2021 Volunteer of the Year awarded at GOPIP Banquet

2021 Volunteer of the Year awarded at GOPIP Banquet Main Photo

22 Oct 2021

For 28 years, Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress has presented the Gene Schultz Community Service Award to a person demonstrating exemplary commitment to the community in a voluntary capacity. This year’s recipient has a long list of accomplishments for sure but she’s probably most recognized for her green thumb. 2020 Gene Schultz Community Service Award recipient is Connie Ferguson.

There are so many ways to describe Connie; pick one of these and they’ll all be correct- Curious. Creative. Imaginative. Visual. Adventurer. Producer. Innovator. And these are just some of her strengths. If it grows, she knows how and where to put it; small container, large planters, glass bottles, even dried with a ribbon. Just name an occasion and she’ll know how to display just the right flowers and foliage. Her creativity shows up in the downtown area, at Bridge View Center, and at the Temple of Creative Arts. Even in the cold, the heat, the wet, and the windy, she’s got a smile and a few words of enthusiasm for those around her.

Her commitments to community include having run her own in-home daycare for 25 years, retiring in 2013, serving on the boards of Main Street Ottumwa, American Gothic Performing Arts Festival, and for years was a member and officer of the Laureate Guild. Connie is in constant motion, helping with activities and events such as Evening in the Garden (which she hosts at her home), Field to Fork, Ladies Night Out, Upstairs/Downtown, Central Park Lights of Love, Queen of the Green and SO MUCH MORE!

As a life-long resident, Connie is certainly a part of the fabric of Ottumwa. This community is by far better for the time, energy, and commitment Connie puts into every project she touches. Her family includes son Matt and daughter Abby along with their spouses and 7 granddaughters.

The Gene Schultz Award was created by friends Charlie Barnett and Dick Ramsayer with the blessing of Gene’s widow Rose and his late mother Marian and father Rich. The statue was created by Dick Dutton and handcrafted by artisan Bill Wuthrich. Nominations for the award are accepted by Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress every year between May and September. Please visit www.gopip.org 

Please Contact:

Sharon Stroh, VP Organizational Communication