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Des Moines Legacy Foundation 2017 LEGACY Award Recipient Chosen

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Congratulations to Laura Hartema. She has been chosen by the Des Moines Legacy Foundation board of directors to receive the foundation's inaugural LEGACY Award. The award is in the form of a glass flame, signifying the positive force of an outstanding community volunteer in changing the needs of our community through selfless leadership through parks, recreation and senior services.

Laura has been the director of Friends of Des Moines Creek for nearly two decades. Her focus has been on protecting the stream buffer, removing invasives and replanting with native plants to reduce erosion, protect trees from English ivy, and improve fish and wildlife habitat.

Laura, a vivacious woman, was surprised by the award. "Being a local ecologist, I enjoy the many volunteers who pitch in to improve our community and Des Moines Creek. All types have volunteered, from high schools, colleges, churches, and other community groups. It is a tough task to control invasive, non-invasive vegetation along the creek and maintain a healthy buffer. Native plants help prevent erosion, improve water quality, and provide shade and cover for salmon."

Laura maintains a volunteer website and has contributed various Ask an Ecologist articles for the Des Moines City Currents magazine. Laura I wants to show people how their actions matter, that each of us can do a small part to care for and maintain a healthy environment. We live in a small community, but collectively, we make up a greater planet.

We feel lucky and appreciative to Laura for giving her expert knowledge and labor to make a difference in our community's environment.

Des Moines Legacy Foundation 2018 LEGACY Award Recipient Chosen

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2018 Des Moines Legacy Award goes to volunteer youth sports coach David Rahn - the 2018 Legacy Award winner.

Named by the board of directors, David was presented with a trophy in the form of a glass flame, signifying the positive force of an outstanding community volunteer in serving the needs of our community through selfless leadership.

David has been a volunteer coach in the Des Moines Parks, Recreation and Senior Services youth sports programs for the past decade. Helping to shape local youth not only into better-skilled players, but better teammates and human beings. During his tenure David has coached hundreds of children in multiple sports, truly making a difference in the lives of children in the Des Moines area. David instills in his youth how to be a model citizen, a contributing member of the community and a good teammate.

Being a coach, for any sport, at any level, is a daunting challenge and requires absolute commitment and dedication. David has taken on this challenge time and time again. Never once has he denied a player access to a team he has coached; in fact, David has been accepting of any player regardless of age, gender, race or athletic ability as long as they were able to be on a city team. David serves as an example of selflessness and passion; an example carried on by all those he has taught on and off the sports surface.

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