2018 Catalyst Club Good Neighbors honorees
Wed, 04/04/2018 - 10:45am admin
The Catalyst Club will hold their 38th annual Good Neighbor Banquet Saturday, April 21 at the Wall Community Center. The Catalyst Club was founded in 1981 when Lyndell Peterson and Elnoris Kjerstad were fixing fence and having a discussion about their many good neighbors and how there should be a way of recognizing them for their good deeds. That discussion led to the formation of the Catalyst Club whose sole purpose has been to nominate and select good neighbors each year and honor them with a banquet.
This year two individuals and two couples will be honored. This year’s honorees include Peggy Ireland, Box Elder, Margaret Nachtigall, Owanka, Les and Joann Pearson, Philip, and Richard and Gladys Bray, Rapid City. Honorees selected have demonstrated the qualities of being exceptionally good neighbors; those people who are always there to lend a helping hand when needed through volunteer work, community service, and just being a kind and helpful person to those who live and work around them.
Les and Joann Pearson
Les and Joann Pearson were nominated by Marion and Darlene Matt. They emphasized the fact that “Whenever anyone needs a hand it is Les and Joann that gets the call and they are always ready to say yes.” They are always available to assist friends and neighbors when they are ill, need transportation, cattle rounded up, or any other need that arises.”
Les retired from Hubbard and Dakota Mill after 42 years, most of which he served as the manager. He is a long-time member and officer of the American Legion, and also the 40 & 8 organization, which was founded as an honor society for certain Legion members, which promotes charitable causes.
Les was the charter president and member for over 20 years of the National Mutual Benefit Branch #85 in Philip. As a member of that organization he was awarded fraternalist of the year in 2004. He has also been active in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the Parish Council and the Knights of Columbus. Additional activities he has been involved in include the chamber of commerce, the community bus program, and the Philip wrestling program for which he received the Friends of Wrestling Award.
Joann worked with Les at the elevator as secretary for many years, and later worked for Scotchman Industries and Dakota Pharmacy where she is still employed part time. She has been president of the Legion Auxiliary for 18 years and a member for over 40 years. Each year they sponsor a blood drive for which she has been the chairwoman every year.
Joann was a charter member of the Community Betterment organization and continues to be an active member. In 2009, she received the Rural Dakota Pride Award in recognition of her volunteer efforts. She has also served as president and held various offices with the Sacred Heart Evening Guild.
Les and Joann definitely fulfill the qualities of being good neighbors; as stated by Darlene and Marion, “If it is the neighborly thing to do they will be there. They are never too busy to help friends and neighbors.”
Peggy Ireland was nominated by Alma Crosbie. Alma described Peggy as “a gal that wears many hats and is willing to volunteer in any capacity…she is a kind-hearted person and will do everything she can do to help her neighbors and community.”
Peggy was born and raised in the New Underwood community and has made her home in the community for the last 43 years as a rancher’s wife. She worked in the Rapid City area schools for 38 years as an elementary teacher and later a school counselor helping to shape the young minds of many a student. She has been a member of St. John’s Catholic Church in New Underwood her entire life and is a vital member in the church community. She helps clean the church, shop and prepare food for funerals and is a past president and treasurer of the guild.
She has spent the last couple of decades active with her stamping business and has spent many hours sharing her love for card making with assisted living residents, local and online classes, as well as being the superintendent of stamping and scrapbooking at the Central States Fair for the past 22 years.
Peggy is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary where she judges the annual poppy contest and provides treats for events. She is the 5-State Futurity bookkeeper, and gathers and makes prizes for yearly events. She is also a member of the Red Hats.
Peggy is indeed a very busy good neighbor. As Alma summed up her nomination, “Peggy is most known throughout the community for her kindness, her willingness to help others, and her jovial and infectious laugh. She is affectionately thought of by many as ‘the nicest lady in the world’.”
Margaret Nachtigall was nominated by Ardyce Elwood. According to Ardyce, “Margaret has always been willing to extend a helping hand to all her neighbors.” Examples of her good deeds include mowing of the Lakeside Cemetery and calling neighbors when they are needed to help with the task. She was also instrumental in helping the community with the restoration of the Lakeside Church by donating time and money to this cause. She helps clean the church for the Memorial Day services and is usually involved in the planning of the program along with being a part of the program. She is presently a director for the Lakeside Old Settler’s Association and devotes time to planning the annual picnic, along with upkeep of the grounds and club house.
Margaret’s work background includes working in the Fall River County sheriff’s office for a few years, after which she started her own artificial insemination business which she operated for over 30 years. After selling this business, she went to work for the South Dakota Stock Growers Association as executive director. She retired in 2011. In addition, Margaret worked on the ranch with her husband, Dean, until his death. She is presently the clerk of the Lakeside Township.
In addition to the aforementioned activities, Margaret has been involved with the following organizations in a variety of capacities: treasurer for Western Jr. Livestock Show from 2011 to 2017; past director of Black Hills Stock Show Foundation, past director of the Central States Fair Board and a board member of the Elm Springs Volunteer Fire Department. She was honored at the 2015 Stock Show Pioneer Awards Breakfast for Ag leadership. She is a member of the Elm Spring Community Church
It is obvious that Margaret has contributed a great deal of her time to enriching her neighborhood and surrounding communities. Ardyce concluded her nomination of Margaret by stating, “We are very fortunate to have her as a member of our community. She truly reflects what a ‘good neighbor’ should be.”
Dick and Gladys Bray
Dick and Gladys Bray were nominated by Patty Brunner. According to Patty, “This couple has been a constant presence in a large number of Ag-related organizations.” She said that two words that would describe them would be “honesty” and “trustworthiness.”
Dick worked for Rushmore Mutual Life Company. He started out in insurance sales and then started the computer department within the company. He retired from the company as the president.
Dick was very involved in the 4-H program. He judged many 4-H horse shows; he and Gladys ran the Western Junior Livestock Show for many, many years, and he still takes care of the computer programs for the Western Jr. Show.
Dick was also instrumental in implementing the horse shows for the Black Hills Stock Show. He was president of the board and board member of the Central States Fair. He worked many years for the horse sale during the stock show. In addition, he was chairman of the sheep dog trials at the stock show. He was a steward for the para-mutual horse racing when it was held at the fairgrounds. He continues to be involved in the Rapid City Quarter Horse Club and the Black Hills Riding Club.
Dick is a long-standing member of the First United Methodist Church. He has served on a number of committees for the church.
Gladys worked for the Pennington County Extension office for over 25 years. She helped extensively with the 4-H programs. Along with Dick, she worked and was treasurer for the Western Junior Livestock Show. She is also involved with the Rapid City Quarter Horse Club and the Black Hills Riding Club. She was involved for many years with the Rapid City Garden Club, making Christmas wreaths and other committee outreach projects for the beautification of Rapid City. Gladys is also a long-standing member of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
This couple has devoted much time and effort to enriching the lives of others. Patty summed it up well stating, “Dick and Patty volunteered for all of these organizations in the community. Their focus has always been on the kids, 4-H and other ag projects.”
The Catalyst Club Banquet is Saturday, April 21, at the Wall Community Center. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. with serving beginning at 6:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance from Catalyst Club members.