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Woodbury senior honored by St. Paul Winter Carnival

Woodbury resident Mary Severson was awarded the Nathanial L. Hardy award for outstanding volunteerism by the St. Paul Winter Carnival for her involvement with the Senior Royalty program.

When Woodbury resident Mary Severson first moved to Minnesota from Florida in 2003 she was looking for something to occupy her time.

"I thought I was going to need some new excitement," she said.

Severson found just that in the form of the St. Paul Winter Carnival Senior Royalty.

Severson served as the Princess of the Four Winds.

Now 10 years later, Severson has added another St. Paul Winter Carnival title to her resume -- Nathanial L. Hardy Award recipient.

Severson received the award for her outstanding volunteerism with the Senior Royalty.

"I was shocked to death - I was awe struck," Severson said. "It was just a beautiful surprise.

"I just happened to be the most unworthy person to receive it."

Every year the St. Paul Winter Carnival selects three men and three women to represent the senior citizens of St. Paul throughout the coming year as the Senior Royalty.

The Senior Royalty makes appearances throughout the year at parades, community celebrations, nursing homes, senior citizen centers, hospitals and schools.

During her time as the Princess of the Four Winds, and as a volunteer with the Senior Royalty, Severson would visit various locations.

Severson said her primary role would be to perform with her accordion.

"I never felt that I did enough, but I guess the music and the playing for people is the biggest things," she said. "Seniors are pretty important and sometimes left out of things, so, if I can bring any joy that's what I'm going to do.

"I felt this was my thing."

- Amber Kispert-Smith