Harvest Festival Honors Local Heroes
PLATTSMOUTH - Honoring its “Heroes of the Harvest” theme, Plattsmouth Harvest Festival sponsors recognized area residents who go beyond the call of duty to make the world a better place for all.
Before the festival’s Grand Parade on Saturday, Sharon Smith announced Rhonda Heim, as recipient of the 2019 Lucille McLean Award.
Smith: “Our educator has taught in the Plattsmouth Schools for 35 years. She earned her bachelor’s of arts degree from Peru State College in elementary and special education. She later graduated with distinction with her masters of science in curriculum instruction from Wayne State College.”
Heim provides learning centers for math, science, social studies, writing and technology to complement a child-based, hands-on curriculum.
Smith: “As she evaluates each student’s progress, she adjusts strategies accordingly.”
Heim is a grade level Parent Teacher Organization representative, a crisis team member, team leader for the kindergarten department and member of various elementary committees.
She is a 19-year member of Alpha Delta Kappa. She enjoys traveling and spending time on the family farm with her husband Dennis and two daughters.
Harvest Festival President Rachel Parsons announced Brian Wagner as this year’s grand marshal for the Saturday parade.
Parsons: “As a city worker he was involved with the 2011 flood and spent weeks by helping make the 25,500-plus sandbags. In 2017, with the straight- line wind incident, Brian helped with search and rescue efforts for the EMS and fire department.”
This year, he helped the fire department with rescue efforts after flood, and spent long hours with fellow employees at the water treatment plant trying to sandbag and keep the rising waters from destroying the water and sewer treatment plants.
Parsons: “Brian has spent countless hours and many sleepless nights trying to make sure water is supplied to the town. Every day he puts others before himself and we are sure that will never change.”
Parsons also announced MA1 Adam and Kayla Denio as military family of the year.
Born in Vermont, Adam enlisted in the Navy in Portland, Maine the September of 2006. He attended boot camp at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Ill.
He also trained as a machinist mate submariner at the Naval Sub Base New London, Conn.
Parsons: “In March 2007, Adam was assigned to the Aircraft Carrier USS Nimitz as an undesignated fireman in the main machinery room as a machinist mate. He repaired and maintained the ship’s main propulsion systems, distilling units, re-broilers and auxiliary systems.”
While on the Nimitz, he was deployed to the Asian Pacific coastline and Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2010, he attended the “A” school at the United States Air Force Security Forces Academy in San Antonio, Texas. In 2015, he was deployed back to NSA Bahrain for another year as an Armory Supervisor. He left active duty in 2016 and transferred to the Naval Reserve where he serves as Master at Arms First Class Petty Officer supporting naval shipyard in Portsmouth, Va.
With agriculture at the heart of the festival, Parsons announced Lance and Sonya Ross as the 2019 Farm Family of the Year.
Lance started family by helping his dad in the Nehawka and Murray area. He drove farm equipment and rain a combine when he was only eight years old.
Now, he analyzes new farming practices for the corn and soybean operation.
Parsons: “His knowledge of farming fundamentals come form experience as a Conestoga FFA member and 4-H member.”
Sonja grew up on a farm near Edgar, where she helped her parents running the grain cart and irrigating. She was also active in showing horses in AQHA and 4-H.
The couple live on their farm and raise their three children, Madden, Harper and Tate.
Lance also serves on the Cass County Farm Bureau Board. He sells seed corn and soybeans for Pioneer.
Parsons: “Farming is a team effort in this family, whether harvesting, planting, marketing crops or keeping equipment in working condition, this family pulls together.
He and his wife, Kayla, live in Plattsmouth. Kayla works for Concentra Urgent Care as an X-Ray technician. The couple has a daughter, Natalie, born in March 2017. Adam serves on the Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department.