Hometown Hero

Hometown Hero

Let me start by wishing all of you a very Happy Easter! I hope you are able to spend some time making great memories with your families. On the positive side, I am getting to the point where I can hide my own Easter Eggs.

A few weeks ago, I received a call from a lady from the Bonneville Country Heritage Association. She informed me that I had been selected as one of four Hometown Heroes. She told me there were a lot of nominations, but they knew about my Foundation, and they admire all the things I am doing for our community. “We wanted to acknowledge someone who is a quiet hero,” she said. “That’s the first time I have been referred to as quiet,” I thought but thankfully didn’t say out loud.  

The lady informed me the event was originally scheduled to be held at the Colonial Theater in March, but due to Covid, they had to change it to April 9th at the Museum of Idaho. Kristi sent a text to both our families letting them know about the event. It worked out well because that was the same time her son Carter and his wife Robin would be in town for their graduation.

I remembered last year one of the radio stations holding a contest where people would nominate someone as a Hometown Hero. The majority of them were healthcare workers, fireman, and police officers. I assumed the other recipients would be from this group and it was an honor just to be mentioned in this class. It was flattering to be chosen for this award, especially when we have so many other heroes in our community.

When we got to the museum, I went up to the front of the room where my good friend Todd Brown was putting the awards together he was going to hand out. When I looked down at my plaque, it was right next to Frank VanderSloot. For those of you not aware, he is the owner and CEO of the multi-billion dollar global company Melaleuca. It was overwhelming to think about being included in a same conversation with him. The other two recipients were the Brad Hall Foundation and Reginald Reeves. They both have done so much to help so many people.

When Todd had me come up to receive my award, he whispered to me, “Feel free to say a few words, as long as you keep it brief. I’m just kidding, take all the time you want.” I started my remarks by saying, “I will try and keep this short, because my friend Todd reminded me the scariest two things are Shane Wilker with a microphone and a captive audience. First I would like to thank the Bonneville County Heritage Association for all the great work they do. The next thing I would like to say is that the enormous success of the Shannon Wilker Foundation would not be possible without the compassion and generosity of our great community. We are all blessed to live in this incredibly generous and charitable community. I will humbly accept this award on behalf of the Shannon Wilker Foundation and our great community.”

It was an experience I will hold in my heart forever. I want to thank everyone who came to the event to support me, and everyone who could not be there, but sent their best wishes. I am an extremely fortunate and blessed man.

I want to tell all the healthcare workers, and the brave men and women in our fire and police departments that everyone of us consider you as hometown heroes, and we give you all the biggest THANK YOU for all you do to keep us healthy and safe. I hope you all have a very Happy Easter, and thanks for reading.

Next week: Robotic Technology

P.S. There was an Easter message I noticed on a reader board. It said: “Follow the bunny, he has chocolate.” My reply is: “Caution, those little pellets are not chocolate.”