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Clear 99 Hometown Heroes

There are so many individuals who are doing things to make our community a better place to live. There are tons of local people who are helping to keep us and our families safe during this health crisis, so we want to show a small form of appreciation to them. 

Throughout the week we’d like to share stories about the things they’re doing to help out during these tough times. It could be a first responder like a nurse, doctor or someone else in the medical field who are on the front lines, or it could be someone working at a grocery store or gas station or delivering food.

There are so many people right now who are helping, and we’d love to hear their stories. Please share their name and what they’re doing to help out below so we can recognize them on air and online.

It’s just a small way to show our thanks to all those individuals in our communities who are having an impact on our lives. 

Clear 99's Hometown Heroes




          • Barb Lewis would like to nominate her Granddaughter, Nautika Key, who is working at Texas Roadhouse taking meals out for curbside pick up
          • Emma Cruse would like to recognize her Mom Kelly Cruse who is a nurse at the Moberly Correctional Center. She has been working every day with the same worries as all of us, and she hasn’t complained once. Love you Mom!
          • Lisa Nichols would like to recognize her daughter Katie Nichols who is a nursing student picking up extra shifts at MU Health Care’s Children’s Hospital. She’s helping out our community and we just learned she’ll work their full time when she graduates as an RN in May!
          • Cassidy Richardson would like to recognize Christi Sjoblom who is the director of the Bright Start Academy’s East and West locations in Columbia. She’s the best, and I’m so thankful to work for her while serving “essential families” in our community.
          • Tonya Whiteford would like to recognize The Team of Engineering Services at MU Health Care. It’s a team of 98 folks, who are covering 3 shifts 24-7, working at MU Health Care Hospitals, and many other hospitals and clinics in the area, including Fayette, Moberly, Ashland, Jefferson City and elsewhere. They’re the ones setting up the COVID-19 tents and preparing the grounds. These folks are the backbone of the University!
          • Nicole Reynolds would like to recognize Rachel Patterson, who is a nursing home administrator at Jefferson City Manor. They made an early decision to protect the residents from exposure so Rachel and her staff have spent every day ensuring that residents are safe and can talk online to family and have other fun activities planned for them. You can check out how they’re helping on the Jefferson City Manor Facebook page.
          • Shannon Kelley would like to recognize Debra Duhnam, who is an administrator at C-C-C. She works the floor with the nursing staff side-by-side and goes above and beyond with everything she does that includes policies and procedures. She’s the fairest administrator in healthcare!
          • Debbie Johnson would like to recognize her “fiesty friend” Nancy Berhorst, who is a machine with a sewing machine. She’s made tons of masks at the request of her emergency nurse daughter. She’s also made hundreds of caps for nurses that completely cover their hair and have buttons that connect the caps with the masks.
          • Annie Metzner would like to recognize Chris and Elise Lemberger who are both nurses. Chris is working tirelessly at University Hospital and Elise is doing the same at Women’s And Children’s. They are incredible people and a great team!
          • April Johnson would like to recognize David Johnson who is providing meals (breakfast and lunch) to kids in need at Broadway Diner. People just have to call ahead and he gets it ready for them.
          • Kelley Wetzel would like to recognize Michaela Jones who is putting in 12 hour shifts 6 days a week working at two different hospitals testing patients for COVID-19. She is so full of positive energy and keeps going to protect our community. She has two little ones and is trying to homeschool them at the same time! I miss seeing her so much!
          • Annie Metzner would like to recognize Lakiesha Washington is a nurse manager at a dialysis clinic. She shows up to help treat patients, which could potentially expose herself and her FIVE kids to COVID. She is a true hero!
          • Rachelle Boudreau would like to recognize Bailey Howeing, who is an Emergency RN at MU Health Care’s University Hospital, and also Bryce Boudreau who is a registered ICU Nurse at Boone Hospital. I can’t thank them enough for what they’re doing to keep our community safe!
          • Christy Marcolla would like to recognize Dawn Rising who is an amazing Manager for Social Services here locally. She works tirelessly to make sure everyone is taken care of here and they have the resources they need to do their jobs. We have an amazing work family here!
          • Melinda Gilmore would like to recognize Brittany Hill who has a beautiful soul. She displays compassion and empathy and inspires others to spring out of their comfort zones while working for the American Red Cross. She’s in charge of blood drives and goes wherever she’s needed!
          • Sandy Robinett would like to recognize Laci Douglas, who is a RN at MU Health Care’s University Hospital. She is a great warrior and kind-hearted. Stay safe Laci and THANK YOU!
          • Julia Niekamp would like to nominate the Supply Chain Purchasing Department at University Hospital. Our job is to order medical supplies, equipment and other items to support the facilities. Our group of people have been at work every day to make sure we can procure these vital PPE items. The challenge continues. I love my job and my coworkers.
          • Tandra Brinkman would like to recognize Brad Brinkmann who has worked for Grub Hug for two years delivering food. Since COVID-19 he has stepped up his hours and is working seven days a week to help make a difference. He’s recently started making deliveries for Instacart as well to help with the overload of deliveries. He feels this will help make a difference.
