VFW plans ‘surprise’ to honor local icon
Wednesday, April 05, 2017 10:54 AM
It’s no secret, Spring Valley resident Dale Wondrasch is a true treasure in the community, but his VFW Lifetime Achievement Award is a secret...at least to him.
SUBMITTED/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Dale Wondrasch completed his long awaited journey to the Korean War Veterans Memorial during his personal honor flight in late April 2014. Three years later, he will be the focus of attention during an open house Saturday.
VFW Commander Steve O’ Connor, along with fellow Spring Valley Post 4114 members, have put together a surprise event to honor Wondrasch for his longtime work and philanthropy through the VFW. The event will kick off on Saturday, April 8, at the Spring Valley VFW Hall at 1 p.m. with an award ceremony, which will be followed by an open house, where a light lunch will be served, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
“This award is for someone who has made a difference and contributed to the community and their VFW organization,” O’Connor said. “This award should have been done long ago for Dale.”
Wondrasch has been a member of the Spring Valley VFW for over 50 years and has been very active with the organization from the beginning. He served as the post’s quartermaster for a number of years, is in charge of putting together color guards for funerals and area events such as Ag Days and the Almanzo races and has headed up the post’s flag program for the past few decades.
This isn’t the first award Wondrasch has received. Last November, Wondrasch was honored for his impressive 60 years of membership to the Wykoff American Legion.
“There can’t be many people in Spring Valley whose lives he hasn’t touched,” O’ Connor said.
The biggest challenge of putting the event together is spreading the word without letting it spill over to Wondrasch.
“I’m not sure we can keep it a true secret, but we will try to the last second,” O’ Connor said. “We would really like to keep it a surprise.”
O’Connor noted that someone has been designated to intercept this issue of the Tribune so the longtime subscriber doesn’t read this before the special event.
All are welcome to come to the event and join in on the surprise.
“Come say hello to Dale and enjoy some food,” O’Connor proclaimed.