Sal & Francesca LoBaido Volunteer Service Award

The Sal  & Francesca (Corky) LoBaido Volunteer Service Award is presented to individuals who have shown a long-term commitment and dedication to the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.  Their volunteerism and achievements have truly contributed to the ongoing success of the Carnival, and they have set an example for others to follow. They have not only given of themselves to the Winter Carnival, but have also made an impact through their volunteerism in their own communities.  Nominations are received in early summer. The selection process is conducted by a committee representing a variety of Winter Carnival roles, offices, and volunteers. Using a defined set of judging criteria, each nominee is considered, and a vote is conducted.

Join us on Tuesday, September 26 at the White Bear Country Inn for this year’s award presentation and dinner.

The Star Boreas in conjunction with the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, the proud producers of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, are thrilled to honor…

Bernie Swafford

2010 Winter Carnival Ambassador of the Year, Bernie Swafford has proven her dedication and commitment to the St. Paul community and the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation for many years. After 15 years as the owner of a local cleaning business, Bernie joined United Health Care to support health initiatives across the nation. Throughout this time, Bernie continued to work for Spartan Specialties and used her career to the benefit of all her extensive volunteer efforts.

As a longtime friend of the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, Bernie serves on the SPFHF Board and was instrumental in starting the Spirits of Carnival to raise funds for the Winter Carnival parades and fireworks. Along with her husband, Steve, there has been no better resource for the St. Paul Winter Carnival over the past decade than these two who will drop anything when called to action!

In addition to serving her community, Bernie enjoys entertaining, golfing, canning, and spending time with her grandchildren.


Tom Barrett

In 1992, Tom was chosen to become a member of the 1993 Vulcan Krewe. At that time, Tom was asked as a krewe member to make a five year commitment to the Fire and Brimstone Organization. Upon suggestion that he make a lifetime commitment to not only the Fire and Brimstone Organization, but to the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation and the City of St. Paul, Tom eagerly accepted these commitments and has excelled in following through with all that has been asked of him.

Tom served continuously on the Fire & Brimstone board of Directors from 1994 to 2004 when he became President of the Fire & Brimstone Organization. That same year, he was chosen to become Vulcanus Rex LXVII, which, once again, placed him in a leadership role and another five year commitment. During this commitment, Tom also volunteered as a Winter Carnival button booster and later became the head of button sales for several years. In recognition of Tom’s commitment to the Fire & Brimstone Organization, he was awarded the coveted King Coal Award in 2009, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a member.

For several years, Tom has been an active and irreplaceable volunteer for the Winter Carnival and continues to support the Carnival as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Gambling Control Board and beyond.

Tony Mahmood

Aesop’s Table was started by Tony and his parents in 1986. The initial format was a lunch time deli with sandwiches and burgers. Tony’s food prep experience precedes that having worked as a young teenager at Margarita Murphy’s in Woodbury. Aesop’s Table started as, and still is, a mom and pop shop – a fabric of their communities.

Webster’s defines Community as:
1.a : the people living in an area; also : the area itself b : a group of living things that belong to one or more species, interact, and are located in one place c : a group of people with common interests …

Since 1986, Aesop’s Table holds an annual Veterans Day event donating the proceeds to a Veteran’s Organization. Today, we have come to know this as the Veteran’s Booyah Event. They were helping out Vets before it was cool! That’s 30+ years folks! Thank you from all the veterans in our ranks! As we might have heard, Tony occasionally likes to wet his whistle with what Frank Sinatra referred to as “the nectar of the Gods”. In 2000, it helped inspire Tony to merge his desire to help children, with his JD memorabilia collection, and life’s work to create a 501C, affectionately called the M.E.S.S. (Minnesota Executive Esquire Society) which raised money for…..what else? Juvenile Diabetes or JD – see the correlation?

In 2002, with Tony’s Mom and Dad looking towards retirement, Tony decided he would buy Aesop’s Table from them so they could go off to sunny Florida and enjoy retirement. The transfer of ownership was the perfect time to introduce some new ideas Tony and Donna had regarding menu. You see, prior to that, Aesop’s Table didn’t “do BBQ”! What?! Hearsay for sure – how can that be? Yep, and in the words of Walter Cronkite – “That’s the way it is!” So Tony and Donna bought a smoker and began to include smoked meats on their menu.

Tony and Donna continued Aesop’s Tables traditions, while also being a good neighbor by providing support in the St Paul and Newport communities, providing food and services to schools at little to no cost, participating in locks of love, and being a driver for rescue animals of Minnesota Paws . Always willing to lend a helping hand, in a variety of ways, and always willing to be the next neighbor up.

In 2011, another organization came calling SPWC or more specifically, the St Paul Vulcans where he took the identity of the one….the onnnnllllyyyyy….Klinkkkkkkeeeeerrrr! From the start, he was a Klinker – hearding the flock, last ember burning, and always looking to lend a helping hand.

Valuing each community in which they reside, Tony and Donna decided they could continue their other community commitments and still find time to provide time, knowledge, and product to their newly found community. They began by offering meals to the 2011 krewe & royal family and every group since.

In addition, they provide food to the Snow Park sculptors, volunteers, SPWC Ambassadors, Fire & Brimstone Board, the annual Fire & Brimstone Fall Outing and other carnival related entities/events. Lastly, Tony has made it his goal to make Snow Park what it is today and what it can be in the future.

In five short years, he has helped transform Snow Park and provide it with an aggressive and doable vision of what it can become through Vendor partnerships spanning from materials to community organizations. Last year, he welcomed the Polar Plunge Organization, adding yet another partnership to the Snow Park.

Without further ado – in his own words – the Greatest Husband and Father of all time – and his better half, Mr. and Mrs. Tony Mahmood.

Previous winners of the Sal LaBaido winners:

2016 Kathy Bjerke

2016 Dan Olson

2015 Neil O’Neil

2015 Joan Kelly

2015 Jane Lonergen

2014 Sandy Schwartzbauer

2014 Darrin Johnson

2013 Ed Altermatt

2013 Colleen Duffy

2012 John & Mike Taxler

2012 Joe Johnston

2011 Steve Frattalone

2011 Pat Mogren

2010 Judy Cognetta

2010 Gene & Marilyn DiMartino

2010 Charlie Hall

2010 Bob Matson

2009 David Larson

2008 Richard “Dick” Kedrowski

2007 Lonny Piche

2006 Carol & Dan Swenson

2005 Dorothy Furlong Hall

2004 Don & Sandy Craighead

2003 Dot Bentfield

2002 Mary & Denny Harris

2001 Gil Thoele

2000 Lou Collette

1999 Gladys & Bill Godwin

1998 Lorraine Venass

1997 Bonnie (Vic*) Reim-Bifulk

1996 Gerald Lanahan

1995 Chester Schoenrock

1994 Paul Mueller

1993 Dan Muntean

1991 Gloria Schultz

1990 Robert Sheild

1989 Helen & Richard Murphy

1988 William LaLonde

1987 Bernice & John Roach