The annual celebrate Adel event took place on Tuesday evening at the Country Lane Lodge with a sampling from some of Adel’s popular eateries available for those in attendance. The most anticipated part of the evening, however, was when they handed out the 2017 Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year awards.
Dennis Leininger received the Citizen of the Year Award and the Adel Family Fun Center received the Business of the Year Award.
Leininger, who helped spearhead the Oakdale Pride group, which is working to make improvements to Oakdale Cemetery, said that it was “humbling” to receive the Citizen of the Year Award.
“I’ve always thought that it’s time for me to get back to Adel and they turn around and do something nice,” Leininger said.
Additionally, Leininger donated body cameras to the Adel Police Department and worked with the Adel Rotary Club to help furnish the Adel Food Pantry with a new cooler.
Leininger moved away from Adel for a while, but eventually made his way back home.
“When I cross the… bridge over the Raccoon River, I just felt like I was home. That’s when I moved back,” Leininger said. “Now it’s a time when I have more time to do some things and give back.”
Bryce Smith, who owns the Adel Family Fun Center with his husband Kale, said that he loves what he does, which makes working in the community more enjoyable.
“When we put in the effort to make things better, make our business more approachable and more accessible to the community, we see it directly pay off,” Smith said. “We see more people come through the door, more families, more league bowlers, so it makes us want to do more and be part of the community more, and give back more.
So it’s kind of gratifying to see that the hard work does pay off, but also, at the same time, we know that the hard work isn’t done. We’re going to still keep investing in our community, and working hard and making our business a better place for everyone.”
Smith is also originally from the area, growing up in DeSoto and graduating from A-D-M High School.