Les Stees of Geneseo was surprised with the GIFT Community?Caring Award during a ceremony at the?Geneseo Historical Museum on Sept. 16. Presented by the Geneseo Is For?Tomorrow (GIFT) Foundation, the award honors individuals who have given back to their community.


Les Stees of Geneseo was surprised with the GIFT Community?Caring Award during a ceremony at the?Geneseo Historical Museum on Sept. 16. Presented by the Geneseo Is For?Tomorrow (GIFT) Foundation, the award honors individuals who have given back to their community.

In a nomination letter, museum curator Angie Snook credits Stees with the vision for the new educational addition to the museum.

“He had the foresight to look toward the future for the museum’s educational and genealogical needs,” she wrote.

Stees donated more than 787 hours to the project and “initiated others to join him in sharing their time and talents to make this dream a reality,” said
Snook, adding “Les accomplished this while going through 35 cancer radiation treatments at Trinity Cancer Center.”

Stees has supported the museum for a number of years and designed and built the brick wall that displays bricks and medallions from the old Geneseo High?School and the Geneseo Armory.

“He also refinished the south open staircase and large walnut library cupboard, poured numerous sidewalks, helped care for the gardens and oversaw so many other needed projects at the museum,” said Snook. “Each project is special to him and he does it with pride.”

Stees also has fixed day care playground and classroom equipment, served as a shuttle driver at Hammond-Henry Hospital and  taken friends and family members to doctors’ appointments in the area and at Mayo Clinic.

“He always finds time to help others,” wrote Snook. “Les cares about giving back to his community by volunteering through Kiwanis, his church, Rebuilding Together and countless other daily things he does for his family and friends.?He does these things without expecting anything in return.”

Snook said Stees’ “love and devotion to the Geneseo community is endless.”

“Les sets a great example for the rest of us to try and follow.”

In addition to the GIFT?Community Caring Award, a $500 donation was made to the museum on Stees’ behalf by?Lohman?Companies Insurance Foundation’s fund with GIFT.

“I’m speechless,” said Stees upon receiving the award. “I feel very fortunate to be able to do all of this. I don’t know what I’d do with my time otherwise.”