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6.8.16 Silver Cord WinnerThe Silver Cord Program is a graduation incentive program to promote volunteerism in the Atlantic Area. Atlantic High School seniors who volunteered a minimum of 200 hours throughout their high school career graduated this year with a silver cord and were eligible for a $500 scholarship provided by the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce. The program encourages volunteer opportunities with all Civic Organizations and benefits the entire community.

“The Silver Cord program was started as a way to educate students about the importance of community service,” Chamber of Commerce Programs Director Cate Christensen said, “It gives students the opportunity to see firsthand how investing their time can enhance and grow their community.”

The 2016 Silver Cord recipient is Madison Helvie. Madison volunteered 52 hours over the course of the school year spending time volunteering at the Nishna Valley Family YMCA after school programs and tutoring elementary students. She also volunteers at cheer camp, soccer camp and National Honor Society.

“I’ve always loved volunteering,” Madison Helvie, Atlantic High School senior said. It’s something that is super easy to do to give back to the community in a positive way,” mentioned Helvie.

Madison will be attending the University of Northern Iowa in the fall to study Nursing. Her goal is to practice nursing in a larger city after graduation before settling down in a smaller community. She hopes to continue volunteering and being active wherever she goes.

“We are looking forward to building the relationship between the community and the student body,” Ouida Hargens, Executive Director of the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce said.

“More students will create a stronger program and have a stronger overall impact on the community,” she added.

If you are interested in learning more about the Silver Cord Program, please visit If you would like to volunteer, please visit to learn about opportunities in the community or call the Atlantic Area Chamber at 712.243.3017.

Pictured: Ouida Hargens, Atlantic Area Chamber Executive Director; Madison Helvie; Lori Reid, Atlantic Area Chamber Board President.