The Daily Nonpareil
Saturday, May 24, 2014 1C
Staff photo/Joe Shearer
For many years, Junior Green has been a staple on North Broadway. As a volunteer crossing guard for Hoover Elementary School, he helps both students and parents safely cross the busy road to and from school.
CORNERMAN Volunteer school crossing guard does much more than protect children
Everyone loves Junior Green. The 81-year-old helps children cross North Broadway to get to class at Hoover Elementary School every weekday morning and helps them return to their neighborhoods every afternoon. As the school’s crossing guard for the past 14 years, Junior – everyone calls him by his first name – helps students cross the street. He also interacts with them, asking them
what they’re carrying or where they were the previous day. When he’s not striking up a conversation, he’s waving to passers-by. Most of them wave back, too. The parents dropping their children off for school. The driver of a Roto-Rooter van. Teachers who are walking into the building from the staff parking lot. GREEN/See Page 10C
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2C Saturday, May 24, 2014
Faces of Service
The Daily Nonpareil
‘I never done volunteer work with animals before, so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I’ve been doing it ever since.’ – Sheila McKern, Volunteer Coordinator, Pott. County Animal Shelter
PAWS AND EFFECT TIM ROHWER
To be a volunteer means to devote oneself to help others. To put aside personal time for others. Sheila McKern is one such person, one of the best, others say. McKern has been organizing and coordinating volunteers at the Pottawattamie County Animal Shelter for years. Some years back, friends asked her to get involved with the shelter, McKern recalled. “I never done volunteer work with animals before, so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into,” she said. “I’ve been doing it ever since.” As a coordinator, it’s her job to seek out people interested in devoting time for the care of animals. Recently, she participated in a pet microchipping and adoption event on a Saturday. She came with information about the shelter and all the possibilities. “I’m always getting the word out.” McKern oversees 32 volunteers who perform functions like walking the dogs, participating in microchipping events, taking dogs to vets, creating promotional fliers and the like. “Some even clean and do the dishes. They do whatever is asked.” To have various duties is important because not everyone may be comfortable dealing with animals in some manner. For example, while there are those basic duties like walking the animals
around the shelter, cleaning the kennels or attending public functions, volunteers can also take part in fund raisers like bake sales or teach children about responsible pet ownership, McKern said. “Our shelter has so many opportunities. We try to increase our volunteer base.” McKern had nothing but praise for the volunteers she has now. “They are a great team. They will stop at nothing to make sure animals have a good home.” Even more impressive, many have full time jobs. “Yet, they will put in hundreds of hours a year.” So does McKern. “She puts in more hours than maybe she should,” said Pottawattamie County Supervisor Loren Knauss. “I don’t think we could tally all her hours at this point. She’s a great volunteer coordinator.” A case in point, he said at the Saturday microchipping event, the public hours were from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. But, McKern and the other volunteers spent at least two extra hours preparing and removing their area beyond the public time, he said. Knauss also praised all those involved. “Volunteers are the reason why we have so few (unwanted) dogs.” The volunteers at the shelter are also part of the Southwest Iowa Animal Coalition, a newly-formed group
sharing resources for the betterment of pets, Knauss said. “It’s to develop more of a regional approach to solve issues about pets,” he said. Besides spending hours and hours being a shelter volunteer, McKern, who lives in Carson, works full time as a juvenile probation officer. “It’s about working with at-risk juveniles who have come in contact with law enforcement.” Currently, she works for Montgomery and Fremont counties. McKern helps kids up to age 17 in turning their lives around for the better. “We try to offer them every service possible to prevent them from entering the system again. We want them to succeed, though they have to want to be successful themselves.” At first, McKern wanted to be a lawyer, but decided that wasn’t her calling and changed majors. She received a degree in criminal justice from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a master’s degree in Human Services from Bellevue (Neb.) University. “I started working at the Southwest Iowa Juvenile Detention Center in Council Bluffs. I know that was the kind of work I wanted to do. It felt right. I love it.” Since July of 2010, she has worked for Montgomery and Fremont counties. “I think success is really on the youth and the family. We give them the tools they need. It’s up to them to use them.”
McKern organizes, coordinates volunteers for Pottawattamie County Animal Shelter
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Sheila McKern, top right, speaks with pet owners about the Pottawattamie County Animal Shelter during a Southwest Iowa Animal Coalition on May 10.
