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Iowa Women’s Foundation honors five in FD

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

This year’s Ovation honorees from the Fort Dodge area were recognized Wednesday evening during a presentation at Olde Boston’s Restaurant Pub in downtown Fort Dodge. They are, from left, Amy Bruno, Jane Curtis, Karen Alstott, Lisa Shimkat and Sheila Hansen.

The Iowa Women’s Foundation honored this year’s Fort Dodge area Ovation award honorees Wednesday evening during a presentation at Olde Boston’s Restaurant Pub in downtown Fort Dodge.

Each honoree was introduced by one of the individuals who had made their nomination.

Jane Curtis, editor of The Messenger, was introduced by the newspaper’s publisher, Terry Christensen.

“We were going to surprise her,” he said. “But we work in a newspaper.”

He credits Curtis with doing an exceptional job in a tough environment.

“In today’s world,” he said, “it’s a large responsibility.”

Amy Bruno, program coordinator with the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way, was introduced by the organization’s CEO, Randy Kuhlman.

“She’s helped so many people,” he said. “Especially by mentoring young people. She’s very active and involved in the community.”

Karen Alstott, president and co-owner of C S Products Co. Inc., was recognized by her daughter, Wendi Fredregill, of West Des Moines.

“I’m very proud of my mom,” Fredregill said. “She supports the community. A saying, ‘A strong woman stands up, a stronger woman helps others stand,’ describes her well.”

Lisa Shimkat, was introduced by her husband, Ed Shimkat.

He nominated her based on her work as state director of the Iowa Small Business Development Center, but also for her membership on the Fort Dodge Community School District Board.

The final honoree, Sheila Hansen, was introduced by Elizabeth Stanek, executive director of Linking Families and Communities.

Stanek said she was honored for her work as policy director of the Child and Family Policy Center where she works as a lobbyist in Des Moines.

“She’s a strong advocate for children,” Stanek said.

The evening also included a presentation by Iowa Women’s Foundation Executive Director Dawn Oliver Wiand. She spoke about the need for childcare in the area and how not being able to afford child care, often prevents women from entering the workforce.

She also talked about two child care proposals for Fort Dodge that would provide spots for 347 children.

It would only make a small dent.

During her presentation, Stanek said a study revealed that Fort Dodge ne an additional 1,638 child care spaces.

Kuhlman also spoke about the need for childcare in Fort Dodge.

“If you work for $12 an hour, 40 hours a week — and you’re a single mom with three kids,” he said. “You’re living in poverty.”

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