Jerry's Jottings: Need help with 50,000 Hoover Cookies
by Jerry Fleagle, Hoover Association · Op-Ed · July 04, 2014

Growing up in West Branch, I take great pride in calling West Branch “my home town.” And I am sure I am not alone! Once a “West Brancher,” always a “West Brancher!” If you haven’t made your Hoover’s Hometown Days plans yet, check out the Web site,

We redesigned the Web site this year and will have frequent updates coming in July, leading up to the Aug. 1 & 2 weekend.

Then invite your out-of-town friends and relatives to come back to West Branch as we “Celebrate Family.” It will be a great time!!

I would like to appeal to your West Branch pride in asking for your help this summer.

The Hoover Presidential Foundation has two big events coming up after Hoover’s Hometown Days this year, as the Foundation is having a special stand-alone exhibit at the Iowa State Fair August 7-17. We have lots of activities to drive traffic to our 15-foot by 30-foot Belgian Schoolhouse replica, where we plan to give out over 50,000 free “Hoover Cookies on a Stick” to children, in recognition of Herbert Hoover’s Belgian Food Relief efforts during World War I.

The sticks also contain a special offer for admission to the Hoover Presidential Library-Museum this fall and winter. The real eye-catcher at the Iowa State Fair will be the unveiling of our 46-foot long replica of a Belgian Food Relief ship, which will “set sail” around the fairgrounds multiple times a day!

Needless to say, if we have 50,000 kids stop by our exhibit, we need help! Can you help us Shine the Light on the Hoover Campus and West Branch?

We have to recruit several volunteers a day to help the Foundation staff spread the word about the Hoover Campus and West Branch. The Fair runs from August 7-17 and we welcome any help you can offer!

We’ll supply a free T-shirt, admission, and training to help us Shine the Light on West Branch during the Iowa State Fair, which has over a million visitors every year! Interested?

Call the Foundation office at 319-643-5327, email us at, or go to our website at for more information or to volunteer. Please contact us by July 23 so we have enough time to help YOU Shine the Light on West Branch!

Lastly, October 25 marks 50 years to the day when the state funeral for President Herbert Hoover was held culminating in his burial in West Branch late that afternoon.

We are having a special commemoration of President Hoover’s life that weekend, and are looking for those special “West Branch” personal stories from that day in 1964. If you have photos you can loan us, or a story to tell, we want to hear it! We will publicize it with several articles leading up to the event.

We want to make sure the people who paid their last respects to President Hoover that day, whether viewing the motorcade from bridges over Interstate 80, or were one of the estimated 75,000 people at the gravesite, have an opportunity to tell their story.

If you have photos or a personal story, please give Kristin Sherry in the Hoover Presidential Foundation office a call (319-643-5327) this month, or email her at or grab me on the street! I’d love to talk to you!

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