MALTA – Ken Doubler could not help but recall the special experience of launching Tribute to Heroes Oct. 4, at the event’s 10th anniversary.
But for the first time in the program’s 10-year history, Doubler was not an observer, he was an honoree.
Doubler, who was recognized for his work with Kishwaukee Kiwanis and Ben Gordon Center, as well as his role in launching the Tribute to Heroes event, said the program is the most special event in the county because of all the people involved.
“I wouldn’t doubt it goes another 10 or 20 years,” he said. “We have to feel real good about it.”
Nearly 200 people gathered at Kishwaukee College Jenkins Conference Center on Oct. 4 to celebrate and honor community heroes and support the Three Fires Council Boy Scouts of America. Honorees included Doubler, Michael and Jenelle Muzzillo of Sandwich, Dennis Rehn of Kirkland and Robert Coulter of DeKalb.
Coulter, who was honored for his more than 30 years in military roles and lifelong dedication to the Scouts, said he never expected or believed he was deserving of such an award and said it was a result of living his life on a few core values.
“I have some things I hold in high value. One of them is my family, one of them is my country and one of them is the youth of America,” he said.
Rehn, a Kirkland farmer who was recognized for decades of service with groups such as Lions Club, townships, historical societies and churches, told the young people in attendance to just remember to give back to those who help them along the way.
The Muzzillos, who have a combined 88 years of service at Sandwich Community Hospital – now Valley West Community Hospital – said the honor was a reflection of the hospital staff that has a work ethic second to none and was the reason they stayed at the hospital for so long.
“This award is theirs as much as it is ours,” Michael Muzzillo said. “They work diligently day and night … I could go on and on talking about them for hours.”
Hank Barnes pictured in the photo in the article is a Scout in Troop 33. Twelve Scouts from Troop 33 provided service at the 10th annual Tribute to Heroes event.