Mental Health Advocacy Day at PCM

Trey Voeller


Meet Trey Voeller, a junior at PCM (Prairie City Monroe) High School! Trey organized a Mental Health Advocacy Day at his school that included multiple speakers, over a dozen mental health organizations throughout Iowa, and the entirety of the student body.

Trey, standing in front of a few booths at the mental health fair

Trey standing in front of a few booths at the mental health fair

Staci sitting at the Center's booth

Staci sitting at the Center’s booth

Staci Fosenburg, a psychologist from the Center and a graduate of PCM, hosted a booth at the event. Staci said, “It was certainly a powerful experience to come back to PCM after all these years and to share what I’ve learned and value about mental health.”

Staci was so impressed by the event and Trey’s commitment to mental health advocacy that we decided to spotlight Trey’s hard work in a special blog post!


Shannon: Tell me about the event you organized at your high school.

Trey: The event was a mental health advocacy day for PCM High School students. It was an all-day event starting with a presentation, followed by a mental health fair, and ending with two more presentations. The first presentation was two adults from NAMI Central Iowa, Anglea Tharp, and McKenzie Lopez. Their presentation was about being a friend and identifying symptoms of different mental health issues. The mental health fair had 20 organizations from around central Iowa. These organizations were everything from therapy organizations to hospitals. Students came in eight different waves separated by grade and last name. These groups were small to keep personal conversations private. If there was still time, students could answer feedback posters. Finally, Eric Preuss spoke on behalf of Your Life Iowa. He talked about ways for students to reach out to get help, whether for themselves or a loved one struggling with mental health. Eric discussed where to go or who to go to with mental illness concerns and needs. The last speaker, a senior from Ottumwa, Iowa, was Lily Glenn. She spoke about her experience with mental health and anxiety and how she has found different activities and resources that help her.

Overall, the three speakers added personal stories that helped students learn that everyone has a different story, and they learned that people struggling with mental health issues are all around us. It was a very engaging day where students and the community came together to advocate for mental health.

After the event, I started to find student interest in a mental health club at our school. I am initiating a Stomp Out Stigma club which works through Please Pass the Love.

Shannon: What inspired you to host this event?

Trey: This past year I was accepted to serve on SIYAC (The State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council). This council works with the Iowa Department of Human Rights. On this council, I work on the health and service committees. On the health committee, I connected with many legislators from around the state during the 2022 Legislative Session. I learned that Iowa is 51st in the United States for mental health awareness and advocacy. When I took a step back, I was able to see how even in my community, mental health awareness is generally not discussed. We have a mental health day that allows us to play games, but students want resources when I asked them about the original mental health day. I decided to take a stand and get connections through the legislators I had met. One legislator that helped instrumentally is my Representative, Jon Dunwell.

Shannon: What were your goals for the event?

Trey: When I’ve been asked this question, there are two ways I would answer. The first is my personal story of fighting mental illnesses and being put in situations where I did not know what to do. I talked about how I was once in the position of holding the life of a friend. This situation helped me realize I never wanted to fear this situation because I did not know what to do, so I decided to inform those around me too! The other answer is, even if I impact one life or help someone save another life in the future, wouldn’t that be worth it? Isn’t one life worth all the effort?

Shannon: Tell me about how the event went and any feedback you heard from other students, teachers, or organizations who participated.

Trey: The Mental Health Advocacy Day went excellent. There were some bumps in the road with finding supplies and finalizing some of the information for the day. However, the day ran very smooth. The students received great resources with information. Students tried to get signatures from three tables, and they received them only if they had a meaningful conversation with the table presenter. Teachers were given snacks throughout the day with a sign that said, “Teacher Mental Health Matters Too!” Many teachers complimented the presenters because some of the past presenters at our school did not relate to students. Past presenters have often left students wondering, “How does mental health matter to us?” These presentations allowed them to be a friend, see the symptoms, how to reach out, and what to do to release the pressure from society. The organizations gave good feedback, and many said they hoped this event continued as they wished to attend again. I also had one organization say the communication I had with them made the entire day less nerve-wracking. Everyone, who attended and helped put this event together, created a network that benefitted everyone.

