The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 5, 2013

Ottumwa boy serves as Kid Captain at Iowa football game

OTTUMWA — Sometimes sports serve a bigger purpose than giving fans something to watch or providing the thrills of a victory.

For 8-year-old Mason Shepherd, of Ottumwa, a football game was able to provide him with a moment of pure excitement and joy, where he could forget about the struggles he faces every day.

Mason was diagnosed with Russell-Silver Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes slow growth before and after birth, shortly after he was born. Because of this condition, he has to take daily growth hormone injections and be checked on regularly by doctors at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

One day, when the Shepherds were at one of Mason’s doctor appointments, their doctor suggested to them that they should sign up for the Kid Captain program. The program, now in its fifth year, is a partnership between the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes. It gives 14 children, one at each football game, the chance to be in the spotlight and interact with the coaches and players.

In August, Mason participated in Kids Day at Kinnick Stadium. Each of the Kid Captains toured the stadium and locker rooms, ate ice cream in the press box, met coaches and players, played on the field with some of the players and got assigned a locker with their own jerseys.

“That was really neat,” Mason’s mother, Cindy Shepherd, said.

Shepherd was selected from a field of 462 nominations to be one of this year’s Kid Captains and was assigned to Saturday’s home game against the Wisconsin Badgers. The Shepherd family was invited to a special tailgate and met with the team again before the game. He was taken to the locker room, where he got pictures taken with Head Coach Kirk Ferentz and several players.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ladies Night Out through downtown Ottumwa Friday OTTUMWA — Ladies, are you ready for a night on the town? Then grab your passport and head downtown Friday evening. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday, 28 downtown businesses will keep their doors open late for a special Ladies Night Out. Everyone will mee

    April 20, 2014

  • 0422 Eagle photo On a wing and a prayer

    LAKE RED ROCK — Protective gloves aren’t uncommon when dealing with a sick patient, though they’re not usually heavy, leather welder’s gloves. But, then, the patient usually doesn’t have toenails designed to puncture flesh. Or a sharp beak. Diane Mas

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0420 OTT Gothic house easter web-color photo American Gothic House celebrates Easter weekend Kids participate in an egg roll competition Saturday on the American Gothic House lawn in Eldon. Families were invited to come and participate in Easter-themed events and make crafts. They also had the opportunity to dress up and pose in front of the

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0422 OTT Egg hunt color photo -L On a roll this Easter ELDON — If you pulled up to the American Gothic House Center Saturday afternoon at moments before 1 p.m., you probably had to park halfway down the road. Cars filled the parking lot and spilled out onto the street as parents and kids from all over so

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ups and downs OTTUMWA — Iowa's governor and his lieutenant seemed thrilled with part of the employment news Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad's Twitter page said: "BREAKING: Iowa's employment reaches all-time high of 1,615,200." Iowa Workforce Development confirms the n

    April 18, 2014

  • Those who came before OTTUMWA — There is so much information on researching genealogy, beginners may not know where to start. But experts and knowledgeable amateurs will offer help as they gather for a free Family History Fair to share which websites are worthwhile and wh

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Tree planting color photo -T -M -L Young Ottumwans show their green thumbs OTTUMWA — Several of Ottumwa’s cemeteries and parks were recipients of new trees this week as Ottumwa High School students and Eagle Scouts dedicated their time to planting dozens of trees around the city. Students from the OHS JROTC class were at Ot

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0419 OTT Prayer Walk 2 bw photo -L -M -T On a journey OTTUMWA — The seven blocks through the center of Ottumwa took more than an hour and a half to walk as 25 people prayed and read Scripture to reflect on the events of Good Friday. Led by the Ottumwa Area Fellowship of Pastors, the walk began at First

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0419 OTT drought map -L -T -M Drought weakens grip on Iowa OTTUMWA — Last weekend saw the first significant rains in quite some time for the Ottumwa area. How long? The last day with at least a half-inch of rain was back on Nov. 20. It was a welcome rain, arriving after the ground had thawed. That allowed at

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eugene Clark STOCKPORT — Eugene Morris Clark, 90, of Stockport, died at 5:30 p.m. April 17, 2014, at Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ottumwa. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Spencer Cemetery northeast of Stockport; Pastor Richard

    April 18, 2014

Photo reprints