A Champagne welcome and Grand Salon style dinner are the least one can do to honor lives committed to supporting students and the future of a community.
That’s exactly what the Muscatine Community College Foundation and MJC/MCC Alumni Association, along with 200 of their closest friends, did in recognizing Helen and the late Stan Howe as the college’s first-ever Legends honorees.
Both in-person and video tributes attested to the Howes’ dedication to MCC, its faculty and students. Throughout many years the couple donated both financially and of their time, serving on college committees and boards.
The Legends banquet was held April 10 at the newly-opened Merrill Hotel & Conference Center in Muscatine.
“Stan made all the difference at the college,” said retired MCC President Vic McAvoy. “Both he and Helen loved the community and are real proponents of education. He believed very much in the community college mission. I think he saw MCC as a real asset for the community, a real economic driver for the community.”
Stan Howe worked at HON in Muscatine for 50 years, ultimately serving as the company’s President and CEO.
“As a result of their academic pursuits and academic success and success in life, they both have a profound desire to help others in the local community with their education and Muscatine Community College was a home-based, home-town place to help others advance their life,” said HNI Corporation President, CEO and Chairman Stan Askren.
Jim Howe, Stan and Helen’s youngest son, paid tribute to his parents’ humility, integrity and loving support for all sorts of students. He surprised the audience with the announcement that his mother will support six MCC Culinary Arts students’ education next fall.
The MCC Legends event served as a fundraiser to help renovate two science labs in MCC’s Strahan Hall, support the college’s Agriculture program, and enhance STEM education for all students.
In addition, the event gave MCC culinary students the opportunity to work alongside chefs from some of Muscatine’s finest restaurants, preparing signature dishes for guests.
The Grand Salon Dinner created a “taste of Muscatine” with offerings from China Garden, Geneva Golf & Country Club, Guadalajara Restaurant, HyVee, Mamma Mia, Rendezvous Banquet Facility & Catering, Tantra Thai, Maxwell’s Restaurant (Merrill Hotel) and EICC Culinary Arts programs.
The Muscatine Community College Culinary Arts program is a cooperative effort with the Howe Foundation and The Merrill Hotel. Students are classically trained and complete a European-type apprenticeship program.
In addition to the dinner and Legends celebration, the evening included a live and silent auction fundraiser conducted by Schroeder Auctions.
Sponsors for the event were: