AMES, Iowa—Jessica Stakey, daughter of Doran and Cathy Stakey of Kamrar, will receive the 2007 Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award sponsored by the Central Iowa Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals on Nov. 16 in Des Moines.
The South Hamilton High School junior will receive the award during the Annual Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon. Stakey, an eight-year 4-H member of Hamilton County is being recognized for her volunteer work and fundraising efforts for the Alzheimer’s Association.
In high school, Stakey is active in volleyball, softball, track, fall musicals, spring plays, swing choir and student council.
During her eight years in 4-H, Stakey has served as a member of the Clear Lake Sailors 4-H club and the Hamilton County 4-H Council. Holding many positions within her club, Stakey has been awarded the outstanding historian, secretary and treasurer. She has also received a county award for her community service as well as State 4-H Dog and Swine Project Awards.
Stakey first began her volunteer work with the Alzheimer’s Association when her grandfather was diagnosed with the disease fourteen years ago. After researching and learning more about Alzheimer’s, Stakey decided to create memory books and gifts for her grandfather of the things he enjoyed the most, which she eventually turned into 4-H projects.
Stakey’s work with the Alzheimer’s Association continues as she has helped sponsor bake sales at local churches, bingo nights and walks to benefit Alzheimer’s all while getting her family and friends involved in these events as well.
She also serves on the Ames Area Memory Walk Board that helps to sponsor, improve and create awareness for the annual event. Stakey’s Memory Walk team alone has raised more than $15,000 for Alzheimer’s and has been awarded the top fundraising team in the walk for three years in a row.
Besides raising funds, Stakey has worked to promote awareness of Alzheimer’s. She has written letters to congressmen, senators and has even called the White House urging government not to cut funding intended for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“The most rewarding part of my work with Alzheimer’s learning more about the disease and having been able to watch my grandpa’s face light up again when he remembered something.”
As her work to raise awareness and funding for Alzheimer’s continues, Stakey says, “It’s important to let others know what Alzheimer’s is, its affects on the brain and how we can hopefully someday find a cure.”
4-H in Iowa is administered through the ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development program and headquartered on the ISU campus in Ames.