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9/11 NEVER FORGET Exhibit coming to Jesup
The Siller family started the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to honor the memory of their brother, Stephen, a New York City firefighters (FDNY) who lost his life on September 11, 2001, after strapping on his gear and running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers.

In 2013, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation created a mobile exhibit as a tribute to all those whose lives were sacrificed on September 11, 2001. The 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit is a tool to educate America's youth about the historic events of that day.

Welcomed around the country, and coming to Jesup's 2016 Farmers Day celebration, the 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit is a high-tech, 53-foot tractor- trailer, which unfolds into a 1,000 square foot exhibit, and serves as a poignant reminder of that tragic day.

The memorial provides interactive education, including artifacts such as steel beams from the towers, documentary videos, recordings of first responder radio transmissions and live tours by FDNY firefighters. Entrance into the exhibit is always free of charge.

About Stephen Siller

Firefighter Stephen Gerard Siller was the youngest of seven children born to Mae and George Siller. At the age of eight, Stephen's father died and, a year and a half later, he also lost his mother, which left him an orphan to be raised by his older siblings. For a while Stephen went through a period of struggle, but because of the love of his siblings and the values instilled in him by his parents, he grew up to be an extraordinary individual and dedicated firefighter. More than most, he knew that time was precious and accomplished much in his 34 years.

On September 11, 2001, Stephen had just gotten off the late shift at Squad 1, Park Slope, Brooklyn. He was on his way to play golf with his brothers when his scanner told of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers. When he heard the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later, and then returned to Squad 1 to get his gear.

Stephen drove his truck to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it was already closed. So he strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back, rushed on foot through gridlocked traffic and ran from the Tunnel to the Towers where he gave up his life while saving others.

Stephen had everything to live for, a great wife, five wonderful children, devoted extended family and friends. Stephen's parents were lay Franciscans and he grew up under the guiding philosophy of St. Francis of Assisi, "While we have time, let us do good." Stephen's life and heroic death serve as a reminder to us all to live life to the fullest and to spend our time here on earth doing good - this is his legacy.

Author and family friend Jay Price wrote, "Every momentous event, even a tragedy, has its symbolic figures. September 11th was no different; it just had a few more of them. Rudy Giuliani, Father Mychal Judge, the four guys on United Flight 9...a hundred more...a thousand. None bigger than Stephen Siller, whose stature only grows with time as New Yorkers and people from around the world follow his footsteps."

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is committed to ensuring we NEVER FORGET.

Garth Brooks Tribute Band
Fresh Horses to headline at Farmers Day
Make plans now to be in Jesup July 7-9, 2016, for what is already shaping up to be the best Farmers Day celebration in recent history!

Last week, the Citizen Herald featured the 911 Never Forget traveling exhibit, which will be at the three-day event all the way from the East Coast.

In addition, Farmers Day Inc. has contracted with Fresh Horses to perform Saturday night of Farmers Day. If you like country music, especially the high-energy rock style of Garth Brooks, you are in for a treat.

Fresh Horses performs all Garth's hits, touring North America and receiving excellent reviews along with a great following of fans. Band leader Les Smith looks and sounds so much like Brooks that people comment they forget they are watching a tribute band.

Les said he has heard how much he looks like Garth for years, especially after he cut his hair and put on a cowboy hat when he began playing country music almost 14 years ago. He began performing Garth's songs casually with five band members until he was approached by an agent who encouraged him to improve the act and take it on the road as a tribute to Garth. They have performed throughout the United States and Canada ever since.

Les says their particular fan base is smaller towns as they seem to have a "die-hard love of country music and Garth Brooks."

Fresh Horses please crowds of all ages with their music and entertaining show. All music lovers can enjoy the songs of Garth Brooks as the music crosses all barriers. Fresh Horses is known for their professional attitude and excellent showmanship. They sing such Garth favorites as:

  • Standing Outside the Fire
  • Unanswered Prayers
  • If Tomorrow Never Comes
  • Two Pina Coladas
  • Friends in Low Places
  • The Dance
  • The Thunder Rolls
  • To Make You Feel My Love

Fans can also expect to hear some of Garth's tunes that may be less recognizable but equally as enjoyable.

