It's a funny thing being named the Citizen of the Year from the Morning Optimist Club of Marshalltown. There are the accolades and the barbs all rolled up in one evening.
Jim Lowrance is the 2012 recipient and was honored with a roast Wednesday night at the Best Western Regency Inn. The Great Western Bank group president said he was honored to be selected for the award.
"It's a special honor," Lowrance said. "Especially with the quality of people who have received it before me."
The honor also came with its share of fireworks Wednesday, as friends got a chance to get in some jabs at Lowrance's expense. One roaster who let loose on him was Larry Raymon.
"When I heard Jim Lowrance was Citizen of the Year my first thought was the Optimists finally ran out of candidates," Raymon said. "That was my second and third thought, too."
Sarah Hesmer said many people believed she worked with Lowrance for 40 years.
"It really wasn't 40 years, it was just a very long time," she said.
Aside from the jokes, the roasters made sure guests knew that Lowrance has been a vital part of the community for decades.
"Marshalltown is a better place because of you," Scott Neff said to him.
Lowrance serves as a volunteer on several community boards including Fisher Community Center, Iowa River Hospice and the Marshall Economic and Development Impact Committee. He is a former board member of several area agencies including the United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the House of Compassion.
Lowrance said giving back to the community, which has given so much to his family, is important to him.
"This is a great community and I'm not certain that we all recognize that or appreciate it enough," Lowrance said.
Lowrance was nominated by a committee of previous Citizen of the Year winners. Jim and his wife, Sylvia, have two children and four grandchildren.
Photo: Larry Raymon, left, tells a joke at the expense of Jim Lowrance, right, as Loras Neuroth and Sarah Hesmer look on Wednesday night at the Best Western Regency Inn. Lowrance was being roasted for being named the Citizen of the Year by the Morning Optimist Club.
Photo credit: Andrew Potter, Times-Republican
Article credit: Andrew Potter, Staff Writer, Times-Republican, April 19, 2012
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