Second of Ten 2016 Jefferson Award Winners: John Iwanski
Iwanski, who is 73, has a long history of volunteer activity. He has been the popcorn fundraising helper for the Tri-County District of the BSA for many years, securing permission for locations for the Boy Scouts to sell their popcorn. He also served as an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 478 and spent time as the troop’s committee chairman. Iwanski’s service to the troop allowed the scouts to enjoy many activities such as camping trips that only could have been possible because he was available as a volunteer adult leader.
Iwanski is also actively involved with the Eastern Shore Iris Society, and as its longtime leader has helped with every show.
But probably Iwanski’s most well known volunteer activity is his work with American Legion Post #64 in Salisbury. When the post’s paid manager resigned, Iwanski volunteered to fill that vacant role. Despite being unpaid, Iwanski goes to the office daily to manage its money and accounting. He cleans the post when its cleaning person is off. He has also single-handedly managed the post memorial garden, which surrounds the Memorial Wall to post veterans who have passed away. As its caretaker, Iwanski weeds the garden, plants new flowers every year and ensures the appearance of the garden for Memorial Day celebrations.
Iwanski also volunteers to help with the post’s weekly dinners. He has been the only cook for the post’s Friday night steak dinners, which are very successful. In addition, in the absence of a paid manager, Iwanski is the only person taking the food orders for the post. He also takes the lead in organizing the post’s crab feasts, raffles and other fundraising events.
Iwanski also sponsors the post’s youth shooting team, which has won many awards. In addition, he is an active supporter of the post’s youth baseball team.