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Faces of Service
The Daily Nonpareil
Saturday, May 24, 2014
TO COMFORT AND CARE Couple assists terminally ill patients Kirby Kaufman email@example.com
Terry Lindsley and his wife, Barbara, work together for the No One Dies Alone program at Alegent Creighton Health Mercy Hospital, which provides spiritual and emotional support for terminally ill patients. Mercy Hospital is the second in the Alegent Creighton Healty family to utilize the program. Immanuel Hospital in Omaha pioneered the program, and Mercy Hospital received it in 2009. “This is for patients that are really alone,” Terry said. “They don’t have family or friends in the area.” Terry and Barbara alongside fellow leader, Theresa Jacoby, help patients regardless of their faith. They provide the patients company. The group gets two to four program referals each year. Terry and Barbara have spent many years assisting others through volunteer organizations such as the American Red Cross and other county groups. The Council Bluffs couple became diaster instructors through the Red Cross. The program was started in Oregon by registered nurse Sandra Clarke. NODA is for patients who are expected to die within 48 to 72 hours. Volunteers are trained by Alegent Health Hospice. Sometimes they will read to or pray with patients. The program has nine people that volunteer mostly during the day for two to four hour day shifts. “We’re both really passionate about this program,” Barbara said.
Staff photo/John Schreier
Barb (left) and Terry Lindsley provide spiritual and emotional support for terminally ill patients through Alegent Creighton Health Mercy Hospital’s No One Dies Alone program. The couple said often medical staff will inform them about the general health of the patient they are visiting. Mercy Hospital’s medical staff has provided great assistance in helping them implement the program, Barbara said. “I’ve had one critical care nurse say she was particularly concerned that the person was just lying there all by themselves because no one was around,” Terry said. “They
appreciated someone was there.” The organization also provides assistance if a family member needs to leave the hospital to run important errands or attend to other business. Volunteers will keep the paient company until the family member returns. Sometimes a family member will run into group members, and they try to accommodate them.
“If that happens, we’ll try to incorporate that person in the team,” Terry said. However, Barbara said, it’s relatively common for those in the Midwest to have family members who are more than willing to visit them at the hospital. “We, in the Midwest, have people. We have friends. We have relatives,” she said. Because in the long run, no one should be alone.
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Faces of Service
4C Saturday, May 24, 2014
The Daily Nonpareil
LIFE OF A ROTARIAN
Chubick puts lots of time, lots of energy into Noon Rotary Club work Staff photos/Jon Leu
Top of page, Wendy Chubick, Executive Director of the Noon Rotary Club welcomes members Stan Grote, left, Verne Welch, center, and Carl Heinrich, right, as they enter a meeting recently. Left, as part of her duties, Chubick coordinates many of the club’s activities and prepares the weekly newsletter.
Rotary is a service organization whose scope truly is international. That international focus and the opportunity to provide a service locally, nationally and internationally makes Wendy Chubick’s position as executive director of the Rotary Club of Council Bluffs, better known as the Noon Rotary Club, a near perfect fit. The path Chubick followed in getting to Council Bluffs was a long and interesting one. Born and raised in Morrill, Neb. – 16 miles from Scottsbluff and six miles from the Wyoming border, she graduated from high school in Morrill before enrolling at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where she majored in psychology and minored in sociology. While attending college from 1990 to 1994 with plans to eventually get her doctorate, Wendy met, fell in love with and eventually married UNL basketball standout Bruce Chubick. Though she sometimes thinks – “sort of” – that she might like to return to college at some point in the future, she quips that her post-high school plans for a PhD in psychology were set aside as her interest in the field waned, a not-uncommon ambivalence for many college students. At the time, she was happy to substitute a “Mrs.” degree for a PhD. Their college days behind them, Bruce’s move to a professional basketball career took the couple to Israel for a year followed by several years in Belgium, a year in Lisbon, Portugal and finally back to Belgium. In the midst of all that, there was a one-year stint while Bruce played for the Omaha Racers. Their son, Trey, now 15, was born while they were living in Portugal. The couple eventually came back to the United States where Bruce started a career as a mortgage broker that resulted in his present position with Veteran’s United in Bellevue, Neb. He has also maintained his ties to basketball, working as an assistant coach under his father at Omaha South High School. Her interest in her high school goal to work in the psychology/sociology field having waned during her college days, Wendy worked as a legal assistant for about eight years. “It was very important for me to stay home with my kids instead of putting them in daycare, so when I became pregnant with our youngest, Milla, now 6, I stopped working,” Wendy said. “Six months later I was offered the job of executive director of the Council Bluffs Noon Rotary Club, which allowed me to work from home, and I have been with Rotary ever since. It gave me the opportunity to work from home so I could be with my daughter. And being a service organization, it gave me the opportunity to use my skill set
Wendy also toys ‘There are so many with the idea of trying her hand at great people in our Rotary writing. club that do their full-time jobs “I like to write, and I and still make time to attend meetthink I could be good at ings, volunteer their time for comit,” she said. munity and international projects and “I think I would write spend time with each other and lift each children’s other up as friends. I feel very blessed books or short stoto get to spend time with and learn ries. I used to tell Trey and from these people.’ – Wendy Chubick, Executive Director, Noon Rotary Club
my master’s degree in counseling, but then I look at how much school costs. Trey will be going to college soon. Can’t have two kids in college at the same time,” she quipped.
