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Strike a Cord names Cutler, Littrell as honorary chairs
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Strike a Cord names Cutler, Littrell as honorary chairs

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Kate Cutler and Boyd Littrell of Council Bluffs have been named honorary chairs for the 2021 Heartland Family Service Strike a Cord Gala.

The annual event benefits Heartland Family Service programs in southwest Iowa, including our K-12 Therapeutic School for students with major mental health diagnoses; housing and support services for families experiencing homelessness; professional mental health counseling for children and their parents; and community prevention education and treatment for those struggling with substance use and problem gambling, according to the organization.

“Together, we can center our neighbors’ needs and break cycles of barriers,” organizers said in a release.

Heartland Family Service noted Kate Cutler and Boyd Littrell are both active in the Council Bluffs community.

Cutler has served on the board of directors for the Iowa West Foundation, Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, and Council Bluffs Habitat for Humanity, among others. She also has worked as an elementary school teacher and later returned to higher education to become a lawyer.

“Cutler strongly believes in basic human needs, especially adequate food, a stable place to live, medical services, and a voice to be heard,” Strike a Cord organizers said in announcing Cutler as co-chair.

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Littrell is a sociologist and former Methodist minister who cares deeply about individuals and the communities in which they live, Heartland said in the release. He has a distinguished educational background has taught at the University of Texas at Austin and at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

“Littrell has a special heart for the impoverished, underserved, or otherwise challenged and seeks to give voice to them and to help them overcome conditions that hamper their capacity for change,” organizers said.

This year’s Salute to Leadership Award recipient is Marie Knedler, who retired in February of 2019 as president of CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs.

Knedler began her service to the southwest Iowa community at Mercy Hospital as an intensive care unit nurse and spent 47 years with the hospital.

“Heartland Family Service is proud to honor her for her tireless efforts to improve the lives of the individuals, children, and families of southwest Iowa,” organizers said.

The 2021 Heartland Family Service Strike a Chord Gala will be held at 6 p.m. on June 11 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs. The theme is “On Broadway.” The evening will include a number of highlights, including the presentation of the Salute to Leadership and Salute to Achievement awards, musical entertainment, silent and live auctions, a raffle and games.

Sponsorship opportunities are currently available. To become a sponsor, contact Development Manager Mitch McCartney at mmccartney@heartlandfamilyservice.org or 712-318-1765.

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