Shannon: What would you say to other students who care about mental health and want to make a difference?

Trey: If you want to make a difference, I would say you should advocate for it. Start by looking for a need/issue in your community. Then, bring awareness to that need/issue and inform others about what you want to change. We as youth have a voice, and some people are listening. Youth are the future, and when society invests in its future, it sets us up for success as leaders and future influencers. For students wanting to make a difference, you can find ways to get involved in your communities and around the state for these passions. For students who care about mental health specifically, look for what you are trying to get across. Mental Health is a broad subject with many smaller corresponding parts, and when you finalize the message you want to convey to others, a bigger impact can be made.

Shannon: Is there anything else you’d like our audience to know about you or the event?

Trey: I would like to thank Representative Jon Dunwell for financially supporting this event. Thanks to Mrs. Pohl for helping me plan this event and being my teacher advisor. Thank you to my mother and the Prairie City Police Department (Matt) for catering this event. Thank you to the organizations that came and gave resources to students, Newton HyVee for donating cookies, and the PCM School District for being accommodating. Lastly, I want to thank the Monroe Police Department, Monroe Presbyterian Church, and Monroe First Reformed Church for donating tables. This event was worth the effort, and I would recommend anyone to take the time to advocate for their passions and beliefs. Again, thank you to Representative Jon Dunwell and Ms. Samantha Pohl for supporting me with this entire process.

Staci sharing information with a student

Staci sharing information with a student

2020 Annual Report

We gratefully acknowledge and thank all who so kindly contributed to the Center in 2020. This generosity brings hope and healing to children, teens and adults in need of high quality mental health services.

VISIONARIES ($45,000+)
Polk County Health Services

CHAMPIONS ($25,000 – $44,999)
Delta Dental of Iowa of Foundation

DEFENDERS ($10,000 – $24,999)
American Enterprise Group
Doug Bruce
Carlson Family Foundation
Doug A. Fick
Polk County Board of Supervisors
W.T. & Edna M. Dahl Trust
Sally Wood

PATRONS ($5,000 – $9,999)
Bank of America
BWA Foundation
Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
Ann Flood
Sally and Tom Graf
William C. Knapp Charitable Foundation/Susan and Bill Knapp
The Viking Foundation of Lincoln
The West Bancorporation Foundation, Inc.
Sally and Sam Wallace
Wells Fargo

HEALERS ($2,500 – $4,999)
Susan and Mark Ackelson
Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey
Central Presbyterian Church
Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation
Ernest and Florence Sargent Family Foundation
Starr and Harry Hinrichs
Norma Hirsch
Trudy Holman Hurd
Rusty Hubbell
Nancy Main
Sue and Todd Mattison
Plymouth Congregational UCC
Shirley Poertner
Dr. Michael and Ann Richards
Rotary Club AM
Rachel Stauffer and Jim Lawson
Kitty Ellsworth Stoner
Susan and Carl Voss
Marti Wade
West Bank
Kathleen and Larry Zimpleman

NURTURERS ($1,000 – $2,499)
Linda and Bob Anderson
Sandra L. and Rev. Paul R. Axness
Dr. Barbara Beatty
Kristen Benge
Karin Beschen
Annie and Matt Brandt
Elizabeth Burmeister
Teree Caldwell-Johnson
James Carney
Chrysalis Foundation
Roxanne Barton Conlin
Patty Cownie
Des Moines University
Paula Duncan
Easter Family Fund
Nora and David Everett
Kathy Fehrman
Cindy and Tom Fischer
Jann Freed and John Fisher
Foster Group, Inc.
Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.
Barbara M. Gartner
Beth and Stephen Gaul
Diane Glass and J. Jeffrey Means
Sharon Goldford
Mary Gottschalk and Kent Zimmerman
Katherine S. Hauser, M.D.
John and Jeannine Hayes
Sarah and Jim Hayes
Leslie and Steve Heimbach
Lynn Hicks
Ann and Thomas Holme
Charlotte and Fred Hubbell
Debbie and Michael Hubbell
Ellen Hubbell
Randy H. Hamilton and Bruce L. Hughes
Iowa Foundation for Education, Environment, and the Arts
Andrea James
Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines
Robert Josten and Susan Judkins
Junior League of Des Moines, Inc.
Nancy and Bill Knapp II
Silver Fox
Kristen and Joe Lee
Frank Levy
Tracy Lewis and Rick Gubbels
Janet Linn
Robbie and Rick Malm
Steve Marquardt
Jami Matice
LaDonna and Rich Matthes
Claudette M. McDonald
MidAmerican Energy Company
James Miller
Karla and Mark Minear
Dr. Bernard and Brenda Mouw
D.J. Newlin
Pauline and William Niebur
Oasis, A Paychex Company
Cynthia O’Brien
Jill Oman
Allison and Timothy Peet
Deb and Bob Pulver Foundation
Iowa Radiology
Lynn Rankin and Steve Karlin
Janis Ruan
David Safris
Salon Spa W
Jackie Saunders
David and Mari-Jo Shaw
Rebecca Shaw
Chris and Larry Sidwell
Cameron Shepherd and Peter Sloterdyk
Kathy and Ted Stuart
Mary H. Stuart and David Yepsen
Nanette D. Stubbs
Marsha Ternus
Toni Urban
Sheri and Dick Vohs
Dr. Teri Wahlig and Mark Feldmann
Cynthia and Kent Wanamaker
Karrie and Mark Weinhardt
Connie Wimer
Alan Zuckert and Joyce Dainty

ADVOCATES ($500 – $999)
Stephanie Asklof
Mollie Baker
Susan Ballard
Libby and Charles Becker
Janet Betts
Carol Bodensteiner
Renee Clippert
Beth Coonan
Suzanna de Baca
Marsha and Ellery Duke
Sondra Eddings
Denise Essman
Georgann Franck
Deborah Gitchell
Bonnie Green
Jill D. Greiner
Mary Pat Gunderson
Barbara Hein
Jody and Thomas Herman
Tim Hickman and Frank Vaia
Kathleen Hoegh
Martha James
Ms. Linda Jennings
Karen Jeske
Dianne and Roger Jones
Anne Kelly
Kemin Industries, Inc.
Lola and David Kenworthy
Diane and Keith Krell
Marla Lacey
Jennie LeGates and Fritz Wehrenberg
LMC Insurance & Risk Management
Shirl Melton
Robyn Mills
Cheryl Morton
Barbara and Dan Mueller
Barb and Andy Nish
Beth Nyguard
Jo Oldson and Brice Oakley
Jennifer Lock Oman
Lynsey Oster
Rita Perea
Olivia Rasmussen
Kay Riley
Estee Roe
Kelle Rolfes
Anne Roth
Patrice Sayre
Chris Shay
Marti Sivi
Laurie and Ashley Sloterdyk
Terri Mork Speirs and Robert Speirs
Randal and John Stern
Bob and Karen Unrau
Char Vukovich
Emily and Fred Weitz
Deb Wiley and John Schmidt
Jean and Bob Williams
Emily Williams-Bouska
Kim and Rich Willis
Connie Wilson Design

