Kacena Honored for Volunteer Work

We are proud to announce that our Marion Historical Society board president, Jay Kacena, was inducted into the prestigious 9 Who Care Hall of Fame on February 19. KCRG’s Joe Winters and Nicole Agee hosted a dinner and presentation at the Czech and Slovak Museum. Inductees received a medal, a plaque, and $500 to the charity of their choice. Mercy Medical Center Honors went to Jay and his charity, the Marion Historical Society Endowment Fund.

Jay’s wife, Kathy; his daughter Ann and husband Kelly, daughter Chris and her partner Rob; Vic and Pat Klopfenstein (who nominated Jay); and Robyn Ireland, executive director of the Marion Heritage Center and Museum attended the event.

A 1957 graduate of Marion Independent High School, Jay was a member of the United States Naval Reserve and held a career in the insurance industry. He is semi-retired from United Fire & Casualty.

Jay has been active in the community on all levels. He served on the Marion Independent School Board from 1984-1987 and was board president for one year. Appointed by the mayor and City Council, Jay served on the Linn County Regional Planning Commission for several terms in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He co-chaired a committee to raise taxes for the Linn County Extension Service, also in the late 1990s. And as a founding member of Swamp Fox Festival committee, he designed the original festival logo and button campaign.

Since 2013, Jay has been involved with Friends of Oak Shade Cemetery, as the founding member and first and only president. That same year, he became involved with the Marion Historical Society, where he’s been on the board of directors, and has served as president since July 2020. He volunteers at the Knights of Columbus Lenten Fish Fries, is a member of the Marion Noon Lions Club, has organized many class reunions, and was part of the Linn County Master Gardeners. Jay attends St. Joseph Catholic Church, where he has served on the Parish Council.

Jay’s honors and awards include the 2012 Marion Citizen of the Year and 2011 Lions Club International Melvin Jones Fellow Award.

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