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Service to others stands out for 2015 honor: Arnold "Casey" Stengel

In one of the standouts of 2015, Arnold "Casey" Stengel was recognized for his service to others. Stengel was awarded the "Service to Mankind" award in May from the Sunrise Sertoma Club. The award is presented annually to a non-Sertoman who epito...

Casey Stengel speaks to the Sunrise Sertoma Club in Brainerd with is wife Doris seated next to him. Stengel's service to others gained recognition from the club and then he won the District level award. Renee Richardson/Brainerd Dispatch
Casey Stengel speaks to the Sunrise Sertoma Club in Brainerd with is wife Doris seated next to him. Stengel's service to others gained recognition from the club and then he won the District level award. Renee Richardson/Brainerd Dispatch

In one of the standouts of 2015, Arnold "Casey" Stengel was recognized for his service to others.

Stengel was awarded the "Service to Mankind" award in May from the Sunrise Sertoma Club. The award is presented annually to a non-Sertoman who epitomizes the "Service to Mankind" theme of the club. The award is based on volunteer service provided to the local community, state, or nation. Stengel went on to win at the District level as well.

Sunrise Sertoma members noted wherever Stengel has gone throughout his life, he has been one of those rare individuals who takes the time to help those in need. He began his career as a teacher in Sacred Heart in 1956. He retired in 1992 after 29 years as a school counselor and athletics coach with Brainerd schools. He touched many lives throughout his career, and he continues to serve throughout his community, the Sertoma club noted.

"Casey's spirit of civic pride, love of country, and commitment to education is founded on the strong example set by his family, and he worked to instill these values in his own children. In the 1970s, the Stengel family hosted an American Field Service student from Bolivia and, a few years later, a student from Ghana. This exposure to other cultures and customs enriched the Stengel family and provided an unmatched education in world cultures. The Stengel family continues to keep in contact with both 'kids.'"

A strong supporter of youth sports, Stengel coached nearly every sport, boys' and girls'. In 1963, he joined the staff as a counselor at Brainerd High School where he also served as an assistant football and baseball coach. He was elected to the Brainerd High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1984-85 as an assistant coach "who displayed initiative, tenacity and imagination combined with principles of teamwork."

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He continues to attend almost every Brainerd High School sporting event, as well as a few at Central Lakes College.

"He supports and encourages young athletes, complimenting them on their great plays or displays of good sportsmanship. Although each year brings new players, Casey knows who they are, and the kids know Casey.

"Just as he continues to encourage the community's student-athletes, there is no 'retiring' from education for Casey."

He volunteers at Brainerd's Lowell Elementary School helping kindergarten students learn to read. Each week he works one-on-one with the children, and by mid-year the students are reading to him.

"Casey's commitment to the larger community is evident in the diverse range of initiatives in which he gets involved. Casey knows the value of a male adult in a young boy's life. He was a mentor to three boys through the Kinship Partners program, and he continues to stay in touch with each of the men."

He is also active in in his church as a volunteer.

He volunteers for the overnight shift when the church hosts Interfaith Hospitality Network, when Bethlehem Lutheran Church provides temporary shelter for homeless families through the network program.

Several years ago he befriended an elderly mother and her wheelchair-bound middle-aged son, who is a huge sports fan. Stengel maintained the friendship after the mother passed taking his friend to sports games and sharing sporting news.

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"When the weather is mild, Casey walks his friend in his wheelchair to church," the Sunrise Sertoma Club reported. "Casey is faithful to his many and diverse volunteer projects. He is a steadfast community leader who is dedicated to serving others and improving our community, particularly through education and mentoring youth. Casey Stengel truly embodies Service to Mankind."

Casey Stengel speaks to the Sunrise Sertoma Club in Brainerd with his wife Doris seated next to him. Stengel's service to others gained recognition from the club and then he won the District level award. Renee Richardson/Brainerd Dispatch
Casey Stengel speaks to the Sunrise Sertoma Club in Brainerd with his wife Doris seated next to him. Stengel's service to others gained recognition from the club and then he won the District level award. Renee Richardson/Brainerd Dispatch

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