SUPPORTERS ($250 – $499)
Anonymous (4)
Becky Anthony
Assured Life Association
Patricia Barry and Bryan Hall, In Honor of Mary Riche
Mary K. Bartine
Mary Beard
Connie Beasley
Christine Bening
Sandy Benson Johnson, Benson Family Foundation
Beth Bishop
Paula Bittick
Connie Boesen
Nancy Bone
Michelle Book and Woody Brenton
Margaret Borgen
Katie Bradshaw
Dory Briles
Shelley Brody
Mary Brooks
Suzie Glazer Burt
Phyllis and Richard Cacciatore
Bonnie Campbell
Tom Carpenter
Kevin and Julie Carroll
Marilyn Carroll
LaNae Ceryanec
Joyce Chapman
Diane and Tom Child
John and Holly Clark
Polly Clark
Alicia Claypool
Julie Ann Connolly
Chris Conyers
Stephanie Cornish
Kim Coulter
Holly Craiger
Cheryl Critelli
Cynde Cronin
Diane Cutler
Douglas Detrick
Dr. Christine Dietz
Denny Donnelly
Richard Douglass
Kelly Edmister
Lynn Ekblad
Dr. Kathy Elsner, D.D.S.
Karen Engman
Claudia Peyton Ewald
First United Methodist Church
Peggy Fisher
Judith Flapan
Fran Fleck
Allison Fleming
Julie Fleming
Robin Fortney
Heidi Foster
Richard Gibson
Judy Gilbert
Kathy Giles
Shawna Gisi
Linda Goeldner
Judy Goodwin
Mary Gordon
Carrie and Joe Hall
Carol Corning Hallquist
Rachel Hardin
Renee Hardman
Dennis Groenenboom and Scott Hartsook
Lori and Larry Hartsook
Lynn Heggen
Victoria Herring
Trudie Higgs
Kelli Hill
Rev. Martha Hill
Jennifer Hilmes
Barb Hirsch-Giller
Jill Hittner
Dixie Hoekman
Michelle Hogan
Julie Honsey
Beverly Hutney
Connie Isaacson
Connie Cook and Joe Jongewaard
Rosemary Jungmann
Maureen Keehnle
Suzan Kelsey Brooks
Pamela Kenyon
Char Kimball
Mary Ellen Kimball
Kitchen Collage
Kathi Koenig
Mary Kramer
Mary F. Kunkel
Caroline Levine
Tracy Levine
Christine Lewis
Theresa and Doug Lewis
Sheila Starkovich Lingwall
Julie Linn
Lisa Veach
Ann Lyons
Deb Madison-Levi
Cyril Mandelbaum
Kate Massop
Lorraine May
Cathy McMullen
Jan and John Mechem
Kristin Medhurst
Rebecca and Brian Metzger
Ann Michelson
The Middleton Family
Allen Miller
Lisa Minear
Jana Montgomery
Ann and Alfred Moore
Debra Moore
Polly Moore
Diane H. Morain
Jill Musin
Linda K. Neuman
Liz Neumann
Dawn Connet and Greg Nichols
Charlotte Noble
Jackie Norris
Jeanne O’Halloran
Noreen O’Shea and Thomas Benzoni
Katie Gibson Overby
Mary Pappajohn
Donna Paulsen
Gail Pearl
Phyllis Pearson
Sally Pederson
Sen. Janet Petersen and Brian Pattinson
Diann M. Peyton
Melissa Poley, Serendipity Spa
Deanna Questad, M.D.
Judy Ralston-Hansen
Lynette Rasmussen
Artis Reis
Mary Anne Rennebohm
Martha A. Reno
Helen Robinson
Steven Rosenberg
Janet Rosenbury
Katie Roth
Priscilla Ruhe
Katherine Safris
Priscilla Sayeed
Pam Schoffner
Eliza Ovrom and Mark Schuling
Melanie Scupham
Karen Shaff
Mary Kay Shanley
Loretta Sieman
Kendra Simmons
Rachel Sivi
Sue and Larry Sonner
Kelly Sparks
Kimberly Stamatelos
Joan Stark
Hallie Still-Caris
Jacqueline Stoken
Ellen Strachota
Gail Stubbs
Sarah Sullivan
Sarah Susanin
Cheryl Sypal
April Talbot
Joyce and Harold Templeman
Terri Vaughan
Susan Vujnovich-McRoberts
Marcia Wanamaker
Marilyn Warling
Linda Weidmaier
Tracy Wheeler
Michele Whitty
Malinda Wiesner
Willis Auto Campus
Martha Willits
Rena S. Wilson
Mary L. Wine
Janie Wine
Dr. Judy Winkelpleck
Roberta and Reg Yoder

