Don Luna received St. Paul’s “Karl Neid Award” this morning in a surprise ceremony that annually honors a city employee for community service work.
Luna has held many jobs in his 21-year career with the city and is now Civilian Coordinator of the Police-Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission.
The Neid Award is named for the former city employee and council member who died in 1992; each year a committee gives it to a city worker for outstanding public service on and off the job.
The actual delivery of the award happens at the winner’s work place; there’s an air of secrecy and excitement (I went along a few times in the past) and Neid’s wife, Joänne Tromiczak-Neid, was with the mayor, the police chief and city council president to surprise Luna this morning.
Luna started with the city in 1994 as program coordinator in the Parks Department, and then with the police. He’s also been Director of Citizen Services.
Officials made a long list of his community activities and achievements:
- Three terms on the board of the West Side Citizens Organization and currently serves as its past president
- Trustee and former youth minister at Our Lady of Guadalupe church
- Two terms on the board of directors of Neighborhood House
- Member and past president of the West Side Boosters Club
- Past board chair for La Familia Family Center
- Member of the Saint Paul Planning Commission, the Saint Paul STAR Board the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Committee, and the Parks and Recreation Diversity Committee
- Founding member of the Humboldt Senior High School Hall of Fame Committee and represented Humboldt parents before the school board to support of new facilities
- Coached for over 40 years with the West Side Booster Club; currently a volunteer referee for the Booster football program.
- Created the Football Fiesta event on the West Side
- Founding member of the David Winfield Minority Student Athlete Awards Committee.
- Member of the Riverview Economic Development Association’s StreetscapeDesign and Beautification Committee
- Created the West Side Pride Day.
- Graduate of the Wilder Community Care Givers Program.
- Trainer in community organizing, youth work, and community gang prevention tactics and has helped organize youth service providers on the West Side.
- Interviewer and recruiter for hiring a diverse workforce.
- Historian of Saint Paul’s West Side
Mayor Chris Coleman said: “Don’s dedication to the City of Saint Paul and his community is remarkable. Both through his work for the city and his volunteer service, he has helped to strengthen our city. There is no better reflection of his impact than this award given to Don by his peers.”