By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Colleen Leach, Wayne Zelasko, and Deputy Chief Bob Koehn hold their awards proudly.


Each year the local Granges honor those who have performed extraordinary service to the community. The information of these honorees will be sent to the State Grange to choose an over-all ‘winner’ in the state. Sandy Kennedy, Community Service person of LeRoy Grange, was chosen as the over-all winner in the State two years ago.

In past years, only two people have been so honored each year – one a member of the Grange (a Granger) and one a non-member of the Grange. This year, each Grange is honoring five people: a Granger, a non-Granger, a police officer, a firefighter, and a teacher.

On Wednesday, July 10, LeRoy Grange on the corner of Manchester and Beaverton Roads in Caledonia held their awards ceremony.

LeRoy Grange was chartered in 1933 and meets in one of the oldest buildings in Boone County. The building served as a recruiting center and then a one-room schoolhouse before LeRoy Grange purchased the property. The Grange was originally formed to assist farmers negotiate contracts with the railroad companies. Today the Grange is service organization. It still helps farmers in rural America and is 100 percent a community service organization. A few of the services LeRoy Grange is involved in are the Vets Drop In, and assisting families in need with coats/jackets, gloves, hats, and scholarships.

The honorees for this year were nominated by their peers or superiors. They are: Wayne Zelasko, for Granger of the Year; Colleen Leach, as non-member/Community Service of the Year; Suzette Muck, for Teacher of the Year; Detective Rob Kozlowski, as the Police Officer of the Year; and Deputy Chief Bob Koehn of Boone County Fire District #2 as Firefighter of the Year.

Det. Kozlowski and Suzette Muck were unable to attend to event Kozlowski was chosen for the many, many things he has done professionally to keep Boone County a safer place to live.

Suzette Muck was chosen for everything she does in the Poplar Grove Elementary School. She teaches special education and was the runner-up for the Golden Apple Award two years ago.

Wayne Zelasko – Community Service Granger of the Year – spends time helping many around the community and does whatever needs to be done at the Grange whether it is mowing the lawn, replacing the windows, or repairing anything the vintage building presents him with. He has built ramps for members of the community, helped with tornado cleanup, and worked…

For complete article, pick up the July 18 Belvidere Republican.

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