by Meg Bonacorsi
AUBURNDALE (WAOW) -- North Central Wisconsin is a great place to live and raise kids.
Volunteers set many of the communities apart from others.
At Newsline 9 we're proud to join in an effort to recognize some of them. Over the next year you'll meet a dozen people honored with a Jefferson Award.
Established in 1972, it recognizes businesses, schools and individuals who answer the call to action for volunteers.
This months winner is Bob Tupper, a retired Auburndale man who spends his days making a difference in the lives of children.
Within the walls of Auburndale Elementary, Bob is loved by students and teachers alike.
2nd grader Emmalee Richardson says, "He's very nice and I'm thankful that he can help me out."
Her classmate Cooper Weinfurter adds, "He's really nice to us and he tries helping us out when we don't understand things the best he can."
When Bob started out, he volunteered for an hour or two a week. Now, he spends three full days with this class.
Bob says, "I came, loved it, and four years later I'm still here. I really love it, it's the kids. It's the kids... To see the light come on in their eyes when they realize or look at something and they finally get it. All of the sudden their eyes light up and you can see the wheels just turning around up there. That's what I love about it."
2nd grade teacher Kirsten Sebold says nominating Bob for a Jefferson Award was a no-brainer.
"If somebody needs help they want Bob to come over and help them because they want his attention... He will say to them, "I am so proud of you." You know he says that to my class all the time. I am so proud of you, you have done great work and I think all kids need to hear that reassurance."
Bob hopes the kids also hear the most important message of all.
He says, "Just do your best always. That's what I always like to tell them."
Bob and our other upcoming winners will be eligible to move on to the national competition.
Newsline 9 Jefferson Awards are presented by Marshfield Clinic.
Online Reporter: Meg Bonacorsi