Posted on August 26, 2016 at 10:03 AM by Emily Saveraid
Dependable, level-headed, reliable, detail-oriented, dedicated, devoted. All these words only begin to describe the type of man and the couple we wish to honor with the 2016 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame award from Cass County.
It was over 30 years ago when our recipient became a long-standing and devoted member of an important youth committee in the county. But long before that, a love for 4-H and the Cass County Fair was kindled. That fire was never put out.
Raising their 3 boys in the Pymosa Township in Cass County, joining 4-H and participating in the county fair was only natural. Many years were spent helping with projects and watching the outcomes from arena-side. Always encouraging, always reassuring their boys and the other 4-Hers they grew up with.
Once children are grown, many parents devote their time to other interests beyond those of their children, but not this couple. The 4-H program and especially the Cass County Fair remained a strong interest. After serving as assistant beef superintendent, our recipient joined the Cass County Grounds Committee, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“He was the “go-to guy” if you wanted to get something done.”
“If there was a suggestion to fix something, he would get to fixing it.”
“He kept us organized.” “He was always there … always working.”
These quotes from fellow committee members encompass his contribution to the 4-H program and the fair grounds. He must have driven miles, jumping into his pick-up and going after whatever was needed. Even when he had to start slowing down a little, he helped out any way he could. But behind every good man, is a good woman too. His wife was just as much a part of the dedication to 4-H. Always right with him. They were called a “front lines” couple who poured their heart and soul into the fair.
When the original community center was demolished to put up the current building, this gentleman was there every step of the way. If a piece of equipment was needed, he donated it. Oh the hours the old 856 International saw at the fairgrounds. When the many, many generous donations came in, he became the “picture guy”, accepting the donations humbly and thanking the donors. All the hours logged driving around town though, his wife was right by his side. When it came time to design and decorate the building’s interior, this couple saw to the smallest details.
On the lighter side, for those of you who know our recipient couple best, you can laugh with them when we can agree to not let Jerry install any water lines. You’ll also know what it means when “Jerry’s buying,” and you’ll grab another cup of coffee when he starts out, “Well, my wife says …”
Congratulations Jerry and Donna.