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Activities to Honor Veterans Planned at Iowa Lakes Community College

November 6, 2017

In honor of veterans throughout the region, Iowa Lakes Community College student leaders are organizing special events as Veterans Day approaches.

“All five campuses will be heavily involved in showing gratitude to our past and present veterans,” said Kent Schmidt, Career Resource Center Coordinator and member of the college’s veterans committee.

All campuses have decided to sponsor ‘Honor Trees.’ Multi-colored ribbons are placed near the Honor Trees and signs next to the trees encouraging students, staff and faculty to tie various colored ribbons to the trees to recognize those who have served, as well as those currently serving in the U.S. military.

White ribbons are in memory of a family member or friend who gave (or lost) their life in service to America. Blue ribbons are in honor of a family or friend who is serving; while yellow ribbons show general support to veterans. Black ribbons are to recognize a POW/MIA; red ribbons are for Iowa Lakes students (or community members) currently serving (or who have served); and purple ribbons are in honor of Purple Heart recipients.

In Emmetsburg, students will have a ceremony on Friday at noon in the dining services area of the college. Kylie Weisbrod will sing the national anthem. Veterans are welcome to participate in a lunch meal following the event, which is paid by the student senate. In addition, Emmetsburg student senators reach out to the community by donating money for a wreath to grace the Veteran’s Memorial in downtown Emmetsburg.

Also in Emmetsburg this year, college students are encouraged to write essays regarding their favorite veteran or about what Veteran’s Day means to them. The Buena Vista University Lakes Region will assist with a gift to the winner of the contest. BVU is also planning special recognition for students at the Estherville, Spencer and Spirit Lake campuses.

In Estherville, student senators are hosting a free meal over the lunch hour on Friday for Laker Veterans (students, faculty and staff.) That meal will follow a recognition ceremony slated for noon in the atrium of the Estherville campus.

“We are proud to celebrate Veteran’s Day and to honor our many veterans for their service with a short ceremony that will feature both music and a presentation,” reports Lisa Stich, Executive Dean of the Estherville campus. 

Deb Tietje, Veterans Service Officer from Emmet County, will be the main speaker and both instrumental and vocal students will perform at the Estherville campus. 

At the Algona campus, student senators will team up with Hy-Vee Saturday morning. Students will hand out cards – along with Hershey’s Kisses – to veterans thanking them for their service.

In Spencer, student senators plan to have a patriotic balloon sendoff along with a formal ceremony on Friday.

At the Spirit Lake campus, there will be a patriotic display along with essays from students honoring veterans.

“Iowa Lakes Community College is dedicated to showing respect for all our veterans and has garnered many awards for their efforts,” said Schmidt.

Iowa Lakes recently received the U.S. Veterans Magazine “Best of the Best” award, and six out of seven years has won “Military Friendly” status from Victory Media. In addition, the college is a Certified Higher Academic Military Partner (CHAMP), another next step toward providing quality academic assistance to veterans. The college also works with chamber and economic developers in all five counties as part of the Home Base Iowa effort. And, in-state tuition is provided to military veterans and several scholarships have been established specifically for military families to help pay for college costs.


Emmetsburg Student Senator Richard B. Engelhart places a star on the Honor Tree at the Emmetsburg campus. Kent Schmidt, right, encourages students to place ribbons on the tree.

For More Information:

Kent Schmidt, Career Resource Center Coordinator, at 712-852-5284

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