The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine awarded the annual Tom Hendricks Community Service Award to the West Liberty Youth Dream Catchers organization at a surprise ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 7, at the Dream Catcher’s home in West Liberty.
The $7,500 award was presented to Dream Catchers founders and leaders Carol and Ed Moreno from John Axel of the foundation, who said he was representing Tom Hendricks, who was unable to attend.
The Hendrick’s endowment fund honor’s Tom Hendrick’s volunteer leadership and service to the greater Muscatine community. Governor Terry E Branstad inducted Hendricks, a founder and charter member of Muscatine Charities, Inc., into the 2016 Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame during the ceremony at the State Capitol as part of the National Volunteer Week celebration activities. In concert with the award, Hendricks also received the People’s Choice Award by recording the largest total vote of all candidates considered. This voting by Muscatine area residents is indicative of the community’s high esteem for Hendricks.
“We hope the award will be helpful in funding part of your budget, will benefit youth in West Liberty, and recognizes your caring, generosity, and unwavering commitment of time, talent, and treasure to build this organization since 2004,” Axel said in his remarks.
“Your commitment and the commitment of folks like Cindy Mayes, Steve Hanson and the marvelous volunteer mentors, are the kinds of devoted efforts that have a deep and lasting impact on individual lives, families and the community,” Axel said.
With most of the Dream Catchers classes of students at the ceremony, Axel awarded a special certificate witnessed by Charla Schafer of the foundation, saying “thank you for what you have created and nurtured.”
Carol Moreno, who is president of the organization that provides scholarships and tutoring for selected students beginning in third grade in the West Liberty School District to get to the college level, said, “There are a lot of volunteers that make this happen.” All of the students in Dream Catchers will be the first members of their families to get a college education thanks to the program that supplies $2,000 a year scholarships toward the college of their choice.
“What you’re doing is so important to this community,” she added.
Steve Hanson, the main mentor for Dream Catchers, made application for the award.
Past recipients of the award include:
– Keep Muscatine Beautiful for Almost Friday engaging Muscatine County residents to take greater responsibility for improving and enhancing the community environment through beautification programs and quality of life opportunities that help make Muscatine a better place to live and work.
– Muscatine Children and Youth Choir for implementing an initiative beneficial to the health and well-being of the children in our community, as well as providing enriching and educational opportunities.
– United Way of Muscatine for taking on the Summer Lunch Program to ensure the children of our community receive the nutrition they need during summer months. United Way also partnered with many community organizations to provide a rotating schedule of enrichment activities, which helped increase the number of children and families attending the meal sites. With each new year, United Way has gone above and beyond in making the Summer Lunch Program better and brighter than the previous.
– Ag Learning Center for providing an affordable situation for every Agriculture student to have and care for livestock and agriculture products. This center is helping the students today become tomorrow’s productive citizens.