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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

Gov. Reynolds presents Give Back Iowa Awards

By By Thomas Nelson, The Gazette | Sep 12, 2018
Gov. Kim Reynolds and Jody Hartz, interim CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, talk shortly after Reynolds presented Hartz and the organization the Give Back Iowa award Tuesday.

WATERLOO -- Gov. Kim Reynolds made an appearance Tuesday in Waterloo to present the Give Back Iowa award to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa.

The award goes the organization for the 280 volunteer hours the staff of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa put in throughout the Black Hawk County area.

This is the second time the organization has received a Give Back Iowa award.

“We depend on volunteers,” said Jody Hartz, interim CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, prior to introducing Reynolds.

Reynolds said the she was excited about STEM programs offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa and its Women in STEM initiative.

“I am such a big proponent of STEM, science, technology, engineering and math,” Reynolds said. “It’s really brought business and industry educators together.”

STEM is really important for young people in the state of Iowa to prepare them for those careers, Reynolds said.

“Every day I’m inspired by Iowans like you who are making a difference in so many ways,” Reynolds said. “You’re making a difference one minute, one hour, one day, one month and one year at a time.”

Volunteerism is one of the reasons why Iowa is one of the best places to live, Reynolds said.

After speaking at the event, Reynolds answered questions about the disaster proclamations for multiple counties, including Black Hawk, around Iowa after the major flooding.

“It’s been an interesting year, 12 tornadoes, four that impacted communities across the state, and we’ve had quite a bit of flooding,” Reynolds said. “With each experience you do an after-action report and that really helps us be prepared for the future.”

She said she’s always impressed with the response from communities’ emergency managers and responders.

“It’s who we are as Iowans and what we do,” Reynolds said.

This is the fourth year of the Give Back Iowa awards.

Reynolds later went to deliver a Give Back Iowa award to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa’s Mason City office.

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