FAIRMONT - Longtime Fairmont resident Lavonne Bowman was given a special going-away gift Thursday when city officials presented her with a key to the city.
With 12 years serving Ward 4 - "The North Side," as Bowman proudly states - on the City Council, Bowman was involved in shaping what Fairmont is today.
"With everything she's done, Lavonne has been a big part of everything that's been done," Fairmont Mayor Randy Quiring said Thursday. "So I would just like to thank Lavonne for all she has done for Fairmont."
SAYING?THANKS — Fairmont Mayor Randy Quiring presents Lavonne Bowman with a key to the city Thursday at the The Ranch Restaurant in Fairmont.
Quiring, along with council members Wes Clerc and Harlan Gorath and soon-to-be city administrator Mike Humpal, surprised Bowman during a luncheon at The Ranch Restaurant.
Bowman, born and raised on Winnebago Avenue in Fairmont, is relocating to Aitkin later this month to be closer to family.
"I'm speechless for a change," Bowman said. "All I can say is that I'm proud of being a North-sider. Ward 4 is very special to me. Fairmont has so much going on right now; I'm really pleased. We're advancing and growing ... I will dearly miss Fairmont."
During Bowman's years on the council, she served on nearly every board at one point, from planning and zoning to public utilities.
She also has been an active volunteer, ranging from her support for the Winnebago ball diamonds to the group "3M Cares."
"She has such a passion for Fairmont," Clerc said. "She always fought for the city. A lot of time she may not have agreed with what the council was doing, but if she knew that was what was best for the city, she didn't argue."
"She really brought in a good example of going for what's best for Fairmont," Quiring said. "Even if it wasn't what was best for Ward 4, she always went with what was best for the whole town.
"Even now, she comes and talks to me, she's always bragging up Fairmont, always volunteering," he said. "Aitkin is going to have a shining star now, and we're going to miss her."