When a Lamoni Municipal Utilities tried to trade in the older vehicle and couldn’t, another city department benefited. The used truck now becomes an airport courtesy vehicle to be used by pilots flying into Lamoni. “The airport board is working hard to upgrade and modernize our airport making the Lamoni airport a destination for this […]
What was once a diamond of water troughs and slopes has been transformed into a flawless sport’s field for youth baseball and softball. Now the only challenges are pitching, batting, and catching – where players’ skills are all that make the difference. “Upgrading the North Park youth field was an expensive undertaking,” Lamoni’s Community Center […]
“Back in 1962 when I was a student at Graceland University, we called it The Commodities Shop. Through the years, the name has changed to the Lamoni Services Center and is finally known currently as the Lamoni Thrift Center,” Joe Shelton, Center Board President, said. The Center worked with Graceland University’s ENACTUS group to improve its image. One of their recommendations was to change the name to better reflect what it does. It worked – The Center has seen an increase in customer traffic as a result. “But no matter what we call ourselves, our objective is still to look at the social service needs of the community and do whatever we can to make things better for people,” Shelton emphasized.
Mariah Smith, Center Director, is also new to the store. A Lamoni public school 2010 graduate, she started on August 24th. Smith comes in at a time when the Center is upgrading the facility and considering major expansion prospects. It is exploring adding extra space by buying the building adjacent to it. “We would use this acquisition to begin combining local social service activities into one geographic location to better be able to reach out and help people and organizations,” Smith said. “We would really like to have the Food Pantry next to the Center. We could also improve community services like mental health and computer stations for Iowa Workforce Development job seekers by bringing them closer to the individuals who need them. There would also be space to add conference rooms for organizations to utilize.”
“Mariah is the perfect candidate for the position of director,” Shelton said. “She has the drive to make the Center successful and knows the community and coupled with her background in healthcare client-centered services, Mariah fits nicely with the Center’s mission. This is a period during the year when we especially require the kind of energy she brings to us.” September is a demanding time for Smith, the Center’s other three employees, and its many volunteers. With the start of school at Graceland University and the Lamoni Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Fall Yard Sale’s spillover to the Center, everyone is kept busy screening, sorting, hanging, cleaning, and selling goods to the community.
The Center sprang out of Community of Christ (C of C) congregations’ dedication to serving people in need in the greater Lamoni community. The Andover, Bloomington, Lamoni, and Pleasanton congregations formed an Association to provide leadership directly to The Center. A governing board of directors was formed in 2014 after an extensive review begun the previous year to determine the best options to move the Center forward. Nine board members are elected to serve three-year terms at the Fall Association meeting. The C of C Mission Center President is an ExOfficio voting member. In addition to Shelton’s office as President, the board has an executive committee of Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Besides electing officers at the Fall meeting, the Association reviews the proposed budget and business objectives. The Center and board reports progress and accomplishments to the Association meeting in the Spring.
While clothing and household goods donated to the Center are sold in its retail stores at 118 S Linden Street, it also has a very important charitable side. The Center accepts waivers for items to help individuals and families who have immediate needs. Waivers can be written by Lamoni police officers who recognize travelers passing through Lamoni in need of help along their way. Local pastors and the ministerial alliance make referrals. The community’s Emergency Relief Fund and Food Pantry also try to recognize when a helping hand is necessary. “Using the Goodwill formula for giving, we’ve provided over $8,000 to individuals and families,” Smith said. “The Center is a special store. When someone walks in our doors, we don’t think: How can we help you. We think: How can we REALLY help you!”
Around Lamoni Article (Pictured: Pictured from left to right are City Attorney, Rob Rolfe, Councilors Nathan Silvers & Sherry Morain, Mayor Douglas Foster, Councilors Jordan Omstead, Roger Potts and Anthony Crandell as they consider the enterprise opportunity.) During last Thursday’s Lamoni City Council meeting, council members unanimously passed an enterprise opportunity proposal to purchase Recirculating […]
“Looking towards the future and making sure Lamoni is well positioned to meet it,” Mayor Doug Foster said, “is one of the most important things elected officials and residents of our community can do.” Recently, the marketing committee sponsored by the Lamoni Economic Development Corporation completed a multi-faceted, comprehensive plan to chart a course towards establish the building blocks for success in the years to come.