Owatonna Rotary Presents Award to Dave ‘Ole’ Olson
The Owatonna Rotary Club presented its "Service Above Self" award Monday to Dave "Ole" Olson of Owatonna.
Olson has taught firearms safety training through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for 50 years. He has held leadership roles in the Steele Spurs chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Owatonna Gun Club. Olson says he became inspired to teach the proper handling of firearms many years ago when a neighbor of his got killed in a firearms accident. Olson told KRFO, "I thought if I could save one kid, it's worth it."
Olson developed a strong reputation in the local business community during his time in the electrical contracting business. According to a press release from the Owatonna Rotary Club, Olson strived to be ethical and fair in dealing with his customers.
He served on the Owatonna Chamber of Commerce and with the Owatonna Jaycees, as well as St. Mary's School.
Olson, who battled alcoholism, has shared his story with others over the years to help them deal with their struggles. For the past 20 years, Olson and a group of AA members have taken new members on a fishing trip up north.
Olson said, "When you do these things through the years, you don't expect an end like this." He also thanked the Rotary and his friends and family for their support.
The award is named after Paul Harris and Vern White. It goes to a non-Rotarian whose life and actions exemplify the spirit of "Service Above Self." Olson (center) is pictured with Barry Gillespe, Nancy Olson, Dave Olson Junior and Corey Mensink.