Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

May 10, 2013

Practice acts of kindness

Tom Schmeh

Tom Schmeh organized gatherings at the Memory Center this winter. He made requests at the noon Rotary meetings and around the community, asking for volunteers during the months of November through March for about an hour on Monday evenings.

Every Monday Tom was there with his mother and other residents to participate and enjoy the events. Members of Rotary, their families, or friends contributed to the events. The Thorn among the Roses barbershop quartet provided two evenings of entertaining songs.

Mary Lane read for the residents on different occasions. Jason & Lily Maasdam’s children made a presentation on fossils. T. Waldmann-Williams presented a history of hats and, on another occasion, she and her sister, Molly Tedesco, provided materials for the residents to create name plates for their doors and sang songs with the residents.

Gary and Mary Anderson gave a presentation about their safari. Kerry and Dave Garcia and their sons talked to the residents about their rock-climbing experiences. Outside the Rotary club membership, Tom’s sister, Ruthanne Orth, enjoyed working on holiday crafts with the residents on a couple of different occasions. Larry Ball, Jr.’s presentation about the Des Moines Speedway Board track was much appreciated.

Tom provided opportunities for many in our community to serve the residents at the Memory Center. Thanks Tom.

Burnice & Mike Viehdorfer

Burnice and Mike Viehdorfer moved to Robinson Street in 2012 from rural Marion county. Although they’ve been restoring and remodeling their home, during the winter Burnice still found time to shovel her neighbor’s and son’s walkways. Now that the weather is improving, she assists her son, grandkids, and cousins in their yards.

Burnice and Mike are the type of neighbors who will help you without being asked! We are glad they moved to town and are refurbishing their home to make Robinson Street and Knoxville even prettier. We thank them, and celebrate their random acts of kindness.

Have an act of kindness you’d like to share? Email the story to

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