Burdick responds to help businessman

Staff writer

Jim Peterson was trimming his trees in preparation for the Burdick Labor Day Parade last year. He took pride in his town and wanted it to be in tiptop shape for any visitors. Plus, he was planning to ride one of the lawn mowers he sells in the parade later that week.

“He’s the type of person who always contributes so much to the community,” Burdick resident Tom Nelson said.

Standing on a ladder, Peterson suddenly fell and broke both of his feet on impact. Nelson said the injury was severe enough where Peterson could not walk for six weeks.

On top of selling lawn mowers, Peterson runs the gas and service station in Burdick. The community wanted to return some of Peterson’s contributions.

“We’re lucky to have somebody to fix tires,” Nelson said.

Dan Peterson, no relation, and several other residents had the idea to do a pump-in at the station. The plan was to have everyone in town fill up during a two-hour period to make sure Jim Peterson had enough business.

Having one customer in a two-hour span is common for the tiny gas station. On that Saturday in October, there was a line of cars five deep waiting for a pump. The pump-in generated more than $2,000 in business, Marilyn, Jim’s wife, later reported.

The pump-in was not enough. With the help of the Morris-Marion County Thrivent chapter, Burdick residents also set up a pulled-pork luncheon later in October. That event raised $9,048 with $500 coming from Thrivent.

“We have to take care of our own,” Nelson said. “Once you start doing that it becomes infectious.”

The Jim Peterson story was featured in Thrivent Magazine.

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