The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

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
Local News
  • 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

  • Civil War Round Table visited by baseball historian OTTUMWA — The Civil War Round Table was treated to a special guest Thursday night and a presentation about how baseball during the Civil War era helped shape Iowa as we know it. John Liepa, former history and political science professor at Des Moines

    April 18, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition