If a true sign of giving is expecting nothing in return, Shawn Preabt in Fargo fits the mold, and members of a local community service group, the West Fargo Exchange Club, must agree as they named him “Exchangite of the Year.”
Preabt, who is controller at Luther Family Buick GMC, said the award came as a big surprise. “I’m not one to look for the limelight. I don’t do things for that reason,” he said. “It was a big surprise, and I’m honored by it.”
Exchange Club President Chris Heise said he’s seen Preabt organize programs, recruit and motivate volunteers and participate in multiple efforts. “He is one person that if you give him a task, he takes it and runs with it,” said Heise.
The kudos may not stop here, as Preabt was nominated for district “All American Volunteer” recognition. This gives him a shot at two national awards, “Volunteer of the Year” and “Volunteer Exchange Club.”
Preabt joined the local club in 2009, but his exposure to the group started earlier, when his daughter received club support for her high school dance team. The controller attended some exchange fundraising events, and members encouraged him to participate after his daughter graduated.
He’s on the Community Service committee and continues to work with the club’s Meals on Wheels effort. Many wait anxiously for the lunch deliveries on Wednesdays, and seeing their smiles on arrival makes it all worth it, he explained.
The West Fargo Exchange Club is similar to, yet different, from the area chamber of commerce. Many club members are business owners who Preabt has gotten to know personally at weekly meetings.
Preabt has been able to get involved with the police officer and firefighter of the year programs. In the fall, the controller helps with the “Book of Golden Deeds,” which recognizes a top volunteer.
“Do I love the community? Oh yeah,” said Preabt, who grew up in Minot. West Fargo has had solid growth, he explains. “It’s important to be involved.”