Fourth Class of Clinton County Walk of Fame selected

Clinton County Walk of Fame

CLINTON, Iowa – The Clinton Hometown Pride committee has selected seven individuals to be inducted into the fourth class of the Clinton County Walk of Fame. The induction ceremony for the Clinton County Walk of Fame is 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at the Eagle Point Lodge.

Individuals were nominated in one or more of the following categories: Professional Achievement, Fine Arts, Military, Athletics, and Humanitarian Acts. 

Evaluation of the nominees was conducted by members of the Nomination Committee with selection criteria including nominees’ achievements, impact on Clinton, and their ties to Clinton County.

Inductees include Louise Laurent (Humanitarian), Kenneth Ploen (Athletics), David Sivright (Professional Achievement), Glenn Drowns (Humanitarian), Shauna Greene (Athletics), Vince Jetter (Humanitarian), and Allen Paulson (Professional Achievement).

The Clinton County Walk of Fame project was created by the Clinton Hometown Pride Committee to offer both residents and visitors an interesting and innovative way to showcase and appreciate the many historic individuals who planted their roots in Clinton County. 

The Committee also hopes that the Walk of Fame will be inspirational, encouraging others to make a difference and to shed a positive light on Clinton County through their achievements.

The honorees are:

  • Louise Laurent has been a cornerstone of the Clinton community for more than four decades, beginning as the third employee at CustomPak and later becoming deeply involved with the Kiwanis Club of Clinton in the early 1990s. Her tireless dedication made her instrumental in organizing and supporting community events including the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, the YWCA’s Caring Tree, Clinton Symphony of Lights, and the Community Easter Egg Hunt. She is a founding board member of The Sawmill Museum and has been a key organizer behind many initiatives. Her contributions extend to time and financial support, impacting school children through Kiwanis-driven drives. She was recognized with the Liberty Bell in 2017 for her community service by the Clinton County Bar Association, and exemplifies leadership in fostering a stronger, more vibrant community in Clinton.
  • Kenneth Ploen, who was born in Lost Nation, Iowa, was a celebrated athlete and sports icon. He attended Clinton High School, where he excelled in football, track and field,  and basketball, earning all-state honors before graduating in 1953. At the University of Iowa, he became the starting quarterback in 1956, leading the Hawkeyes to their first Big Ten Conference Championship in 35 years and securing a victory in the 1957 Rose Bowl, where he was named MVP. Known for his versatility, Mr. Ploen also played a pivotal defensive role. He went on to a distinguished 11-year career in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, achieving multiple Grey Cup victories and was a CFL All-Star. After retiring from football, Mr. Ploen was a respected color commentator for CFL games. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (1975), the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame & Museum (1987), the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame (1997), and the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame (2002). He died on Feb. 13, 2024, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, leaving a lasting impact on sports history and the communities he touched.
  • David H. Sivright, Jr. was an attorney and served on the boards of several community organizations, including the United Way. He also was president of the Clinton Swim Club. In August 1989, the mayor and city council awarded him a Key to the City after he arranged for Clinton to host the State Junior Olympic Long Course Age Group and Senior Championship Swim Meet at Riverview Pool. He was certified for 30 years as a swim official by the Iowa High School Athletic Association (official of the year in 2002) and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (official of the year in 2007). In 1992, Iowa’s Governor appointed him District Court Judge in Iowa’s Seventh Judicial District. Following his retirement in 2012, he served on the Board of Directors of the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, the Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau, the River Bluff Community Foundation, and the Clinton County Development Association (president in 2023). He was active in the formation of Clinton Fine Arts Association, Inc. He served on the board of the Clinton Regional Development Corporation and its executive committee. He helped implement the merger that created Grow Clinton. He now serves on the board of YWCA Clinton. Mr. Sivright has received the Stan Reeves Gold Key Award from the Clinton Community School District four times. He has provided support for public schools, local charities, community events, and the scholarships he has funded. 
  • Glenn Drowns is known as one of today’s foremost seed savers and plant breeders. He lives in Calamus, Iowa, where he has spent over 35 years dedicated to conserving genetic diversity in agriculture. On his 40-acre farm in Clinton County,Mr. Drowns and his wife Linda cultivate more than 2,500 varieties of heirloom vegetables, grains, and flowers through their Sand Hill Preservation Center. Their efforts have rescued over 675 endangered plant species from extinction, emphasized the importance of genetic preservation and educated others about agricultural diversity. Mr. Drowns maintains a diverse collection of heirloom poultry and manages a successful mail-order seed and chick business. His lifelong commitment to conservation and education extends to his role as an inspiring science teacher at Calamus-Wheatland Community School District. Mr. Drowns received the significant achievement award from the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy in 1999 and will be honored with the 2024 Oberholtzer Award for conservation leadership by the Nahant Marsh Education Center. 
  • Shauna Greene was born Oct. 31, 1979, in Clinton and is a distinguished American basketball coach currently leading the University of Illinois women’s basketball team. A standout athlete from Clinton High School, she excelled in multiple sports, notably basketball and volleyball, where she still holds top-five records in kills and blocks. Her roots in Clinton shaped her career profoundly. She credits her upbringing for her success in coaching. Before joining Illinois, Shauna achieved remarkable success during her six-year tenure as head coach at the University of Dayton, winning five Atlantic 10 regular-season championships and leading the Flyers to four NCAA Tournament appearances. Ms. Greene’s coaching journey began at Loras College, followed by assistant coaching roles at Northwestern University and Providence College. She graduated from Canisius College in 2002, where she remains the all-time leading scorer in women’s basketball history and was inducted into the Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Ms. Greene earned a master’s degree in physical education from Loras College. She resides in Illinois with her husband Andy and their son Matteo, while her parents Dave and Ann Geronzin continue to live in Clinton, Iowa.
  • Vince Jetter was born in 1944, honored as the namesake of the Vince Jetter Community Center, left a legacy of community service and advocacy before his passing in 2006. His extensive involvement spanned initiatives such as Habitat for Humanity, Voices of Diversity, and chronicling local black history. He was instrumental in founding a community nonviolence organization and organizing events like the wild game dinner at Bethel AME Church. Mr. Jetter’s commitment to numerous organizations, including the Clinton Substance Abuse Council, NAACP, and 4-H Club, reflected his dedication to improving the Clinton community. His impact resonates through the Vince Jetter Community Center, established in 1992, and continues to serve as a testament to his profound influence on fostering unity and social progress in Clinton, Iowa.
  • Allen Eugene Paulson (April 22, 1922 – July 19, 2000) was an American businessman, racehorse owner/breeder, and philanthropist who was born in Clinton. Rising from humble beginnings, Mr. Paulson started working at 13, supporting himself through odd jobs until he moved to California in 1937. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and gaining engineering knowledge at the University of West Virginia, he returned to TWA as a flight engineer and later commercial pilot. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish a successful business selling surplus airplane parts, eventually founding Gulfstream Aerospace. It became the world’s largest manufacturer of private jets. In 1985, Mr. Paulson sold Gulfstream to Chrysler for $637 million, marking a significant milestone in aviation history. He also excelled in thoroughbred horse racing, notably with his horse “Cigar” and contributed generously to philanthropic causes, including construction of the Allen E. Paulson Stadium at Georgia Southern University. Mr. Paulson’s legacy is celebrated with awards including the Harmon Trophy and induction into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame, reflecting his enduring impact on aviation and sports. 

To buy tickets, contact Matthew Parbs, vice president of economic & community development- Grow Clinton, 563-242-5702 [email protected].

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