          • Karla Koskela would like to recognize Kortney Nichols, who is her great niece. She is a RN at MU Health Care’s Children’s Hospital and works in the O-B ward. She is five months pregnant and she also has a two-year old at home. She is so selfless and is our hero! Thanks for taking care of the babies Karla!
          • Joseph Hopper would like to recognize Sarah Hopper who is a RN at Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia. She is putting in countless hours working in Critical Care Unit and Emergency Departments. She not only is helping with patients but also helping keep their staff calm during this crisis. Thank you!
          • Ian Wulff would like to recognize his wife, Kaitlyn Parks, who is working countless hours at a pharmacy during these scary times, all while being 36 weeks pregnant. She still continues to serve others and help be on the front lines, even with the potential threat to her and our baby. Thank you!
          • Barb Lewis would like to recognize Kayla and Cliff Myers who work at Honda of Jefferson City. They’ve worked long hours to help out people after the recent hail storm. 
          • Gay Litteken would like to recognize Megan Geiger who is a Program Manager for an early childhood center and has been holding down the fort while over half the shelter is shelting-in-place. She remains positive and keeps everyone calm. She is a true hero!
          • Mike Staton would like to recognize Stephanie Bracht who is a RN at ST. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City. She has a two-year old and is pregnant. Her floor has lots of COVID-19 patients and she was exposed last week so had to self-quarantine last week. While her husband takes care of the family she continues to put herself on the front lines to help others.
          • Joyce Sexton would like to recognize Will Sexton who is a road officer for Boone County Sheriff’s Department. He’s on the front line during this situation and is also a husband and father of two young children. Though, he remains there for anyone who needs help, day or night. Thank you!
          • Tara Nilges would like to recognize Shelly Kaplan who is an amazing ICU nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City. When I worked in that department she was one of the kindest souls and always will to help or lend a hand. She’s been working tirelessly on the front lines, holding hands with COVID patients who can’t have their family with them.
          • Roberta Baxter would like to recognize the Jefferson City Police Department who are on the front lines every day to help ensure everyone’s safety.
          • Karen Weakley would like to recognize the CNAs, CMAs, cooks and Juli at The Arbors in Mexico. A BIG thank you for making videos showing us what are loved ones are doing, and for loving our family members when we can’t be there to give them hugs and kisses. They are our only connection to our families during this time. They are greatly appreciated!
          • Emily Eitel would like to recognize Veronica Eitel, who works in the radiology department at MU Health Care’s Children’s Hospital. She recently received a promotion she’s been working hard to get and has been handling things gracefully with everything COVID-19 has thrown at her and her co-workers. 
          • Brett Jones would like to recognize the Conley Hy-Vee Bakery Department. They are a crew of 9 who keep the bakery going 24 hours. They have been making sure there is plenty of bread and buns, packaging up ingredients to help the high demand of baking supplies. Cleaning and sanitizing everything. Working different shifts, and long shifts. All while being away from their own families.
          • Grateful parents of kids at Tiger Tots Preschool would like to recognize all of the teachers for always loving their kids. They have stayed open and gone above and beyond to keep everyone safe and healthy. We are so thankful!
          • Jessica would like to recognize all of her co-workers at the daycare where she works. We have so many kids are putting ourselves and our families in danger, but are proud to help out local nurses and other first responders so they can keep our community safe. 
          • Roxann Payne would like to recognize Will Sexton who is a Boone Country Sheriff’s Deputy. He carries toys in his car to help keep kids calm during emergencies and often provides food for others. He puts God and his family first!
          • Anna Hentges would like to recognize her boyfriend Kyle Wells who is a diesel mechanic with Bronze Star Truck and Trailer in Jefferson City. He helps keep 5 trucks and 70 trailers running and he’s only 23. Go Kyle!
          • Tracey Hord would like to recognize her daughter Nicole Hord, who is in her final year of college to become a RN. She is taking shifts at both Boone and University Hospital’s all while being a mother of three!
          • Helen Shelton would like to recognize Ilene Vanabema who is the owner of Maggie’s Bar and Grill in Boonville. She has been serving meals for those in need. She also served over 320 Easter meals for our wonderful community. Thank you Ilene and your wonderful staff!
          • Destanee Martin would like to recognize Lisa Martin who works in the Walmart Pharmacy to make sure people can get their medicine. 
          • Leigh Ginter would like to recognize her daughter who is studying to be a nurse anesthetist, her daughter-in-law who is a nurse at MU, her niece Lauren, who is a PA at the Emergency room at MU Women’s & Children’s, her sister who is a nurse at Boone Hospital, and her two nieces who are nurses at MU. 
          • Samantha Aitkens would like to recognize of the insurance personnel that are still going to work everyday and going above and beyond to help their clients during this difficult time!
          • Jacob McBain would like to recognize Susan McBain and his two aunts who work for the Fayette School District and prepare meals for kids!
          • Shelley Smith would like to recognize Makenzie Abbott who is her daughter and is working the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bronyx, NY. She has been there since April 2nd and is a recent graduate from the Physicians Assistant Program at Missouri State University. She is working 12-14 hour shifts daily with patients on ventilators and doing her best to send them home safely. 
