Some good people just help make Sleepy Eye a great place to live!

The other day I went over to the public school football field to visit with the Hadleys and Mangens about all the doings in memory of their children, scheduled for June 10. We met there because I thought it would be nice to take their picture in the location where this year’s Faith Jam will be held. It turned out to be the best spot, because the press box improvements and the covered picnic pavillion at the field were made possible through gifts in memory of Tyler Hadley and John Mangen. I think I knew that, but I’d forgotten.

We were almost done with our visit when John McGee, President of First Security Bank, arrived. Deb Hadley had asked him to join us, but he couldn’t get there in time for the group picture (Scott Hadley was already gone, he had to get out of town—fishing opener, you know.)

At first, I was a little confused. I’d forgotten what Deb told me about John’s involvement in the improvements at the football field.

Deb explained what happened after the loss of the boys, “John McGee, on behalf of [bank owner] L.A. Amundsen, came to our home with a gift of money in memory of Tyler and John. He gave $5,000 to our family, $5,000 to the Mangens and $7,000 to the school—to make a capital improvement in memory of John and Tyler.”

Deb said the families wanted to make the press box bigger and add a pavilion onto the existing building, for a picnic areas for the kids. She said the bank also gave Payton Adams’ family $5,000 and St. Mary’s School $7,000 for the same purpose, which St. Mary’s used for the football field scoreboard, in memory of Payton.

Deb finished, “I thought it was awesome, because this man does not know us...and yet his heart hurt for our families and he gave us such a precious gift in memory of our kid.”

John has been promoted by First Security Bank and will be leaving for the Sioux Falls area soon. This lovely gift is only one of many he has arranged for special causes in Sleepy Eye. John has also been very active in the Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce and instrumental in developing the On the Job training program in Sleepy Eye. He’s been serving as president of the Arena Association—making things happen there, too.

I don’t even know all the ways that John has served our town. I do know however, that Sleepy Eye is losing another good friend. Best wishes to John and Darcy and their family as they embark on this next venture. We’ll miss you.