Deer Creek residents want to warm up some veterans

Giveaway, raffle have support of local businesses

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Staff Sgt. Brian Maxson, at left, along with Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Kohn, both with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery, Iowa Army National Guard, hold a pillow case that follows the same design as a quilt made by several Deer Creek Apartments residents. Donald Sells, who began the project, stands behind an afghan also made by residents along with Shimkat Motors IT Specialist Tom Kramer. The afghan will be raffled off to benefit local veterans in need and the quilt given to a veteran.

Donald Sells, a resident of the Deer Creek Apartments in Fort Dodge, wanted to do something this year to help out military veterans.

So he enlisted the help of several other residents who made a quilt and an afghan.

One will be given to a veteran, the other raffled off to help veterans in need at Christmas.

“I was never in the military,” Sells said. “My son served in Iraq. I’m a proud supporter of the military.”

The quilt was made by Irene Whitehill and Deb Kramer. The afghan was knitted by Nita Fedkenheuer. All three are Deer Creek residents.

“They both donated 100 percent,” he said.

The means the materials and their time.

The quilt and the afghan are both on display in the showroom at Shimkat Motors Co.

“They were gracious enough to let us use their showroom to display them,” Sells said.

The dealership is also serving as one of the places where tickets can be purchased for the afghan raffle. The others include Fort Dodge Family Bowling Center, Troy Waller Auto Body, and Brown’s Shoe Fit. While they don’t have the tickets for sale, Decker Truck Lines Inc. is also a sponsor.

Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

Proceeds are directed to one place.

“To help needy families in Fort Dodge,” Sells said.

Sells said that they will be accepting nominations for the quilt that will be given to a military veteran until Dec. 20. Then they will meet to decide who will receive it. Nominations are also accepted at Shimkat.

The deadline for raffle tickets is also the Dec. 20.

Headquarters and Headquarters Battery 1st Battalion 194th Field Artillery Iowa National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Kohn and Staff Sgt. Brian Maxson are both happy to see Will’s efforts.

“It’s great to see,” Kohn said. “We’re happy to be part of this.”

Maxson shares his enthusiasm.

“It’s great to see local businesses come together for a cause like this,” Maxson said.

Tom Kramer, IT specialist for Shimkat Motors, is helping out with the project in the dealership. He’s a 23-year U.S. Navy veteran who retired in 2003.

He’s not only proud of his own service, he often hears others mention it when they come to look at the quilt and afghan.

“I hear a lot of talk about dads, grandfathers and uncles,” he said.

Sells would particular like to see the quilt go to an older veteran.

“They deserve something,” he said. “I we can give them something to make their day. Anything we can do for our military is not enough.”

The current effort is Sells’ inaugural effort. He would like to make the project an annual event.

“Our hope is that we can take care of as many needy families as possible,” he said. “I see this growing every year.”