Salvation Army to honor volunteers, celebrate Bocks’ service

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–From bell ringing to helping out at the food pantry, lending a hand with summer kids programming to assisting people in times of crisis, volunteers for the Salvation Army touch the lives of Muscatine County residents in numerous ways. To thank the people who make their work possible, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County will hold their Volunteer Appreciation Dinner June 16. Following this important recognition ceremony, the Salvation Army will hold a public open house to celebrate the work Elizabeth and Greg Bock have done in Muscatine County over the past three years as they prepare for their next posting in Cadillac, Michigan.

For years, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County held its Annual Civic Dinner, honoring the volunteers and community members for the work they do to help others. Though the event had to take a pause at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has returned in the form of the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. An invitation only event, volunteers in all different capacities, from bell ringers to Salvation Army employees, will get to enjoy a special evening just for them. After eating a buffet-style meal, Greg Bock and Mike Ruby will present special award plaques to several volunteers who have performed outstanding service over the past year. The program will also honor Hy-Vee and the Muscatine Fire Department, as both groups have supported the Salvation Army in many ways. Muscatine’s very own Tony Tone will emcee the night, ensuring everyone has a good time.

Because volunteers help make the Salvation Army’s mission possible and because they do not always get recognized by the community, Pathway of Hope Coordinator and head of the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner Planning Committee Kristal Yotter considers the event an important way to let them know their hard work does not go unnoticed. “For the volunteer appreciation, there are so many people who give so much to so many causes, I think it’s necessary to honor them,” she said. “We want them to know they are appreciated so very much.” 

At 7:30 p.m. following the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, the Salvation Army will open its doors to the public and welcome them to come say their goodbyes and wish the Bocks well as they prepare to transition to their next posting. A festive event, the Salvation Army will have cake and punch available for everyone who stops out. Anyone who would like to come see the Bocks, may come share their stories with them. As Yotter put it, “I’m looing forward to the crowd, because the Bocks have touched so many lives.”

Additionally, the open house will give people an opportunity to see some of the work the Bocks have done on the Salvation Army corps building itself in the time they have spent in Muscatine. For those wanting to get involved with the Salvation Army and to continue its strong tradition of volunteering, Salvation Army staff will make information about all of its programming and volunteer opportunities available. In this way, Yotter hopes to keep the Salvation Army connected to many willing volunteers and carry on the work the Bocks started even after they move.

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