LAUREL - Laurel Mayor Dave Waggoner was recently recognized by the town of Fromberg for his efforts during the historic floods in June.
Fromberg Mayor Tim Nottingham surprised Waggoner at a Laurel City Council meeting and gave a speech thanking him for his help. He then presented Waggoner with a plaque commemorating his efforts during the summer.
Waggoner said it was an honor to be recognized, but the award belongs to the entire community of Laurel.
“I felt really humbled that he felt that he needed to present us with the plaques and the award," Waggoner said Monday afternoon. "Mainly, I was just really happy that we were able to jump in and help and be a good neighbor."
According to Nottingham, Waggoner called immediately after the flooding began. Waggoner asked Nottingham what he could do to help, but the difference was that the Laurel mayor actually followed through.
“He asked what we needed, and I told him we needed dumpsters," Nottingham said. "He told me, 'Done. We’ll get them there.' The next day we had dumpsters. Not only did he ask, but he delivered. A lot of people called during that time, but he actually came through.”
The simple act of providing dumpsters to a community filled with debris made a massive impact and helped speed up the cleanup.
“He went above and beyond what normal people would do to help," Nottingham said. "When Laurel brought that in, it made a difference. We started to gain on our pile of debris."
While Nottingham could have sent the award to Waggoner in the mail, he instead chose to do it in person.
“I want to hand this to you personally," Nottingham said. "I want to shake your hand, I want to look in your eyes, and tell you that we appreciate you."
And the moment of shaking his hand and handing him the award was emotional for Nottingham as well.
“We’ve went through some very traumatic times, and we’re still going through traumatic times," Nottingham said. "It was emotional for me to hand this to him and tell him thank you because it means a lot to me."
Even though the plaque has Waggoner's name on it, both men know it represents two Montana communities coming together in support of one another.
“It’s a good thing for our young kids to see that that’s what you do when somebody needs help," Waggoner said. "You put down what you’re doing, and you go and help them out."