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to do good things.” Asked what she especially likes about the Rotary position, which includes coordinating many of the club’s activities and preparing the weekly newsletter, Wendy’s answer was quick and to the point: “The people.” “There are so many great people in our Rotary club that do their full-time jobs and still make time to attend meetings, volunteer their time for community and international projects and spend time with each
other and lift each other up as friends. I feel very blessed to get to spend time with and learn from these people. Shout out to Carol Horner, Jason James, Mick McKinley, Del Campbell, Paul Hamilton, Donna Pritchard and Tara Slevin, specifically.” Although Wendy and her husband lived in Europe while he played professional basketball, they have also traveled extensively outside the professional basketball circuit. “I love to travel,” she said.
“If I were to win the lottery, that is how I would spend my time. Something I would like to do when the kids are grown up is go on a humanitarian trip with Rotary. The district Polio Plus chair (eradicating polio worldwide is one of Rotary’s goals), Gretchen Bren, has gone on several, and I really admire that. She walks the walk. The same can be said for Dr. Phil Meyer who took part in a Rotary trip to Zambia.” “Every once in a while I toy with the idea of at least getting
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Milla stories that we’d make up together. My mom always said I was good at it, but ... she is my mom. Not biased at all!” In the meantime, her focus remains on her family, her part-time Rotary position and volunteering as needed. “Rotary is my way of making the world a better place,” she said.
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Faces of Service
The Daily Nonpareil
Saturday, May 24, 2014
HELPING HAND Tim Johnson
With a slow economy and changing job opportunities, the demand for food assistance keeps growing. “So far this year, we’ve had, in the first quarter, 397 more people than last year,” said Josh Weesner, who is in his third year as volunteer director of the food pantry at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 313 Story St. The total for the first quarter of this year was 895, up from 498 during the first quarter of 2013, he said. The total for the year of 2013 was 2,869 people, up from 2,120 in 2012. Why the big upswing? “I think a lot of it is they just live paycheck to paycheck, and it just takes one thing to put them in a situation where they need help,” Weesner said. Traffic at the pantry varies, depending on the time of the month, he said. “Usually, the first part of the
Weesner directs church’s growing food pantry
try also took over another classroom upstairs, Weesner said. “We’ve grown a lot in the last two years,” he said. The Our Savior’s pantry is one of eight pantries in the Council Bluffs Pantry Association and checks with the network to make sure each family receives no more than one package per month from member organizations, Weesner said. “We have a little interview process where we verify their address is in the county and then we need Social Security numbers for each person needing food – that’s just to verify that there are actually that many in the household,” he said. “We try to give them enough for five to seven days.” The pantry tracks certain characteristics of its clients. For example, 58 percent are ages 18 to 65, 36 percent are children and 6 percent are 65 or older, he said. Households break down into the following sizes: • Singles – 32 percent
Staff photos/Joe Shearer
Above and at left, Josh Weesner stands inside Our Savior’s Lutheran Church food pantry on May 8. third generation of his family to belong to the church. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and attended Iowa Western Community College for about a year and is now a supervisor over tellers who take bets at Bluffs Run. He started helping at the pantry about five years ago, he said. “At the time, Lynn (Doyle) was running it, and she made an announcement one (Sunday) morning she needed more volunteers,” he said. “I’ve always liked helping people.” Weesner took over when Doyle stepped down two years later, he said. “She was starting her own quilting business, and that was taking a lot more of her time,” he said. The pantry now has about 15 volunteers, with eight or nine working on any given Thursday. Weesner and his wife, Clarissa, have a 3-year-old daughter, Elyana. The pantry takes calls regarding same-day appointments from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursdays and meets with clients from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The pantry takes calls for same-day appointments from 4 to 5 p.m. on the fourth Friday of each month and meets with clients from 5 to 7 p.m. The pet pantry is open at the same time. For an appointment, call (712) 322-6655. For information on various kinds of assistance, visit countyconnection.org.
