Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of stories about the men and women selected as this year’s Heroes of the Heartland for the Southern Prairie chapter of the American Red Cross. An awards breakfast and program will be held Friday at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.
OTTUMWA — Chances are pretty good that if you're looking for a charitable and/or a civic organization to be involved with in Ottumwa, you most likely will see Tom Shafer already there.
Shafer is one of this year's Red Cross Heroes of the Heartland and was nominated for the active role he has taken in numerous community events over the years.
And don't be surprised if you should ever see him wearing pink.
That's because, among the countless organizations and community events he has dedicated himself to, his service at the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure every Mother's Day weekend is unquestioned.
Shafer has served on the board and has been a race organizer for numerous years.
He's also been active with the American Homefinding Association board, the local Habitat for Humanity chapter and has been of a member of the Ottumwa Kiwanis club, serving as the club's president previously.
Much of his work is related to children. It's no surprise then that Shafer has also been a strong supporter of National Education Week, serves as a sponsor of the local teacher recognition day and has spent numerous hours in the classroom himself.
It would be difficult to gauge how much time and energy Shafer has spent volunteering and participating in these activities, but it's clear that his efforts are nothing short of heroic.