2008 Bell Tower Festival Was a 'Tower of Power'-ful Fun


Jefferson Herald, June 26, 2008

Days of rain stopped in time for the 29th annual Bell Tower Festival June 13-15.  Flooding elsewhere in Iowa reduced the number of vendors, but the number of people attending the festival was about the same as most years, and according to some, they had more fun than some years.  "The festival was fantastic this year." David Morain of Jefferson wrote in an e-mail to the Festival steering committee.  "There seemed to be plenty to do, the kids seemed to like the inflatables and there was good entertainment.  My in-laws have come the last four or five years and they told me on Sunday that this was the best one yet."

This year the festival steering committee invites anyone who has photos of the 2008 Bell Tower Festival to share to upload them to the festival website.  "We're excited to see other people's photos and to share the fun with everyone," said Amy Milligan, Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce executive director.

The opening ceremony Friday evening included the presentation of the Community Betterment Award by Bill Ecklund to Bob Larson, and the presentation of Beta Tau Delta's Children's Champion Award by Dandy Drewry to the board of directors of the Greene County Early Learning Center.  James O. Andrew and Steve DeWitt were honored with the Tower of Fame Award.

Rather than carnival rides, Gee Willie provided inflatable games.  "People loved the inflatables because they were clean, safe, and the operators were great," said Shannon Black, a member of the steering committee.

Saturday began with the RUN for the Bells one mile and 5K races.  Overall winners in the 5K race were Stephanie Hillman for the women's division with a time of 21:18 and Frank Canady in the men's division with a time of 16:36.

There were 42 women and 32 men who ran the 5K race.  Division winners among females were as follows: age 18 and younger, Emma Hucka, 23:49; 19-29, Hillman; 30-39, Karen Gale, 22:18; 40-49, Janean Griffith, 22:58; and 50 and older, Laurie Canady, 24:29.  Male division winners were: 18 and younger, Canady; 19-29, Travis Nuss, 20:08, 30-39, Jeff Cunningham, 20:36; 40-49, John Burke, 20:42; and 50 and older, Jim Schleisman, 23:23.

Ten females and 11 males participated in the one mile race.  Female winners were: 10 and younger, Jolee Wessling; 11-14, Julia Schaller; 15-18, Marie Schaller; 30-39 Reagan Osborne; and 50 and older, Laurie Canady.  male winners were: 10 and younger, Anthony Cunningham; 11-14, Adam Canady; 15-18, Hannes Wolf; 19-29, Daryl Blanshan; 30-29, Mike Cunningham; and 50 and older, Steve Haupert.

The RUN for the Bells is sponsored by Greene County Medical Center.

Winner of the three-on-three basketball tournament was The Die Hards, comprised of Will Naylor of Indianola, Seth Naylor of West Des Moines, Adam Thompson of Sioux City, and Adam Doll of Adel.  The tournament was sponsored by the Jefferson park and recreation department and Spalding/AAI.

The Greene County Early Learning Center sponsored its second annual frog jumping contest.  Winners in the 0-5 age group were: first, Grace Larson and her frog Angela; second, Deacon Ganfield and his frog The Frog; and third, Christopher Finley and his frog Jumpy.  Winners in the 5-18 age group were: first, Emma Larson and her frog Bobby; second, Dwight Wiley and his frog Jakey; and third, Linsey Kitt and her frog Hoppy.

"The Last of the Martyrs" won the Battle fo the Banks Saturday evening.  The winner was chosen by the audience.  Band members are Chrissy Chapman and Ryan, Conner and Collin McDowell.  Four groups participated.

Jefferson Telephone and Cablevision held a text messaging contest for the first time.  Nate Sayre placed first and Rachel Woodford placed second.

In the "Show and Shine" car show Jack Harbaugh received the trophy for Best of Show and Jerry Murphy received the Peoples' Choice award.

Greene County Farm Bureau sponsored the Bill Riley Talent Show on the Plaza Stage.  Winners in the sprout division were Nadia Fisher and Olivia Hansen with a vocal/dance duet in first place, Alli Weaver with a vocal solo in second place, and Jack Schilling with a piano solo in third place.  Winners in the senior division were Evan Schroeder in first place with a piano solo, Megan Kingery in second place with a flute solo, and Keaton Schlatter in third place with a vocal solo.

The Greene County Historical Society held its 40th anniversary spelling bee.  Winners were as follows, listing first and then second place: first and second grade, Jack Schilling and Michael Eischeid; third and fourth grad, Aryan Calvert and Nathan Kennedy; fifth through eighth grade, Megan Kennedy and Adam Orfield; high school, Matt Graves and Hannes Wolff; and adult, Shawn Pavlik and Rick Morain.

In judged parade entries, Genesis Development placed first for the third consecutive year in the commercial division.  Genesis also received the award for the best use of the "Tower of Power" theme.  The Jefferson public library was the non-commercial winner.  The Bell Tower Festival parade is organized by the Jefferson Rotary Club.

Winner of the quilt raffled by the St. Joseph Catholic Church guild was John Wells of Jefferson.

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