At just 19 years old, Cole Mace’s volunteerism within the Estherville community hasn’t gone unnoticed. Whether he is assisting with 4-H workshops, setting up flags for Memorial Day or making a visit to the local nursing home, Cole is constantly putting the needs of others before his own. One of his many honors includes the Presidential Award, which recognizes students for 100 volunteer hours in one school year. He was also named “Iron Man” by his high school wrestling team for both his hard work and “team player” mentality. But above all, Cole’s genuine spirit has turned the heads of many. Today, Cole attends Iowa Lakes Community College and is in the Wind Energy Turbine Technology program. He has recently become a member of the Estherville Elks Club. While working part-time in the summer months, he still makes time to assist the fair board with any improvements needed at the fairgrounds. It is for these reasons and more that Cole Mace is a truly deserving Iowan of the Day.
Go-getter, giver, energetic and servant are some of the most notable qualities that Steve’s family, friends and co-workers would use to identify him. Steve has been involved in Relay for Life, blood drives, 4-H, the Panama Fire Department and the Panama Athletic Association. Along with that, he volunteers his time to the Booster Club, church councils and has served as a religious education teacher. It is well known that Steve doesn’t volunteer to participate; he volunteers to make a difference. According to Harlan Community Activities Director Mitch Osborn, his leadership is the “crown jewel” of Panama, Iowa. As renovations of a brand new parish hall began two years ago, Steve was the first to step in. Among all of Leinen’s volunteer contributions, he was named Citizen of the Year along with his wife DeeDee in 2007. Together they have taken part in countless fundraising activities for the Fire Department, helped the Cattlemen’s Association grow to over 200 members and have kept the Panama Athletic Association alive for the past 15 years.
Sharon Juon has captured what it means to be loyal to the Waterloo community. She is involved in Cedar Valley United Way, Black Hawk County Gaming Association, Westminster Presbyterian Church and Opportunity Works Synthesis Circle. But her impressive resume is only a slight taste of how she has impacted those around her. “She is that community leader that every community wishes they had, but few are lucky to get,” said Geoffrey Grimes in his letter of recommendation for Sharon. Sharon embodies extraordinary courage not just in volunteering within Waterloo, but through her civic involvements at the city, state, regional and national levels. Perhaps battling and surviving cancer has given her this edge to make a difference everywhere. Much of Sharon’s work as Executive Director of Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments, and elsewhere, has promoted the welfare of small urban counties in the area. At the beginning of July, she retired from the position but remains involved in various other organizations.
Dean Kluss is a jack of all trades. With a combination of his Iowa roots and leadership skills acquired from his time in the U.S. Navy, he remains a significant asset in the Clarion community. You can find him volunteering at the Church of Christ, Holmes Christmas Club, organizing Memorial Day services or serving as President of the board for the Wright County Fair. Dean is also the Youth Ministry Team Leader and Treasurer of Clarion Church of Christ. Regardless of his busy schedule, he is always the first to lend a helping hand. “Dean has shown himself to be a man filled with compassion, humility and generosity,” said Warren Curry, Minister of the Church of Christ. “He has graciously given of his own time and money to assist both the group of young people and individual youth who may not have the financial resources at home.” According to Karen Weld, Dean’s nominator, “one of his best roles” is a role model to students. It is his constant enthusiasm that he takes with him to motivate and help the youth of Clarion. Dean will go out of his way to share his rags to riches schooling experience in hopes that others can relate and have hope.
Keith Sash is dedicated to the betterment of his community. As the mayor of Gladbrook, he goes far beyond the typical job requirements. Not only is Keith a past Tama county Supervisor, but he has also served on the local school board, the Mid Iowa Co-op Board and the Tama County 4-H Board. Today, Keith remains involved in various other organizations. He is currently on the Tama County Economic Development Board, the Tama County Pork Producer Board and serves as Parade Chairman of the Gladbrook Corn Carnival Corporation Board. Sash is also a member of the Tama County Beef Producers, the Farm Bureau and the Gladbrook Commercial club. For all that Keith has been involved in; one of his biggest honors is being named a JCI Senator. This is an independent organization that mentors Jaycees and aids in college scholarships to graduating seniors. Being named a Senator is the highest international honor that can be given to a Jaycee. In fact, only 1 out of 1,000 receives the honor.
