KUDOS to the Iowa Hawkeyes for their thrilling victory over Iowa State. Despite my loyalties to the black and gold, both teams deserved to win that game. But one of my two favorite images that emerged from game day was a photo of two Iowa State fans carrying an elderly Iowa Hawkeye fan in his wheelchair up the stadium steps. The elder Hawkeye was the grandfather of redshirt freshman T.J. Hockenson -- the Cyclone fans were just a couple guys in the right place at the right time. It was an image that captured everything I love about Iowa.

My second favorite image was the video a friend of mine posted of several members of the Orlando Iowa Club, people who had become near and dear to me during my time in Florida, who stepped away from their Hurricane preparations to gather for the game. The restaurant where they usually met stayed open just long enough for the game and even though local grocery store shelves were bare, the pub made hand-breaded tenderloins for my Iowa club friends. The video of this bunch celebrating the Iowa win just hours before Hurricane Irma was expected on Florida’s shore brought a smile to my face. Many of us watched closely while our friends and family members were in harm's way.

THANK YOU to the many men, women and children who have given of their time, talent and resources to assist Hurricane Harvey and Irma victims. Local school children and teens have held fundraising and donation drives, area citizens have traveled to area affected to help in any way they can, local homes have become safe havens for shelter animals. Local businesses have provided free services and merchandise and so much more. When there is a need, Muscatine answers the call.

CONGRATULATIONS to the school board candidates. While I am drafting this column before the outcome of the election is known, I appreciate the pledge these individuals have made to better our schools and the future of area children. It is not easy to balance work, family and service to community, but this year’s candidates all have made it look easy. I salute your efforts and look forward to promoting more great things about area schools in the pages of the Muscatine Journal in the days, months and years to come.