King of Dallas Center wins Healthiest State Individual Impact Award

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Bob King of Dallas Center, center, received the 2020 Healthiest State Individual Award at the Healthiest State Annual Awards Thursday in a West Des Moines ceremony. Presenting the award were Healthiest State Initiative Executive Director Jami Haberl, left, and keynote speaker Lyndsey Fennelly. Photo courtesy Healthiest State Initiative

Some of the Dallas Center supporters at Thursday’s Healthiest State Initiative Awards ceremony were, standing from left, Bob King, Marilyn King, Matt Ostanik, Curt Pion, Mary Werch, David Bagby, Darci Kidd and Mike Kidd; seated from left, Bob Findlay and Diane Findlay. Present but not pictured were Abigail Chihak, Kate Ostanik, Vikki Watkins and Danika Watkins. Photo courtesy Healthiest State Initiative

DALLAS CENTER, Iowa — Bob King of Dallas Center was presented with the 2020 Healthiest State Individual Impact Award Thursday in a ceremony sponsored by the Healthiest State Initiative. The Individual Impact Award recognizes one Iowan from across the state for his or her efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of his or her fellow citizens.

“We are proud to recognize Bob King with this award,” said Jami Haberl, executive director of the Healthiest State Initiative. “Bob has volunteered countless hours of time and energy to the betterment of his community. Without him, many of the health improvement projects in Dallas Center would not have been possible.”

King is a founder of Sustaining Active Independent Living in Dallas Center (SAILDC). He also serves on numerous other boards, including Dallas Center’s Healthy Hometown task force, Dallas Center Rotary Club, Dallas Center Betterment Foundation and Dallas Center Parks the Recreation Board.

King was characteristically humble in accepting the award, presented Thursday afternoon in a ceremony at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines.

“This award really belongs to the great people in Dallas Center,” King said, “and the Dallas County Foundation, Rotary 6000 Foundation, United Way and Prairie Meadows Foundation, who all helped provide the labor, matching funds and ideas that made these activities possible.”

Some of the projects King has contributed his grant-writing and community coordination efforts toward include:

  • A new community garden at an elementary school with six raised beds
  • Physical activity opportunities in the community including a new tennis court, pickle ball court and ice rink
  • 700+ volunteer trips and snow removal services have been provided to local, elderly citizens to help them stay active and independent in their community though SAILDC
  • The Rotary Club designed and built a shaded set of benches near Spurgeon Manor and the Raccoon River Valley Bike Trail
  • Dallas Center ordinances were updated to ban Vaping on all public areas
  • A walkability study of the entire community was completed and is now guiding city efforts to improve sidewalks and trails
  • A pop-up produce stand with inexpensive fruits and vegetables now comes to the city monthly in the public library

Other Healthiest State Annual Award winners included the cities of Manning, Waverly and West Union (Healthy HometownSM Powered by Wellmark Community Award); Anawim Housing in Des Moines (Small Workplace Award); Northwest Financial Corp. in Arnolds Park (Medium Workplace Award); Drake University in Des Moines (Large Workplace Award); Irving Elementary in Waterloo (K-12 School Award presented by HealthPartners UnityPoint Health); Opportunity on Deck in Urbandale (Out-of-School Program Award); TenderCare in Mt. Pleasant (Small Early Care Award presented by Nemours); and Tri-County Child and Family Development Council in Waterloo (Large Early Care Award presented by Nemours).

Each winner was granted a monetary gift to sustain their continued work toward improving the health and wellbeing of their employees, students or citizens. King received $1,000, which he donated to the Dallas Center Rotary Club to help build and equip a warming shed to provide loaned ice skates and storage.

The Healthiest State Annual Awards were sponsored by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Hy-Vee, Inc., Nemours and HealthPartners UnityPoint Health. The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. To learn more about the Healthiest State Initiative, visit the Iowa Healthiest State website.

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