Shirley Stout Frederiksen
Under the leadership of Shirley Stout Frederiksen for Golden Hills RC&D, western Iowa has reaped the benefits. Her areas of expertise have been in the conservation of natural resources, historic preservation, economic development and community attractions and tourism. Regardless of the project, she is constantly promoting whatever it is that needs to be done. “Shirley has been very instrumental in advocacy efforts locally, and on the state and national level,” said Kathy Dirks of Harrison County Historical Village and Iowa Welcome Center. “She has served on numerous boards taking on the leadership role, and is always one of the first to volunteer for tasks and committees.” Her passion in advocating these efforts have earned staggering results. For nearly 20 years, she worked diligently on establishing the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway. Shirley was successfully able to combat her biggest challenge of the project: documenting Native American cultures dating back to 1000 A.D. This is now the largest tourist attraction in Western Iowa to date, stretching 200 miles across 7 Iowa counties.
From school and church functions, to fundraisers and putting her artistic abilities to use, Beth Titman will indeed do whatever it takes. She has led the Relay for Life program by finding sponsors, donations and people to make desserts. She has also volunteered for Project Mississippi- collecting and delivering books to the children of Lexington, Mississippi, one of the poorest counties in the United States. But her acts of service to the community do not end there. Titman has volunteered at McTeacher’s Night, a fundraiser for textbooks at McDonalds. She has also helped “beautify” Boone by volunteering her time and talents to paint the city snow plows before the arrival of every winter. These murals are done merely to spice up the long winter months- and for Boone residents to enjoy. As a member of the American Cancer Society, she finds even more ways to make a difference. “Beth is one of the many unsung heroes of cancer survivorship who tirelessly support those facing the disease,” said Joanne Hansson, a friend of Titman. Beth provides countless hours of volunteerism for events, generous donations and kind words of understanding for friends and loved ones with the disease.”
Paul Venner strives to make a difference. He spends his time volunteering at Regency Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Carroll and New Hope Village, being a member of the American Legion Post and mastering his own garden to donate his home grown produce to those in need. Paul is also an active member of St Anthony Hospice. New Hope, a non-profit organization that provides residential and vocational services to the needy, has especially valued Paul’s contributions. Twice a month, he assists with the loading and hauling of recyclables and helps maintain the upkeep of the organization’s grounds. Jodie Jansen, Director of Development for New Hope, says he does it all with “dedication and a smile.” Paul is also never afraid to stop by the home of a shut-in just to turn around their day. He and his wife Rita Ann often coordinate birthday celebrations for Breda natives who may not have family around to do so. It is because of genuine acts like these that he has been chosen as an Iowan of the Day.
Seven days a week, you can find Ellen Lemke volunteering for the Bedford community. She sings in the choir, is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and volunteers as a guide at the Taylor County Historical Museum. Lemke was featured in an Our Iowa magazine article where she shared her secret recipe to life and volunteering. “I try to stay busy,” she said. “I found out a long time ago that you can’t just sit around and twiddle your thumbs and expect to enjoy life- I don’t care how old you are, you can make life interesting if you try.” And that she does. Ellen has written humorous monologues and skits to perform at local nursing homes, churches and community groups. She is most famous for the one she calls “Putting on Panty Hose.” She not only has a knack for making people laugh, but expressing herself through poems and her weekly column for the Bedford Times-Press. Lemke has 7 published books of poetry. But Ellen is known for more than her skits, poetry and familiar face around the community. She was born in Newton in 1915 and has lived in Iowa ever since- with no intent of leaving. Her loyalty to the state of Iowa alone makes her a worthy candidate of this award.
John “Jack” Finneseth’s unselfish support throughout Perry and Jefferson counties has been invaluable to the community. His children have been out of high school for nearly 25 years, yet he continues to announce at swim meets, time runners at track meets and organize all the Jefferson high school wrestling meets. Jack also volunteers his time to the Jefferson Public Library, Iowa Games Youth Swimming, the Iowa State Fair and Special Olympics. Jack does plenty of behind-the-scenes work, too. He has Co-chaired the Jefferson All School Reunion multiple times, taking the time to coordinate and contact all the graduates. He volunteers to put up Christmas lights at the library every winter. And he has made various improvements to Slininger Woods- 37 acres of outdoor fun donated by his family- over the years. His ability to make a difference has landed him several well-deserving awards. He is a two-time winner of the “Family of the Year” award and has been presented with both an Outstanding President Award and Super Booster Award.