April 25th, 2019 – Roll out the red carpet. It’s time for The Edgars!  The 2019 Edgars Achievement Awards event takes place Friday evening, May 3rd at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cedar Rapids Convention Complex in downtown Cedar Rapids. This year’s event has a sports theme. The social hour begins at 5:30 pm and will include photo ops with mascots from local teams. Social hour will be followed by a dinner and awards program. The program will kick off with the singing of The National Anthem by two Goodwill fan favorites from the Iowa City area. Preview their talent here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgVHltxwnmM


This event precedes National Goodwill Industries Week, observed May 5th – 11th. Goodwill organizations around the United States and Canada are hosting career fairs, donation drives, tours and celebratory events like The Edgars as a part of the week-long recognition, which started in 1951. May is also National Mental Health Month. Goodwill of the Heartland is an advocate for people with mental health issues and supports efforts to increase awareness and understanding. Goodwill provides job assistance and supportive services to people with disabilities and other barriers, including those with mental health needs.


The purpose of The Edgars is to recognize the achievements of Goodwill clients over the past year and spotlight the services offered by Goodwill of the Heartland throughout its 19-county service area. In honor of their successful efforts to overcome barriers to independence, the following individuals will be recognized:


  • Adam Gremp/Cedar Rapids – Day Habilitation Achiever of the Year
  • Rachel Spina/Cedar Rapids – Supported Community Living Achiever of the Year
  • Jennifer Perrigo/Quad Cities – Trainee Achiever of the Year
  • Neil Hubbard/Iowa City – Townsend Achiever of the Year
  • Robert Wright/Iowa City – Employment Achiever of the Year


A Goodwill staff member, Jodine Sands, will be recognized with the Helms Family Award – Team Member Achiever of the Year. A Goodwill retail store will also be recognized with the Retail Mission Integration Award. The Goodwill store located in Rock Island, IL will be the recipient of this honor for its efforts to support the Goodwill mission within its store and local community.


The Edgars also presents an opportunity to acknowledge outstanding community partners who support the Goodwill mission. The following two partners will be honored:


  • Legacy Manufacturing/Marion – Contract Partner of the Year

Legacy has a long history of creating paid training opportunities by outsourcing projects to Goodwill’s Contract Services. The first contract awarded in 2009 was to assemble grease guns. Legacy’s business has since expanded significantly due to continued growth and success in reshoring U.S. manufacturing processes. Their partnership with Goodwill expanded too as the company began hiring graduates from Goodwill’s Light Manufacturing Training (LMT) Program to meet their staffing needs. Goodwill’s LMT Program is helping people of all backgrounds to establish a path to gainful employment in the manufacturing field. Legacy’s commitment to helping our graduates realize their potential by teaming up with Goodwill is outstanding. They have hired eight LMT Program graduates and hosted six paid internships over the last two years – more than any other area employer.


  • Kwik Star/Cedar Rapids, three locations – Employer of the Year

Kwik Star leadership believes that when you work at Kwik Star, you become family. This has been the experience of the three Goodwill clients hired as Retail Helpers by three different Kwik Star locations in Cedar Rapids. Each feels embraced and supported by their workplace family. The Kwik Star culture also embodies the philosophy that if you take care of your co-workers, they, in turn, will take care of your customers. The local Kwik Star management has demonstrated flexibility working with Goodwill to make schedule and task adjustments so that the Retail Helpers could excel and do their part to exemplify the Kwik Star culture. They contribute in many ways including helping with deliveries, stocking, trash, floor care and other cleaning needs.


Four additional businesses from across Goodwill’s 19-county service area were nominated for this honor. They include:  The Iowa City Community School District; Kum and Go of Williamsburg; North Scott Foods of Eldridge and Yacky Shack of Muscatine.


The Edgars is an Oscars-like event complete with red carpet arrival and trophies for the individual achievement award winners. Last year over 400 Goodwill clients, employees and community partners attended the celebration. The event name, The Edgars, honors national Goodwill founder Edgar J. Helms, who grew up in Iowa and graduated from Cornell College in Mount Vernon. His grandson, Dr. Charles Helms, currently serves on the local Board of Directors. This year’s event will be emceed by brothers Josh and Aaron Scheinblum. Both brothers work at KCRG TV-9; Josh is the Chief Investigative Reporter and Aaron is the Iowa City Reporter.


About Goodwill of the Heartland

The mission of Goodwill of the Heartland is to advance the social and economic well-being of people who experience barriers to independence. Goodwill offers life and job skill development, work experience, job placement assistance, day habilitation, supported community living, workforce services to employers and contract manufacturing, assembly and packaging. In 2018, Goodwill provided over 19,000 services to people with barriers in its 19-county service area. For more information, including retail, donation and service locations, please visit www.goodwillheartland.org or call toll free 1-866-466-7881.