Webster City's Youth and Family Center kicked off its annual Friends Campaign Tuesday night during the annual holiday open house.
"Once a year we ask for donations to support the work that we do here," said Jane Adams, director of the Youth and Family Center. "All of the funds - even though they go through our Youth and Shelter Services - come back to our county."
Adams recounted the accomplishments of her first year with YFC. Most notably, the center celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. A celebration was held in June to commemorate the milestone.
YFC Community Advisory Committee Co-Chair Kathy Birkestrand presents a Pbilanthropy award to Doug Johnson, commander of American Legion Post 191. The post has included the center in its donations for many years.
"We have provided continuous service here in Hamilton County for 30 and a half years now," she said. "I just can't even comprehend how many thousands and thousands of families and youth we have impacted in that time," she said. "Many people have told me that if it wasn't for YSS, they don't know where they would have turned."
Adams also announced that staff member Pam Hammond would be presented a service award for her 10 years with the agency. Hammond was unable to attend due to illness.
Kathy Birkestrand, co-chair of the YFC community advisory board, presented a Philanthropy Award to American Legion Post No. 191. Birkestrand said the Legion post had donated money to the center from its annual toll road for about 15 years. She gave a brief history of the Legion's toll road.
"In 1955, the Legion started the toll road with money collected going to the March of Dimes in the fight against polio. In the mid-1960s, it was decided that funds collected would go to local organizations," she said. Now, the Legion nominates up to six local groups to receive the funds raised. The funds are then split between the groups.
"Youth and Family Center is grateful to the American Legion Post 191 for valuing what we do enough to include us in this distribution," Birkestrand said. "We stand in great company with other groups such Congregate Meals, Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels, Senior Citizens club and veterans affairs.
She presented a plaque to Legion Commander Doug Johnson, recognizing the Legion post's generosity and its support of YFC and other local organizations.
Sherry Lambi, a member of the community advisory board, was presented the Volunteer Service Award. Birkestrand said Lambi and her family had moved to Webster City in 1985.
"While raising her family, Sherry worked for the family business, but still found time to volunteer for many activities that involved youth and her community," Birkestrand said. She listed off many of Lambi's volunteer activities which included serving as a 4-H leader, Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, a member of the Hamilton Hospital Foundation board and is a master gardener.
"She helped build a serenity garden for Community and Family Resources and helped with landscaping for Opportunity Village," Birkestrand said.
Nancy Hilpipre introduced two sisters who discussed their experiences in aging out of the foster care program and working with Aftercare. Both credited YSS program's for helping them to get ready for independent living.