Meet the 2017 Person of the Year nominees
Nine nominees were submitted to The Daily Republic to help choose the 2017 Person of the Year. Below are descriptions of selected nominees in alphabetical order.
For the past year, Brock Burlack has worked as the store director of Coborn's Superstore in Mitchell. Burlack was nominated for his many fundraising initiatives in the community, including to the Kickoff to Summer in May, which raised money for the Veterans Park.
2017 was a big year for Chad Greenway. The Mount Vernon native retired this year after playing 11 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. In mid-December, it was announced Greenway would be inducted into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. But it's his efforts both on and off the field that earned him the nomination, as he's continuously given back to the community.
Gary Van Roekel
Gary Van Roekel volunteers as much as he can. Van Roekel can often be found volunteering with the Mitchell Food Pantry, the Disabled Veterans of America or the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village. He was nominated for his volunteer work, which has been "impactful to so many people in so many understated ways."
Jim and Lois Blades
Always willing to "share their time and talents," Jim and Lois Blades remain active in the Mitchell community. The couple is involved with the S.H.I.N.E. program, Meals on Wheels and Love Feast in Mitchell.
J.P. Skelly is the news director of KORN News Radio in Mitchell. He joined the station in 1986 as the morning personality and farm news director. Skelly was nominated for his involvement within the Mitchell community and his "desire to bring our community together."
Lee Ann Overbay
Lee Ann Overbay is a language arts teacher at the Mitchell Middle School, with a passion for being healthy. With more than 19 years of teaching within the school district, Overbay has "touched hundreds of lives with her enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle," which led to her nomination.
Dr. Martin Christensen is a longtime family physician in Mitchell, and commander of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars. Christensen had a 27-year career in the military, which included two tours in Iraq. Christensen is very involved in the Mitchell community, recently helping in the success of the veterans park and renovation of the VFW. Christensen was nominated for his "compassionate heart and generous spirit."
Stop by the Mitchell School District Performing Arts Center, the auditorium at the Mitchell Area Community Theatre or the recently completed theater at Dakota Wesleyan University, and you'll find Ron Gates' name. Gates, now retired, is a frequent donor to organizations throughout Mitchell. The longtime Mitchell resident was nominated for his investment in the community to "make Mitchell a better place to live."
Trish Delaney, now retired, has worked at Avera Queen of Peace for decades. She most recently was named to the Make-A-Wish South Dakota board of directors. Delaney was nominated for the Person of the Year award for always being "very conscious of the needs of Mitchell's citizens and always willing to do whatever possible."