Hometown Pride 2018

Sharon Balm

Any given time during the week, you’re likely to find Sharon Balm out somewhere in the community teaching art to those in assisted living or with disabilities. On one recent Friday, Balm brought her art supplies to the Fort Dodge Villa Care Center, where she encouraged residents to paint ...

Evelyn Patterson

STRATFORD — At the age of 92, Evelyn Patterson has had plenty of years to become a part of her community. She’s done it by taking on a variety of tasks and services for her fellow residents of Stratford, and it doesn’t sound like she’s planning to slow down. But then, volunteering ...

Dawn Elifrits

DAYTON — The restaurant in the back of the Dayton Community Grocery store is a pretty friendly place to stop in for a meal, a cup of coffee or just some local news. It’s a one-chef operation run by Dayton resident Dawn Elifrits who’s been making meals and friends there for the past 10 ...

Doug Johnson

The Farnhamville Betterment Inc. was formed 18 years ago to save an old building from going unused. Through the dedication of numerous volunteers, the vacant space was kept in good shape and turned into a restaurant. Over the past couple years they did it again. “I kind of ...

Matt Maggio

Dr. Matt Maggio lives his life by the following words: “To whom much is given, much will be required.” Luke 12:48 The Fort Dodge native has a rich history within the city, and shares it in every possible way. As president of Fort Dodge’s LifeWorks Community Services, he is able to ...

Gene Stockdale

Gene Stockdale is used to a little chaos in his life. Stockdale, of Fort Dodge, is the oldest of 16 siblings, which includes nine boys and seven girls. “I was the leader of the pack, I guess,” he said. “If something went wrong, it was my fault. Should have kept an eye on them, ...

Fonda Arts Center

FONDA — The current center of most of Fonda’s art venue needs was almost destroyed after being deemed useless. But a group of art-loving individuals came together to save the old church, which today is greatly used and appreciated by the community. Today, the Fonda Arts Center is a ...

Jim Peterson

Often in a hierarchy, one starts at the lower level before moving to a larger leadership position. Of course, practically speaking this doesn’t always work out. Jim Peterson, who has held a wide variety of commands within the American Legion, got his start not as a post commander but as ...

Ann Halbur

Ann Halbur, president and administrator for the Students in the Arts program, has been helping educators recognize the hard work of Students in the Arts since the program began in 1994. The program was originally started by the local radio station. When she left there, the station ...

Shawn George

CALLENDER — Shawn George, the current Callender Fire Department chief, only recently stepped into that role when former Chief Kevin Kruse decided it was someone else’s turn. It happened rather quickly. “He said, ‘I nominate Shawn George,’ that was it.” George said. “I have ...

Vicki Mallory

ALGONA — In 1993, Vicki Mallory was on a search committee to hire a new executive director for the Algona Chamber of Commerce. But after the committee conducted between five and seven interviews, the right candidate never emerged, she said. That’s when one of the other members had ...

Rusty Farrington

ROCKWELL CITY — Rusty Farrington doesn’t just build a toolbox to hold a small part of his collection of lovingly cared for hand tools. Farrington creates, instead, a finely crafted work of art. Each chisel has a slot with an internal divider to protect it from its neighbor. Planes ...

Connie Lind-Fraher

Helping to let visitors know about the interesting and fun things to do in Fort Dodge keeps Connie Lind-Fraher on the go. Since last year, she has been the visitor services director at the Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau. When a group is planning a trip to Fort Dodge and when ...