To date the band has performed all over Canada and the United States and has gained the reputation of being the top Garth Brooks Tribute ever. The band has performed on City TV, appeared on NBC news and has opened on stages in Kentucky and Texas for country legends like Chris LeDoux and Johnny Lee. The band has played to casinos, rodeos, clubs and festivals, delivering an energy-charged show that has audiences wondering if they're at the real thing!
Fresh Horses will perform on the Pavilion Stage on Saturday, July 9, 2016, between 6:30 and 9:30 PM.

Stay tuned for more exciting plans for the 2016 Farmers Day. It will certainly be a celebration that people will "Never Forget!"

9/11 writing contest is announced
Where were you on September 11, 2001?

That is the topic of a writing contest that will culminate at this year's annual Farmers Day celebration, July 7-9, 2016.

It would be difficult to forget one of the most momentous, and tragic, days in the history of the United States --- the day the Twin Towers in New York City were struck from the sky by hijacked jets; the day the Pentagon was attacked by a third jet; and the day a group of passengers fought back and forced a plane aground in Pennsylvania before it could reach its intended target of the White House in Washington, DC.

9/11 will forever be remembered and, during Jesup Farmers Day, those memories will be shared by all who visit the 9/11 Never Forget traveling exhibit which will highlight this year's event. In conjunction with the exhibit, the writing contest will allow winners to read their essays on the stage at Farmers Day as a type of "mini-commercial" for the traveling exhibit. (If the person with the winning entry suffers from "stage fright," they may designate a reader.)

In 500 words or less, give your impressions of that fateful day --- where you were, what you saw, what you felt -- and share those thoughts with the community.

Entries may be submitted to the Citizen Herald, PO Box 545, Jesup, IA 50648, or emailed to, or dropped off at the newspaper office, 930 6th St., Jesup.

Deadlines and prizes will be announced in the near future. In the meantime, try to remember the day --- the day you will "Never Forget."

Stage events near completion for this year’s Farmers Day
Plans for stage events at this year’s annual Jesup Farmers Day are already near completion and a tentative schedule established.


Farmers Day will kick off on Thursday, July 7, with a welcome from Mayor Larry Thompson at the Jesup City Park Pavilion at 7 PM. The annual Prince and Princess Contest will follow, and the evening will conclude with music by the band, “ataglance.”


Friday’s entertainment at the Pavilion will begin with the magic of Eric Michaels, followed by the Doo Wops at 5 PM, and then the always-popular Bill Chrastil at 6:30 PM.

The band, “Airwaves,” will entertain from 9 PM to closing.


The Iowa State Fair Talent Show will be at 2 PM on Saturday, July 9. Also on Saturday afternoon will be entertainment by Balloon Man Dean Franzen.

At 6:30 PM, for the first time ever at the Farmers Day Pavilion, “Fresh Horses - a Garth Brooks Tribute Band” will perform.
The evening, and celebration, will conclude with music by “Stackhouse.”

Make plans now to set aside all three days on your calendar - July 7-9, 2016 - for what is shaping up to be the best Farmers Day celebration in history!

Farmers Day asks for support from the community
"It takes a lot of willing people and lots of money to make Farmers Day happen each year," explained Farmers Day president Alan Wright. "In order for Farmers Day to continue as it has for so many years, we need to have enough income each year. We ask all attendees of Farmers Day events to be sure to patronize all the local Farmers Day vendors, including food and beverage providers located in the park, so that the Farmers Day board will be able to continue the tradition of successful celebrations for years to come."

It takes over $30,000 to put on the Jesup Farmers Day celebration each summer, according to records of the Farmers Day, Inc. Board of Directors.

Most years, the celebration has returned several thousand dollars in cash flow (income over expenses) to the Farmers Day bank account.

This money is kept on hand as a self-funded insurance policy to make sure all the bills can be paid for the event each year -- even if foul weather or disaster would strike, and all or most of the income expected from the event just wouldn't materialize. So even in the event of a disastrous year, Farmers Day would have enough money to pay its bills and continue on the next year.

Over the last several decades, Farmers Day has also been able to generate funds for a number of important investments in Farmers Day, and in the community.

1. Farmers Day paid for the building of the huge pavilion in the downtown "Land O' Corn" Park, where most of the Farmers Day activities take place.

2. Farmers Day paid for the materials for a storage building near the city's shed on Tenth Street. This storage building is used for Farmers Day materials. (Thanks to Rex Reinhart for providing the labor for this building.)

