After collecting nominations for all of December and holding community-wide voting on January 3rd and 4th, the Winter Games Committee has officially tallied up the votes! We now present to you the 2019 University of Okoboji Winter Games Cheerleaders.
Lori & George Bower, Spirit Lake
As a radio personality, George has been the ultimate cheerleader for the Iowa Great Lakes ever since he first moved to the area in 1995. From his position as the morning guy at KUOO to his most recent job as the Farm Director at KICD, George has always loved highlighting all of the wonderful people and places found in and around the lakes area. Both on and off the air, George has been known to share his love of the area with family, friends, and listeners far and wide. In his 20+ years of living in the Iowa Great Lakes, George has served on the ECHO Board, the Extension Council, lead youth activities at the YMCA, been a member of both the IGL Rotary and the Spirit Lake Noon Kiwanis and served on various church committees as well as taught Sunday School.
Lori has welcomed a generation of children to the Spirit Lake schools in her role as a kindergarten and early childhood development teacher. Her hard-work, dedication, positive attitude, and perpetual smile has set the tone for thousands of children and their families in their first educational experience in public school. Somehow despite going to school early and staying late every day, Lori has managed to volunteer countless hours at her church where she serves on several committees and helps with Sunday School, Bible School, and Wednesday night youth activities; and for Spirit Lake Music Boosters where she served several years as President. She is also active in the Lake Park Garden Club which holds the annual children’s bazaar, volunteers at the Bedell Family YMCA, and served on the Echo Plus board.
Lisa Duffy, Milford
Lisa is a Special Education teacher at the Spirit Lake High School. She is a member of the Spirit Lake Noon Kiwanis and is a leader for the Spirit Lake High School Key Club. In this role she helps teach youth how to volunteer and make their community a better place to live. Not only is she involved in Spirit Lake High School, but you can also see her cheering on the youth at Okoboji High School where her daughters attend.She always gives 110% in anything she does with a smile and positive energy. Lisa is a great role model, leader, and volunteer in our community.
Abby Goodlaxson, Okoboji
You will not find anyone with more enthusiasm about all things ‘Okoboji’! She is on her 19thyear teaching P.E. at Okoboji High School. She is a past Iowa Physical Education Teacher of the Year and Central Region High School Teacher of the Year. She is currently serving on the YMCA Board and a leadership team at Okoboji High School. She’s a Middle School Cross Country Coach and is seen cheering on all area sports and music. As a teacher, coach and mentor, she is consistently setting a great example for the students she teaches and for other members of the community. She has also worked on The Queen in the summers for 10 years! Abby is a true champion of the Okoboji area!
Nate & Greta Gruys, Spirit Lake
Nate and Greta embody the Okoboji Spirit! Since returning to Greta’s hometown a few years ago, they have become an integral part of the community. Nate currently serves as Chair of the YMCA Board, is an elder at Grace Lutheran Church, is a member of Rotary and has served on the Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission. Greta is a past Chair of Winter Games, President of T.T.T., has served on the board of the Pearson Lakes Art Center, is very active with the Grace Lutheran Church Salad Luncheon and with the Spirit Lake Community Schools.
Jill Harms, Milford
Jill is a true community leader and champion for the Iowa Great Lakes. She has recently won Entrepreneur of the Year through the Iowa Lakes Corridor. Jill has spent countless hours with Okoboji Schools taking activity photographs, leading Okoboji Youth Basketball Association, offering talents for Building for the Future (new middle school) and acting as Okoboji Booster President. Jill also plays an integral part of the Imagine Project Committee that was established to beautify the Iowa Great Lakes. She has also been on the Historic Arnolds Park Board for 7 years. This is her 3rdyear of being President of Restore the Park. She is an active member and leader at St. Joseph’s Catholic church in Milford.
Dr. Ronald J Kolegraff, Milford
Dr. Kolegraff has been a Dickinson County resident for over 30 years. He has been active in the community and schools, while raising 7 children. He is a local business owner of re*be Skin and Vein Clinic, which has been in business in the Iowa Great Lakes Area for over 10 years. He was named to the State Board of Medicine in 2016. Dr. Ron Kolegraff, a practicing surgeon of over 32 years, is Board Certified in General Surgery, a Diplomate of the American Board of Phlebology, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Kolegraff and his staff treat hundreds of patients each month. He has truly dedicated his time and talents to this area.
Peg Rick, Orleans
Peggy is a very enthusiastic member of the Lakes area. She has touched the lives of thousands of children as a teacher in the Spirit Lake School District and continues today through substituting. One can often see Peggy cheering on Indian extracurricular events, and she was even given the title of “2015 Fan of the Year”. She was honored at Girls’ State Basketball for sportsmanship and decorum. In the community of Orleans, Peggy is Chairperson of the Orleans Board of Adjustment and also takes pride in keeping the village looking spiffy! Peggy is active in her church – willing to step up to the plate for many needs! If you see Peggy around the Lakes area you can guarantee she has a big smile and a positive attitude.
Congratulations to all those who were nominated. We can’t wait to hear these 9 fantastic individuals cheering loud and proud at the 39th Annual U of O Winter Games on January 24th – 27th!