At a ceremony to be held in the City Park on Thursday evening, Jim Bagenstos will be presented the 2019 Jesse Wasson Award. The Jesse Wasson Award was established in memory of La Porte City’s forefather, Dr. Jesse Wasson, and is designed to honor a member of the community who has distinguished him or herself as a caring, committed citizen dedicated to community betterment. The award recipient’s involvement in the community may be through school or church, serving on boards in city government, as a member of various service organizations, or through other volunteer service.
Jim Bagenstos was born and raised in La Porte City and was employed locally at Kowalsky Signs for 42 years. A talented painter, Jim was called upon to paint La Porte City’s water tower in 1973. Thirty-eight years later when a new tower was erected, once again he scaled the heights (at age 72) to hand paint it in 2011.
Following his service in the United States Army from 1962-64, Jim returned to La Porte City. In 1967, he joined the La Porte City Fire Department. During his 52 years of service, Jim has been a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician and served in many capacities at the fire station; including: Fire Captain, Ambulance Captain, Ambulance Crew Chief, Fire Chief, Assistant Chief, Fire Captain, Truck Captain and Interim Fire Chief. He has been named Emergency Medical Services Person of the Year on three occasions.
A member of the American Lutheran Church, Jim remains active in the community, be it delivering anhydrous ammonia for Nutrient Ag Solutions, using his legendary skills to install and service garage doors, providing assistance when needed at the FFA Historical and Ag Museum, or driving a van to transport local schoolchildren.
The presentation of the Jesse Wasson Award will highlight the kickoff of the Festival of Trails Celebration that begins in the City Park on Thursday, June 13. The event begins at 5 PM and will include food, games, face painting and Bubble Mania, a new activity that features incredible, massive, life-sized bubbles. Entertainment will be provided by Dennis Weideman and several area businesses and organizations will sponsor booths with family-friendly activities along with registration for prizes. At 6:45, the Jesse Wasson, Woman of the Year and Business of the Year awards will be presented, followed by a reception where community members may congratulate the honorees.