3. Farmers Day has paid for all or much of many other electrical, concrete and "additions" to the pavilion as needed over the years.

4. Farmers Day funds a scholarship for a Jesup High School senior each year through Dollars for Scholars.

5. Farmers Day has purchased many of the Holiday decorations used in Jesup over the years.

6. Farmers Day has purchased equipment needed to operate the funnel cake stand, investing thousands of dollars over a number of years.

7. Farmers Day paid all the expenses to have the old one-room school house moved to the Jesup School grounds, even moving the rocks from the original foundation into town and replaced them under the school. They also reroofed the old school and put in a new hardwood floor.

8. Farmers Day was in charge of RAGBRAI the year it came through Jesup.

9. Farmers Day made a donation to the Jesup Community School Band program.

10. Farmers Day made a donation to the new All-Weather Track and Football Complex project at Jesup Community School.

11. Farmers Day, in cooperation with the City of Jesup and local organizations, produced the entire Sesquicentennial Celebration in 2010, and the Quasquicentennial Celebration in 1985. Most communities have to fundraise for months to have an historical community celebration.

12. And last, but not least, Farmers Day provides the opportunity for civic and religious organizations to raise funds for a good deal of their annual expenses with their Farmers Day food stands.

However, over the past several years, Farmers Day has seen its largest income stream -- the beer garden -- drop in half.

The beer garden income normally represents 30% or more of the entire celebration's operating budget, enough to pay for all the FREE entertainment each year.

In the last two years, however, that income stream has dropped almost in half, resulting in an actual cash loss for Farmers Day in 2012.


The major income streams for Farmers Day each year are:

• The Beer Garden
• The Carnival, which pays a percentage of its income to Farmers Day
• Local non-profit organizations, which contribute 15% of their sales to Farmers Day;
• The Funnel Cake/Mini Donut Stand, which is operated by Farmers Day;
• The 5K Run
• Miscellaneous income -- which comes from souvenir sales, t-shirts (when available), history books, cook books, etc.


Expenses for Farmers Day include:

• Stage Entertainment.
This is the largest part of the Farmers Day budget each year, taking 30-50% of the income. Admission has always been free to every single Farmers Day entertainment event -- and frequently Farmers Day is the ONLY venue where a person can see these quality entertainers without paying an admission charge.

• Marketing and Advertising.

Farmers Day has successfully promoted this event regionally for many, many years, resulting in huge turnouts for the celebration each year. Less than 10% of the event's income is used for marketing.

• Cost of goods sold.

This is the cost of the beer and other beverages, the mix for the donuts and funnel cakes, beer licenses, t-shirts (when sold) etc.

• Insurance

A major expense for Farmers Day each year is insurance coverage.

• Miscellaneous.

There are many miscellaneous expenses each year. Prizes for the parade and domestic arts, printing of flyers, tickets, sign-up sheets, decorations and more.

The Farmers Day board decided to NOT offer t-shirts for sale this year because in recent years very little money, if any, has been made from the t-shirts.


It takes hundreds, maybe even thousands of volunteer hours to make Farmers Day happen.

President Alan Wright, and board members Dawn Quackenbush, Dale Rueber, Peggy Shaffer, Wayne Natvig and Kim Adams put in many volunteer hours planning the event each year. Chairpersons for each of the major events also spent a great deal of time planning, then carrying out these events. They include: Doug Frush for the beer garden; Sarah Curry for the Prince and Princess Contest; Wayne Natvig for the Great Parade; Dawn Quackenbush for the Talent Show; Teri Schares for the Children's Parade; Josh Zuck for the Children's Games; Pat McIntosh and Karen Frost for the Domestic Arts Show; Kyle Troyer and Steve Pedersen for the 5K run; Jerry and Donna Amfahr for the Square Dance; Paul Nagel for the children's Tractor Pull, Dave Sabers for all the seating in the pavilion and Alan Wright for everything else!

Each of the organizations that provides food or entertainment booths also have hundreds of volunteer hours involved. They include: St. Athanasius Bingo and Food Booth, Boy Scout Food Both, Lions Club Brats and Hot Dog stand; Jesup School Lemonade Stand; Friends of Library Popcorn and Ice Cream stand.

Request for Support

"We thank all the thousands of people who have supported Farmers Day over the years," Wright concluded. "We ask for your continued support this year."