National I-Club Announces 2016 Award Winners

October 17, 2016




CONTACT:       Athletics Development Office





National I-Club Announces 2016 Award Winners


IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The National I-Club has dozens of local I-Club chapters, who form a strong presence within their communities to gather Hawkeyes together and to serve as a united voice of support for Iowa athletics across the state and beyond. Each year the National I-Club presents a slate of awards to a special few of the many outstanding contributors and volunteers.


Ron Kirchhoff of Peosta is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Hawk of the Year Award for his exceptional level of loyalty, enthusiasm, and generosity to Iowa athletics. Ron has been a season ticket holder for over 35 years, has made significant ongoing annual gifts to the I-Club, contributed to the Football Legacy Campaign, and most recently to the Carver-Hawkeye Arena Fund in support of the recent arena improvements. In addition, Ron is a member of the National I-Club Board and is a leader with the Dubuque County I-Club chapter.


This year’s recipient of the I-Club of the Year Award is Carroll Area I-Club in western Iowa for their exceptional level of support of the Hawkeyes and the extraordinary level of conduct in all of their local events. In addition to spreading the message of the Iowa Hawkeyes throughout their community, the Carroll Area I-Club has been a consistent annual contributor to the I-Club since 1976 in addition to multiple contributions to athletic capital campaign projects over the years, most recently the Football Legacy Campaign.


Lon Olejniczak of Cedar Rapids is the 2016 recipient of the I-Club Volunteer of the Year Award. Lon is a Hawkeye baseball and football letter winner and has continued to give his passionate and enthusiastic support to the Hawkeyes over the past 25 years. He has been the key driver in organizing the annual Iowa Football leadership development program each year and has been an annual contributor to the I-Club for over 25 years in addition to his support of multiple athletics capital campaign projects.


Iowa City area chapter, the Johnson County I-Club, received the 2016 Special Commendation Award for the extra efforts they put forth each year to support our Hawkeye student-athletes and create opportunities and experiences for local fans. In addition to their annual Hawk Party, Johnson County I-Club hosts several other events throughout the year maintaining a strong Hawkeye presence in the Iowa City area throughout the year. They also generously contributed to numerous capital campaign projects and have endowed two athletics scholarships.


The 2016 I-Club award winners will be recognized on field at halftime of the Iowa vs. Wisconsin football game on Saturday, October 22.

The I-Club is the University of Iowa’s fundraising program for intercollegiate athletics. Gifts to the I-Club help UI Athletics generate over $17 million annually which is used to fund all expenses in support of Hawkeye student-athletes. The I-Club has nearly 18,000 members in 99 Iowa counties and 49 states. For more details visit or find the National I-Club on Facebook and Twitter (@jointheiclub). 

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