‘I think a lot of it is they just live paycheck to paycheck, and it just takes one thing to put them in a situation where they need help.’ – Josh Weesner, Volunteer Director, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Food Pantry month, we’ll have anywhere from 12 to 20 people a day,” he said. “Then, by the end of the month, we’ll have 20 to 40. Last year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we opened early and stayed open till about 4 or 5.” About half of the visitors are first-time clients, and the other half are repeat customers, Weesner said. “We do get quite a few that come each month,” he said. “They’re usually the ones on fixed incomes that don’t get enough on food stamps and need assistance.” Meanwhile, the pantry is doing its best to keep up with demand. Last year, it went through 90,000 pounds of food, compared with 50,000 pounds in 2012, Weesner said. “Probably about 90 percent of it comes from the Food Bank (of the Heartland) in Omaha,” he said. “Usually, Loren Knauss (a friend, not a member) and I go on Friday to pick it up. Loren has a Tahoe and a trailer that we use. The stuff from the food bank, we either get it for free or for 16 cents a pound.” In addition, congregations at Our Savior’s, St. John Lutheran Church and Emanuel Lutheran Church donate food, and the pantry receives donations through food drives by the Post Office and other organizations, Weesner said. It regularly gets leftover baked goods from Super Saver and a variety of goods from Bob and Elaine Fenner that the couple picks up from stores and restaurants. The pantry was awarded a $1,300 grant from the Walmart Foundation last year, along with a $1,500 equipment grant and $1,000 credit by Food Bank of the Heartland, Weesner said. The organization purchased three new upright freezers and had a walk-in freezer installed. “We were able to get rid of six chest freezers that we donated to other pantries,” he said. The change freed up more room for storage, and the pan-
• Two members – 27 percent • Three members – 12 percent • Four members – 10 percent • Five, six or seven – 5 percent • Other – 14 percent Our Savior’s Lutheran Church also operates the city’s only pet pantry, which is directed by Rebecca Gwinner and founded by Gwinner and her grandmother, Ellen Thayer. Weesner grew up in Council Bluffs and was baptized at Our Savior’s, becoming the
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The staff of Angels Home Health Care is, sitting, from left: Danielle Newton, RN; Kristy Razer, RN intake; Tami Thomas, billing coordinator; Jessica Anderson, account executive. Standing, from left: Stephanie Bockelman, RN; Hailey Hogrefe. data entry; Michelle Copsey, RN clinical coordinator; Marian McKinley, LPN; Karen Coates, RN; Katie Kelly, RN; Sarah Campbell, LPN; Beth Blackburn, RN administrator. Not pictured: Dawn Lynch, clerical. • Hospital Transitional Care Programs (CHF, Pneumonia, Heart Attack) • Community Classroom Education
The goal of Angels Care Home Health is to make it possible for our seniors to receive quality health care at home so they can remain independent and continue to lead safe, healthy and productive lives. Our skilled nursing and therapy staff is comprised of Registered Nurses, Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurses, Physical and Occupational Therapists, Speech-language Pathologists and Psychiatric Nurses. We strive to not only deliver our core services, but to teach our caregivers and patients about their disease, which empowers them to take control of the disease, reducing the need for emergency care. Home health care is a cost-effective method of receiving health care services and patients have a choice. When given a choice, the seniors in our communities want to age in the comfort of their homes where they can enjoy the support of family and friends – and feel confident with the skilled care they receive from nurses and therapists dedicated to helping them live better and more independently. At Angels Care Home Health, we serve patients! Contact Angels Care Home Health in Council Bluffs at (712) 3523640 for more information about our services, or visit www.angelscarehealth.com/CouncilBluffs.
