Murray Blackwelder, External Affairs, (515) 294-7730
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa – Seven Iowa families have been chosen to host community visits during Iowa State University's year-long "Strengthening families to become the best" celebration.

In each community, an Iowa State delegation of faculty and staff will visit schools, provide educational programs and recognize community projects that successfully combine local efforts and the work of Iowa State University to strengthen families.

The host families were announced at the opening day at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 10. Iowa State sponsored the opening day at the state fair.

Below is a list of the host families. (Editors: For photos of the host families, contact Steve Sullivan, ISU News Service, (515) 294-3720.)

The Mark and Linda Chmelar family, Dubuque
The Chmelar family will host an Iowa State community visit in Dubuque on Sept. 28.

Mark and Linda Chmelar are Iowa State graduates. Mark earned a degree in agricultural engineering from Iowa State in 1979, and Linda earned a degree in home economics education in 1976. The Chmelars have contributed to the well-being of youth in the Dubuque area through their leadership in Boy Scouts, their church and Iowa State University Extension activities. Linda has been a 4-H leader for 17 years and is an elementary school volunteer. The Chmelars have four children -- Jessica, 20; Nathan, 18; Brian, 16, and Daniel, 13.

The Don and Jinny Nickerson family, Des Moines
The Nickerson family will host an Iowa State University community visit in Des Moines on Oct. 30.

Don Nickerson received a double major in journalism and sociology from Iowa State in 1974. He and his wife, Jinny, have three children -- Christen, 19, will be an ISU freshman this fall; Jordan, 8; Dariann, 3.

Don and Jinny have been actively involved in foster parenting for three years and have been a host family for foreign exchange students. They have three foster children. Jinny is a commissioner on the Des Moines Civil Rights Commission and is a board member of Planned Parenthood of Iowa. Don is a commissioner on the Iowa Commission of the Aging, a board member of Urban Dreams and a board member of the United Way of Central Iowa.

The James and Kay Lucas family, Bedford
The Lucas family will host an Iowa State community visit in Bedford on Nov. 28.

James and Kay Lucas received degrees from Iowa State. Kay received a home economics degree in 1962 and James received a veterinary medicine degree in 1963. The couple have four children: Jamie, who received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Iowa State in 1988 and a master's degree in journalism in 1993; Shelly, who received a dietetics degree from Iowa State in 1991; Joseph; and Matthew. A fifth child, Daniel, died in 1964.

James is past mayor of Bedford and has headed up several successful bond issues to support families, including a school bond and swimming pool bond. He is president of the Taylor County Fair and author of "Birth in a Chickenhouse." Kay has been president of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences College Alumni Association. She is a member of the Bedford High School Task Force Committee and the Family Living committee. She also is president of the PTA, and leader of several youth leadership groups

The Lawrence and Beverly Everett family, New Sharon
The Everett family will host an Iowa State community visit in Oskaloosa on Jan. 30, 2001.

Lawrence and Beverly Everett received degrees from Iowa State, as did their five children. Beverly received a degree in institution management in 1947, while Lawrence received a degree in farm operations in 1948. Their children are Leslie, who received a farm operations degree in 1970; George, who received a zoology in 1972; Becky, who received a degree in elementary education in 1975; Gordon, who received a biochemistry degree in 1975; and Floyd, who received a degree in professional agriculture in 1998.

Beverly has served on the ISU Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, various advisory committees for the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and State Extension Advisory Council. She also has been a 4-H Leader and was co-founder of the Mahaska County Homemaker Health Aid Service and Meals on Wheels. Lawrence has been involved in the local school board, the local hospital board of trustees, and 4-H committees. The Everetts also have been a host family for international students and visitors.

The Harold and Sue Peyton family, Sac City
The Peyton family will host an Iowa State community visit in Sac City on Feb. 15, 2001.

Harold and Sue Peyton earned degrees from Iowa State. Sue earned a Ph.D. in education in 1985 and Harold received a bachelor's degree in agricultural education in 1966 and a master's in education in 1970. They have two children – Kevin, 13, and Amy, 11.

Both Sue and Harold have been active in strengthening families through their church, their 4-H activities, and a new value-added agriculture group aimed as increasing profitability for farm families. Sue helped start the first Women’s Financial Counseling Information Program in Sac County. Harold has been on the Sac County Extension Council. The Peytons have served on a number of Iowa State University Extension Advisory committees.

The Harlan and Amy Asmus family, Rake
The Asmus family will host an Iowa State community visit in Buffalo Center on March 26, 2001.

Amy and Harlan are 1987 Iowa State graduates. Amy earned a degree in graphic design and Harlan earned a degree in management. The couple have three children – Erin, 10; Holden, 8; and Garrett, 6. Amy was a representative to the Governor’s volunteer summit on youth issues and served on the executive board of the Iowa Association of County Extension Councils; Harlan is a member of the Library Building Committee in Rake and is chairman of the board of education in his church.

The Dwight and Debbie Hughes family, Cedar Rapids
The Hughes family will host an Iowa State community visit in Cedar Rapids on April 24, 2001.

Dwight received a degree in horticulture from Iowa State in 1970. He and his wife, Debbie, have three children -- Tom, 20; a horticulture student at Iowa State; and twins Judy, 17, and John, 17.

Dwight has served on several Iowa State agricultural advisory committees. He is on the Hawkeye Area Boy Scout Council and has served on local school committees. Debbie is a past PTA president and is a school music volunteer coordinator.


Iowa State homepage

University Relations, online@iastate.edu
Copyright © 1999-2000, Iowa State University, all rights reserved