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summer we worked together and he raised future college tuition for a local girl by promoting her lemonade stand – he just has a burden to help people! Van is a fine Christian individual with the highest of standards – very unusual in a person with the exposure that he has. I love working with Van. He’s a very humble person, easy to work with, and his morals are beyond reproach.” One frequent guest on Van’s morning show brings a container of ‘Van and Bon-Bon’ to share each time he visits the studio. And he, Senator Charles Grassley, has seen Van’s work in the community first hand also. He says, “Van Harden is a talented broadcaster and entrepre- neur who uses his celebrity and influence for so much good. Most of all, he believes in Iowans and his commu- nity. If you’re looking for someone who has passion, dedication and a can-do attitude, Van Harden is as good as it gets.”

Van Harden is called upon regularly to host benefits for so many organizations, they could not possibly be listed. Some of the most prominent include The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Lung Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The inaugural Special Olympics USA National Games were held in Ames, Iowa, this past July. In much thanks to the regular and on-going promotion of this massive event on WHO, over 10,000 central Iowans answered Van and Bonnie’s call to volunteer. Van has also given countless hours of his time to Des Moines Christian School through his parental involvment in school events and promotions. Su- perintendent, Dr. Bob Stouffer says, “Van Harden gives so willingly of his time and his talents to Des Moines Christian School. He has hosted informational open houses at our school, which drew more interest because of his involvement. He has allowed me and others to make appearances on his morning radio show in order to promote school activities. He has emceed school events at no cost. We thoroughly enjoyed the Harden family when the children were students at DMC. Van Harden is a wonderful, godly man who is quite deserving of this award.”

One of Van’s favorite charities is Teen Challenge of the Midlands. There, men with life-controlling problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, find support and rehabilitation at a success rate of 86 percent, when nationally, many treatment programs have long term success as low as 5 percent. Director Warren Hunsberger recounts, “A few years ago, following a Sunday service in which I spoke at Westkirk Presbyterian Church, I was introduced to Van. He didn t know a lot about Teen Challenge so I invited him out to visit us in Colfax. He spent quite awhile at our cente , met several staff and students, and made a huge mistake as he was getting ready to leave — he shook my hand, looked me in the eye, and said, “If there’s ever anything I can do to help, please let me know.” Shortly after his visit, we called him! We asked if he’d adopt our annual golf marathon and try to build public awareness for this event and the ministry of Teen Challenge. He accepted the challenge immediately and has been the major reason for the growth in funds raised through the golf event AND a huge increase in awareness of Teen Challenge around the state of Iowa. Everywhere I go now, people tell me, “I heard Van and Bonnie talk about you this morning!” or “I just heard one of your Teen Challenge students share their story on WHO Radio. How did you get them to do that?” The answer is, I DIDN’T — Van did! When he was injured in the mower accident and spent quite awhile in the hospital, a van full of Teen Challenge staff and students visited him in the hospital. He was amazed we came to visit — we were amazed that he was amazed! We had to visit our friend who has unselfishly given so much of himself to a ministry that means so much to us. He is a good friend of Teen Challenge, one of my favorite people, and we appreciate, so much, all he does for us and our communities. Hats off to Van, three cheers from Teen Challenge, and please let him know we’re praying for him!”

I can think of no other individual that God has given the ability, not only to serve Christ, serve family, and serve others, but to do it so beautifully and humbly in the unique ‘station’in life that the Lord has given him. That’s why I’m proud to be his pastor and his friend. On behalf of your church, your family, friends, and fans, congratula- tions, Van!

. . . Michael Mudlaff Pasto , Westkirk Presbyterian Church

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