Jim Miller Ely Citizen of the Year
After reviewing many wonderful submissions, the Selection Committee has named Cheryl Krob the 2020 Ely Citizen of the Year! Volunteers are truly the heart and sole of every Community, which is why we are unbelievably lucky to have someone like Cheryl Krob spend her life helping make Ely a better place for us all to call home. After reading Cheryl’s nomination letter, it’s easy to see why:
“Cheryl Krob is a quiet, honest, hardworking and well deserving person. If you would ask her family and close friends, they would know of her quiet dedication to our community and to her church. She has given selflessly of herself and her time for many years to Ely, in many different aspects. With many in our community not knowing her and what she has done for the city or the residents. But that is how Cheryl is; she is happy knowing what she has contributed without recognition or accolades. Our library would not be where it is today without the countless hours Cheryl spent getting the library established and having it grow into the building that it currently occupies. Cheryl is one of the founding members of the Ely Public Library, along with Gladys C. Holets. The library’s humble beginnings started with donated books and materials, shelving and furnishings, as well as countless hours of volunteer time. The library was originally housed in Ely Community Center, in the small room where the Deputy Clerk’s office is currently located. Cheryl lovingly devoted her time as the first and only volunteer librarian at the time. As the library continued to grow with more and more community support, it then moved to where the current council chambers are. She organized the summer event programs when the library was in the Community Center. Those programs included ordering films and playing them on a film projector once a week. At that time the library was open limited hours on certain days. Cheryl organized the fund raising, cut box tops and counted the money raised to purchase the library’s first computer, which was an Apple 2GS. Without her key involvement at the beginning stages of our library’s existence, the library we have today would look completely different than it does. When the new fire station was being built, Cheryl was instrumental in acquiring, fundraising and planning/remodeling the fire station to the current library on Dows Street. The community celebrated their new large library, knowing and hoping that someday this space would be too small. Once Cheryl relinquished her role as volunteer librarian, she continued to serve the community as a Library Board member for many, many years. Cheryl now serves as the Treasurer for the Ely Iowa, Friends of the Public Library. Our little city library has definitely grown over the years, but Cheryl has stayed involved in many ways and is active through events held at the library as well as Friends of the Library fundraising and other community building events. Cheryl’s passion and dedication continue to influence the library as the staff look to her for visionary support and guidance. The one-woman volunteer operation that she started has grown to a paid staff of 2 full time librarians and 4 support staff. Cheryl assists with Ely Senior Dining as needed, taking time to cook, serve and deliver food as well as doing the dishes! She was also way ahead of her time, as being instrumental in starting the city’s first recycling initiative, by coordinating a drop off center near the Community Center. Donations of plastics and recyclable materials were dropped off at the shed, where she would then take the items into Cedar Rapids to be recycled. She is also involved with St Mary’s Catholic Church in Solon, where her husband David is a Deacon. Cheryl helps with various church service projects with St. Mary’s. Cheryl and her husband David have been residents of Ely since 1974, with David being one of the owners/operators of Krob Elevators. Cheryl and David raised 5 children, 3 boys & 2 girls in Ely. Cheryl worked at College Community School District in the library at Prairie Heights, retiring in 2012, but still volunteers there weekly. Her dedication to education and our community goes deep and reaches many. We are fortunate that libraries are near and dear to Cheryl, because ours would not be what it is today without her. Many residents have no idea of the small beginning of our library, they just think it has always been where it is. It would not be the vibrant, growing, prominent, and ahead of its time library that it is today, without Cheryl’s involvement and continued influence. We believe Cheryl is very deserving of the Citizen of the Year award because of her behind the scenes dedication to our town, to our children and their future.”
Congratulations Cheryl, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for our community!