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Trustees learn how volunteers fuel region through Northwest Iowa RSVP Program

July 25, 2017

The members of the Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College had the opportunity to hear about the Northwest Iowa RSVP Volunteer Program – which is sponsored by the college.

In their meeting Tuesday afternoon in Algona, Dawn Bernhard, Program Director and Kossuth County Coordinator, told the Trustees that RSVP continues to grow in the five-county region of Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth and Palo Alto counties. 

“In the past fiscal year – which wrapped up June 30 – volunteers logged more than 19,300 hours of service,” said Bernhard. “That equates to over $466,000 in ‘value’ of some 588 volunteers.”

She hopes those numbers continue to increase this year. 

RSVP is a national volunteer program, a division of Senior Corps, which provides opportunities to volunteer with public service, non-profit and proprietary health organization for anyone 55 years of age and older.

RSVP coordinates community needs with the experience, skills and interests of its volunteers. Each volunteer chooses only the ‘jobs’ in which he/she is interested as well as the time spent for volunteering.

Dawn Bernhard discusses the growth of Northwest Iowa RSVP Volunteer Program.Dawn Bernhard discusses the growth of Northwest Iowa RSVP Volunteer Program.

Though there are over 100 different volunteer areas, Northwest Iowa RSVP signature programs include:  pen pals and literacy projects with area elementary students, providing necessary medical transportation, support of food pantries in each county, disaster response and outreach to area veterans.

Other Algona campus news Tuesday afternoon was an update from Theresa Waechter, Supervisor of the campus. She shared that the campus is gearing up for the fall semester and expressed appreciation for the college foundation’s Dancing with the Local Stars which has provided scholarships to numerous students this fall. 

Upcoming activities in Algona include the Kossuth County Fair where Iowa Lakes will participate in the fair parade as well as have a booth in the commercial building.

“The excitement is building on the new addition to the Algona campus,” Waechter said. “We look forward to the increase of opportunities for the community in utilizing this new space.” 

Sarah Bormann, a Massage Therapy student, spoke to the Trustees and talked about how this college has provided a ‘family’ with career opportunities. Three relatives have taken the Massage Therapy program and supported each other to reach their goals.

Also during the meeting, Thomas Brotherton, Executive Dean of the Emmetsburg campus, received approval from the Trustees for a renewal on the facility lease agreement with Upper Des Moines Opportunity (UDMO) in Palo Alto County on the Emmetsburg campus.

In other business, Delaine Hiney, Executive Director of Facilities Management, updated information on several projects at the college. 

First, the Trustees approved a change order for construction on the roof as well as the exterior at Gateway North in Spencer. The roofing project remains on schedule and the next step for contractors is to work on upgrades to the exterior entrances.

In Emmetsburg, the terrazzo floor is to be installed soon throughout the new building as well as the renovated dining services area. In addition, installation of the flooring is occurring in the Nursing Simulation Lab followed by the countertops. Upon completion of that, the simulation equipment can be installed.

In Estherville, the dirt work has started and the orchestra pit has been dug. Waterlines are being installed this week and then a new, south sidewalk can be poured in time for classes to start.

A construction permit has been granted for the addition to the Algona campus and dirt work has begun. 

In Spirit Lake, the northern section of the building is being gutted and upgraded for industrial classes. A contractor is expected to polish the concrete floor in mid-August. 

And, at the College Farm Lab, construction to replace the damaged beef facility has started.

Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Community and Business Relations, told the Trustees that the Launch magazine is out a month early, highlighting unique programs and college success stories. In Foundation news, scholarship events continue to go well this summer. 

The next meeting of the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees will be Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the Administration Building in Estherville. 

For More Information:

Iowa Lakes marketing staff at 712-362-7947

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