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Daily Chronicle - Saturday October 02, 2010 - Page C-10


Three Fires Council to honor local heroes

The Three Fires Council, Boy Scouts of America will host the eighth annual DeKalb County Tribute to Heroes Thursday at the Kishwaukee College Conference Center.

Registration begins at 5 p.m., the reception with hors d’oeuvres is at 5:30 p.m. and the formal ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m.

The 2010 Tribute to Heroes honorees are Robert and Doris Boey of DeKalb, Gordon and Betty Koehling of DeKalb, Mike Larson of DeKalb and Tom Thomas of Sandwich.

The Tribute to Heroes awards recognize members of the DeKalb County communities who have dedicated themselves to community service and to the welfare and development of its youth.

Tickets are available for $50 each at the Daily Chronicle office, DeKalb, and at the main branches of Castle Bank, DeKalb, and National Bank & Trust, Sycamore.

For more information, call Mary Beth Wilfong, Three Fires Council, at 630-797-4622.

Following is information about the honorees:

Robert and Doris Boey

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Bob Boey arrived in the United States as a young collegian and earned his degree in mechanical engineering at Steven Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.

Doris attended Michigan State University, returning to her native roots as a junior teacher in New York City’s public school system.

While in New York, Bob met Doris at her family’s restaurant; they were married in New York.

Professionally, Doris parlayed talents in systems management at Rockland Community College and Lederle Labs, both in New York, and at A-G Communications in Genoa.

Bob spent the early part of his career with Anaconda Wire & Cable, rising to corporate manager of engineering in Sycamore from 1962-1985.

After Anaconda closed its Sycamore facility, Bob launched American Bare Conductor, and became co-owner of Sycamore Industrial Park.

Bob has been instrumental in the growth of both Kishwaukee College and Northern Illinois University, where he has been board chairman of each institution’s board of trustees.

He also has had key roles with Kishwaukee Community Hospital, DeKalb County Economic Development Corp., Castle BancGroup and the city of DeKalb.

Doris has utilized her talents in a host of volunteer activities, including board service with Community Coordinated Child Care and Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement Center, community relations work with Kishwaukee Health Foundation, and fundraising involvement with the United Way and Kishwaukee College Foundation.

The Boeys have both been involved with their parish, St. Mary’s in DeKalb, where they co-chaired in the United in Faith campaign and, when they find the time, enjoy walking the fairways at Kishwaukee Country Club.

The Boeys have two children, Christopher and Valerie. Chris is married, resides in New York and owns a business. He and his wife, Susan, are parents of twin boys, Carson and Connor. Valerie resides in Florida and is an award-winning TV journalist with FOX News.

Gordon and Betty Koehling

As a boy, Gordon Koehling was a Boy Scout in Troop 7 in Elburn, while Betty Koehling was involved in the 4-H program as girl. As adults, they became active in Scouting when their three sons entered the Cub Scout program.

Though their youngest son received his Eagle Scout more than 30 years ago, they have continued their strong commitment to the Scouting program.

Combined together, they have devoted 85 years of service as Scouting volunteers.

They have worked with boys and adults through leadership training, planning, committees and events. They’ve established new Cub Scout packs, worked as commissioners for Cub packs and Boy Scout troops, and developed and led new district events and council level programs.

Both have visited Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico; Betty for training instruction and Gordon for taking boys backpacking.

The Koehlings have coordinated Scouting for Food, a collection program of food for local food pantries, since its inception 23 years ago.

Thousands of food items each year help support local families in need. It also has helped hundreds of boys understand how their hard work can make a difference toward meeting the needs of their community.

As members of the First United Methodist Church in DeKalb, they have long been involved with various committees over the years. They also have picked up church members for services and picked up food for the food pantry.

Gordon, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1950-1953, also served as an usher for 25 years. Betty once played as a musician in the DeKalb Municipal Band.

Mike Larson

Mike Larson is one of three brothers who helped run the local contracting business, Elmer Larson Inc., started by their father.

Mike would eventually become president and general manager of the Larson concrete and quarry business, working alongside brothers Steve and John.

The trio sold the business in 1998 to Vulcan Materials.

During their tenure there, they also were involved in subdivision developments in Sycamore, DeKalb, Waterman and Cortland.

Born and raised in DeKalb, where he became a First Class Boy Scout, Mike earned a degree at Northwestern University. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army, most notably with the 24th Engineering Battalion in Germany from 1966-1969.

Volunteer service has been important to Mike during his career, and his list of community activities is lengthy. Board service has included the Kishwaukee Family YMCA, DeKalb and Sycamore chambers of commerce, KishHealth System and Castle Bank.

Mike also has served on the board of the DeKalb County Community Foundation, the DeKalb Finance Advisory Committee, and various national sand and gravel professional associations.

A leading proponent of ReNew DeKalb, Mike also was very engaged with former Speaker Dennis Hastert, serving on the congressman’s Finance Committee.

Mike is married to Mary Larson, with whom he has shared countless community activities.

The Larsons are parents of two grown children, Dan and Barbara.

Tom Thomas

Tom Thomas has been an active community volunteer in DeKalb County and mayor of the city of Sandwich for a significant part of his life. He has served as mayor for more than 20 years and as a Sandwich alderman for eight years before.

He also has served as park district commissioner, a paramedic and a volunteer firefighter. He has been an active community member serving on boards to study and evaluate economic development, the improvements of water and flooding, the expansion of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore, and the sesquicentennial celebration of DeKalb County.

Tom also has supported and volunteered his services on many political campaigns over the years and has volunteered for charitable organizations such as Open Door and Fox Valley Older Adults Services.

In the late 1970s, Tom became involved in Sandwich Boys Baseball as a board member, president, manager and umpire.

In 1984, Tom became one of the original founders of Sandwich Freedom Days, which is celebrated every Fourth of July weekend.

Serving the public has been an important part of Tom’s life because he believes in working for a better future for all children and grandchildren


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