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Nominate a Hero for the Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes

Nominate a Hero for the Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes


Van & Bonnie are looking for everyday heroes! We want to find Iowans who do great things but never receive the recognition they deserve. Nominate an Iowa Hall of Pride Hero HERE! For more information on the Iowa Hall of Pride, click here.

Check out some of our Heroes already inducted into the Iowa Hall of Pride's Hall of Heroes!

Vern Foje

Vern is quite a guy!   Vern has been donating blood since 1963!  He has donated over 44 gallons of blood and hopes to give 50 gallons by the time he can no longer give.  That's enough blood for Vern to have personally saved 1,056 lives!  Vern's motto..."give a squirt, it won't hurt".  Vern is a double red cell donor.  He says he loves to give blood on Wednesdays at the Hickman Road location because it's Panera Bread day! 


Here's your chance to follow Vern's example...we're sponsoring a blood drive along with the Iowa Pork Producers on Wednesday, July 9th, 5AM-1PM at the Locust Donor Center, 431 E. Locust in the East Village.  No appointment is necessary.  All donors will receive a FREE commemorative Red, White & Pork t-shirt and a $10 coupon for fresh pork at any grocer courtesy of the Iowa Pork Producers.  Plus, FREE breakfast until 9AM and you can register to win $100 in pork - all courtesy of the Iowa Pork Producers!  Van & Bonnie in the Morning will be broadcast live from the event. 

Tony Collins

Congratutions to Tony Collins, Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal of the Clive Fire Department.  Tony was celebrating his birthday with his friends one evening at Kenney's in Waukee, when a gentleman dancing suddenly fell to the floor.  Tony determined the man had no pulse and was not breathing.  He immediately started CPR and with the help of some of his friends in the medical field, continued CPR for 10 to 12 minutes before the man took a couple of breaths on his own and Tony found a pulse.  The gentleman was taken to the hospital by ambulance and had triple bypass heart surgery and is doing well today!  It's only fitting that this honor fell during National EMS Week!  Thank you to Jack Lashier of the Iowa Hall of Pride for sponsoring the induction!


Barb Coenen
When Barb Coenen came forward in 2008-2009 to donate a kidney to Allison Danilovich, they were found not to be compatible.  Other family members of Barbs had also came forward to donate to Allison and they too were not compatible.  Allison had a underwent a transplant in 2010 after waiting over 5 years on the national waiting list, which unfortunately lasted only 4 short months, due to no fault of her own.  Allison was placed back on the transplant list and her wait began all over again. In the last couple of years Iowa Methodist Transplant has underwent changes one of those being a new surgeon Dr. Chaudhry.  National Paired Exchange has taken off over the years, the goal is to decrease the number of people waiting on the national list.  Those people who have living donors but are incompatible with the recipient have options now. The first pair to enter in the paired exchange group was Allsion and Barb.  After over a year of waiting for another pair they received good news that there might be a possible match.  This was a three way exchange; Barb’s kidney would was recovered here at IMMC and flown to New Jersey, New Jersey donor kidney was recovered and sent to Minnesota, and Minnesota kidney was recovered and sent to us here in Des Moines.  This was all possible because Barb came forward to donate to Allison!

Karlos Kirby
Congratulations to Karlos Kirby of the Des Moines Fire Department, Naval Officer, Olympic Bobsledder, Special Olympics volunteer and much, much more, as our Hall of Heroes inductee this month with the Iowa Hall of Pride!


Krista McCalley
Congratulations to Krista McCalley on being inducted into the Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes! Krista is the Aquatics Director at the Indianola YMCA, and saved someone's life after seeing them struggling in the water at Gary's Lake in Des Moines. She has been a lifeguard for ten years and is very deserving of the award! Congratulations, Krista!

Denny Lautner
Congratulations to Denny Lautner on being inducted into the Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes! Denny is a huge help in his community in Jefferson and runs the historical society in Green County. Congratulations, Denny!

Rob Altfillisch
Congratulations to Rob Altfillisch on being inducted into the Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes! Rob works with The First Tee of Greater Des Moines. The First Tee Life Skills Experience is one of the unique features that differentiates The First Tee from other youth enrichment and junior golf programs. It helps young people develop character by focusing on Nine Core Values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. Congratulations, Rob!

Kendra Daly
Congratulations to Kendra Daly on being inducted into the Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes! Kendra works with the Bravo Gala. Bravo is a nonprofit committed to increasing cultural awareness, advocacy and funding, as well as fostering collaboration among arts, culture and heritage organizations. Bravo Greater Des Moines acts as an advocate for regional arts organizations by building partnerships with local governments to facilitate collaborative funding. Kendra does so much for the Des Moines area, and we are excited to welcome her into the Hall of Heroes!


Becky Beach
Congratulations to Becky Beach on being inducted into the Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes. Becky founded The Puppy Jake Foundation, which is dedicated to providing service dogs to our military veterans. Becky helps train these dogs for use by veterans suffering from PTSD and mobility issues. The puppies go through a two year training where they travel with their foster families and become accustomed to functioning in society. "These dogs provide life changing care to people who have served our country," Beach says. Click here to learn more about The Puppy Jake Foundation.

Larry Spencer
Congratulations to Larry Spencer on being the latest inductee into the Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes. Larry joined the Navy in 1963. In 1966, his plane was shot down in North Vietnam. Larry was then held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for almost 7 years. Larry said that he learned "the bruises from the beatings go away, the tough part was all mental. Growing up in small town Iowa, you learn about the basics of life and do the best you can every day." Larry spent 22 more years in the Navy based in California as well as the Pentagon in Washington D.C. We want to thank Larry for his service and for sharing his story with us on Newsradio 1040 WHO.


Mike & Sherry Whisler
Congratuations to Mike & Sherry Whisler on being new inductees into the Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes. April is National Donate Life Month and Mike and Sherry are not only husband and wife, but both are living organ donors! Sherry gave a kidney to the wife of someone in her bible study. Mike felt compelled to donate as well after seeing what Sherry went thru and gave his kidney to a Sudanese immigrant in Marshalltown with four teenage boys.

John "Jack" R. Adams
Congratulations to John "Jack" R. Adams on being inducted into the Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes! Jack is 90 years old, who as a marine in WWII fought on Iwo Jima. He is father to 11 kids and enjoys speaking to kids in the community about keeping commitments. We thank Jack for his service!

Newhouse and Linnevold
Congratulations to Maynard Newhouse and Willard Linnevold on being inducted into the Hall of Pride/Van & Bonnie Hall of Heroes! Willard is 96 years old, Maynard is 17 years old. Willard loves to golf, but can no longer see well...Maynard is on the Decorah golf team and spends his summers being Willard's eyes and ears on the golf course.


Kevin Johnson and Reeses
Kevin Johnson and his service dog, Reeses, were inducted into the Van & Bonnie Iowa Hall of Heroes on Wednesday, November 2nd. Kevin is a master artist with VSA Iowa and uses his creative talents by helping with several painting projects at the branch, including the Yoga Studio. Kevin also implemented art projects to help children of deployed military personnel through the University for Great Marriages. Kevin and his dog, Reeses, have a special gift for connecting with young people, especially those with special needs.



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