Community Hero

Community heroes

Mother of three gets gift of a new furnace for the new year for good spirit, good work.

A very special Mom received a gift of a brand new furnace for being recognized as a hero by her sister. Lori Smith, single mother of three teenagers, was nominated by her sister, Lisa Adams, to receive the Finken Plumbing Heating and Cooling/Bryant Community Heroes award which included a brand new two-stage Bryant furnace that was installed in Lori’s St. Cloud home just in time for Christmas.

Lisa said her sister is a hero because of her dedication of many hours of volunteering for Tri-Cap, her church and her children’s activities on top of working two jobs and caring for her children. “She bakes for funerals and stays overnight with homeless people who seek shelter at her church,” Lisa said. “She helps transport elderly people in her community and cleans their homes and graciously helps with any needs they have. She has a pure passion to help those in need.”20151221_101925

Originally from Richmond, Lori has lived in St. Cloud since 1989. She purchased her home in south central St. Cloud just a year ago and is incredibly proud of her independence and ability to give of her time to others. Being a single mom has its challenges but Lori takes it in stride. “My dad was Floyd Adams, mayor of Richmond for a time. He died when I was 9,” she said, “So my mom, Mickie, raised us. All of my life, I’ve been surrounded by strong women. I can do this,” Lori said.

Lori is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. In 1992, she had a brain aneurysm that ruptured, leaving her with limited use of her left foot, but that doesn’t slow her down. “I just have a little hitch in my giddy-up,” she said. Her strong spirituality guides her actions every day. “I live my life like I’m on my way to Heaven,” she said. “I just like to help.”

As the head cook at Westwood Elementary, Lisa loves nourishing and interacting with the children and is very dedicated in her role as the food steward for her union. She has even testified at the State Capital for a food services programs that allowed for every kindergartner in Minnesota to have access to free school breakfast. She also works at Clearwater Travel Plaza in the food court.

When she’s not working or volunteering, Lori and her children Adam, 16, Erica, 15 and Alex, 13 enjoy having friends over to their home, baking or going to sporting events together. “I just love that I could give them this home,” she said, “I feel so safe here.”

The gift of the furnace from Finken and Bryant left her speechless. “I cried with my sister when I read her nomination,” Lori said. “I’m so honored. It’s one less thing I have to worry about.”

20151221_112614-1Finken Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, St. Joseph, joined forces with national furnace manufacturer, Bryant, and Minneapolis-based distributor, Auersteel, to give away a brand new Bryant furnace to a deserving local hero.  The Bryant Community Heroes program honors ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their community. A qualifying hero is anyone who demonstrates how a person with passion and determination can use his or her life to make a difference in their community.

“We are honored as a company to have the opportunity to take part in such an important, thoughtful program,” said Tom Finken, owner and president of Finken Companies which includes Finken Plumbing, Heating and Cooling and Finken Water Treatment. “We are so happy to do this for Lori and her family. For all she does for others, we’re happy to be able to do this for her.”