Alicia Lehman, who works at The Palace, was singled out because of her kindness to customers.


A number of Dyersville area residents have been honored for being helpful and hospitable in and out of the workplace. They are among the latest recipients in The First Thirty Elevator Project — a kindness recognition project that has spread across the globe.

Now in its 10th year, the project salutes “every day” acts of consideration that are hard to quantify, but add up to make a significant impact on those who live in and visit a community. Each honoree receives a copy of the book “The First Thirty.”

Some of the recent Dyersville area honorees were chosen for their acts of service and hospitality toward customers they encountered on the job. The honorees include selected staff at Comfort Inn, Golf Side Grille, The Palace and Payless Foods.

Other Dyersville honorees were observed being helpful in spontaneous moments away from the workplace.

Travis Recker, a 31-year-old carpenter, was chosen after he went out of his way to assist a traveler. While driving through town, Recker was flagged down by an out-of-state driver looking for a particular location in Dyersville. Recker did not merely provide directions. He instructed the visitor to follow him while he drove to the destination a couple miles away.

Recker said, "Growing up in a small town has taught me many great values, including being helpful and kind to others. I always try to help when I can, but never expected to get recognized for it."

Co-authored by Jillip Naysinthe Paxson and Greg Forbes Siegman, “The First Thirty” tells the story of a young person's efforts to make a difference through small acts of kindness and the grandparent who mentors him. It is accessible to all reading levels, from fifth grade to senior citizens.

The First Thirty Elevator Project is made possible due to individual and organizational sponsors. Over the years, sponsors have included Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Boston Cares, Visit Santa Rosa, and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

The First Thirty Elevator Project honorees were not the only Dyersville area residents recently surprised with a book. Fidelity Bank & Trust ordered extra copies of The Silhouette Man (the expanded edition of The First Thirty) as a gift for selected residents at Ellen Kennedy Living Center.

The Silhouette Man is available at James Kennedy Public Library. The First Thirty and The Silhouette Man are both available for purchase online through the store link on www.TheFirstThirty.com.