Community Builder Program

Community Builder Program

Each year, the Community Builder Program recognizes an individual, group, business or organization that has, through their outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making Victoria a better place today and for the future.  

This may include life-long service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or any other exemplary achievements. Serving as the inspiration for this program, the City of Victoria was honored to name Sgt. Michael W. Notermann as the first recipient of the Community Builders Award. 

Nomination Process
Feel free to nominate any person or group who – in the past or present – live, operate a business, or volunteer in Victoria and meet one or more of the following criteria are eligible for nomination:  

  • have volunteered time and efforts to benefit others in our community 
  • have demonstrated excellence, courage or exceptional service to the citizens of Victoria 
  • have worked to foster a sense of community making a meaningful difference to Victoria 
  • whose contributions have significantly impacted Victoria 
  • or who represent historical significance to the community, the City of Victoria, the State of Minnesota or the United States 
Members of City Council, City staff or members of the public may nominate individuals, groups, businesses, or organizations.

The City of Victoria will accept nominations for the Community Builder Program throughout the year but the Council will select and name only one recipient annually.  Nominations for consideration must be received by March 31 for consideration in June of the same year. Nominations received after March 1 will be considered for the following year.

Employees of the City of Victoria and individuals serving (or who have served) on the City’s committees, boards, task forces, and commissions are eligible for the Community Builder Program provided their nomination is not an extension of their role as an employee, or committee, board, task force, or commission representative.

An individual, group, organization or business may be nominated more than once for the same or different service, activity or achievement, etc. However, an individual, group organization or business may not be recognized as a Community Builder more than once for the same service, activity, or achievement, etc. Victoria City Council reserves the right to terminate the Community Builder Award before its closed date without any obligation to indemnify applicants. Further, City Council has the right to decide not to award the Community Builders Award if no applications are received, if no applications meet the eligibility criteria or if no applications are recommended by internal committees.

Nominations for the 2024 Community Builder Award
Submit nominations via our online form, email, or mail by March 31, 2024.

  • Submit a nomination in the form below.
  • Copy information from the online form and submit via email to
  • Print online form and submit via mail to City of Victoria, Minnesota, Attn: Kendra Grahl, 1670 Stieger Lake Lane, P.O. Box 36, Victoria, MN 55368.
The City of Victoria will recognize the 2024 Community Builder Awardee at Victoria's Volunteer Appreciation Event held in June of 2024.

Submit a Nomination
Fill out the application to submit a nomination for the Community Builder Award.

Contact Information
Please contact Kendra Grahl, Communications and Public Engagement Director, at with any questions regarding the Community Builder Award.
Community Builder Awards
Community Builder Awardee 2021: Sgt. Michael W. Notermann
DocumentMichael William Notermann was born on July 28, 1949, to John and Ethel Schroers Notermann of Victoria. He was the seventh of John and Ethel's thirteen children. Mike lived his entire life in Victoria up to the time he left home when drafted into the Army. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Victoria Catholic Church and received his elementary education through eighth grade at St. Victoria Catholic School. Michael was a 1967 graduate of Chaska High School. Following high school, Mike attended Control Data Institute and was employed at Control Data's Normandale plant in Bloomington, Minnesota, as a technician when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in April of 1969.

Mike left for training on April 2, 1969, at the age of 19. He received basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, AIT (Advanced Individual Training) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He began his Vietnam tour on March 9, 1970, where he held the rank of Sergeant. His military occupation or specialty was Light Weapons Infantry, attached to 199th Light Infantry Brigade, 5th Battalion, 12th Infantry, D Company. Mike was stationed in Vietnam until American soldiers were ordered into Cambodia in early June of 1970.

At the age of 20, Army Sergeant Michael W. Notermann was killed in action Friday morning, June 19, 1970, in Cambodia, Binh Duong province. On the fateful day, Mike, a platoon leader, was taking his turn near the front of the line and experienced a traumatic event through hostile action which resulted in his instant loss of life. Mike was survived by his parents, John and Ethel Notermann, and twelve brothers and sisters (Tom, Janet, Karen, Dianne, Kathy, Susie, Stan, Mary, Paul, Ann, Bill and Donna) as well as his sisters and brothers in law and several nieces and nephews. 

Losing Mike left a huge hole in the hearts of his family, a loss that is still felt today, some 51 years later. Mike's death was not only a family's loss however, it was a loss felt throughout Victoria and the surrounding community at the time. Nearly everyone knew Mike because of the years working for his dad at Notermann's Grocery Store from the early age of about twelve to eighteen when he signed up for tech school. Sgt. Michael W. Notermann was the only Victoria son or daughter killed in action during the Vietnam War.

