Monona native honors parents with over $13K in donations to nonprofits

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Twelve Monona nonprofits will benefit from over $13,000 in donations Daniel De Sotel made last week in honor of his parents, Raymond and Darlene De Sotel. Pictured (front, left to right) are Brooklyn Moose (Girl Scouts), Nathan Friedlein (Cub Scouts), Layla Landt (Cub Scouts); (second row) Barb Collins (city of Monona), Linda Knockel (MCED), Carol Goettler (Butterfly Garden), Shirley Seitz (Butterfly Garden and library), Pat Martin (Butterfly Garden), Ila Benzing (Butterfly Garden), Donna Thompson (library); (third row) Ty Eggers (Boys BSA Troop), Christine VanHorn (Girl Scouts), Alexandria Duffield (Girl Scouts), Madison Duffield (Girl Scouts), Pam Havlicek (library), Emma Koether (Girls BSA Troop), Will Koether (Boys BSA Troop), Marlene Franzen (Girls BSA Troop), Danielle Friedlein (Cub Scouts), Lukas Friedlein (Cub Scouts), Sophie Landt (city of Monona), Rogeta Halvorson (MCED); (back) Dave Scott (Monona Historical Society), Angie Voelzke (Butterfly Garden), Dave Smith (fire department), donor Dan De Sotel, Jim Eggers (Boys BSA Troop), Alena Toberman (Girls BSA Troop), Reilly Franzen (Boys BSA Troop) and Jim Langhus (Boys BSA Troop and Butterfly Garden). (Photos by Audrey Posten)

“This evening has nothing to do with me. This is all in honor of my mother and father, Raymond and Darlene De Sotel, and to give back to the community they loved and served all their lives,” shared Daniel De Sotel, who presented the contributions at an event Dec. 17.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Christmas came early for 12 Monona nonprofit organizations last week. They’ll benefit from over $13,000 in donations a Monona native has made in honor of his parents.

“This evening has nothing to do with me. This is all in honor of my mother and father, Raymond and Darlene De Sotel, and to give back to the community they loved and served all their lives,” shared Daniel De Sotel, who presented the contributions at an event Dec. 17.

De Sotel said both his parents grew up in Monona, and continued to call the community home as they raised a family. His father, Raymond, was especially well known. He had a stint as mayor, served several terms on the city council, was in charge of the maintenance department for many years and volunteered with the fire department. Raymond was also Monona’s first Scout leader and organized moving the Scout house to its current location in town.

“They were both devoted to this town and knew a lot of people,” De Sotel said of his parents.

De Sotel worked with Rogeta Halvorson, executive director of Monona Chamber and Economic Development, Inc. (MCED), to develop the list of organizations to support, and she managed to bring representatives together last week for the presentation.

The first check, in the amount of $2,668.71, went to MCED for the Gateway Park playground project. The funding wrapped up phase one of the project and will help purchase the playground equipment.

The second donation, for $1,000, also went to MCED to support advertising and promoting Monona. 

“What [Halvorson’s] doing for the city of Monona is fantastic. Promoting this town is very important, and she does a good job of doing it,” said De Sotel. “I want to help you do the work you do in a much better fashion.” 

Two separate $1,000-donations went to the city of Monona, one for Gateway Park campground projects and another for projects at the city park.

The Monona Volunteer Fire Department, Murphy Helwig Library, Monona Butterfly Garden and Trail and Monona Historical Society also received $1,000 apiece.

The last four checks went to the community’s four scouting organizations—groups that hold a special place in De Sotel’s heart and were important to his father. Cub Scouts
Pack #38 received $500, while the boys Scouts BSA Troop #38 and girls Scouts BSA Troop #138 picked up $1,000 each. Girl Scouts Troop #1879 earned an initial $1,000, and De Sotel threw in an extra $200 to members Alexandria and Madison Duffield for a special project they’re currently undertaking.

“We plan to use an extra closet at the high school and elementary school to put in some clothing, hygiene products, toiletries and things some kids in our community lack,” explained Alexandria. “They can just go to the closet and borrow it whenever they need to. We might also put some extra sports gear in because there are kids in our community who’d like to play sports but don’t have the proper equipment.”

Madison said the funding will help get this sustainable project off the ground.

“It’s going to take us a big leap from where we started,” she stated. “We’ve been fundraising for a long time through nuts and cookies.”

“What these girls are doing for their community and for their peers, to me, is phenomenal,” De Sotel said. “They’re not thinking of themselves. They’re thinking of other people.”

In total, the donations reached $13,368.71. De Sotel looks forward to seeing how the organizations utilize the money.

“These organizations are doing a great job in and around the city of Monona,” he shared. “Whatever they do and spend the money on is in honor of my mother and father.”

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