FRIENDS ($100 – $249)
Anonymous (4)
Nancy and Jim Adrianse
Robin Ahnen-Cacciatore and John Cacciatore
Rebecca Albers
Jennie Allbee
Amy Anderson and Mark Hill
Ed Augustine
James Austin
Barb Bachman
Rabbi Emily Barton
Morgan Baumert
Benson Family Foundation
Kathy Bernreuter
La Verne and Blaine Briggs Donor Advised Fund at the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation
Rachel Bruns
John Bunz
Ellen and John Burnquist
Judith Burns
Tom Butterfield
Shelley and Joseph Chambers
Mary Sconiers Chapman
Eva Christiansen
Mary Cory
Patricia and Jay Cramer
Delta Dental of Iowa
Lori and Tim Diebel
M.J. Dolan
Amy and Tom Donnelly
Margaret Doyle
Mary Beth Drey-Buechel
Kathryn Wheeler Driscoll
Teresa Driscoll
Jane Fogg
Marianne Fons
Ruth Foster
Linda Franker
Paige and Jason Franzluebbers
Carol Fredrich and John Fairweather
Mary Ann Gardner
Mollie Giller
Sandra Githens
Eve and Darrell Goodhue
Celeste Goodrich
Mary Helen Grace
Kay Grother
Ann Harrmann
Mark Haverland
Kathleen Heinzel
Jane Hemminger
Denise Holck
Dale Howe
Dr. Alexandra Hubbell
Ted Irvine
Kathe and Bob Irvine
Joseph Jester
Joanne Johnson
David Johnson
Beth Stelle Jones
Megan Kading
Emily Susanin Kessinger
Brad and Lori Kiewel
David King
Jenna Knox
Susan Koehler
Angela Loomis
Marian and Ivan Lyddon
Glenys Bittick Lynch
Sharon and Susan Malheiro
Meghan Malloy
Ali Makris
Anna Mason
Linda and Nile McDonald
Kate Mead
Patricia Mikus
Joan Miller
Amy Mills
Rev. Rachel Thorson Mithelman
Cindy Mumm
Anna and Bobby Nalean
Jessica Nelsen
Charlotte Nelson
Ellen and Bruce Nelson
Nancy Nichols
Nancy Nunn
Mary O’Brien
Catherine Olesen
Linda and Gary Ordway
Leigh O’Tool
Diana and Daryl Pals
Katie Patterson
Muriel Pemble
Judy and John Perkins
Kim Poeppe
Donni Popejoy
Kathy Reardon
Cindy Chicoine and Morgan Rivers
Sunny Roeder
Victoria Roller
Harlan Rosenberg
Annette and Randy Roth
Don Rowland
Barbara Royal and Deidre Fudge
Linda Rullan
Marsha Rusch
Marilyn and Duane Sand
Laura Sands
Kathryn and Mike Sankey
Erica Schaefer
Sam Scheidler
Ann Olsen Schodde
Barbara Scholz
Erica Shannon Stueve
Cherry and David Shogren
Gina Skinner-Thebo
Chuck and Meg Smith
David and Betty Stout
Jan Stump
Martha Swanson
Sue Ann Tempero
Margaret Van Houten
Sierra Waddell
Chris Waddle
Ann-Charlotte Wade
Martha Ward
Whitney Warne and Erik Dominguez
Emily Webb
West Des Moines Christian Church
Christopher Wilson
Andrea Woodard
Barbara and Jon Yankey
Suzanne Zilber

