Coralville man one of Iowa's Volunteer Hall of Fame Inductees - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Coralville man one of Iowa's Volunteer Hall of Fame Inductees

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Jim Ernst, Four Oaks CEO, Joretta and Tom Barbee, inductee to the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame. Jim Ernst, Four Oaks CEO, Joretta and Tom Barbee, inductee to the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame.

DES MOINES - An eastern Iowa man will be honored Thursday for his committment to volunteering.

Governor Chet Culver and Lt. Governor Patty Judge announced Wednesday the latest inductees for the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame. 

Thomas Barbee of Coralville is being honored for his efforts to help grow programs to support foster parents and recruit adoptive families.  This has helped Four Oaks becoming the lead agency for all of the state's adoption and foster care work.

Lt. Governor Judge will present awards during a special recognition ceremony to be held in conjunction with the 4th annual Volunteer Awareness Day on February 25, 2009 in Des Moines.

Governor Chet Culver said, "Being inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame is the most prestigious state-level honor volunteers can receive; the people selected are those who have forever changed their community, the state, the nation, or the world with their volunteer service and action.  We are eager to honor the newest members of the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame for their tremendous contributions to their fellow citizens."

The 2008-2009 Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame inductees from Governor Culver's news release.

  • The 10,000 Hours Show (organization/nonprofit category) for its statewide efforts in engaging young people in volunteer service. In the past five years, this organization, led by volunteer college students, has recruited more than 5,000 young Iowans and has recognized more than 120,000 hours of volunteer service.
  • Robert Mitchell and Janet Burch (family category) of West Des Moines for their extraordinary efforts in helping establish a special ball park, complete with mentors, to assist disabled youth in Central Iowa to play baseball just like any other youth.

Individual Category:

  • Thomas Barbee of Coralville for his efforts to help grow programs to support foster parents and recruit adoptive families, resulting in Four Oaks becoming the lead agency for all of the state's adoption and foster care work. Many more Iowa children are living in safe and happy homes than would otherwise be the case.
  • Andrew Allen of Huxley for his willingness to share the story of his dramatically transformed life to inspire and motivate others by serving as a mentor and creating programs that expand mentoring and raise awareness of youth homelessness.
  • Dr. Bobbretta Brewton of Des Moines for volunteering her expertise and services in the community as an advisor/mentor and program development specialist. Her influence has created and opened opportunities for individuals that had fallen through the cracks and underserved families in the Polk County area.
  • Dorothy Dykstra of Sioux Center for serving as a Foster Grandparent for the past 19 years. She has mentored more than 400 children who were in need of a helping hand, listening ear, and a heart to care for them in the classroom.
  • June Judge of Iowa City for serving for more than 30 years as a tireless advocate for those suffering from mental illness. Her personal family experiences have served as the inspiration for her consistent and ongoing volunteerism, which has provided education, support, and advocacy on behalf of people and their families affected by these illnesses.
  • Bill Leaver of Des Moines for his dedication to leading meaningful and lasting changes through his volunteer work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, and the Girl Scouts that will make a difference in the lives of Iowans. He has volunteered countless hours to help a single child gain motivation and confidence, and encouraged others to take action and become involved themselves.
  • Betty Nielsen of Fonda has dedicated nearly 34,000 hours to her Freedom Quilts project since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. She has personally crafted and/or overseen the collection of more than 6,500 quilts and has made quilt presentations in numerous states, including Iowa, to the families of 9/11 victims and fallen American soldiers, Hurricane Katrina survivors, and Iowa flood victims.
  • Barbara Tomlinson of Lansing is the founder of Granny Basketball. She singlehandedly started an activity that now includes 12 teams and approximately 150 women age 50 and over. Her unique approach has helped women become physically active in a fun and entertaining way to help raise money for charity. They have appeared in the Iowa State Fair parade, and performed during halftime at Iowa State and Des Moines Energy games, and even during halftime of a Globe Trotters game.
  • Annie Wignall of Newton became aware of a need: young persons who are displaced through natural disasters or personal crisis are often forced to leave home without basic necessities. Begun at age 11, her project started with a simple desire to collect and distribute personal items to children in peril in Central Iowa. It has become a nationally recognized nonprofit organization (Care Bags Foundation) that provides services to thousands of children worldwide.

Thirty exhibitors are registered for Volunteer Awareness Day, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the state capitol rotunda to give legislators and the public an opportunity to learn more about how volunteers improve Iowa-not only in terms of quality of life, but also in the economy and viability of our communities.  The Volunteer Hall of Fame ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the west wing of the rotunda.  Both events are open to the public.

Volunteer Awareness Day and the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame are coordinated by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service and the Governor's Office.  For more information, visit http://www.volunteeriowa.org, e-mail icvs@iowalifechanging.com, or call 515/242-4764.

Online Producer:  JJ Murray

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