Jaycees celebrates local community leaders

Jaycees celebrates local community leaders

The Jaycees of the Quad Cities honored community members and fellow Jaycees who are having positive impacts in the Quad Cities at their Community Awards Celebration on Thursday, April 25 at Jaycees Hall in Davenport. The Celebration showcases individual excellence in leadership as shown by outstanding initiative, impact of work and inspiring others. Because the group is a young professional organization, all recipients must be under 40 at the time of the celebration to be eligible.

This year’s winners include:

  • Young Community Leader Award: Mary Beth Angerer, owner of Angerer Eats. This award recognizes someone whose leadership has made a significant impact in the local community. Through her business, Angerer Eats, she addresses food insecurity among cancer patients by providing healthy, homecooked meals to Gilda’s Club. Angerer began working with Gilda’s Club in September 2023, first by providing group dinners before support sessions. She crowdfunded nearly $3,645 in November 2023 to buy a large freezer for Gilda’s Club and vowed to fill it every week with meals for families affected by cancer. Click here (angereats.com) for more on the meal program.

  • Young Educator Award: Paige Sheppard, language arts teacher at Bettendorf High School. This award recognizes someone whose leadership in the classroom and/or within the educational setting has made a significant impact in the community. Despite being a new teacher, Sheppard developed a multicultural literature course, from proposal to execution. She designed the curriculum using the Understanding by Design framework and over 50 students enrolled in the course. She focused on enhancing student engagement and implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) language in her classroom. Sheppard is working towards a master’s degree.

  • Young Religious Leader Award: Zac Sandry, Youth Pastor at Heritage Church. This award recognizes someone whose religious leadership has made an impact on the local community. Sandry shows unwavering dedication to serving both his church community and the community’s youth population. He volunteers as a baseball coach and, along with his family, provides care and assistance to those in need. He has served with Heritage Church for over 10 years.

  • Young City Servant Award: Cpl. Emily Rasche, Davenport Police Department. This award recognizes someone whose city leadership has made an impact on the community. Cpl. Rasche has had a distinguished career within the police force, starting as a detective in the Narcotics Unit before being promoted to her current position in the Patrol Division. She spent five years undercover while working as a detective and was instrumental in many large-scale narcotics and weapons arrests, as well as leading in arrests and seizures for several years. She also trained newer detectives and decided to pursue a promotion to patrol, where she now serves as a Field Training Officer and mentors new officers.

  • Davenport Jaycees Foundation Scholarship Recipient – Claire Doran, a senior at Moline High School, who plans to pursue a degree in business and political science in the fall of 2024. This scholarship recognizes a student attending Assumption High School, Central High School, North High School, North Scott High School, West High School, Bettendorf High School, Pleasant Valley High School, Moline High School, Rock Island High School or Alleman High School who is entering their freshman year of college in the fall semester at an accredited post-secondary educational institution. Recipients must be active volunteers in the community and show a high level of academic achievement. Doran, a senior at Moline was awarded the $2,000 Community Service Scholarship. Doran was chosen by classmates to represent her school at Rotary meetings and has logged the most volunteer hours in a month for the Interact Club while maintaining high honor roll status throughout her high school career.

The Jaycees also honored four of their own members who went above and beyond for the chapter and the community. This year’s honorees included:

  • 2023 Jaycees Member of the Year – Drew Grace. This award recognizes a member who has been actively involved with the chapter, shows great leadership and is a role model to other members while growing chapter involvement.

  • 2023 Jaycees Rookie of the Year – Shannon Lane and Ashley Gore This award recognizes a first-year member (or members) of the chapter who has shown great initiative and involvement in programs and events.

  • 2023 Jaycees Project of the Year – Lisa Gerhardt, Taco ‘Bout A Non-Profit Fair This new award recognizes member(s) of the chapter who have demonstrated leadership and creativity by creating a new successful event for members.

“It’s no secret that the Quad Cities is filled with so many wonderful people making positive changes every day,” said Kelsey Watson, Chairwoman of the Board, Jaycees of the Quad Cities. “We are so fortunate, as an organization, that we get to recognize and celebrate these individuals and the work they do for our community and their impact on making the QCA a great place to live!”

Click here or email info@qcjaycees.org for more information on the Jaycees of the Quad Cities and their initiatives.

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