On any given day, you are likely to find Mandy volunteering with one of the many community organizations she is involved with. Mandy has a huge heart for her community, and she demonstrates that by giving back in numerous ways. Because of this, Mandy has been recognized as the 2024 Miss Cozad Volunteer of the Year.

Important roles in several community groups

commerce membersMandy has served several three-year terms on the Cozad Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and currently serves as the board’s Vice President. She is a very active board member, especially with her service on the Civic Affairs committee where she helped organize the chamber’s Bands, Brews, and BBQs annual fundraiser event. This year they are kicking off the first annual Parking Lot Party.

She is also an active member of the Cozad Community Leaders (formerly the Cozad Jaycees). Mandy plays an integral part in all their events with her favorite being the annual Cake & Silent Auction. “It is an event that is a great example of the fact that everyone can do something,” explains Mandy.  “A bunch of little effort can pay off with big rewards. Each year we pick a local group to donate the proceeds to and then community members can either donate an auction item, bid, or both!” Bidding on all items starts at just $5, making it affordable for all. The event then typically ends with a donation of several thousand dollars, which is incredible for a town as small as Cozad. “It is heartwarming to see the community rally around the groups we choose to support each year.” cake and silent auction

Involved in her community through multiple channels, Mandy also serves as president of the Business Improvement District, having previously acted as treasurer. This district oversees a ten-block segment in downtown Cozad. Additionally, since 2019, she has contributed her expertise to the City of Cozad Parks and Recreation Board.

Family first

mandy familyMandy and her husband, Bud Swanson, have two children: a daughter, Madison Rowley, a freshman at UNK and a son, Easton, a 4th grader at Cozad Elementary School. Outside of service groups she belongs to, Mandy enjoys supporting the programs her children participate in. She enjoys helping in any way she can with coaching, concessions, scorekeeping and whatever else is needed.

Volunteering is crucial in a small town

Having volunteered since she was young, Mandy enjoys looking back on her experiences. “My earliest memory of making a conscious choice to volunteer was probably in junior high where my affiliation with the school’s FCCLA group started.” Mandy recalls. “I have always been willing to help out when and where people were needed but I just felt like it was what you were supposed to do.” She feels honored to volunteer in the community that raised her. “I was raised here and want to give back to continue the traditions that we enjoyed growing up. I understand that without volunteers our kids don’t get to play ball or wrestle, be in scouts, or go to Sunday School. Without volunteers, there is no Easter Egg Hunt or Hay Days. If we want our kids, and us, to have things to do, then we must support those things.” Mandy feels that is what being in a small town is about.  “I love this community and take pride in being from here. I pick up sticks when we are at the park and throw away trash on the sidewalks. I want my kids, and others, to see that it takes a village.”  As an adult, Mandy has served on several boards, has been a part of many organizations, and has met some great people. baseball game

Mandy has worked at Waypoint Bank – Cozad for over 10 years and is the Assistant Vice President.  “I love being a part of a community bank. It still has the respect for people that want to come in the door or call and talk to a person, while also working to adapt to a whole new world of technology and people that don’t want to have a conversation at all,”  says Mandy. “Waypoint Bank is also not only very supportive of the community and of its employees being out and about, being involved, and helping out, but strongly encourages it.”

 

 

  • Mandy with her family.

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