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Faces of Service
8C Saturday, May 24, 2014
The Daily Nonpareil
‘I definitely learned an appreciation for the opportunities we have here. We have so many opportunities here, and you have to take advantage of each one.’ – Emma Munger, Senior, St. Albert High School
FEED THE WORLD Scott Stewart
Emma Munger was like a lot of high school freshmen. She went to class. She played sports. But she wasn’t particularly involved beyond the few hours of volunteering St. Albert High School required her to do. Then she tore her ACL – that’s the anterior cruciate ligament, a major connective tissue of the knee, as the future medical student might tell you – during her sophomore year. She missed most of her athletic activities, and without sports found herself with too much free time. Munger is one of those people who doesn’t like to sit idle. So she started getting involved in other activities. Now the senior has so many activities she has to check a list on her phone to remember them all: math club, science bowl, battle of the books, National Honor Society, Pottawattamie Youth Council, youth soccer officiating. And she still has athletics – crosscountry, basketball and soccer. Soccer is her passion. She was selected for the first team for all-state recognition by the Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association last summer, although after winning 15 games straight at the beginning of the season, the Saintes fell in the first round of the Class 1-A state tournament. Off the field at St. Albert, Munger helps tutor students who read above grade level in kindergarten and first grade, listening to them talk about books they read or work on enrichment projects fostering a love of reading. She organized three blood drives for the American Red Cross as president of her National Honor Society chapter. (Usually the chapter does
two drives, but the first was so successful the Red Cross had to come back to include all the St. Albert students who wanted to participate.) She went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, visiting an orphanage and helping to dig latrines and build floors for homes while experiencing the culture and having educational opportunities – something denied to many children of the Caribbean nation. “I definitely learned an appreciation for the opportunities we have here,” she said. “We have so many opportunities here, and you have to take advantage of each one.” But the crowning achievement of her record of service as a high-schooler has to be collecting $8,500 to provide about 32,000 meals to help feed the hungry. Munger said the project took a lot more work than she realized when she first heard about the work done by Kids Against Hunger, a humanitarian food-aid organization, during ConAgra’s Million Meal March food packing event. The students received support from Kids Against Hunger, but the project was orchestrated by students at St. Albert, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln high schools, with volunteers from Lewis Central High School, Heartland Chris-
tian School and Underwood High School, among others. Munger coordinated the group along with Payton Werts, a junior at Thomas Jefferson To raise funds, all four Council Bluffs high schools held a joint citywide dance, the first time such an event was held in the city. That brought in about $1,000, she said. St. Albert collected money during Catholic Schools Week, while Abraham Lincoln sold donuts and Thomas Jefferson partnered with a restaurant. “It was a lot more than we initially realized,” Munger said. “It was a lot of responsibility.” At an event on March 8, about 100 student volunteers and 20 parents and friends helped pack food purchased with the proceeds of the fundraisers. The meals consisted of a dry mix, which includes rice, vegetables and soy and vitamin powders. The students provided about 25,000 meals to food pantries and shelters, including MOHM’s Place, Women United Ministries, First Baptist Church and the Avoca Food Pantry. The remaining 7,000 meals were sent to Sierra Leone, a coastal country in western Africa. “We put in at least 11 months of work into this project,” Munger said. “What was super really cool about this
is everything we did was all student led.” Organizing the project gave Munger a deeper appreciation for the work that goes into community events. “It’s easy to have an idea,” she said. “What’s important is the follow through of the idea.” Munger said she also learned students her age can have a significant impact in the community, a lesson also shown through National Honor Society events and the servicelearning all St. Albert students are expected to perform. “All of as are really busy, but we all took the time to do it,” she said of the Kids Against Hunger project. “ Going beyond the 18 required hours of service at St. Albert was a rewarding experience, she said, and she hopes younger students look up to her and her friends as role models and the culture of service she has helped foster continues to become a tradition at the school. “It’s become part of what you do here,” she said. “If you’re involved at St. Albert, hours come easy.” Munger plans to attend
St. Albert’s Munger helped collect more than 30K meals Creighton University in the fall to prepare for medical school. The wide array of service projects there is part of what attracted her to the university – so giving back is not something she plans to give
up. “They have so much service available to all the students,” she said. “There is not a better feeling than when you make a change in something you feel passionate about.”
