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Celebrate Marshalltown Strong

Join us at the Progress and Pride banquet

The staff members of the Times-Republican consider ourselves lucky. Each day we get the opportunity to impact our community — the town we live in, shop in, dine in and work in — through providing information and offering a space for dialogue. It’s a role we are honored to serve in and we understand the weight of carrying such a duty.

Words are powerful. Pictures are worth a thousand words. It is an expectation every single day to provide our residents comprehensive news about the most important things happening in our city.

At no time in recent history has that job been harder than getting a paper published on July 20, 2018. Just hours after an EF-3 tornado swept through Marshalltown — knocking out power, damaging our building and traumatizing our employees — we made a plan to get the news out. It started with getting our boots on the ground, reporting just three minutes after the National Weather Service showed the storm subsided. Packing up shop, we drove to Tama where we produced the newspaper remotely, our own newsroom and presses lacking electricity. After sending it off to print in Webster City, it was picked up and distributed to our carriers who graciously delivered the news to our community.

Producing that particular newspaper was a huge feat. But we were nowhere near the only organizations to do something extraordinary. Since the tornado, we’ve had the privilege of telling more than 300 stories of residents, business owners and government leaders alike who stepped up. No one in this city went unaffected and some faced such tough circumstances their future is still uncertain. Through all of it, we’ve remained Marshalltown Strong.

We believe our progress is worth acknowledging. And we believe that doing so will help keep us inspired as the marathon of recovery continues. That’s why we’re hosting the Progress and Pride banquet on the anniversary of the tornado.

The event will feature invited guests Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, comments from Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper, the Salute to Hometown Heroes Awards and more. All proceeds will be donated to the Rebuild Marshalltown fund. We hope you’ll join us.

In an editorial a week after the storm, we made a commitment to report on this recovery every step of the way. We called for togetherness and collaboration to help Marshalltown prosper again.

“It took only minutes of destruction for July 19 to become a historic marker. As a community, we cannot erase that day — those minutes — from our past,” we wrote. “But we do get to determine our future. As a community, we get to decide how we respond to this large challenge we are faced with.

“We get to resolve if the history book shows that Marshalltown went downhill after this disaster or if we rose to the occasion to make our town even better than it was before. We have that choice to make together.”

We’ve seen, over and again, the right choices made. Let’s keep it going.

Event details

When: 6 p.m. on July 19

Where: Dejardin Hall, Marshalltown Community College

Tickets: Tickets are $30 and are available on the T-R website or by stopping in during business hours. All proceeds benefit Rebuild Marshalltown.