By Amelia Santaniello, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gerri McWherter’s essay on her friend and co-worker Barb Boger was moving. In it, McWherter cited numerous reasons why Boger should receive $500 from WCCO-TV and American Equity Mortgage for “Making a Difference.”

“We work at a group home with four men with mental disabilities,” McWherter wrote. “Our job is to ensure that they have a happy and healthy life, and I believe their lives are the best they can be because of her.”

Our “Making a Difference” committee read many nominations, but Boger’s work stood out. That’s why we decided to surprise her at her Cokato workplace. WCCO-TV’s Amelia Santaniello walked into the kitchen and told Boger the good news.

“WCCO and American Equity Mortgage would like to give you $500 for all the fabulous work that you do with these four men,” Santaniello said.

A shocked and honored Boger replied, “Oh my goodness, unbelievable, thank you.”

McWherter said it’s truly the kind of person Boger is that makes her deserving of this award.

“She’s got a heart the size of Texas,” McWherter said.

McWherter nominated her friend and co-worker not so much for what Boger does during her workday but for all the extra time she gives.

“She takes them on days when she doesn’t have to be here, to a game or what not, she’s just, I don’t know if she ever does anything for herself, so I think she should be rewarded for that,” she said.

Boger calls the residents her “guys.” She takes Jeff, Will, Craig and Jim to games, plays and to the Minnesota State Fair.

“Well, we’ll have to try to fit it all in for the weekend. We’ve got a big weekend coming up,” she said to the group.

McWherter talked with Jeff about all the places he’s gotten to travel to because of Boger. He told her they went to Nebraska for a game and even took a trip to Las Vegas.

“Bringing the guys that have disabilities out into the community so other people accept them for who they are is one of my pride and joys,” Boger said. “I love seeing that happen. Gives me thrills to see people accept them for who they are.”

If you want to nominate someone who’s “Making a Difference,” send us an e-mail. Tell us — in 500 words or less — why that person deserves a $500 pat-on-the-back. Nominations must be for people 18 years or older. There are a few other rules, as well. Click here to read all the details.

Paula Engelking, Producer
Contact Paula


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