Michael is honored on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington DC. His name is inscribed on Panel 09w, Line 69. His commendations include:

  • Purple Heart
  • Combat Infantryman Badge
  • Marksmanship Badge
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • Army Presidential Unit Citation
  • Vietnam Gallantry Cross
  • Army Good Conduct Medal
Community Builder Awardee 2022: Mike Poppitz and the Victoria Vic's Baseball Club

Mike Poppitz was a member of the Victoria Lions for over 25 years. He also created and ran several youth-baseball and girls softball training camps.

Mike was best known as the pillar of the Victoria Vic's town baseball team.

For 36 years he played, scouted, coached and managed the Vic’s. He was the steadfast and all-encompassing grounds crew of his namesake, Poppitz Field, dedicated in 2009 located at Lions Park in Victoria.

His knowledge and passion for anything baseball was undeniable. Mike spent countless hours and tens of thousands of his own money keeping Poppitz Field in stellar condition. Not only did he maintain the field for the Victoria Vic's seasons but also for the Holy Family baseball team.

Mike, through donation and his own money, built the original fence and dugouts at Poppitz Field in 1990 as well as the dugouts at Diethelm field in 1999. He later updated it to a wood fence at Poppitz Field in 2010.

He further contributed funds, along with the city of Victoria, to install the fields irrigation system.

His sons, Clark Poppitz and Troy Poppitz, stepped into their father's shoes to keep the Victoria Vic's baseball team and Poppitz Field going after Mike’s untimely death in 2017.

The Poppitz brothers created the Victoria Vic's Baseball Club in 2018, a non-profit organization designed to raise funds for the on-going expenses needed to keep the team, field, and Mike’s legacy and passion for baseball alive.

They further created, and currently reside as the President and Vice President of, the Victoria Vic’s seven-member Board of Directors.

Clark Poppitz assumed the management and Head Coach role for the Victoria Vic's successfully leading the team to the State Tournament the past 4 years.

Troy Poppitz utilizes his extensive expertise in excavation to maintain the field.

The brothers personally funded and built the 600sq ft. equipment shed at the park that houses the many pieces of equipment purchased by Troy to maintain the field. The Victoria Vic’s Baseball Club has further collaborated with the Excelsior Youth baseball program as one of their annual host sites for the 3-day Gopher Classic Legion Baseball tournament of which they both volunteer their time to run.

It is clear that the contributions Mike gave to the community of Victoria go beyond one-off activities and interactions. His dedication to creating a safe and friendly community for those who love to play, to watch, to coach, and to enjoy America’s greatest pastime were his life’s work.

Baseball coaches teach us more than just the fundamentals of baseball, like how to hit a ball or run the bases. At the heart of baseball is the dedication to sportsmanship, teamwork, camaraderie, and the importance of working towards the same goals. These values are also at the core of community building.

Ultimately, the dedication of Mr. Poppitz through his volunteered time and efforts to benefit others in our community, his demonstrated service to the citizens of Victoria, his work to foster a sense of community in Victoria, as well as his significant impact on baseball in Victoria have made him a well-deserving recipient of the second Community Builder Award.

This dedication extended to his children, Clark Poppitz, Troy Poppitz and Shelly Battcher, who have honored their father’s memory by continuing his efforts to keep baseball alive in Victoria and the Vic’s team.

Community Builder Awardee 2023: Victoria Garden Club

The Victoria Garden Club was formed in 2019 by three residents that had met as members of the Victoria Park & Recreation Committee. The idea was to be a club working towards beautifying public spaces in the city of Victoria.

We also saw the club as a way to develop new friendships with other residents that had a shared love of gardening.

After discovering that there wasn’t much available public land to create a garden downtown or at other highly visible spaces, we decided to focus our gardening effort on container gardens downtown, such as at the Thun bandshell, the “V” sculpture on Stieger Lake Lane, and the concrete planter in front of the Noble Lion.

All of these are highly visible spaces during the summer months and into fall and add a bit of color and civic pride to downtown.

While weeding or watering the containers on hot summer days, we often get compliments and words of gratitude from people passing by. The club has also worked to weed Kirke Lachen Park in 2019, as well as the gardens in front of the Victoria Recreation Center.

There is something about flowers that brings a sense of vitality and energy to a space. The Garden Club’s efforts bring that little something extra to Victoria’s public spaces downtown, which is highly visible in the summer, particularly during the Classic Cars nights.

Their efforts to clean up gardens at parks such as Kirke Lachen and the Recreation Center help keep the “City of Lakes and Parks” looking nice and cared for. Lastly, the new friendships grown and time spent volunteering have given members an opportunity to feel connected to their neighbors and community.

Explore the City of Lakes and Parks

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