Ozzie Ohl has a desire to give back and share his time, talents, and treasures to benefit others in the community and this area. After retiring from work at the Globe Gazette for many years, he started looking for projects in the community that needs his help and would ultimately benefit many of our community members. Ozzie became a true community volunteer – he became involved in many projects that have been beneficial to our community. He volunteered to help Mason City become a Blue Zone® community, raised funds and built a sledding hill in the south part of town, raised funds for a dog park in the north end of town, orchestrated an online voting contest for new playground equipment in West Park, and raised funds for a capital campaign to relocated the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank as well as purchase a new van.
Ozzie started with the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank in 2011, and will reach the 1000 hour mark at the food bank this April – serving over 250 hours per year! Ozzie enjoys seeing things get done and the opportunity to work with so many other caring, committed volunteers who share the same passion. This is evident in the way he seeks out others through verbal conversations, Facebook posts, and media news articles to encourage volunteerism. Ozzie serves as the PR volunteer for the food bank and does a great job of getting our story out in the community which does spark interest and brings volunteers to us as well as many food drives to support the food bank.
The impact of Ozzie’s work can be witnessed across Mason City. The sledding hill provides families living the south part of town a location to walk to and enjoy the outdoors in the winter. The dog park provides a safe area for families to bring their pets and be outdoors. West Park now has wonderful playground equipment for families to enjoy. The Food Bank is in a larger and far more convenient location to serve far more families than we did before. Having a capital campaign to be able to purchase a building, remodel, and furnish has provided our community with a wonderful facility that serves about 1800 people a month.
Ozzie deserves to be recognized because he is a volunteer who is willing to take on just about any project if he believes it will benefit the citizens of Mason City. He pledged 500 hours of his time and secured almost 500 signature pledges when Mason City was trying to become a Blue Zone Community. The sledding hill, dog park, and playground equipment were also projects that required him to raise thousands of dollars as well as online voting contests. Even with these projects he still spearheaded the capital campaign to raise $317,000 for the food bank to buy a building, remodel, and furnish in about six months. He finishes one food/money drive for the food bank and already has a vision for the next one. He is an excellent example of what a well-rounded community volunteer looks like and the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank is very fortunate to have him.