Local news and information for the Cedar Valley and Black Hawk County, including Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Evansdale, La Porte City, Jesup, Dunkerton, Hudson, Gilbertville, Janesville, Raymond and Elk Run Heights.More >>
Local news and information for the Cedar Valley and Black Hawk County, including Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Evansdale, La Porte City, Jesup, Dunkerton, Hudson, Gilbertville, Janesville, Raymond, Elk Run Heights and the surrounding Black Hawk County area.More >>
WATERLOO (KWWL) -
Ike Leighty said at the time he was born in 1915, the life expectancy was 49 years-old.
"And here I am," Leighty joked.
At 99 years-old, Leighty has more than doubled that.
Over the years, with help from his two children, he has developed the "Mother Moon Service Scholarship."
There are 15 scholarships given out each year, and so far more than two-hundred $1,000 scholarships have been awarded.
They go to area high school students that volunteer their time to make a difference in their communities.
The reason Leighty started the "Mother Moon Service Scholarship" was because of a neighbor who helped him out as a child.
"When our mother died, she [Mother Moon] had ten kids of her own, but she melted our family in with hers and saw that we got all that we needed," Leighty said.
Out of all the fond memories Leighty has of Mother Moon, the one he remembers most: "I used to come over into her house and sit beside her and pat her big fat arms and say 'mother moon, I just love you,'" Leighty said.
Leighty was honored by Governor Branstad on April 14 for his generosity and inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall-of-Fame.
The Iowa Volunteer Hall-of-Fame is the most prestigious state-level volunteer honor that a person can receive.
"I've been helped all my life by people that took an interest in me and so the ability and the opportunity to give back is strong and I enjoy it," Leighty said.
He said the main reason why he continues to give to others is because it makes him feel good.
Leighty will turn 100 years-old this year on November 11.
He said it will be a big celebration for sure.
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