Medford Co-op honors Heroes Among Us
Each year, the Medford Cooperative recognizes outstanding community members through the “Heroes Among Us” program.
The program is a way to recognize unsung heroes in the community. Each year, the Medford Cooperative puts out a call for nominations which are then reviewed by a committee that chooses the recipients. Recipients are recognized each year during Parkfest.
This year’s honorees were Ron Blackburn, Chip Courtney, Josh Dalsky, Adam Rodman, and Bill Vach.
Excerpts from their nominations are below: Ron Blackburn is one of the nicest, kindhearted, selfless people I’ve ever known. He works for BRI and helps out with the community in so many ways. I personally have had cancer and he even helped out with that by selling cookies (cookies fighting cancer crap). This man would give you the shirt off his back with no questions asked at all whatsoever and that’s whether you know him or not. Ron is a true inspiration and shows me that there are good human beings out there!!!! Every time I see Ron, he is helping someone out with something.
Chip Courtney enjoys hunting and the outdoors. He has been a dedicated member of the County Deer Advisory Committee for the last 10 years. He has also been a board member on the Taylor County Sportsman’s Club for the last 25 years and has served as president multiple times. Even during his battle with cancer he unselfishly stayed very involved in these two committees as a dedicated member. Chip is an active member at his church and served on the Medford Hospital Board for many years. He never hesitates to help anyone or spend time with a troubled teen. During his 32 years with Medford Coop, he fostered a culture of giving back. He always put the members first and worked hard to provide the best for them. We have all heard the phrase “The world needs more kindness”, Chip exemplifies that statement and continues to lead by example.
Josh Dalsky is an amazing young man. When my husband died from cancer, Josh, along with his brother, Jake, helped me for several weeks cleaning up my yard, hauling scrap metal in, plowed out my driveway in the winter, and helped organize items for an upcoming auction. His hardworking, kind, and giving personality shines bright not only as a part of my family, but also in his service on the Gilman Rural Volunteer Fire Department. Thank you, Josh!
This past school year Adam Rodman reached out offering support to Medford students through personal fitness. After brainstorming I requested Adam’s support with a student specifically struggling with body image and depression. Adam was beyond supportive and offered to meet with this student daily at NO cost to the family. Through a fitness program Adam was able to build a connection with this adolescent, offer advice, assist in building healthy eating habits, and increased the student’s self -esteem. This first student’s experience sparked referrals of more students in Medford and now Adam has offered mentorship and support to multiple. I have been so impressed and thankful for Adam’s dedication to adolescents in Medford. Beyond his time spent with these students Adam has also dedicated time to learning and attending trainings on mental health and suicide prevention to ensure he’s equipped to handle some of the challenging conversations students may bring to their fitness sessions. Adam is completing all of these mentorships at no cost and simply from the kindness of his heart. It’s clear to me that Adam’s values drive his work and are making positive impacts on our community.
Bill Vach is a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran who is the commander of the Medford VFW Post #5729. Bill has made many changes in the past year at the VFW. The VFW has a loan closet of medical equipment that is lended out to all residents. He was the lead behind in getting all new wheelchairs and organizes the loan closet for local residents. Bill also took the charge in gathering Veterans across Taylor county to represent and honor Veterans at the 2022 Harvest day parade. They even won the mayor award. Bill takes charge in providing services for the Honor Guard. He also properly disposed of flags. Bill also invited the WI State Commander of the VFW to come to Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony held at the Medford VFW in March 2023. Bill is very dedicated in supporting not only Veterans but also Taylor County residents. This would be a huge honor for him. Thank you!