MADISON (WKOW) --When an important project needs to get going, or an important cause needs a leader, someone has to start it. Elishah Oesch introduces you to one man who's gift is getting things started, and keeping them going. Ben Hobbins is this month's Jefferson Award Winner.
Tom Mooney, the Executive Director of the Western Wisconsin Badger Chapter of the Red Cross says, "Ben is one of those unique individuals who's going 9000 miles an hour." He's right! Truer words have never been spoken of volunteer, entrepreneur, inventor, board member and dad, Ben Hobbins.
Ben says, " I try to come up with something that needs to be done." Something--may be a relative term in Ben's case. Just ask his daughters...
Savie and Ashley Anne say "He's done a lot of things."
Things like, kick starting the renovation of the Lake Delton community, after the shores gave way back in 2008. Ben says, "I thought what can I do to get this started to get a positive message out there. I put together a project to restore hope to that area."
And today, that project is known nationally, as the Delton Model. It mobilizes both the public and private sectors to fix a natural disaster. It's currently being used in Iowa for the Lake Del-Hi disaster. But, Ben's innovations don't stop there.
While looking at a glass case with is name on it, he says, "this is something you can fish for years." In addition to all the volunteer activities that Ben does, he's also an inventor. His lures are in the Wisconsin historical society's exhibit, Innovations. The lures are going to totally revolutionize the entire fishing industry.
His daughter Savie says, "he invented a lure that helps the environment and I think that's overall very good."
Beyond all those endeavors, Ben sits on the philanthropy committee of the Red Cross Western Wisconsin Region of the Badger Chapter. It's a tradition that goes back generations in his family. He says, " my great, great, great, great, great Grandmother Mary Hobbins founded the chapter."
Perhaps Ben's greatest achievement is the fact that his daughters are carrying on that legacy. His daughters have created a Red Cross club together, with the help of their dad. The girls are spearheading their own give back program, at Waunakee High. It's called "ARC." It raises awareness and donations for the red cross.
Ben says, "they actually understand the future impact that they're going to have." As for Ben, his greatest future impact may be yet to come. Through the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs Network, he's helped develop a new model to teach entrepreneurship to our students. It teaches things like problem solving, thinking outside the box, and most of all, making new ideas a part of every child's curriculum. Ideas like the ones, Ben has every day.
Ben says, "I'm not afraid to put my neck out there for a good project"