La Crosse, Wisconsin (WXOW) ----- Since the inception of the Jefferson Awards in 1972, the meaning has stayed the same. One person can and will make a difference. This month's winner is Marion Byerson, a man who despite being retired still wears a uniform.
No matter the uniform, Marion Byerson's mission is still the same. "I'm all about helping people. I guess it's just in me." Marion retired from the La Crosse Police Department 5 years ago.He used his love for dogs and his skill in training them to get the department bomb and drug dogs.
"I offered 2 officers to the department for a dollar a year for 15 years." Marion is all smiles but it wasn't always easy to live and work in a small town. I had to make a decision on what type of police officer I wanted to be and how I was going to treat others.
So my decision was that I was going to treat others like I wanted to be treated and that got me through the woman that nominated Marion said he's the first person to look past her disability and let her help out at the dock where for the past 7 years he's donated his time, talents and even his boat to the Coast Guard. "We get organized and go to different boat landings on different days and we'll go to marinas and we will do the inspection on people's vessels. We inspect the boat and make sure they have everything they have to operate the boat safely."
Marion says one day he hopes to slow down it's not likely. "People just ask me to help and I just can't say no the list of things that Marion does goes on and on. He volunteers his time as a bailiff for Monroe County and he's a Deputy and a member of the Swat Team in Jackson County.
A few years ago he rescued 2 kids who fell out of a boat. Marion volunteers so much for the Coast Guard that he is a nationally recognized volunteer. They made him a Division Commander.