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Myrna Heddinger Named

By Staff | Feb 5, 2008

I feel so humbled. ‘Thank you’ are the only words I know. Such small words for something so large,” said Myrna Heddinger when being announced as the Charles A. Hughes Citizen of the Year recipient last Friday, Feb. 1.

Myrna Heddinger was nominated for this honor by several people in the community and selected by Chamber of Commerce board members.

Thank you to the Chamber Board for selecting me and Thank You to Charles Hughes and Dr. Coffey and all the others who have received this honor,” said Myrna. I feel honored to be listed with those who have held this position.”

Myrna expressed her love of community. “I would do anything to promote Emmetsburg. We work together to come together.”

She listed the virtues of the Emmetsburg community, including Five Island Lake and the education and health systems the community has to offer. Myrna introduced her family, children, brother and sisters and her husband of 49 years, “Dutch” Heddinger.

Nominations came from Lee and Angie Beem, who see Myrna as a highly visible, active ambassador of Emmetsburg, playing and singing music for her church, volunteer at the Welcome Center and St. Pat’s , retired from nursing at Palo Alto County Hospital, immediate past mayor of Emmetsburg, promoting Emmetsburg in a positive way, a lifelong resident and a great neighbor and caring friend.

“Angie has always said, ‘Bloom where you are planted.’ Myrna, you were planted here, nurtured here, and you have become the brightest, prettiest, most special flower in the entire garden,” said Lee Beem.

Kay Kibbie and Jane Whitmore also nominated Myrna for Citizen of the Year. Kay Kibbie has been a friend since childhood and remembers her playing piano and organ in school and in church, and her work at Palo Alto County Hospital. Jane Whitmore saw Myrna’s work on the City Council for 14 years and eight years as Mayor.

“Myrna is always one of the first to volunteer for the betterment of the community,” Kay Kibbie said. “She has done it all, from planting flowers and cleaning leaves out of the stairwells to volunteering at St. Patrick’s headquarters and Emmetsburg Welcome Center.”

“Myrna serves the community with a gracious smile and a welcome,” said Jane Whitmore. “She has led Emmetsburg in times of growth and the fulfilment of what a community can be. She has always been there with the kind of attitude we like to think represents Emmetsburg and its citizens.”

When Myrna Heddinger retired from her post as Mayor of Emmetsburg earlier this year, City Administrator John Bird wrote a poem in her honor. He highlighted the calls about dogs barking in the night, sitting in a special meeting as friends go to play golf, appeasing constituents with an “I’ll try,” and fulfilling duties for the city before heading out fishing. He wrote:

“Serve as Mayor? Are you crazy? I don’t know why anyone would! Oh, but the benefits are great,and the pay is quite good.”

The poem ended: “We’ve come her to thank a woman for all she has done. For the selfless hours she’s given, our respect she has won. Mayor Myrna, we offer you our thanks and much praise. Your leadership has bettered Emmetsburg in so many ways!”

“The Keys To

Our Success”


Rick Jones served as President of the Chamber Board. “Thanks to Cecilia. Hats off to the board. Hats off to everyone here. Without our members and without your support we would not be where we are today.”

During the evening, Cecilia Miller introduced 2008 Board members and supporting businesses: Rick Jones, Iowa Trust & Savings Bank; Greg Hoyman, Hughes Pharmacy; Tim McCain, Celtics Beverage Company; Deb Knight, Iowa Lakes Community College; Jay Jurrens, Emmetsburg Community Schools; Jean Reedy, Emmetsburg Eye Care; Teresa Saxton, Saxton’s Greenhouse & Flowers; Diana Parisi, Palo Alto County Health Systems; Doug Welander, Laurens State Bank; Mary Cooper, Dan Cooper Builders; Amy Williams, Wild Rose Casino & Resort; Michelle James, Look Who’s Stamping; and, Dan McCain, Reporter & Democrat. She also thanked outgoing board members Tom Brotherton, Iowa Lakes Community College, and Ron Ludwig, Horizons Unlimited.

Volunteers at the Chamber and Iowa Welcome Center include Louise Harrison, Ginger Blatchford, Julie Thiel, Myrna Heddinger, Kaye Curran, Pat Steffen and Mary C. Parsons; and teen volunteer Amanda Carpenter. Office Administrative Assistant is Susan Clark.

“Above & Beyond” businesses were honored for their contributions: AGP (Ag Processing Incorporated), Johnson Realty, Martin-Mattice Funeral Home and Wells Fargo Bank.

Jack Kibbie of Emmetsburg, President of the Iowa Senate, congratulated Cecilia Miller for representing Emmetsburg at a Northwest Iowa Chamber of Commerce event in Spencer recently. “Cecilia represented Emmetsburg like never before,” said Kibbie. “You would be very proud of her the way she put Emmetsburg on the map.”

Retail Association

“Appreciation is key to the success of any organization,” said Laura Blanchet and Deb Hite, co-chairs of the Emmetsburg Retail Association. “For us to continue to succeed, it is important to take time to acknowledge where we are and how we got here. It is the membership of the Emmetsburg Retail Association that has allowed this group to achieve what it has over the past two years.”

The list of 2006 and 2007 supporting and sustaining members includes: Nelson’s Cabinn, Sol Salon, Wentzel Realty, Tom and Cindy Lee, Rotary Club, KUYY-Y100.1, St. Pat’s Irish Gift Shop, Julie Clarkson, Bill and Marcie Frevert, Iowa Trust & Savings Bank, Dan Cooper Builders, The Reporter & The Democrat, Hughes, Brennan and Wirtz, Mehan, Holland, Lowe/Central Financial Group, E-Pride Office Products, Craig and Kathy Merrill, Randy’s Repair, Poet Biorefinery, Queen Marie Bed & Breakfast, Laurens State Bank, Scott Telephone, The Financial Center, John D. Brown, Attorney, Mansmith Pharmacy, Eleanor Coffee and the late Dr. James Coffey, Emmetsburg Chiropractic, and Wild Rose Casino & Resort.

Adding a bit of laughter to the evening, Laura Blanchet awarded Duck Awards to: Dan McCain for assisting with advertising, a duck bank; Jane Whitmore for following the retailers through their adventures, even out in the rain, a duck in a rain coat; and Cecilia Miller for her positive attitude changing “I think I can” to “I know I can,” a little train engine.

KEMB-LP 94.1

Jen Meyer thanked everyone for listening in the three years that KEMB-LP has been on the air. She offered special thanks to radio board members Ron Seaman, John Schad, Lee Beem, Greg Hoyman and Brent McAllister. And she thanked volunteer announcers for their participation, including Brent McAllister and Rick Jones, football; Bill Bramley and Steve Finer, wrestling; Brent McAllister and Jay Jurrans, basketball; student apprentices Jesse Wolfe, Ethan Dykstra, Marc Siemers and Mitch Wagner; Lori Martinez and Rich Hall, blues show; Dennis Benjamin, 80s music; Stephanie Larson, radio theatre; Jan Thorsbakken, dinner date; and Brian Campbell, Ron Seaman, John Schad and Ed Meyer.