Hawarden’s volunteer-week spirit is year-round caring and giving

Posted May 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm

by Steve Peterson

Hawarden Mayor Ric Porter praised the many examples through the year as the town’s volunteerism was celebrated nationally April 21 – 28 in National Volunteer Week.

“As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we want to thank everyone who gives of their time and their talents in volunteering to make Hawarden a better community,” said Porter. “As we have just witnessed the worst in people with the bombings in Boston, people who volunteer give us hope and a better life through their efforts.”

“Those people who volunteer will undoubtedly tell you that they get back more from volunteering than what they give,” he said. “Volunteering is a wonderful way to connect with others and to enhance our community.”

“We are truly grateful to those who gave of themselves to others,” said Porter.

Examples of the many Hawarden area volunteers are:

Big Sioux River Valley

Historical Society

“We would like to open up the Hawarden Historical House at the same time as Calliope Village on Sunday afternoons. Calliope is generally opened after Memorial Day weekend,” said BSRVHS President Jaimie Strong.

The big effort of the more than 30-year-old BSRVHS is to renovate Hawarden’s former City Hall on Central Avenue. BSRVHS would oversee the effort but the work could be done separately.

“We’re waiting for the weather to warm up to get to do some more work done on it. We would like to establish an ongoing foundation for funding it. We’re applying for several grants, too,” said Strong.

One idea for the old City Hall site could be a place which would be open and people could do research there.

Strong has been part of BSRVHS for three years. Other officers, all volunteers, are Dan Cain, vice president; Charlene Lill, secretary; Judy Scott, treasurer and Lois Jean-Dawson, member-at-large.


Chamber of Commerce

“We could not offer all the programs we do without the volunteers. We’re always looking for new volunteers, too,” said Hawarden Chamber of Commerce Director Cathie Brown.

Hawarden Community Supper

Each month Hawarden Associated Church hosts a free supper. It was last held April 23 with serving from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.

This Tuesday the main meal was macaroni and cheese with hamburger and corn. A table full of desserts is made by Hy-Vee staff and area bakeries.

A volunteer staff of about 15 – 20 people cook, wash dishes, serve the meal and work the nearby bread room, led by Laurie Bushby who coordinates the effort.

Butch Vargo leads the bread room and this night, Sandy Kuiper and LaVonne Slife were the servers.

The time will change slightly during the summer monthly suppers, to 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. The next supper will be May 21.

“We have between 15 to 30 volunteers each month,” said Bushby. “We had a lot of new volunteers this month.”

Zestos Inc. supplies the meat for each supper.

WS Snack Pack Program

Barb Joy, pastor of Hawarden and Ireton United Methodist Church, said she has given talks at Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ meetings at West Sioux High School, and for the Alcester-Hudson, SD high school girls’ volleyball team.

Donations collected at the church recently have gone to the Hawarden Food Pantry and Snack Pack weekend food effort.

The Snack Pack effort at West Sioux Community Schools is an effort to help those students in the free and reduced lunch program have a nutritional meal on the weekends.

“We receive a great deal of support from the community,” said board member Danielle Gradert.

Gradert thanked Plasticology Inc. staffers of Hawarden for volunteering their time at the second and fourth Tuesday efforts as well as financially. “They have been very gracious,” she said.

April 30 was the last Snack Pack effort of the school year.

Hawarden Food Pantry

Hawarden Community Food Pantry meets monthly with many volunteers who help out, said organizer Jan Cain, at Hawarden American Lutheran Church. It had its monthly distribution on April 26.

WS Athletic Boosters

West Sioux’s youth each fall participate in volunteer-coached football teams against area teams.

West Sioux High School Athletic Boosters regularly supply equipment for the Falcons’ teams .

Volunteers helped run last week’s track and field meet and will do so again May 2 and 9 at the state qualifying meet.

Event volunteers

Other examples of volunteer work include the Outlaw Tractor Pull, which won an award last year, coming June 28.

The Big Sioux River Days will be coming this September and of last year’s 125th citywide celebration and many activities at various area churches.

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