The Optimist of the Year was named on Thursday

The Greensburg Optimists Club named their James E. Greiwe Memorial Optimist of the Year Award recipient on Thursday. The Optimists first recalled the origin story of the award. In the Fall of 1977 Jack Goodman was the President of the Optimists. Unfortunately that year Jack and his wife lost both of their sons in an accident. Jim Greiwe was a good friend of theirs and through that friendship Jack was able to make it through the rough time. Greiwe always had a positive outlook on life even when he was diagnosed with MS, which later ended up taking his life. Jack made this award to honor Jim and his positive outlook on life despite everything he was going through.

The 2023 Optimist of the Year is Rick Nobbe. Nobbe has been a lifelong resident of Decatur County and member of St Mary’s parish. He is in the Top 100 associates for Winfield United where he has worked for most of his life. Nobbe has been a part of the Decatur County Community Foundation board, the Solid Waste board, and was a County Commissioner for 12 years. Nobbe was instrumental in leading the county through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Josh Marsh congratulated Nobbe. Mayor Marsh said that during COVID everyone was trying to do the best that they can and, when looking back, Nobbe’s calm leadership helped their battle with the unknown as leaders of the community. Nobbe had been responsible for making our community heard with Best Way and has been an integral part of making the county broadband ready for future developments. Mayor Marsh stated that Nobbe is a committed public servant and a good representation of everything the Optimists stand for.

County Councilman Kenny Hooten congratulated Nobbe. Councilman Hooten had the privilege to work with Nobbe during his time as commissioner and even now his name always comes up when discussing a project because he “just seems to know everybody”. It was stated that Nobbe does anything needed of him and, despite no longer being a commissioner, is still heavily involved in the community.

Director of the Decatur County United Fund Joane Cunningham congratulated Nobbe. Volunteers are an important foundation to non profit organizations. In 2011, Nobbe joined the DCCF board and had a great interest in giving back to the community. He rarely missed a meeting in 6 years. Nobbe is a caring and honest individual who want the best for the community.

Assistant Fire Chief Brian Wenning congratulated Nobbe. Being involved with St Mary’s and his faith have been a huge part of Nobbe’s life and exemplifies who he is as a person. The first person they always think of is Nobbe who knows what he is doing and gathers people in. Wenning stated he is proud to know him and be his friend.

Principal of St Mary’s School Nancy Buening congratulated Nobbe. Buening stated that it is hard to surprise Nobbe with something like this because he is so involved. Nobbe is always working behind the scenes and takes care of anything that needs to be done.

Rick Nobbe thanked everyone for the honor and surprise and stated that it warmed his heart to be added to the list of optimists who have received this honor. Nobbe said that he wouldn’t be half of who he is without his wife, Kay and couldn’t believe she was able to keep the secret.

Morgan Schofield


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