Serving students and families in Linn-Mar and Marion Independent schools.

Impact Citizen Awards

Marion Cares celebrates the second Impact Citizen Awards!

You are invited to an evening of relationships and recognition on Thursday, April 30th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at The Lowe Park Arts and Environment Center in Marion. Savor the first hour featuring heavy hors d’oeuvre and refreshments thanks to the generosity of Catering by L’J’s. Then be inspired by the lives of three honorees as presented by emcee Bob Hoyt (voice of the Marion Indians and retired Marion educator).

Althea Cole has seen with her own eyes the way a child can thrive when surrounded by encouraging influences. A lifelong resident of the Marion area and a 2002 graduate of Linn-Mar High School, Althea has unleashed her passion for children through Marion Cares, in her church and as a camp counselor. She is also active in local politics, working hard to engage citizens and volunteering extensively to influence local and national public policy. She is a part-time pet-sitter and an avid fan of the Iowa State Cyclones.

Sarah Pinion has been a dynamic leader in Iowa during her 39 year education career. She serves on a variety of education advisory councils and in community leadership positions. Currently she serves as the Marion – East Cedar Rapids Rotary Club president, on the United Way Education Committee, Marion Economic Development Company (MEDCO) Board, and Marion Cares Advisory Committee. Sarah is retiring as the Superintendent of the Marion Independent School Board in June and will enjoy traveling with her husband and more time with their four children and 13 grandchildren.

Wayne Engle immediately impacted Marion when his family moved here in 1959 and started his own electrical business. What is now known as The ESCO Group started out of his garage and is currently comprised of four business units. His faith and hard work also led Wayne into multiple community building opportunities before and during retirement, including Junior Achievement, Cornel College, St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation, Linn-Mar School Board, Marion Christian Church, Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Marion Chamber of Commerce, First Light Christian Fellowship, Linn Haven and Discovery Living, and “The Old Farts Electric Group”. The children of Marion are most delighted that he shared a cup of coffee one morning and became one of the co-founders of Marion Cares. Wayne is the first one to say that his successes were made possible through the support of his loving wife Shirley and their children (Dave, Dan, Doug, and Sue).

To purchase tickets of $50.00 per person, please contact Marion Cares office at 319-377-5344 or

Sponsors are being sought at $2,500 (Event), $1,000 (We Care), and $250 (Impact).

Marion Cares is a 501c3 faith-based nonprofit agency serving the students and families of the Linn-Mar and Marion Independent school districts. Students grow academically, socially and spiritually through after-school and summer programs in three Marion neighborhoods. In addition, families are supported as they receive school supplies, gently used bicycles, winter clothing, food and Christmas gifts. Marion Cares receives volunteer, in-kind and financial resources through a variety of people from local churches, businesses, individuals, foundations, and service clubs.