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Faces of Service
The Daily Nonpareil
Saturday, May 24, 2014
THE GENERAL’S LADIES
Hein-Snider, Nelson dedicated to education of Dodge’s history, legacy Tim Johnson
“There’s always something to do” at the Historic General Dodge House, said Danette Hein-Snider, coordinator of membership and special projects. The Dodge House is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a museum, and Hein-Snider and Executive Director Kori Nelson, the attraction’s only paid employees, have been busy cooking up special events. “We try to think of ways to interest a whole range of people who might not have been involved before,” Nelson said. They have planned several new functions for this year, culminating in the re-dedication of the museum in September. The Dodge House held an anniversary contest earlier this spring to highlight anniversaries of Dodge family members. Grenville M. Dodge married Ruth Anne Browne in 1854, Nathan P. Dodge married Susanna Lockwood in 1864 and Lettie Dodge married Robert L. Montgomery in 1874. Entrants with a 40th, 50th or 60th anniversary this year were eligible for a drawing to choose a couple that would win free rental of the ballroom for an anniversary reception. The winning couple was James and Jamie Snyder of Marshalltown. More recently, the Dodge House invited students ages 5-12 to submit possible names for an elk mount donated by Jim and Sandra Gregory, owners of Arbor Bank, with modifications sponsored by Dodge House Board member Jack and Gloria Ruesch, now on display in the main hallway of the historic mansion. The winning name, “Arbor,” was submitted by Anna Newby. Another event new to the Dodge House, though not specifically tied to the anniversary, was a Titanic Dinner held on April 26. The next big event, held just once before, will be Dodge’s Bio & Byways on June 1. The event includes a self-guided tour of the Dodge House, refreshments in the ballroom and a motor coach tour of sites around the city with connections to Dodge. The Byways Tour was first done in 2012, Nelson said. “It just gives a broader perspective of him and the city,” she said. “If nothing else, it just helps to humanize Dodge. There are so many things that defined him.” Dodge convinced Andrew Carnegie, an acquaintance, to provide more funding for the old Carnegie Library than he originally pledged, HeinSnider said. Dodge gave $5,000 to the Grand Hotel without being asked. “They were going to have a reunion of the Grand Old Army, and he was walking by the Grand Hotel and noticed it was kind of run down; and he said, ‘here’s $5,000 to fix it up. We’re going to have veterans coming in here.’” An Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social is scheduled for July 5. “Ice cream socials were one of the ways the Dodge House raised money for restoration,” Hein-Snider said. The staff, along with many volunteers, have already held their annual Spring Tea and Heirloom Plant Sale. Hein-Snider and Nelson put in a lot of hours to work on research, planning and funding, Hein-Snider said. “We work early and we work late – and whenever the rentals happen, we have to have a staff person there,” she said. “We’re doing a lot of offsite programs, too.” The duo has presented programs at St. John Lutheran Church, the Council Bluffs Public Library (History at High Noon, March 8-10), local schools and service club meetings. They appear in costume at Hy-Vee Food Stores to advertise ballroom rentals and events the Dodge House partners with Hy-Vee on. And, of course, the General’s Ladies put in a lot of hours running the General’s Store, leading tours and preparing
‘Dodge had a great sense of humor, and he was loyal to a fault, almost. We’ll allude to a lot of these stories so people get a sense of the person he was.’ – Danette Hein-Snider, membership and special projects coordinator, General Dodge House Staff photo/Tim Johnson
Above, Danette Hein-Snider (left), membership and special projects coordinator; and Kori Nelson, executive director, keep busy doing research, planning and outreach at the Historic General Dodge House at 605 Third St. Staff photo/Joe Shearer
At left, background from left, Ridgeway Snider, Nelson and Hein-Snider watch a presentation about Council Bluffs life in the 1930s while wearing vintage era garb Thursday afternoon at the Council Bluffs Public Library.
for and hosting special events. They hold the spring and fall teas, organize the Dodge House Garden Walk and decorate for Christmas at the Dodge House to raise money for the museum, Nelson said. “In the last 10 years, they’ve given about $100,000,” she said. “They do a lot of in-kind donations, too,” such as volunteer work, office supplies, computers and other office equipment. Hein-Snider has been doing an extensive amount of research on Dodge to contribute to a book that is being written about the general by William Feis, a professor at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. The project was officially launched April 6 during a reception for Feis and donors at the Council Bluffs Public Library. “We’ve been fundraising so
we could get started,” she said. Readers will learn more about Dodge, the person, Nelson said. “Dodge had an ornery side, he had a heartwarming side,” she said. “Dodge had a great sense of humor, and he was loyal to a fault, almost,” Hein-Snider said. “We’ll allude to a lot of these stories so people get a sense of the person he was.” People will also learn more about the general’s close friendship with Ulysses S. Grant, a fellow Civil War general who became president, Nelson said. “What’s new is the family side of Dodge, and that’s where Danette will have a big role,” she said. The book is expected to be released in 2016. For more information on the Dodge House, see dodgehouse.org or call (712) 322-2406.
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Faces of Service
10C Saturday, May 24, 2014
The Daily Nonpareil
FACES OF THE FUTURE Molly Wirtz
Staff photo/Joe Shearer
Junior Green watches traffic as Hoover Elementary School students cross North Broadway after classes on May 13.
