Kim Brantner, Taylor County Extension Education Director, (712) 523-2137
Carol Meeks, Family and Consumer Sciences, (515) 294-0860
JaneAnn Stout, Family and Consumer Sciences, (515) 294-0863
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa – Richard Seagrave, interim president of Iowa State University, and other university officials will participate in several events in Bedford and Clarinda during a Tuesday, Nov. 28, community visit. The visit is part of Iowa State’s yearlong "Strengthening families to become the best" celebration. The celebration focuses on Iowa State’s efforts to strengthen family units and individual family members through education, outreach and research.

The host family for the Iowa State visit to Bedford is Kay and Jim Lucas. An alumni and community reception will be hosted in the Lucas family’s clothing store in Bedford from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Beth Ritchie and Matt Brummett, Iowa State students from Taylor County, will join Seagrave at the Lied Center in Clarinda at 9:45 a.m. to discuss the university's Hixson Opportunity Awards program and to make an announcement regarding the program's endowment. Both students are Hixson award recipients.

The Christina Hixson Opportunity Awards program was created in 1995 for Iowa high school students who have the potential to succeed in college but who face severe personal or financial hardships. The goal of the program is to award 100 $2,500 renewable scholarships each year. The program began with a $5 million gift from the Lied Foundation Trust, Las Vegas, and was named in honor of its sole trustee, Christina Hixson. Hixson is a native of Clarinda. Since its inception, the Lied Foundation has contributed more than $11 million to the program. The program also has received gifts from other donors and revenue from investment growth.

Several Iowa counties also have endowed Hixson scholarships. There are currently 349 Hixson scholars enrolled at Iowa State. Research shows Hixson scholars have higher cumulative GPAs, retention and graduation rates than university or national averages.

The Iowa State group will arrive in Bedford at 11 a.m. Seagrave and local Extension personnel will participate in a home visit to a "Growing Strong Families" program household. Jan Seagrave, wife of Iowa State’s interim president, and Carol Meeks, dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, will attend a "Women’s Health Fifty Plus Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Program." Ritchie and Brummett will lead the rest of the group on a walking tour of Bedford.

Bedford mayor Garnita Ewart will proclaim Nov. 28 as "Iowa State University ‘Strengthening Families’ Day" at a luncheon in the Bedford Community School District Board of Education room. This event is by invitation only due to limited space. Other Iowa State officials will have lunch with Bedford students.

An intergeneration community discussion will be from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Board of Education room. The topic is "The Changing Face of Rural America." This event brings invited Bedford residents together to discuss community needs. The rest of the Iowa State group will visit Gear Sports Facility in Bedford.

The Iowa State group will participate in an open house and tour of the new Tinker Tots Preschool in Bedford from 3 to 4:30 p.m. A sister facility in Lenox, Precious People Preschool, also will be recognized. Ritchie and Brummett will present each facility with gift cultural baskets. The preschools are a result of empowerment projects on which ISU Extension is one of the community partners.

Taylor County Extension invites area residents who wish more information to contact them at (712) 523-2137.


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