Moehnke receives Catalyst Award
6 Mar 2020
The man who found an innovative way to help hungry children and then championed the creation of Veterans Memorial Park received the highest honor of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance Thursday evening.
Terry Moehnke, an optometrist who is a Fort Dodge City Council member, was presented the Catalyst Award during the Alliance’s annual dinner at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites. About 445 people attended.
Matt Johnson, who presented the award on behalf of the Alliance, said Moehnke is ”less about talking and more about action.”
”As a true Catalyst, he is known for being committed and dedicated and for inspiring those around him to serve their community,” Johnson said.
Moehnke described the Catalyst Award as ”really an honor.”
He joked that all the people who blocked his phone number because he asked them so many times to contribute to various efforts will now be his best friends.
”I try to help people that need help,” he said.
Moehnke said the 40 years that he has lived in Fort Dodge have been a ”trip.”
”I’m very thankful for my time in this community,” he said.
Moehnke started the Backpack Buddies program to ensure that local elementary school children have healthy food to eat over the weekends. He coordinates a team of volunteers that load the participating children’s backpacks with nutritious food on Fridays.
About 12 years ago, Moehnke, a Navy veteran, envisioned a special place to honor local veterans. He led the effort to create Veterans Memorial Park alongside Badger Lake, north of Fort Dodge.
The park includes dozens of memorial trees planted in honor of men and women who served in the armed forces. Each tree has a marker that identifies the veteran and their branch of service. There are a few sculptures and a memorial to all the Webster County residents who were killed in battles dating back to the Spanish-American War. An amphitheater in the park that faces the lake is now the site of Memorial Day observances.
He has served on the Fort Dodge City Council since 2014, representing Ward 1.
Over the years, Moehnke has served on the boards of the Humane Society of North Central Iowa, the American Red Cross, the Fort Dodge Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home.
He has set up Christmas lights at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park for the traditional holiday display called Lights at Kennedy.