been renamed the Joan Spaeth Pay It Forward Person of the Year Award to honor their late board member who bravely battled cancer.

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