A true volunteer seeking neither notoriety or personal gain accurately describes the 2011 Cherokee Citizen of the Year - Jeffrey Blum, who was honored at Saturday's annual Cherokee County Recognition Banquet at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Cherokee.
Blum, a 43-year employee with what is now Tyson Foods, moved to Cherokee with his family in 1983 and continues working in the office at Tyson Retail Deli in Cherokee.
He has been an active worker in his civic club, in his church, with local youth organizations, and with the Cherokee Community Theater. He also has volunteered considerable time at the Cherokee PRCA Rodeo, the County fairs, and the Christmas Parades.
Blum is an active, dedicated member of the Cherokee Lions Club, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, assists his wife in Girl Scouts, and is a regular behind the scenes volunteer with the Cherokee Community Theater.
Blum was among several County businesses and individuals recognized at the popular event in the WITCC Conference Center that was attended by more than 225 people, the largest crowd ever, according to Mark Buschkamp, Director of the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation that annually organizes and hosts the event.
Among County businesses and individuals saluted for their 2011 accomplishments and economic contributions included First Cooperative Association, Burkhardt & Dawson CPAs, Denny O'Bryan Service to Agriculture, and O'Halloran International, all of Cherokee; Jack and Helen Simonsen of Simonsen Industries in Quimby; Gaylen Goettsch representing the Washta United Methodist Church; Karl and Sara Koelling of Marcus Dental Clinic; and Dale and Barb Cave for Country Creations LLC in Marcus.
Also, the City of Cleghorn honored Bernice McIntosh as its Citizen of the Year for her continued service to Cleghorn for many years.
Among many other Cherokee businesses honored were WITCC for its 15th Anniversary and for new President Dr. Terry Murrell, Tyson Retail Deli, Cherokee Youth Summer Ball Association, Sanford Museum, Heart and Sole Dance Studio, Cherokee Airport Authority, City of Cherokee, Hy-Vee DrugStore, Framing Nook and Main Street Antiques, Lifenet Air Ambulance, North Star Community Credit Union, Careage Hills, 60-year Magician Cletus Henke, Cherokee County Fair Board, and Cherokee County Solid Waste Commission.
Among Aurelia businesses and individuals saluted were Sunset Knoll Care & Rehab Center 50th Anniversary, Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Aurelia and Cherokee, Mud on Main, New Reflections, Aurelia Star, Lucky 7 Car Wash, Gustafson Realty in Aurelia and Cherokee, Melanie's Joy, and Capture Photography by Leah.
In Marcus, Marcus Lions Club, Sand Seed Service, Pizza Ranch, Marcus Chamber of Commerce, Ames Auto Body, Marcus Fair Board, Old Panhead Restaurant & Lounge, Marcus Junction, Topline Country Store.
Also recognized in Cherokee were Fareway, Cherokee County Conservation, Bright Beginnings Day Care, Underground Clothing, Simply For Her, Countryside Estates, Royster & Royster PLLC MN Counseling, Grin & Wear It, IC Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Dairy Queen, Royer's Jewelry, Cherokee County GIS/IT.