Making a Difference Home Page






Every day, in communities across the Northland, individuals and organizations are creating a positive impact on those around them. They are taking the lead in fostering a better society, facilitating genuine community engagement, and putting the needs of others before their own.

Quite simply, they are “Making a Difference” as their actions and stories impact all of us.

KBJR and KDLH are proud to recognize these individuals and organizations with our “Making a Difference” segment, which airs during our 10 PM newscast on Thursday evenings.

Each week, Michelle Lee will profile an organization or individual making a recognizable, positive difference in their community.

Our goal is to share the stories of individuals and organizations making a positive difference regardless of its size or reach. The positive impact could be as far-reaching as working to create change through partnerships with local governments, or as simple as helping improve the quality of life for families and individuals in the local community.


Most importantly, we want to tell the stories that you, our viewers, and our local communities feel have an impact. We want to share the stories of your family, friends, and neighbors who are making a difference to those around them. If you know somebody you feel is “Making a Difference”, please submit a nomination by clicking below. We’d love to hear their story and perhaps feature them on one of our weekly segments.





Do you know a person or organization "Making a Difference"? 
Submit a nomination on their behalf.




Want to see who's been "Making a Difference" in their community? Look below for some our recent "Making A Difference" profiles. New profiles are added weekly, so be sure to check back often.


  • Making a Difference: Lori Ismil

    (NNCNOW.com) --- Lori Ismil, a math teacher in Virginia makes it her personal duty to educate students on the dangers of tobacco in hopes of helping them kick the habit.

  • Making a Difference: Brian Saaristo

    Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- United States Army Sergeant Retired Brian Saaristo of Barnum, Minnesota has been named one of ten Northland recipients of the 2013 American Red Cross Heroes Awards.

  • Making a Difference: The Lake Superior Medical Society

    Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Since its creation in 1886 community issues have ranged from public sewer systems to communicable disease prevention.

  • Making a Difference: Michael Lalich

    Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Over the past 30 years UMD's Natural Resources Research Institute has had its hand in job creation across the state of Minnesota. The man who has guided that success will retire in June.

  • Making a Difference: Frank and Leslie Bucar

    Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - It was just a regular Monday night as Frank Bucar shot some hoops with the guys. Then without warning Frank fell down hitting the hardwood floor.

  • Making a Difference: The Generosity of Northlanders

    Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Here in the land of ten thousand lakes it's hard to imagine a place where people sing for joy just because they have clean water.

  • Dr. Arne Vainio: “Walking into the Unknown”

    Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Storytelling has been an important part of the Ojibwe culture for centuries.Dr. Arne Vainio believes our stories help shape our lives and our response to the world around us.

  • Making a Difference: Bill Bauman

    Virginia, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Bill Bauman meets families at some of the lowest points in their life. As the owner of Bauman-Cron Funeral Home in Virginia, he knows pain and loss all too well.

  • Making a Difference: Steve O'Neil

    Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Community activist and St. Louis County Commissioner Steve O'Neil has spent a lifetime working to combat poverty and homelessness.

  • Making a Difference: Durbin Keeney

    Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Vietnam War veteran Durbin Keeney is well known in the community for his dedication to his fellow vets.