Awards recognizing service topped by 40-year participant

There have been seven U.S. presidents since ProAct participant James Gelking started attending the program. Gelking was recently honored with a 40-year Service Award in Eagan.

Staff saw him crack a smile when receiving his plaque, and his mother, Ellen, said he always seemed happy with his ProAct experience.

“We never had any problems. He really liked going in and enjoyed his jobs,” she said. James rarely shared details about his work in the skills training area, but never complained and would tell his mother his day was good when she inquired. James said he couldn’t remember all the jobs, but he enjoyed working with nails and bolts.

When asked why he stayed, the 40-year veteran said he “just likes to.” These days, he’s a part of enrichment programming, which takes the form of classes and activities. His favorite class is geography and states.

Check out more of ProAct’s service award recipients below.