Green a constant outside Hoover School GREEN/From Page 1C Everyone knows Junior, and Junior at least appears to know everyone, too. “I like the job,” he said. “‘Cause I like the children and everything.” While much of his time is spent joshing around with students, parents and commuters, Junior’s job is really quite serious: He’s in charge of the safety for scores of children every day. Standing outside the school, it’s obvious that North Broadway is a busy street for children to cross unassisted, even with the aid of a crosswalk and warnings for drivers to check their speed. “Thousands of cars pass through here without slowing down,” Junior said. “That’s the bad part of it.” About four years ago, he was in the intersection when a woman came barreling down on him and clipped the top of his hand as she veered around him and as he held his stop sign. He said the school district took him to the hospital. “They put a Band-Aid on it and told me to go back to work,” he joked. Police found the driver, who
was heading toward Abraham Lincoln High School. Children were in the intersection at the time of the incident, and Junior said he believes he protected them that day. “They would have got hit,” he said. “There has never been one hit or hurt while I’ve been crossing guard.” The fear of calamity is actually how Junior ended up getting the job. He said the previous crossing guard quit because she was afraid she was going to get hit by a car. He saw an advertisement listed in the newspaper, and 14 years ago he moved on from his job as a security guard for five years to minding the crosswalk outside Hoover from 7 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 3:30 p.m. on school days. The crossing guard job is a paid gig, Junior noted before heading inside the school to pick up his paycheck. But it’s not just the money that motivates him – it’s interacting with the children. “I just have a lot of fun with them,” he said. “I get along good with the kids, and they get along good with me.” Lynette Peterson, the school’s administrative man-
ager, said Junior is appreciated by the school. “People in the community know him, respect him and like him,” she said. “When you have built relationships like that, it’s priceless, and it makes those little kiddos feel good, too.” Traffic has always been at issue, and Peterson said he comes in regularly to report concerns. He’s as reliable as clockwork, although he was out for a couple weeks following a recent surgery – but even a grandfather clock sometimes needs a repair. “It is just a real assurance having Junior out there,” Peterson said. “We are so lucky to have him.” Parents echoed the sentiment of the school’s administrators. They have also noticed how he does more than his duty by being a supportive adult to Hoover’s youth. “He makes it fun for the kids – and the adults, too,” Cameron Crinklaw said. “I think he is the best crossing guard I’ve ever seen,” Tiffany Rasmussen said. Outside of working for the Council Bluffs Community School District, Junior has a job mowing lawns. He said he
and his wife have been married for 44 years, and they have two children themselves. They live about 10 minutes southwest of Hoover just north of Interstate 80. But the crossing guard position has become a point of pride for Junior, who said many parents wouldn’t trust their children to be dropped-off across the street without him. In a sense, then, his role is also to lessen the traffic congestion that backs up along Broadway in the few minutes leading up to and following the chiming of the bell. Parent Dena Paladino drops her two daughters, age 7 and 8, along Creek Frontage Street, bypassing the traffic along North Broadway. She said Junior’s role might be taken for granted. “I don’t know what we’d do without him,” she said. “There would be a whole line across the street and down the corner if we didn’t trust him.” After reflecting on how thankless a job a crossing guard might be, she summed her feelings for Junior up in a way that best described what everyone at Hoover believes: “He’s amazing.”
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Sometimes, getting people to help others can be like pulling teeth; but for Molly Wirtz, service comes naturally. The St. Albert High School junior is involved with several volunteer and service groups in and out of school. From working with the Pottawattamie Youth Council to participating in community service projects with her fellow St. Peter’s parishoners or simply helping a classmate through a tough time, the 16-year-old is always willing to do what she can for others. “I just like the feeling of helping people,” she said. “And it doesn’t just have to be for homeless or less-fortunate people. Everyone needs help at some point.” Playing soccer, working with the school’s student council and retaining National Honor Society membership, Wirtz already has a tight schedule. But the busy days don’t keep her from trying to make the world a better place. And she thinks more people should follow suit. “Don’t be afraid to try new things,” she said. “Always look for an opportunity to become a better version of yourself.” And Wirtz said that with personal betterment comes an increase in selflessness. “There’s always something more you can do to help the community.”
