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Trempealeau woman spends years fundraising for church elevator

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GALESVILLE, Wis. (WXOW) – Ardelle Williamson grew up during the depression, a time when life was centered around the table.

The spunky farm girl didn’t have much but she knew early on that what you have isn’t as important as what you give.

“I have friends that need transportation yet. I guess the one that needs the most attention is 95. She’s still living in her home and active but we do things together like go to lunch. I get groceries for her,” said Williamson.

Lori Nastvold has known Ardelle for 50 years.  “She doesn’t use her age as a crutch. She uses that as a gift. She gives to so many people that she wouldn’t have to help. She visits friends in nursing homes. She takes people places they need to get to. I mean how many people at her age would do that? She uses her time as a gift to people,” said Nastvold.

Ardelle’s daughter Becky Chrisinger says her mother led by example.

“Growing up, so many of my girlfriends were always complaining about their Mom and stuff. I never had that with her because she was always such a mentor and loving and very unselfish and I just wanted to be like her,” said Chrisinger.

Ardelle’s biggest feat by far is fighting for an elevator in her church. For the past 20 years she’s hosted any kind of fundraiser imaginable to help meet the need of an aging congregation. She raised $239,000 but was shy a few thousand dollars.

“Just about this time last year by a sequence of events, this lady called me and she said I heard your story about the elevator and I want to help you,” said Williamson.

The donor wanted to remain anonymous but gave Ardelle enough money to finish plans for the elevator.

“If there were more Ardelle’s in the world, it would be a better place because people would show more love. She truly is a blessing to everybody she touches. She makes anywhere she goes a better place,” said Nastvold.

Ardelle says you are never too old to make a difference.

“Stay busy and never lose sight that God is blessing you. You’re blessed to be a blessing to others. Simple as that. Simple as that,” said Williamson.

Thanks to Ardelle, the Zion Lutheran Church in Galesville is getting their elevator.  The final delivery was made today, the day her story aired.  (August 19)

Heather Armstrong

Heather anchors Live at 5 and co-anchors the weekday 6 & 10 PM newscasts

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