Pearson being honored
One is always cautious of news received around the first of April.
Which is just why this year’s recipient of the 2015 Woman of Achievement award was very apprehensive when she received a phone call notifying her of the honor.
“I couldn’t really get it through my head, so I didn’t tell anyone until I?saw it in the newspaper,” Barb Pearson, the 2015 Woman of Achievement honoree jokes.
She received the call from Mitchell Chautauqua member Jean Bierly who told her she was nominated and selected for the award.
“It was really close after April Fools,”?Bierly adds.
However, this selection was the real deal and for good reason because Pearson has done a lot and remains very active in the community.
“I lived in Frost most of my life,”?Pearson says. “And we stayed in the Blue Earth/Frost area over the years.”
She married Merl Pearson who was a Frost native and they had two sons, Frank and Rob.
After having children, Pearson got a job working in the school kitchen followed by time she worked cleaning people’s homes.
“Then Merl hurt his back and we knew we had to do something else,” Pearson explains. “So we decided we would start an art gallery.”
So, that is just what they did. They opened Crimson Maple which started in a building across from Double Play and then moved onto Main Street Blue Earth.
“We made a good living with that for about 20 years,”?Pearson remembers.
Then when her husband died Pearson moved her business to the Ag Center and combined forces with Nordic World and both operated separately, yet helping one another out.
Eventually she stopped doing that and began working at Nicollet Place where she still currently works.
However, her love for the arts still continues and she utilizes that talent to help out in the community.
“I helped make the carolers that are set up downtown,”?Pearson says. “I also help out with sets for the Town and County Plays.”
Pearson also enjoys being on stage in the chorus for the T&CP plays.
“I remember seeing Singin’ In the Rain here and after that I?knew I?had to do it,”?Pearson says.
So she did and the first community play she was in was Annie Get your Gun.
She also continues to stay in touch with her artistic side by doing sketches, but says that is not the only medium she enjoys.
“I like everything, but mostly watercolor,”?Pearson says.
In fact, when the community of Blue Earth was rallying together to raise money to build the new pool in town, Pearson found a way to help out by using her love for watercolors.
“I?did a watercolor of the pool area for that fundraiser and they made prints of it,”?she explains.
Now, she is known as one of the mermaids at the Blue Earth pool. At 7:30 a.m. in the summers she goes to a water aerobics class.
“We would be in there laughing and shouting and one day Cindy Lyon drove by and yelled, ‘what are you mermaids doing’ and so we became known as the mermaids,”?Pearson says.
She loves to swim and has been involved in that group since the new pool in Blue Earth opened.
“I helped to raise money for it so I was just so excited for it to open,” she adds.
Her personal touch is also displayed proudly in another area of the community which is enjoyed by visitors from all over.
“I also painted the large mural in the chamber museum,” Pearson says.
Pearson feels as though there are more deserving people for the Woman of Achievement honor, however, her contributions to the community make it obvious that she is a worthy recipient.
The local Mitchell Chautauqua group selects an individual every year to receive this honor.
They receive letters of nomination from people throughout the community. Members then read the letters and vote separately on a ballot for the recipient without ever discussing it as a group.
Then, the Woman of Achievement is honored at the annual luncheon.
This year the luncheon will be held in the Gathering Place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Earth at noon on Tuesday, May 5. Reservations must be sent in by April 28.
“I am glad and very appreciative to have been selected,”?Pearson says.