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Dick and Sherri Fobert were named Dallas' First Citizens Friday at the annual Community Awards Ceremony. View other award recipients by clicking Images on the website.
February 28, 2012
DALLAS -- Dick and Sherri Fobert were treated to two surprises in one night Friday at the 55th annual Dallas Community Awards.
First, by the appearance of their son, Ryan, who drove to Dallas from North Bend to witness the second surprise of the evening: seeing his parents accept the First Citizen award.
"We had no idea," Dick Fobert said. "We feel thankful and blessed, especially when you know there are hundreds of people in the community who need to be honored."
Anyone who knows the Foberts, however, shouldn't be surprised by the honor bestowed on the couple, who spent more than three decades teaching students in the Dallas School District.
"Sherri always wanted to be a teacher and I always wanted to do something that made a difference. ... It seemed like a good fit," Dick said of their decision to become teachers.
Dick, an U.S. Army veteran, was a math teacher, and Sherri taught health and medical terminology. The couple, who met while attending North Marion High School in Aurora, were hired in 1975 for their first teaching jobs in the Dallas School District.
"I don't know who was on that interview panel back then, but whoever they were, they were really smart," said Janet Brunner, who presented the award to the Foberts.
Dick Fobert said he and his wife had opportunities to move, but decided Dallas was their permanent home.
"It's a good place to live," he said. "We had some offers from other districts, but decided to stay."
Over the years, the couple's contribution to the community grew.
"Their love of kids extended far beyond the classroom," Brunner said.
Dick coached baseball and football and for years led students on rafting and other outdoor field trips. Sherri was the team manager, in charge of making sure there was plenty of ice for injuries, equipment was in order and cookies and brownies were on hand for the players.
The couple dedicated time off the field to helping young athletes improve as well, even building a batting cage at their home, Brunner said.
Technically, they are retired, but it doesn't seem that way.
Dick, who left teaching in 2004, still helps coach baseball and football, volunteers his time to maintain athletic fields for the district, and is a member of Polk County Search and Rescue Team.
Sherri, who retired in 2007, is a volunteer coordinator for the school district and also volunteers at West Valley Hospital.
"Their philosophy has been, 'if you want to be part of the community, then be community minded,'" Brunner said. "These people have given of their time, talent and pocketbook all for the betterment of others."
Clearly shocked to receive the award, Dick and Sherri gave credit to the community they have called home since the mid-1970s.
"We've had a wonderful time tonight and we are honored," Dick said. "God has truly blessed America and if you look around this room, you will see he has blessed this community with an abundance of great people."
And the winners are ...
Award recipients during the 55th annual Dallas Community Awards, held Friday night at BeckenRidge Vineyard.
* First Citizen
Dick and Sherry Fobert
* Junior First Citizen
* Exceptional Family
* Outstanding Organization
Polk County Commission for Children & Families
* Good Samaritan
* Most Improved Business
Dallas Super Market
* Small Business of the Year
King's Pumping Service
* Ag Business of the Year
Old Mill Feed & Garden
* Business of the Year
* Excellence in Arts
Slade and Melina Thackeray