          • Aven Bange would like to recognize Dan Meyers for his work during this pandemic with the St. Louis Fire Department. He is helping out by transporting people to the hospital when they are sick or injured. 
          • Blake Lansford would like to recognize Angie Whitshe who is a my Mom and a daycare provider. She is out taking care of kids while people still have to work. Stay safe Mom!
          • Kathy Wallace would like to recognize Doug and Austin Wallace, who are essential workers doing HVAC and construction. Thanks to all the employees of All Weather Heating and Air and Questic. 
          • Colton Searles would like to recognize Amanda Robb who is working at Truman V.A. Hospital while home-schooling her kids. Thank you!
          • The entire staff at PetSmart in Jefferson City would like to recognize Shelly House, who is such a special person. She has a selfless heart and always puts the health and safety of her team, pets and parents of the pets first. There is no way we could ever say thank you enough for what you do on a daily basis. We are beyond blessed that you are our boss and part of the PetSmart Team!
          • Bryan Miller would like to recognize the employees of Woodley Building Maintenence. They are tapped with cleaning all the MODOT Buildings, Truman Building and several other buildings that have been impacted by COVID-19. They are on the front lines keeping these buildings open and safe so our state can keep running. 
          • Kaitlin Guinnip wants to recognize Mary Wilbur who works as an RN in the Women’s and Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and is also on their Critical Care Transport Team. She is always happy and uplifting to those around her, especially during these difficult times. She works long hours and has a kind heart! 
          • Kaitlin Guinnip would like to recognize Matthew Guinnip who is a Senior Deputy Sheriff for Boone County Sherriff’s Department. Despite his long hours on duty, he volunteers his off time as a firefighter/EMT for Boone County Fire. He is always kind, working hard, and never thinks twice about protecting and being there for others. 
          • Laura Lewis would like to recognize her husband David Lewis who is a SUPER-hero RN working 2 full time jobs at both the University Hospital and SSM Audrain Hospital. Helping to do front line screening, consoling and caring for patients. He is also a weekend warrior for Missouri National Guard. Love you! 
          • Heidi Allemann would like to recognize Dr. Elizabeth Allemann who is a self-employed physician in Columbia. She was one of the first places in Columbia pubically doing testing for the community spread of COVID-19. She started testing in early March in her parking lot, wearing homemade PPE. She is currently sending doctor’s orders to Boone Hospital for COVID-19 testing. 
          • Rita Rapp and Amy Kempf would like to recognize Ilene at Maggie’s Restaurant in Boonville. She began by offering free meals to over the road truckers, since her restaurant was basically closed, so she had plenty of room for truckers to park. She then began offering free meals to anyone in need on Thursday nights. Many who were not needy donated money as they came by. She even offered a free Easter meal on Easter Sunday and had Easter baskets for the kids. She is such a generous lady and always supports our community. She has used her restaurant as a drop off point for homemade masks and Food Pantry donations. She cannot stop cooking her weekly takeout meals because so many people keep giving her support donations. Each week she cooks enough for 200 people.
          • Sydni Martin would like to recognize Bobbi Martin who is the assistant principal at Gratz Brown Elementary School in Moberly. Since the schools have been shut down due to COVID-19 she has gone above and beyond for her students, community, and staff. The school district has started handing out meals to families in our community. She goes and passes out meals, but not only that she also will do home deliveries to those families who can’t get out. She puts everyone’s needs before her own, and can’t wait to see her students faces. She hops in on her students zoom sessions to make sure they’re all okay, as well as checking on her staff to make sure they don’t need anything. She goes above and beyond and is the definition of a Hometown Hero
          • Holly Cole would like to recognize Brittany Davidson who owns a bar & grill in Mexico. In this time of uncertainty Brittany and her crew have stepped up and has made, sacked, and delivered lunches for over 150 people or more a day at no charge to the recipients! She has done this without complaint day in and day out since our schools have been closed! She is always the first one to jump in when someone in our community needs a donation or something to the like! Brittany has a heart of gold and she is truly an asset to the Mexico community and deserves to be recognized for being the unsung hero she is! 
          • Michaella Kretzschmar  would like to recognize Megan Johnson who is the Director of Nutritional Services at Hallsville School District, where she has been making meals and feeding kids every day even though schools are closed. By doing this, she ensures every child in the school district is still being fed like they were attending school. 
          • Riley Blank would like to recognize his mom Kim Cosner, who works at a health clinic in Columbia. I would like to thank her and all of her co-workers!
          • Cynthia Stewart at Burrell Behavioral Health would like to recognize Joann’s Fabrics and the community for providing assistance with the masks they’ve received. We appreciate if from the bottom of our hearts!
          • Sierra Thomas would like to recognize Chief Matt Lindewirth (Cole County), who has done an incredible job to make it a point to outfit our County and City First Responders (EMS, Fire, Law) with PPE that they would otherwise not have. He has proven himself to be not only selfless, but a true leader. Proud of him.  


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