Johnson wins award for Backpack Buddies

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Mike Johnson, left, and Terry Moehnke pose with the Spirit of the Silver Lining awards given to Johnson, of Calvert & Johnson Insurance, and to Fort Dodge Noon Sertoma. Johnson has helped with Sertoma’s backpack buddies program since its inception.

Mike Johnson, co-owner of Calvert & Johnson Insurance Services, has received an award for his work with Fort Dodge Noon Sertoma and its Backpack Buddies program.

West Bend Mutual Insurance presented its Spirit of the Silver Lining Award to Johnson this week, and also made a $10,000 donation to Noon Sertoma.

The Silver Lining award honors West Bend agents and the nonprofit organizations they support for their dedication to delivering a silver lining to those in need.

“I’ve tried to get this award through Backpack Buddies for a long time,” said Johnson, who has been in Sertoma for 19 years and was there when the Backpack Buddies program began.

“This is the ninth year now of Backpack Buddies, and you have been involved since day one,” said program coordinator Terry Moehnke.

“We used to pack in the back of Terry’s office,” Johnson said. “We did 20 a week.”

The organization now provides 680 backpacks a week, delivered to 10 schools, as well as supplying a food pantry for the middle school. Backpacks are filled with enough food to feed the children from Friday night to Monday morning, ensuring they don’t go hungry over the weekend.

“Noon Sertoma strives to help local families by ensuring that every schoolchild in our community has access to food on weekends when they do not have access to meals through the schools,” Johnson said. “I want to thank West Bend for the generous grant, which will help us provide more food to the kids in the coming year.”

Calvert & Johnson co-owner Josh Calvert is a past board member of Sertoma, while insurance agent Larry Calvert is past president.

“At West Bend, we have a proud tradition of giving back to the communities in which we do business,” said Kevin Steiner, president and CEO of West Bend. “The Spirit of the Silver Lining Award is a unique program that allows us to express our gratitude to our agent partners on whom we rely to identify the causes that matter most in our communities.”

Founded in 1894, West Bend Mutual Insurance company is headquartered in West Bend, Wisconsin, and provides property and casualty insurance products throughout the midwest.

Since 2006, West Bend has awarded more than $1.4 million in grants for sustaining support, special projects, or capital projects to non-profit organizations representing a broad field of interests, including but not limited to arts and culture; education; the environment; family, youth, and elderly; health and human services; medical research; and community development. Grants are made to organizations in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota.


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