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Faces of Service
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Saturday, May 24, 2014 DDate
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Faces of Service
12C Saturday, May 24, 2014 A12 DDate
The Daily Nonpareil The Daily Nonpareil
FACES OF HISTORY: HANS SCHLEGEL
Former Lewis Central exchange student soars as astronaut for NASA, ESA John Schreier
Space may be the final frontier, but even the astronauts who explore it must blaze trails somewhere else. For one European astronaut, his first adventure into the great unknown brought him to Council Bluffs as an exchange student. And his stay in the United States would, 20 years later, propel him beyond the stratosphere. The journey to two space shuttle missions, the International Space Station and several foreign countries began with one small step of a man who saw a flier. When Hans Schlegel – then a high-schooler in Cologne, Germany – first heard about a program that would send him to the U.S. as an exchange student, he was intrigued. In his words, ‘Gaining new insights into a different environment’ sounded fun, but he doubted he would be selected. After going through the application process, however, Schlegel received the good news: He would be trading Germany for Council Bluffs for the 1968-69 school year. Others, however, thought his assignment was bad news. “People told me, ‘Oh, Hans – this is going to be boring. It’s flat land and corn,’” he said. “You know what? It was the most exciting time of my life.” His first meal in the United States, however, got off to a rocky start, as his host mother recalls. Zella Duchman and her family welcomed Schlegel into their Council Bluffs home with a large dinner that included sweet corn on the cob. Little did they know the Midwestern
Left to right – seated: Terence Henricks, Steven Nagel, Charles Precourt; standing: Bernard Harris Jr., Hans Schlegel, Jerry Ross, Ulrich Walter. Schlegel, a former Lewis Central exchange student from Germany, served on the STS-55 mission on the space shuttle Columbia in 1993 and later on STS-122 on Atlantis in 2008. “That was the highlight of my space career, working internationally so people opened their hearts and minds to other cultures,” Schlegel said. After his first space flight, he said he spent nearly a year on post-flight activities and debriefing before embarking on a 2½-year assignment in Russia.
backup crew but never went into space. During that time, he recalls his partners encountered the only recorded fire in space – “an interesting experience,” in his words. The German astronaut agency merged with another organization and dissolved, and Schlegel joined the European Space Agency. A few
‘Council Bluffs, Lewis Central High School – this was the environment where I learned so much about the U.S. and fell so much in love with it.’
He trained as part of the Soyuz and Mir programs, where he was assigned to a
sion, he got the chance to do a spacewalk as part of his work with Columbus. Schlegel performed his duties outside the shuttle when he caught a glimpse of Earth. For just a few seconds, the sun shined on western Europe while a weightless Schlegel looked down upon it. In that time, he saw his hometown and
– Hans Schlegel, ESA Astronaut and Lewis Central alum years later, Schlegel once again got the chance to take part in another NASA shuttle mission.
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delicacy – corn – wasn’t eaten by humans in Germany. Only pigs ate the vegetables. When Schlegel was offered a cob, he took it to be polite – for what he thought was his last meal. “He thought corn was poison,” Duchman said, “so he thought we was going to die that night.” Schlegel survived – and went onto a strong academic career at Lewis Central High School. Bored in the more theoretical German school system, he said he thrived when he could get into the more practical American classroom, particularly in science. He also participated in any sport he could – football, wrestling, track and baseball – though the last one didn’t end so well. When a pitch struck his helmet, the coach said, “Hans, you’re done.” Looking back after graduation, he still fondly remembers his “fantastic” time in Council Bluffs. “Council Bluffs, Lewis Central High School – this was the environment where I learned so much about the U.S. and fell so much in love with it,” Schlegel said. He returned home to Germany for college, where he remained until getting involved in the country’s space program, ultimately becoming an astronaut in 1988. Early in his career as an astronaut, Schlegel was among four German astronauts who trained to take part in a multinational space shuttle mission. He said he “lucked out” in being selected as one of two payload specialists to go into space as part of STS-55 on the shuttle Columbia in 1993. The crew performed nearly 90 experiments during their 10-day mission for 11 countries.
The 2008 STS-122 mission involved the installation of the Columbus module onto the International Space Station. Schlegel said the device was the “most important contribution to the International Space Station from Europe,” as it provides much of the experimental power on the space station. Unlike his first space mis-
college. And, in the blink of an eye, it was gone. Since returning from his second and final shuttle mission, Schlegel trains European astronauts for NASA at the Johnson Space Center outside Houston, where he lives with his wife and three children. Although he’s traveled far and wide since his stay in Council Bluffs, Schlegel – a member of Lewis Central High School’s Hall of Fame – hasn’t forgotten his roots in western Iowa. Now 62 and nearing retirement, he still calls Council Bluffs to speak with his “American mother.” “He calls me all the time, and when I pick up the phone, he says, ‘Hello, Mom!’” Duchman said. “I know it’s Hans right away.” Nearly 45 years removed from his first foreign excursion, Schlegel still sees the world as a place of beauty, albeit differently, than as a high school student – from experiences as diverse as eating corn to collaborating on the International Space Station. He’s seen how quickly borders melt away while learning another culture. The same thing happens when people from different nations work together to accomplish a goal. “Many European astronauts have the same feeling: We are all citizens of the one inhabitable planet of our solar system,” Schlegel said. “When you experience weightlessness, where up is down, there is no difference between the U.S. and Asia from space. “You get the feeling our big, blue marble is our spaceship – and all 7 billion of us are astronauts.”
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