LaVerne Bown, son of Don and Carol Bown, received the prestigious award of Nebraska's Firefighter of the year. The City Manager of Sidney, Neb., stated that LaVerne had faithfully served the department for nearly 20 years and also has been one of the two assistant chiefs as well as conducted fire classes. This award is voted on by the members of the Fire Department.
Erin Bown, granddaughter of Don and Carol, a Sidney, eighth-grader, was one of 12 winners chosen from the record 1,051 entries in the 2011 College Savings Program contest. They were given the task of writing an essay on the topic, "Why I want to go to College."
Below is an excerpt of Erin's essay that was published in the Sidney, Neb. Telegraph Newspaper. "Even though I am only in the eight grade, I still realize the importance of college and how it is the next step towards my career goals. Since I am a daddy's girl, I plan to follow in his footsteps and attend his alma mater (Iowa State). Having the opportunity to attend college and achieve a degree in teaching would allow me to do what I love, which is working with kids."
As the 1st place winner from Nebraska's 3rd Congressional District, Bown gets a $1,000 award to put in a Nebraska College Savings Plan and a night's stay in Omaha. She also gets tickets to a Storm Chasers baseball game as a guest of State Treasurer, Don Stenberg.
These essays were judged by College of Educations at the University of Nebraska-Omaha faculty and students, the final winning selections were made by Stenberg.