Casey DeZwarte, 13, or rural Montezuma presents a check for $1,600 to Montezuma American Legion Post 169 Commander Ron Hensel on Thursday, April 14. Casey raised the money from three bake sales and generously donated the money to the Montezuma American Legion Post 169 building fund. Submitted photo.
By J.O. Parker
Doing good for others, especially veterans, is something that Casey DeZwarte, 13, of rural Montezuma takes to heart.
Casey, a seventh grader at Montezuma and the son of Chad and Rachel Thompson, recently donated $1,600 to the Montezuma American Legion Post 169 building fund.
Casey raised the money through bake sales held last fall and earlier this month at Suzi’s Boutique, Grinnell in November; Montezuma Floral in December; and the Iowa Barbershop in Grinnell in early April.
The bake goods included cookies, bars, brownies, cake and pie, all of which were baked by his mother, Rachel, an aunt and both of his grandmothers, along with others.
Casey’s originally goal was to raise $1,000, but thanks to the support of local and area residents, he quickly surpassed that mark.
“He did that pretty quickly,” said his mother, Rachel of reaching his goal. “We had a lot of people who came in and gave him money.”
Casey presented a check for $1,600 to the Montezuma American Legion Post 169 on Thursday, April 14.
“The Montezuma American Legion is pleased with the young man’s efforts and helping us raise money for our new legion building,” said Legion Commander Ron Hensel.
Hensel noted that the Montezuma American Legion is a 501c3 organization, which means donations are tax deductible.
This was not the first time that Casey has worked hard to help veterans.
Last summer, Casey took part in a yard mowing challenge through a Huntsville, Ala. outreach by mowing 50 yards of active military personnel, veterans, firefighters and disabled people in Montezuma and area communities, all for free.
Some people gave him money and when he finished the mowing challenge last September, Casey decided to donate $250 to the Montezuma American Legion building fund.
“He wanted to continue what he started,” Rachel said of Casey’s recent donation to the legion building fund.
And that’s not all.
This past winter, Casey held a clothing drive and collected enough winter gear to fill two and one-half pickups. He donated the clothing to a homeless veterans shelter in Iowa City.
When asked why he wants to help veterans and others out, Casey said it means a lot to him to do good for others.
“I have family members who were in the service,” he said. “I just wanted to give back to the veterans because they have done so much for us.”