Ron Hunerdosse, Fairfield
Ron organizes Christmas baskets for the citizens of Fairfield, spending countless hours in the warehouse putting together food boxes and organizing volunteers to deliver the baskets. Ron has been recognized within the Fairfield community as Fairfield’s Citizen of the Year, as one of Fairfield’s Friends of Education and Fairfield’s Teacher of the Year. Above all, Ron has been a courageous coach- always encouraging and inspiring his athletes. One former athlete wrote to Coach ‘Dosse,’ “I can’t describe how thankful I am that I had the pleasure of having you as a coach. You impacted my self-confidence majorly.”
Deb Kosters, Sibley
Deb organizes semi-monthly meetings for young moms, opening her home before Christmas, serving tea and decorating cookies. This is a support system and a safe place for moms to come together in the community with any concerns that they may have. Deb also delivers homemade meals for families and shut-ins whenever the need arises. She is committed to the high school band, vocal music and speech- always stepping in to ensure that students have the opportunity to do their best. Deb has also been an active 4-H leader and State Project Superintendent.
Gayle Bortz, Chariton
Gayle continually gives a voice to those who are less fortunate. She is an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities through Mosaic, a lay spiritual director at First Lutheran Church and a member of Lutheran Lakeside Camp. As a speech pathologist, Gayle has taken her speech and language talents further and helps the sick and elderly communicate with their loved ones. On any given day you can find Gayle somewhere in the Chariton community giving of her time in a variety of ways through her involvement as a Lucas County Health Center Ambassador or in the Chariton Chamber of Commerce, Homestead Assisted Living, Kiwanis, the Lucas County Arts Council and the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign.
Howard Hammond, Slater
Howard served this great country through the Army ROTC and in the Korean War. Howard has also served his community as a city council man and mayor. While serving on the Ballard Community School Board, he was dependable and had great vision on building projects. A community minded individual, Howard organized an alliance of individuals for a South Story co-hort group. Howard was instrumental to the development of the Slater Pool and helped establish the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail. Unexpectedly, Howard passed away after being notified of this honor. Accepting the award on his behalf is Mark and Ellen Hammond.
Gary Fulton, Marshalltown
Gary has dedicated countless hours to the betterment of his community. Serving for more than 20 years on the Marshalltown Trees Forever/Branching Out Committee, Gary plants trees every spring and fall. He also coordinates a children’s garden every year at Pilgrim Heights, helping kids plant, care for, and harvest vegetables to be used for meals during the camps that are held there. Gary also volunteers at the Iowa State Fair! He has helped to set up, judge and take down the horticulture building. Gary has been volunteering with the Iowa Veteran’s Home since 2011. He accompanies residents to all sorts of activities, including meals on and off-site, music programs, the barnyard and the tractor show.
Keith Carlson, Stratford
Moving to Stratford in 1976, Keith has gone above and beyond to make his small community a better place. A long-time agriculture advocate, Keith provides information on animal care, soil conservation, and food safety to the agri-food system, including McDonald’s and Costco. He has served on the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board for 6 years, Stratford Lions Club, Main Street and the Hamilton County SEED Revolving Loan Fund. In the 1990’s, Keith spear-headed the effort to build a 20-unit apartment building for senior citizens in Stratford. More than $1.3 million was raised to construct Athens Woods Estate, now a nursing home.
Ralph Hodson, Ackworth
Raising his family on a farm in Ackworth, Ralph instilled the values of responsibility, time management, and the rewards of hard work into each of his sons. He continues to lead by example, always willing to be a mentor to young people as they strive to succeed. Ralph was the Be-Square 4-H leader for 17 years. He served two terms on the Warren County Extension Council and Warren County 4-H Committee. For nearly a decade he has been a livestock buyer for DeeZee Manufacturing. He is a trustee of the Warren County Cemetery Association.
Sid Morris, Cedar Falls
As a Korean Veteran, Sid was a driving force for the creation and development of the Cedar Falls Veterans Park, including four phases of fundraising. He hosted the “Veterans of Cedar Valley” cable show, where he interviewed a wide variety of veterans who shared their service stories with the public. Sid is constantly keeping veteran groups involved in the community. With 40 years of service in the Cedar Falls school district, serving on the City Council, Board of Education, Veterans Affairs Board, Board of Adjustment and as a Cedar Falls Utilities Trustee - Sid continually goes above and beyond. Currently, he is assisting with a campaign for a new high school in Cedar Falls. A commitment to volunteering- Sid has been involved with the American Red Cross, the Cedar Falls Historical Society, Goodwill Industries and more.
Brenda Lee Larkey, Low Moor
From being a volunteer softball coach to organizing a benefit auction, Brenda has done it all! Brenda Lee was instrumental in starting “Presidents Row,” where trees are planted in Platt Park to honor the past presidents. Brenda has served on the Camanche Days board for the past 34 years and was a 4 time president. She started the diaper derby, founded and advised the Camanche Days Teen Board, started Camanche Days King and Queen, and revamped the sponsorship festival fundraiser. Brenda Lee has also served for 10 years on the Low Moor City Council and was a representative for Clinton County on the Crime stoppers committee.