For decades, the Falls City Area Jaycees have recognized inspiring and hard working community members during the annual Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony, recognizing individual and organizational leaders who make Falls City a better place to live.
The Jaycees donate most of their fundraising proceeds back to the community and this year gave back $4,400, which was raised through various events, such as the Demolition Derby and the Tractor Pull.
“We are surrounded by people that make a difference in the lives of others every day and our community is so much better for it,” President David Goff said.
Goff then thanked a list of folks who “go above and beyond to help us with our events,” naming Mark and Becky Brewer, Brewer Farms, Donnie and Coleen Stevens, Triple S Construction, Mike and Pat Weaver, Cory Snethen, Snethen Farms, Jim and Shirley Jones, Bart and Gayle Keller, Brett Keller, Farm and City Supply, Luke and Celeste Jones, Kevin and Kay Taft, the Richardson County Sheriff’s Dept., Mark Harkendorff and Falls City Sanitation.
Earlier in the evening, six individuals were recognized for their outstanding service to this community.
“As this community is filled with many deserving individuals, these six have stood out in their volunteerism and contributions in 2015: Barb Froeschl, Good Neighbor; Kathy Martin, Outstanding Educator; Sean Nolte, Robert J. Chab Community Service; Dennis Hullman, Boss of the Year; Steve Severin, Outstanding Community Leader; and, Stacey Bailey, Distinguished Service Award. In addition, the Hugh O’Brian Youth Awards to Madison Huppert and Katie Stoller.
Jessica Fischer presented this year’s HOBY awards. The Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program has a mission to inspire and develop our global community of youth and voluteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. The core values of the program are much like those of the Jaycees: Volunteerism is the heart and soul of the program; Integrity forms the foundation of the organization; Excellence, striving to continually rise to new levels; Diversity, seeking out views that reflect all walks of life; and Community Partnership, recognizing the importance of working with community organizations to strengthen supportive networks. Sacred Heart recipient, Madison Huppert, daughter of Ruthann and Steve Huppert, is “a person who exemplifies a positive attitude and encourages others to do their best. She is dependable, trustworthy, resourceful and hardworking.” said Fischer.
Falls City School recipient, Katie Stoller, daughter of Mike and Joleen Stoller was described as “very busy and involved. she knows the importance of team work and has been on the orange and black honor roll and student council.”
“As a Special Education teacher, my heart fluttered a little when I read that she volunteered at the Special Olympics. What a wonderful heart you must have,” said Fischer.
2014 Good Neighbor Award winner Bernice Kopetzky, presented Barbara Froeschl with this year’s Good Neighbor Award. Kopetzky, stated in a submitted letter of nomination, “This person has experienced heartache and sad events in life and has used that to empathize with others in their time of grief.”
“She has offered food, comfort, and companionship and for many others she befriended, they have become life-long friends,” Kopetzky read. “Not just in times of sikness, but for happy occasions she plans food, gifts and parties for all ages.”
Chip Ebel presented Nolte with the Chab Community Service Award. Nolte, according Ebel, “has dedicated the last 38 years of his life to protecting and serving this community,” while “sacrificing time with his family.” Ebel added “this person has worked with many amazing and dedicated officers, including the late Robert J. Chab who he would be proud to call his partner in law enforcement.”
The Outstanding Educator of 2014, Lori Rech, presented Kathy Martin with this year’s award. Martin was out of town for the event, so her Sixpence colleges, Amber Lotter, Susan Johnson and Susan Witt accepted the award on her behalf.
“Kathy started teaching kindergarten in 1978. She did this until she wrote the preschool grant and become the teacher/director at Parent Child Center” said Rech. adding “She wrote two expansion grants for Sixpence to build the Sixpence infant/toddler playground and to higher another Family educator for the program. Kathy just completed writing a Childcare Partnership Grant to providing a training coach, materials and education to licensed childcare providers.”
Rachel Witt presented Dennis Hullman, of Hullman’s Ford, with the Boss of the Year Award. Witt said Hullman is known for his charm, class, leadership, and his kindness to him employees and customers. “He works six days a week, always with a smile. He is without a doubt, as professional and courteous as one comes.” “In his nomination letter, Tim Campbell sums it up just perfect – “Dennis realizes we are people with emotions and he relates to us first as people and second as employees.,” Witt read.
The Outstanding Community Leader, Steve Severin, was described as someone who works hard to make our community a better place, someone who cares about Falls City and goes above and beyond to help Falls City grow and prosper. Jessica Fischer, who presented for the late Rod Vandeberg said “This individual is currently serving on the Main Street, Chamber and hospital boards. He is a member of the Knights of columbus and Elks Lodge #963. If there is a club or organization, he is probably involved!”
2014 DSA winner, Shawn Fouraker, presented Stacey Bailey with this year’s Distinguished Service Award.
Bailey, according to Fouraker “went the extra mile on everything she does.”
“While I was president of the Jaycees we got ground donated to us from Cory Snethen to build our new facility. I relied on my treasurer a lot. I would call Stacy at 8:00 in the morning to get some checks written and her response would be, I’ll be there shortly. She would load her two kids up and bring me a check to down,” said Fouraker.
At the conclusion of the banquet, the 2016 Jaycees officers were sworn into office. They are: David Goff, President; Jessica Fischer, Membership and Growth VP; Tim Bailey, Management and Development; Rachel Jackson, Community Development VP; Nicole Mason, Secretary and Stacey Bailey, Treasurer.