Elsie Van Beek named Iowan of the Day

DES MOINES, IA (08/01/2023) (readMedia)-- The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation and Cookies Food Products are pleased to present Elsie Van Beek of Maurice as an Iowan of the Day for the 2023 Iowa State Fair.

Elsie Van Beek has a strong passion for recognizing and thanking veterans. After watching her brother Aaron, President and CEO of Midwest Honor Flight, she felt inspired. An Honor Flight is conducted by non-profit organizations that are dedicated to transporting United States military veterans to see memorials of the war they fought at zero cost to them. Elsie wanted to go on one of the flights, but at 13 years old was too young to be considered a guardian for the seniors on the trip. Her brother, Aaron, challenged her by allowing her to attend the flight if she raised enough money to sponsor it. Elsie proudly took the challenge and successfully raised $85,000 through selling cupcakes and soliciting donations, not only enough to earn naming rights, but enough to sponsor all eighty three veterans that went on the Honor Flight.

Elsie Honors came of this great challenge. On May 31, 2023, Elsie Honors took off from Sioux Falls. Not only was Elsie able to see where the money she raised went, she was also able to spend that day meeting and thanking all of the veterans she sponsored on her flight. The veterans had the opportunity to see the Arlington National Cemetery along with time at each of the memorials: WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Lincoln, Navy, Air Force and Iwo Jima. A day they will never forget.

Elsie is also highly involved in many other organizations. She stays busy as a Wreaths Across America volunteer, junior member of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit, Midwest Honor Flight volunteer, Key Club community service member, and Maurice Youth Group Member. She was recently selected as the Keynote Speaker of the South Dakota State Fair Veterans Day Program, and has earned many awards on behalf of her obvious efforts to make Iowa, and the United States a better place for not only the older generation, but the younger generation too.

Elsie's day of recognition will be Saturday, August 19 at the 2023 Iowa State Fair. She will be recognized with a presentation on the Anne & Bill Riley stage at 12:00 PM. Along with accommodations at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown, she will receive a gift bag, Grandstand Concert tickets, use of the Iowan of the Day golf cart, a cash prize, Iowa State Fair admission tickets, and VIP parking.

Founded in 1997, the Iowan of the Day program allows the Blue Ribbon Foundation to recognize Iowa's most outstanding individuals. The program continues to honor Iowans across the state who have made a difference in the lives of others, while upholding the characteristics associated with Iowa- dependability, integrity, hard work and sense of community.

The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has generated $200 million for renovations and improvements to the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds. For more information, please visit www.BlueRibbonFoundation.org or contact the Blue Ribbon Foundation at 515-262-3111 Ext. 371 or Info@BlueRibbonFoundation.org.