COMPANIONS (gifts up to $99)
John and Laura (Ackelson) Christiansen
Jeff Anderson
Susie and Charlie Anderson
Mary Ann Moore
Beverly Apel
Ashley Asberry
Janice Bannister
Mary Barber
Dodie and Wayne Bauman
Teresa Baustain
Lois Beh
Julie Benson
Judy Blank
Jan Blessum
Patricia Boddy
Nan Bonfils
Lindsey Braun
Rose Breuss
Lisa Brovold
John Robert Burkhart
Beverly Butler
Sue Caley
Vero Chiropractic
Zach and Azure Christensen
Kathleen Clark
Annie Clarkson
Tracy Codel
Julie Coppock
Mark Courter
Rebecca Criswell
Judy Curtis-Latessa
Gina David
Judy Davis
Linda Dawe
Dave and Kristi Dawson
Kathleen Delay
Sheryl DeMouth
Lillian Dittrick
Erik Dominguez
Karen Downing
Jennifer Drake
Keeley Driscoll
Olivia Driscoll
Pamela Duffy
Beth Ann and John Edwards
Jim Egger
Joan Ellis
Beverly Evans
Mary Fanter
Rhonda Fingerman
Brenna Finnerty
Jane Flanagan
Annie Flood
Margaret Flood
Sheri Fogarty
Chris Frantsvog
Eileen Gebbie
Catherine Gillespie
Harlan Gillespie
Julie Good
Grace Green-Dickerson
Courtney Greene
Nancy T. Guthrie
Terri Hale
Sally Hampton
Jan Hardin
Tara Harms
Melissa Harris
Penny Heiss
Highland Park Christian Church
Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel
Larry Hoier
Cheryl Hood
Teri Hughes-Paulline
Janet A. Johnson
Laurie Jones
Diana Kautzky
Mary Keables
Deb Kline
Wendy Knowles
Kay Kopatich
Nancy Landess
Mary Daily Lange
Carol Leech
Ann Levine
Gary Lewis
Linda Railsback
Linda Liston
Jess Lundquist
Lindsey Mabe
Lynn Mankins
Joan Mannheimer
Diane McClanahan
Nancy McClimen
Lynn Z. and David G. McCreery
Ms. Louise McDonald
Carol McGarvey
Alissa McKinney
Michael McNeil
Bob and Sharon Meisenheimer
Matt Meline
M. Ann Mendleson
Reo Menning
Kendra Miller
Jami Milne
Karen Muelhaupt
Phyllis Mumford and Kent Sovern
Marilyn Musser
Stacie Neussendorfer
New Beginnings Christian Church
Fred O’Dell
Carla Offenburger
Vickie Olsen
Mary St. Onge
Laura Palmer
Mary Jean Paschen
Debra Peckumn
Cheryl Pederson
Sandy Percy
Sherri Pike
Kathy Quinn
Linda Railsback, M.D.
Wilma Richards
Lane Riggle
Tamara Rood
Sheila Rouse
Myrna and Kenneth Rummer
David and Lita Sagula
Debra Salowitz
Betsy Salsberry
Karin Sandahl
Abigail Schiltz
Jill Schreiber
Lois Schultz
Cory Scott
Bobbi Segura
Susan Seitz
Andrea Severson
Mary Sheldahl
Beverly Shirbroun
Kathy Shives
William Staplin
State of Iowa One Gift Program
Jan Stegeman
Joshua Steward
Mary Ellen Streyffeler
Sybil Sullivan
Robin Kline
Aundrea Suntken
Deborah Svec-Carstens
Veronica Swift
Sister Cathy Talarico, CHM
Peri Van Tassel
Ellen Taylor
John R. Taylor
Judy Taylor
Debra Tesson
Lisa Todd
Cecilia Tomlonovic
Jill and Derek Trobaugh
Elaine Van Dyck
Suzanne Van Englehoven-Wedeking
Mary Van Heukelom
Carole Venhaus
Christine Walker
Kjersten Walker
Jodie Warth
Jody White
Dee Willemsen
Sarah Noll Wilson
Ronda Wissink
The Reverend Paul Witmer and Lynn Heuss
Chris Woods
Katherine Sircy
Mary Yearns

Gifts in Kind
Tom Fischer
Shirley Poertner
Business Publications Corp.
Integrity Printing
Connie Wilson Design

Honor Gifts
Gifts were given in honor of: Given by:
All the hard working staff in Iowa’s community health centers Nancy Adrianse
Susan Ackelson Mary and Lorlin Barber
Laura and John Christiansen
Cris and Dick Douglass
Ellery and Marsha Duke
Ann Flood
Diane Glass and J. Jeffrey Means
Kathe and Bob Irvine
Marilyn and Duane Sand
Susan Seitz and Mike Smith
Marti Wade and Benjamin Ullem
Suzanne Zilber
Beverly Apel Paul Bittick
Jan Berg Kruse Tracy Wheeler
Laurie Betts Sloterdyk Annie Sloterdyk Brandt
Peter Sloterdyk
Susan and Carl Voss
Mary Kay Bruce Michelle Book and Woody Brenton
Mary Brooks
Azure Christensen
Eileen Burtle Phyllis and Richard Cacciatore
CASH Potluck Group Diane and Tom Child
Shelley Chambers Shelley and Joseph Chambers
Renee Clippert Joan Ellis
Eva Christiansen State of Iowa One Gift Program
Dennis T. Cuthbertson Susan Ballard
Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center Staff Beth Bishop
Linda Goeldner
Christine Dietz Brenna Finnerty
Melissa Harris
Debra Peckumn
Barbara Royal and Deidre Fudge
Ellery Duke Beth and Stephen Gaul
Ann Flood Annie Flood
Mary Gottschalk Carol Fredrich and John Fairweather
Teree Caldwell-Johnson and Vernon Johnson
Lynn and David McCreery
Jerry Gubbels and Robert Lewis Tracy Lewis and Rick Gubbels
Harold “Hal” Higgs Kathryn and Mike Sankey
In gratitude of Christmas Traditions Richard and Robbie Malm
Diane McClanahan Susan Ballard
Teresa Baustian
John and Christine Burkhart
Beverly Butler
Cindy Chicoine
Christine Dietz
Eileen Gebbie
Harlan Gillespie
Diane Glass and J. Jeffrey Means
Sharon and Dennis Goldford
Julie Good
Mary Gottschalk and Kent Zimmerman
Leslie Heimbach
Julie Honsey
Kendra Miller
Karla and Mark Minear
Terri and Robert Speirs
Joshua Steward
Susan and Carl Voss
Marti Wade and Benjamin Ullem
Martha Ward
Paul Witmer and Lynn Heuss
Rachel Meier Paige Kennedy Franzluebbers
Mark Minear Kathleen Hoegh
Greg Nichols Nancy Nichols
Allison Peet, Terri Mork Speirs, Billie Wade Katherine and Andrew Hauser
Ashley Sloterdyk Peter Sloterdyk
Kathy Reardon Chris Frantsvog
Beth and Stephen Gaul
Sharon and Dennis Goldford
Julie Honsey
Catherine Olesen
Beverly Shirbroun
Jan Stegeman
Deborah Svec-Carstens
Marti Wade and Benjamin Ullem
David Wright and Kathi Sircy
Mary M. Riche Jennie and Robert Allbee
Becky Anthony
Patricia Barry and Bryan Hall
Mary Ann Beard
Dory Briles
Mary Kay and Doug Bruce
Mary Chapman
Connie Cook
Kitty Ellsworth Stoner
Heidi and Rod Foster
Mary Susan Gibson
Katie Gibson Overby
Judy Gilbert
Sharon and Dennis Goldford
Mary Pat and Joe Gunderson
Carol Corning Hallquist
Ann Harrmann
Victoria Herring
Jane Hemminger
Connie Isaacson
Karen Jeske
Susan Judkins and Robert Josten
Maureen Keehnle
Pamela Kenyon
Jenna Knox
Tracy Levine
Ann Lyons
Richard and Robbie Malm
Linda Neuman
Allison and Timothy Peet
Audrey Rosenberg
Priscilla Sayeed
Sue Ann and Richard Tempero
Anna Van Heukelom Mary Van Heukelom
Susan and Carl Voss James Carney
Shannon Welch-Groves Allison and Timothy Peet
Memorial Gifts
Gifts were given in memory of: Given by:
Isabel Anne Dietz Myrna and Kenneth Rummer
Jan Berg Kruse Tracy Wheeler
Walt Githens Sandra Githens
Winnie Grace Hayes John and Jeannine Hayes
Troy Matice Delta Dental of Iowa
Jami Matice
Victoria Roller
Tim Means M. Ann Mendleson
Don Pinkley Karen and Larry Holer
Ray Speas Anonymous
Margaret Swanson Mara Swanson
Kris White Linda “Sunny” Liston

July 2021 Staff Highlight: Emily Lovell, Administrative Assistant

Emily Lovell, Administrative Assistant

What do you like best about working at the Center?

