People of Altoona: Julie Stewart

In this month’s #PeopleofAltoona, Prairie Meadows’ Community Relations Director shares how the Altoona community has shaped her life—and explains how she’s giving back.

julie stewartI was born and raised in Altoona, and my Dad’s, sister’s and brother’s business – Skinner Law Offices, P.C. – has been part of the community for over 50 years. As a result, all of my childhood memories are in Altoona. Some of my fondest memories include attending Centennial Grade School, playing softball at the Methodist Church, dance lessons at Pat Barton’s, enjoying Joe’s Pizza on Sundays, and family gatherings at the Big Steer Restaurant.

Altoona is small-town America at its best. I always felt safe and was able to live a carefree childhood. Much of my summers were spent at the Altoona swimming pool and playing outside until the streetlights came on. I also attended Southeast Polk and participated in cross country, basketball and golf. It wasn’t until leaving for Columbia, Missouri, to attend college that I realized what a precious gift Altoona is and how blessed I was to be raised in this community.

My incredible parents created a wholesome life and instilled the importance of giving to others and the rewards it offers; they raised me with integrity, honesty and strong values. In addition to their influence in my life, the people in this community have been genuine and are loyal, helpful and kind to me.

I am very passionate about giving back to a city that has provided so much to me over the years. It is important to me to volunteer and stay involved so I can hopefully have an impact. Today, I am an active board member for the Southeast Polk Dollars for Scholars, EPIC and Balance Autism. I am currently working on Visit Altoona because this marketing initiative continues to attract businesses to Altoona so we can continue to be ‘the place for Entertainment’.

It is truly the people of Altoona who make Altoona ‘Home’ to me. The relationships I have established over the last 50 years is why Altoona is so special to me and the place I chose to raise my three children. When I grew up, my neighbors were family and those friendships continue today. My classmates from Southeast Polk class of ‘85 remain close, and we all stay in touch.

To have support from family and friends who celebrate your achievements and milestones throughout your life is why Altoona is a great community that I am proud to be a part of.

#PeopleofAltoona is an ongoing AltoonaNow series featuring wonderful members of our community, like Julie. Check us out on social media to see more!

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