PHOTO: Iowa wrestling and USA Olympic legend Dan Gable was the featured guest speaker at this year’s Monticello Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet on Jan. 30. Gable told the crowd that he doesn’t believe in luck, and urged everyone to find ways to impact the lives of others. Gable also took time to meet with fans and sign autographs. (Photos by Kim Brooks)
PHOTO: Accepting the MACC Lifetime Award on behalf of his father, Art Kromminga, was Greg Kromminga (center). Art was recognized for his outstanding contributions and dedication to the Monticello community over the years. Presenting the award is Dan Gable and Tina McDonough.
PHOTO: The Chamber recognized the new Jones County Youth Development Center with a Community Pride Award. From left, MACC President Tina McDonough, Jones County Extension Director Joe Yedlik, Dan Gable and Jones County Fair Manager John Harms.
By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
Several inches of fresh snow and heavy winds did not stop Iowa Hawkeyes and United States Olympic wrestling legend Dan Gable from making the trip to Monticello last week. Gable was here as the guest speaker for the annual Monticello Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet, held in the new Jones County Youth Development Center, on Jan. 30.
With just a few seats to spare, the community didn’t let freezing temperatures and blowing snow stop them from coming out for the evening.
After a full meal provided by the Monticello Golf Club and the Jones County Pork Producers, Community Pride awards and the annual Lifetime award were handed out. This year’s recipients of the Community Pride awards were:
• Joel and Leslie Althoff – for economic development
• Rick and Lindsey Meyer – for building rehabilitation
• Doug Herman – for downtown building renovation
• Monticello Lions Club – as a non-profit, for the improvements and expansion of the Lions Club food stand at the fairgrounds
• Joe Yedlik, Jones County Extension, and John Harms, Jones County Fair – as a non-profit, for the new Jones County Youth Development Center at the fairgrounds
Each year at the MACC Banquet, a Lifetime Award is given out to a Chamber member for outstanding leadership and promotion of the Monticello area. This year’s award recipient went to Art Kromminga. At this time of the year, Art and Sharon live in Florida. In his absence, son Greg Kromminga accepted the award on his behalf.
Greg said his father was born and raised in Monticello, and continued to raise their children here, and now have grandchildren raising their families (great grandchildren) in Monticello as well.
“Our parents set an example for us on the importance of volunteering in our community and to think about other people,” commented Greg. “I thank them for that.”
The MACC Banquet was the “first formal public event” to take place in the new Jones County Youth Development Center, as noted by Fair Manager John Harms.
“This is a testament to the success and hard work it took to get this project done,” said Harms. “We all worked towards a common goal.”
Harms and Extension Director Joe Yedlik both commended the community for its “overwhelming response” on the new youth center.
The Extension and Fair offices have now moved into the building. Yedlik said, “Our doors are now open!”
The ISU Extension office has been located in Anamosa since the 1950s. Yedlik said they were housed in the basement of the Post Office there, then moved into the second floor of the Farm Bureau building, also in Anamosa.
“We’ve now made it to the ground floor,” he joked.
While there are minor projects to complete inside the youth center, the landscaping and outside projects will commence in the spring.
Gable took to the podium after the awards were given out and told stories about many of his former University of Iowa Hawkeye wrestlers and his time in the Olympics. (Gable won a gold medal in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.)
As Phil Larabee described Gable, “He’s a gentleman off the mat and an animal on the mat!”
The list of awards, achievements and accomplishments Gable has earned during his many years, not only as a wrestler himself, but as a coach, is endless.
“I don’t believe in luck,” he said. “I make my own luck.”
Of his loss on the mat during his own wrestling career, Gable simply said, “I lost and lost, then I got good!”
While Dan Gable is not actively coaching today, he is still active and involved in the sport. He’s attended many wrestling events at the University of Iowa and encourages wrestlers all over the world.
Looking back at his career and his future, Gable said, “I looked at my life then and thought, ‘How can I make an impact?’”
He said affecting the lives of others, much like he has certainly done, reflects positively on you.
After his comments for the evening, Gable spent time talking with local fans, giving autographs and taking photos.
PHOTO: Joel and Leslie Althoff (center) were recipients of the economic development Community Pride Award at this year’s Monticello Chamber Banquet. Presenting the award are Dan Gable and Chamber President Tina McDonough.
PHOTO: During the MACC Banquet, the Monticello Lions Club received a Community Pride Award as a non-profit organization. They were recognized for the improvements they made to their food stand at the fairgrounds. From left are Richard Wolken, Phil Larabee, Dan Gable, Regina Bush, MACC President Tina McDonough, Kevin Adams, Carl Wolken, Charlie Becker and Dennis Joslyn.
PHOTO: Rick and Lindsey Meyer (center) were the recipients of the Monticello Community Pride Award for building rehabilitation. The Meyers bought the building that previously housed South Main Events and turned it into the new State Farm office and living quarters upstairs. Presenting the award are Dan Gable and Tina McDonough, MACC president.
PHOTO: Dan Gable and Tina McDonough present Doug Herman (center) with a Community Pride Award for downtown building renovation during the annual Chamber Banquet.