The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

May 4, 2013

Honoring southeast Iowa's 'everyday heroes'

OTTUMWA — Ordinary Ottumwans have done some extraordinary things.

At the third annual Heroes of the Heartland breakfast Friday morning, six Ottumwans were honored for their selfless work helping others: Desirae Payne, Don Kirchner, Tom Shafer, Myles Sauer, Becky Smith and Ruth Seim.

Larry Jarvis, Southern Prairie American Red Cross board member, said the event honors southeast Iowa’s “everyday heroes.”

Ottumwa’s Red Cross response coordinator, Brandon Holstrom, said the event began three years ago as a localization of a similar event he saw at Des Moines’ American Red Cross of Greater Iowa.

“Anybody can nominate anybody,” Holstrom said. “Anyone can be recognized as a hero.”

He said it gives those in the community who serve and help without asking for thanks or praise a chance to be recognized for the work they do. The event also allows the Red Cross to receive monetary donations in order to provide services during times of disaster, such as recent flooding and structure fires in Ottumwa.

Don “Moose” Kirchner, who served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the Vietnam War, now helps fellow veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and drug and alcohol addiction. He also works as a chaplain for the Patriot Guard Riders and is the co-founder of Brother’s Keeper Ministries.

“He exemplifies a message of love and caring,” said Miranda Bickford, of Walmart, where Kirchner volunteers as a greeter, Santa Claus and even officiant over a few marriages between Walmart associates. “Don’s efforts are non-judgmental.”

Tom Shafer has given countless hours helping out at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity, Ottumwa Kiwanis, American Home Finding Association and in classrooms with local students.

“Chances are if you’ve been through any charitable organization, Tom has been there already,” said Marsha Parker, of John Deere. “It’s clear his efforts are nothing short of heroic.”

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0417 OTT Beth Howard color cover -L -T -M 'Ms. American Pie' tours with her new book

    ELDON — With many hours and countless miles on her RV "The Beast," Eldon's pie lady, Beth Howard, is celebrating the release of her new book with a tour of southwestern states. Howard's second book, "Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bol

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • County signs law enforcement agreement with Eddyville OTTUMWA — A law enforcement service contract between Wapello County and the city of Eddyville received supervisors' approval on Tuesday. Beginning July 1, Eddyville will pay the Wapello County Sheriff’s office $3,833 per month or $45,996 for law enfo

    April 15, 2014

  • County considers hiring conservation aide OTTUMWA — On Tuesday morning, Wapello County Board of Supervisors will consider hiring a part-time conservation aide at its weekly board meeting. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board’s meeting room located on the third floor of the c

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Brush fire color photo 2 -T Brush fire breaks out on east side of city OTTUMWA — Late Friday morning, a fire broke out in a vacant area of trees and brush next to the Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility. Both the Wapello County Rural Fire Department and Ottumwa Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire,

    April 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wapello County Courthouse.jpg Courthouse to receive facelift

    OTTUMWA — First, Chief Wapello received a facelift. Now, it’s the county courthouse’s turn. On Tuesday evening, Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved spending $139,000 for repair and maintenance of the historic courthouse. Karr Tuckpointing o

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Another health care option OTTUMWA — If you didn't get your "mandatory" health insurance by the deadline earlier this week, you may have another option. Or two. "I'd certainly keep trying," said Greg Kenning, a Wapello County supervisor. He said it's his understanding that the

    April 2, 2014

  • Trial set in child pornography case OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man accused in a child pornography case will go on trial this summer. Rass Kerby Jr., is charged with enticing a minor to engage in a sex act or simulated sex act and possession of media of a minor engaged in a sex act. He was a

    April 2, 2014

  • Wanted: People who love history OTTUMWA — If you have a love for history, Wapello County has an interest in you. Wapello County Board of Supervisors is considering withdrawing from the State Historical Society’s Certified Local Government program unless interested people are willin

    April 1, 2014

  • 0530 OTT flood damaged bridge -L Bridge repair tops county's 5-year plan

    OTTUMWA — Road construction in Wapello County will be taking on a different look in the next three years. On Tuesday, County Engineer Brian Moore told the Wapello County Board of Supervisors bridge replacement will be a high priority. “We’ll have a h

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0321 OTT animal rescue league update color photo -L -M Animal van trial set

    OTTUMWA — Trial has been scheduled in the case that preceded the rescue of hundreds of animals in Drakesville. Roger Blew, 45, of Drakesville, has pleaded not guilty to the four criminal charges he faced in Ottumwa. Police charged Blew with one count

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National