Randy Duncan, Des Moines
Randy is a Des Moines native who attended the University of Iowa on a football scholarship. Randy led the Hawkeyes to a Rose Bowl victory in 1959 against California, was placed second for the Heisman and broke a school record formerly held by Nile Kinnick. After graduating Randy was a first round NFL draft pick, later decided to call the football career quits and moved back to Des Moines to finish law school at Drake University. Described as humble, Randy raised a family and practiced as a lawyer in Des Moines with several pivotal cases in his career. In 2012, Randy was diagnosed with brain cancer with less than a year to survive. Four years later, Randy is still fighting and serving as an inspiration for others.
Aubrey LaFoy, Arnolds Park
Otherwise known as “Mr. History,” Aubrey has published more than 850 articles and six books about the history of Iowa’s Great Lakes. Aubrey is a fifth generation resident of Dickinson County who served during WWII. Aubrey taught history for 33 years and has been involved with the city council and served on the Okoboji Protective Association Board for 40 years, the Dickinson County Historical Museum and the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum. Aubrey has also been a member of the Kiwanis for 16 years, former president of the Mason City Teacher’s Association and past commodore of the Okoboji Yacht Club.
Cheryl Wessels, Anita
Cheryl has been an active member of the community serving as a past library board member, treasurer of her church and PEO member. Cheryl volunteers much of her time as the treasurer of the Cass County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, working at the hospital coffee shop and blood drives. What Cheryl is most noted for in the community making 1,500 dresses for the “Little Dresses for Africa” in the first two years of her involved with the program. Since then, Cheryl has made 3,000 dresses and recruited the help of other communities to give to this organization that brings relief to distressed children in Africa and beyond.
Steve Smith, Algona
Steve works as a meat department manager for Fareway and helped to start the Algona Police Reserve Unit. Steve also operates a small business that teaches self-defense and a concealed weapons permit class. What Steve is most noted for is his involvement with veterans. Steve is a member of the American Legion, Friends of the American Legion, Patriot Guard and the Civil Air Patrol and volunteers with “Hunting with Heroes,” a program that helps disabled veterans to hunt again. Steve organizes the “Avenue of Flags,” cookout held every year in the parking lot of Fareway on the 4th of July and volunteers with the annual ABATE rally.
Curt Schwanebeck, Knoxville
Curt is known as a Knoxville jewel and helped to reopen the local theatre. The theatre has seen 14,000 guests since its doors opened in 2015 thanks to Curt’s work. The theater is just one of Curt’s many projects. Curt also helps every year with the Knoxville Community Easter Egg Hunt hosted by the Noon Kiwanis, makes dolls for children in hospitals and organizes community fun fairs and education presentations. Curt is also involved in his church and finds time to help at the Science Center of Iowa.
Richard Vorthmann, Treynor
Described as a pillar of the community, Richard has served 35 years as a township trustee and clerk, co-chairman of the Treynor school reorganization committee and helped build the first tanker truck for the local fire department. Richard has also been extremely involved in his church and served as the president of the Town and Country Club. What Richard is most known for in the Treynor community is his long standing involvement in the Optimist Club where Richard has been instrumental in overseeing the Treynor Can Kennel, a can redemption center that has raised over $135,000 for local youth programs. Richard also served on the Pottawattamie County Fair Board when it purchased and built a new fairgrounds.
Edna Schrandt, Decorah
Edna has served more than 40 years as a 4-H leader and volunteer for Pony Express Riders of Iowa, an organization that raises money for Camp Sunnyside. Camp Sunnyside enables children and adults with disabilities the full camp experience with canoeing, an animal farm, horseback riding and more. You can still find Edna today soliciting for donations, organizing dances and selling raffle tickets for Pony Express Riders. Edna has also volunteered over 25 years with United Way and has been recognized for her contributions through several awards.
Willard Larsen, Camanche
Willard was an 8th grade history teacher for 33 years while coaching volleyball and basketball and serving as President of the Camanche Education Association. Willard is also a member of the Camanche High School Hall of Fame committee and active in his church. Outside of the classroom, Willard is a Master Gardener, serves on the Master Gardener’s advisory board, has held two terms as president, is currently co-chairman of three gardening events and chairs the Clinton County Fair Vegetable Contest. Willard has received several awards through gardening and educates area youth about horticulture through programs like Enviro Kids and Plant Partners.
Bob Clark, West Des Moines
Bob was born and raised in Des Moines and is a graduate of Drake Law School. Bob is the only athlete of Drake University to receive five football letters despite taking a hiatus to serve during WWII. In 1950, Bob became the chapter president of the Des Moines Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) and nine years later became the national president. Being a Jaycee introduced Bob to the world of volunteering and provided him with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Bob has volunteered with the American Heart Association for 48 years and served executive roles for the Principal Charity Classic, United Way and the Drake Relays. Even at 90 years old, Bob continues to volunteer and encourages those around him to do the same.
Rosemary Beach, Cedar Falls
Although many people may not know Rosemary by name, they may be familiar with the event she started in 1976. Thanks to Rosemary, Cedar Falls has boasted the Sturgis Falls Celebration for the past 41 years where thousands of Cedar Valley residents and visitors pour into Cedar Falls every spring. Rosemary is involved in much more outside of the Sturgis Falls Celebration. She serves as the retired director of the Cedar Falls Historical Society and volunteers for the Cedar Falls Community Theatre, the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau, the Cedar Falls Questers and the Cedar Falls Representative Citizen Committee. Rosemary was inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame and continues to find new ways to volunteer.