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Wrapping up another great year in style

Before we plunge into 2017, we want to take a quick look back at the end of another year that showed why in and around Chickasaw County is such a great place to live, work and play.Let's face it, the holidays can be a stressful time of the year, yet so many people stepped up to the proverbial plate and did some amazing things during the last month of a year that was tumultuous to say the least.So as we kick off 2017, we're going to tip our hats to the great people — by far, our best natural resource in these parts — who call in and around Chickasaw County home.A tip of the hat ...To New Hampton Middle School staff members and students who came up with their "Cookies for Cops" idea. The group included Principal Matt Manson, Erin Snyder, Myla and Kei Moorman, Lexie Kennelly, Carolin Remmen, Lisa and Journey Aegerter, Landon Rude, ZoAnn Bear and Dylan Kiehne. They not only gave the law enforcement officers of the New Hampton Police Department and Chickasaw County Sheriff's Office some tasty treats but more importantly a well-deserved thank you for the time they put into their jobs, especially during the holiday season.A tip of the hat ...To the students and music directors of New Hampton Elementary School, New Hampton Middle School, New Hampton High School and St. Joseph Community School for giving us four great winter programs. Those directors — Kayla Reetz, Justin and Jenny Adam, Jill Cantu and Jane Karels — put in countless hours preparing students for their "moments" under the spotlight, and we thank them for their efforts.A tip of the hat ...To our state, county and street road crews for putting in the time to make sure we can navigate our streets, roads and highways after Old Man Winter makes an appearance. Yes, we know that is their jobs, but we appreciate the fact that they're always on call and ready to "clear a path" for us.A tip of the hat ...To the Carnegie Cultural Center for offering its great Lego Club, which provides our kids with plenty of fun while also stimulating their creativity.A tip of the hat ...To all those — starting with Service Unit coordinators Kris and Liz Markham and continuing on to all the bell-ringers and those who donated their spare change — who made the 2017 Red Kettle Campaign a great success. More than $11,000 was raised through the efforts of bell ringers and the generosity of those who donated, and that money will be used to help those most in need during the coming year. And a special thanks to Fareway, Theisen's and Schueth Ace Hardware for allowing the bell-ringers to set up "shop" at their stores.A tip of the hat ...To Gerry and Marilee Mishak for their continued work in bringing Cowboy Poetry to Chickasaw County. This year's shows will be held at the Starlite Ballroom in Lawler on the evenings of both Jan. 27 and Jan. 28. And new this year is a matinee that will be offered on the afternoon of Jan. 28 at the Chickasaw Event Center. The bottom line, though, is the Mishaks put in an almost infinite number of hours into this event and have donated more than $75,000 to great causes.A tip of the hat ...To four public servants — State Sen. Mary Jo Wilhelm, County Supervisors John Andersen and Rick Holthaus and County Sheriff Todd Miller — who have returned to the public sector. We can't say we always agreed with every decision they made or vote they cast, but we never doubted their work ethic or their desire to serve their constituents.A tip of the hat ...To the Turkey Valley girls basketball team that has picked up right where it left off last winter. The Trojans, who finished as the Class 1A state runners-up in 2015-16, are off to a 9-0 start, ranked second in the state and leaving Trojan fans of another trip to Des Moines later this winter.A tip of the hat ...To the New Hampton Lettermen’s Club for holding a highly successful drive for the Chickasaw Food Pantry. When it was all said and done, more than 1,000 pounds of items were donated to help those most in need during the holiday season.A tip of the hat ...To New Hampton wrestlers Noah Fye and Keegan Tenge for claiming their 100th career victories during the first month of the season. The two join Keaton Geerts and Ryan Gorman, who both broke the 100-win barrier a season ago, and while winning 100 career matches is easier in this era, it’s still quite an accomplishment. And we’re guessing there aren’t too many wrestling teams in Iowa who have four members of the career 100 win club.A tip of the hat ...To New Hampton High School student Allison Nuss for winning a regional Soil Conservation Districts poster contest this past year. And while we're at it, we'd like to give a special tip of the hat to Chickasaw County Soil and Water Commissioner Kim Leichtman, who has a real passion in recognizing those who make our area a better place to live.A tip of the hat ...To the Chickasaw Sno-Riders Club for the work it does maintaining snowmobile trails in the area.A tip of the hat ...To the Chickasaw Ambulance Service volunteers and their families for giving up their time so that we can always have first-rate care when any kind of emergency pops up.And finally, a tip of the hat ...To you, our readers and our advertisers for giving us another great year. We appreciate each and every one of you and hope you have a happy and prosperous 2017.

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