Shane Hart of Grinnell was nominated for his tireless work on the Grinnell-Newburg Dollars for Scholars board. Shane has been instrumental in fundraising, board recruitment, and leading the Annual Dogs for Dollars event. Shane cares deeply about kids and our community and he shows it through his kind leadership and forward-thinking. Generous volunteers like Shane help our communities thrive in so many ways.
Mike Mahaffey of Montezuma is known to Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation for his eight years of leadership on the GPCF board of directors but his recognition goes well beyond that. Mike was also nominated for lending his many talents to community theatre performances, his service to the Iowa Legal Aid Board, his support for public service through local and state politics, and for being a champion for many causes in Poweshiek County through advocacy and insight. He gives freely of his time to make Montezuma, Poweshiek County, and the State of Iowa better.
Paul Kolpin and Mark Kolpin, brothers from Grinnell, were nominated for their leadership on the TT. Cranny Renovation Campaign which successfully installed new field turf just in time for the 2022 football season at Grinnell High School. Mark and Paul spent many hours building the necessary relationships to raise the needed funds and they continue to envision even more improvements. Their love for their alma mater and their community shines through their many examples of service that extend well beyond this campaign and the Tiger Football Club.
Rachael Kinnick was nominated for her outstanding efforts as a community leader. Rachael leads the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce with forward-thinking, a deep care for our businesses and nonprofits, and a passion for making Grinnell a great place to live. She brings many ideas to the table and enthusiastically supports partners' initiatives. She was instrumental in leading the community through the pandemic and the derecho and in addressing child care needs by establishing LINK.
Leah Keller and Melissa Gary were recognized for their work with Chris' Heart Fund, a memorial fund established by Leah in honor of her late husband, Chris Keller, who passed away in the aftermath of the derecho. Chris' Heart fund benefits local families who are facing disaster or hardship by meeting immediate needs to lessen the burden of a crisis. Leah and Melissa actively seek out families that might benefit from a helping hand when their needs are greatest. This fund honors Chris' legacy of caring by turning tragedy into action to help others.
Ron Hensel of Montezuma was nominated for a Spirit of Giving award for his efforts to improve his community. Ron, pictured with his wife, Bea, relocated to Montezuma in 2008 and have been very involved in the community ever since. Ron initiated the effort to install a Freedom Rock in Poweshiek County and is currently leading a campaign to build a new American Legion Hall in Montezuma that will serve both the Legion and the wider community as a gathering space. As a veteran, a business owner, and a community leader, Ron truly gives from his heart in everything he does.
Tilly Woodward and Karen Neal were nominated for their shining example of collaborative power to align their programming at the Grinnell College Museum of Art and the Drake Community Library to provide free, high quality enrichment programs for kids since 2017, especially during and after the pandemic. Tilly and Karen bring their contagious enthusiasm, energy, interests, and commitment to every endeavor and draw kids and adults alike into amazing encounters with art, literacy, and fun.
Judy Hunter of Grinnell was recognized for embodying the five T's of philanthropy: time, talent, treasure, ties, and testimony! Judy was nominated for her dedication to education as a founding member of the Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation (GNSF) as well as her leadership on the Community Education Cooperative (CEC). Judy has touched many lives through her advocacy for educators, students of all ages, and the fine arts. Among her many gifts to our community, she was instrumental in campaigns for a grand piano at the high school as well as theatre equipment such as microphones and tools for the scene shop. She served many years as a school board member and continues to find and fill needs for educators, learners, and artists.
Tom and Alesia Lacina of Grinnell were nominated for their long history of encouraging and growing the arts in countless ways. They have given freely of their time and creativity to strategize and enhance many initiatives including community theatre, arts programs for kids, opportunities for local artists, collaborative spaces for programming, and ensuring sustainability for the arts in Grinnell. They share their passion for connecting the community to the arts and prove time and again that visionary leadership paired with unbridled creativity yields amazing results.