My favorite thing about working at DMPCC is the friendly and kind environment. I appreciate the genuine interactions I have with others, making the atmosphere very delightful. It makes me feel good to be a part of a team that supports one another!

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

I really enjoy getting in touch with my creative side. I have been working on many projects. I like to spend time painting, crafting polymer clay earrings, and painting fun designs on thrifted clothing. I also love spending time outside. I often find myself at Greenwood Park in Des Moines appreciating the wildflowers and walking on the trails.

What is your favorite color?

I have many favorite colors and it is always changing. I tend to go through “color phases” and surround myself with my favorite color at that time. At the moment, I am very fond of lilac purple.

 What is your favorite quote?

I’ve always been fond of the quote; “It is what it is”.  This helps me to accept experiences as they are and be able to go with the flow!

Chris’ blog – May 2021

Putting Down The Pushers

click image for more Leadership and Spiritual LIfe information

by Chris Waddle, Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life

May 2021 –If anyone asks me what I love most about being a part of the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, “the people” is always at the top of that list. When I consider the employees at The Center as well as the external partners with whom I work, I feel so fortunate.

One person, with whom it has been a great joy to work, is Rev. Bill Selby from the Center for Pastoral Effectiveness of the Rockies. Bill has been a mentor to me and it has been great to partner with him for a seminar and three small groups devoted to leadership as an emotional process.

Bill offers a simple way to begin building emotional connection in any small group, including committee meetings. Invite each person to:

  • Share your name.
  • Tell a story about how you got your name.
  • Tell a story about how you got here today.

He encourages leaders to take the time to do this kind of safe emotional sharing even though some may feel it is a “waste of time.” I can tell you from personal experience, it is not. It changes the nature of the group. It helps build empathy and trust. However it is also important to remember that if any new person is added to the group, this process must start over again. Why? Because adding anyone makes you a new group!

Bill also teaches that one of the most important things leaders can do is create “emotional space” when interacting with others. Anxiety has a constricting effect. Even in small amounts, such as when we are trying to keep to a schedule, or when we are not sure where a conversation is going, or when we are not sure we are being taken seriously, anxiety works against emotional connection. We become less playful, less creative, less flexible, less curious, and more emotionally reactive.

Bill suggests we create this emotional space, not by paying more attention to other’s emotional state, but to our own. In order to open up emotional space. Pay attention to “the pushers”.

We all have them and most come in one of these four emotionally-suffocating varieties.

Hurry up!

Be perfect!

Please others!

Be strong!

After we notice the “pusher” that is compressing the emotional space we can begin to give ourselves and others grace or “permission” to put down the pusher. Here is what this might look like:

Hurry up!. . .   No, there is time for us to talk and we do not have to do everything in this one conversation. It is ok to ask curious, and clarifying questions. It is ok to just enjoy being together.

Be perfect!. . .  No, I do not have to be perfect. I can be unsure, I can change my mind. If I am not sure what I believe or feel I can say so or even say “my best guess is.”  So can others. I don’t have to say it “the right way.” It is even ok to have an awkward conversation.

Please others!. . .   No, It is ok to say what I need or even what I just prefer. It is ok if others do not agree with me. It is ok for me to say “no” or “I do not want to talk about that.” It is ok for others to do the same.

Be strong!. . . No, no one is ever always strong. it is ok to be vulnerable. It is ok to show emotion. This is actually how strong emotional bonds are formed. Others do not have to play pretend roles of ‘always strong’ for me either, even those whom I admire for their strength. It is ok and human not to always be strong.

Which one of these, or perhaps another, has a tendency to compress your emotional space? What is your “primary pusher?”

Think of some conversations or contexts when you feel the pusher the most. Perhaps a particular group or a person comes to mind.

How might you create more emotional space in yourself and “put down the pushers?”

If you would like to learn more about leadership as an emotional process or if you have resources you wish to share with others, please let me know. You may email me at

Your partner in hope and healing,



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