Each year, Osceola Chamber Main Street and the Clarke County Development Corporation join in hosting a celebration of local business and achievements for the past year at an annual gala. This year’s celebration saw the 75th occasion for the Community Service Award handed to a humble, yet deserving Duayne Fletcher of Osceola, Iowa.
Duayne’s commitment to the community started more than 40 years ago when he opened his first business in Osceola. From that day on, he spent his days, many into the wee hours of the evening working for the success of his own businesses and driving the future success of other Osceola and Clarke County Iowa organizations. From serving on multiple community boards including the Osceola Chamber, the Osceola Airport Board, Historic Preservation Board and more, to employing local workforce – sometimes with little-to-no pay for himself – as well as organizing and supporting local events, his involvement in Osceola and the surrounding community has been no less than a triumph.
Of course, with no word for himself or his hard work, Duayne stayed the course focused on family and his community’s future successes.
With numerous nominations, Mr. Fletcher’s heartfelt letters of recommendation stood out among the crowd. His granddaughter was one to offer insights to Duayne’s obvious passion for the community, saying,
“… he loved the idea that he found himself in the ‘Right-sized’ community, where he could know everybody, and everybody could be your friend.”
At 91, Duayne finally took retirement – just this last week – after working tirelessly at his most recent job, Iowa Realty. His future looks full of family and friends who love him and are ready to hear his decades of stories about adventures from the auto industry to aeronautics, to simply being part of the Osceola, Iowa family.
The Community Service Award was first presented in 1950 and is intended to recognize outstanding volunteerism and community service. Qualifying Community Service Award recipients display commitment, dedication, and loyalty to the community and to causes that benefit the community, investing time and effort to drive the betterment of those throughout the community. Letters of nomination are collected over weeks prior to the annual dinner and considered by a committee comprised of members from the local Osceola Rotary, Osceola Chamber Main Street, and past recipients of the award.
So, next time you see Duayne Fletcher around town, give him a big “Congratulations,” and heart-felt “Thank you” for his commitment to the community and passion for its future.