March 2, 2010

Davenport Jaycees Honor Community Leaders

Known for being involved and about the community for over 75 years, the Davenport Jaycees held the annual Community Awards Banquet, which honored several individuals. The event was held on Thursday, February 11 at Biaggi’s in Davenport, IA.

Young Religious Leader Award: Hope Anderson
Hope recently came to Heritage Church one year ago and has since made a big impact on the lives of young adults in this parish. As the Young Adult pastor, she has revived a dying young adult program with vigor and brought back members who had left due to a gap in staffing. She has devoted her life to service to the young adult community and the community as a whole. 

Young Educator Award: Katherine Schutte
Katherine has been teaching in the Moline School District for five years as an English teacher.  Growing up in Morton, Ill., she went to the University of Indiana for her degree in English education and graduated in 2001. “My passion for teaching lies in the challenge of constantly adapting what I do to match the needs and interests of students, while preparing them to participate in a global society where education ensures freedom,” Schutte says. She also is part of the freshmen academy program and is the assistant speech coach. She currently lives in Orion with her husband Matt and two children, Aiden and Sara. 

Young City Servant Award: Lt. Brian Mohr
Lt. Mohr was appointed to the Davenport Fire Department in 1998.  He is known for his outstanding customer service skills and always striving to do his best.  He is an instructor, a paramedic, certified in industrial fire fighting, a certified rescue person in a confined space and structural rope rescue, and is a Fire Cause Specialist.  Additionally, he teaches a portion of the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program. Fire Chief, Mark Frese, notes that Brian has moved up the ranks quickly because of his dedication, tenacity, and willingness to be a positive role model.  He is currently assigned to Fire Station #3. 

Young Community Leaders Award: Officer Kris Mayer
Officer Mayer is a dedicated crash investigator for the City of Davenport Police Department’s Traffic Division. His duties include investigation of fatal and potentially fatal traffic accidents and follow-up investigations on hit and run accidents. Officer Mayer has been involved in high profile instances such as the highly publicized Pachino Hill case.  He worked with the County Attorney to put together a witness list for the trail, sorting through key information and ensuring all evidence was in order. Lt. Michael Venema, credits the quality of this investigation to the success of the case. Officer Mayer is also actively involved in helping the community, as demonstrated by his efforts with the Domestic Violence Shelter’s toy drive. 

In addition to the four community awards, the Davenport Jaycee Foundation honored Central High School student Allison Vandecar with the Community Service Scholarship. In addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Allison is actively involved in the community through a variety of groups including the Modern Woodman Service Club and Literacy for Life. She also went on a mission trip to South Dakota to work with the impoverished Lakota tribe.

Finally, the Jaycees awarded their local chapter awards for “Rookie of the Year” and “Jaycee of the Year.” Kimberly Mayo was named Rookie of the Year for her active membership and work on projects such as Bridal Expo, Jaycee Santa and planning the monthly FAC event. Member Karin Weizel was honored as “Jaycee of the Year” for the unselfish matter in which she gives of her time and energy to nearly every Jaycee project. Says President Heather Venema, “Karin has never shied away from an opportunity to help others or this organization.”

The Davenport Jaycees is an organization of young civic-minded individuals dedicated to making the community a better place and helping to develop future leaders. One of the oldest chapters in Iowa, they continue to enjoy a surge in membership in recent years, sponsoring such community events as the Bridal Expo and the Jaycees Haunted House. Over the past 25 years, the Davenport Jaycees has returned over $500,000 to the community through contributions to various charities and the annual Jaycee Santa program. Most recently, the Jaycees provided the labor and $35,000 for a playground near the Davenport riverfront as part of the Jaycees 75th anniversary celebration.