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Gades surprised with "Pay It Forward' award

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Dori Gades is the latest recipient of the Pay It Forward Stevens County award. Pictured with Gades are Hancock students Grace Ogren and Haley Mattson holding the sign, Nicole Schmidt, Amy Dougherty, Gades, Steve Gades, Sheldon Giese, Anita Nelson, Michelle Tritz, Tim Esterling, Kim Giese, and Joan Spaeth. Photo by Sue Dieter/Stevens County Times 2 / 2

When Dori Gades finished her bus route on Wednesday morning, she went to what she was told was an emergency bus drivers meeting. She certainly wasn't expecting the entire Hancock student body to be waiting for her in the big gym with a sign that read, "We love Dori." Turns out, Gades was the latest recipient of the Pay It Forward Stevens County award.

Teachers Nicole Schmidt and Amy Dougherty nominated Gades for the recognition, saying that Gades has a "ready hug for every single" student at Hancock and greets all of the children in the hallways and at school events.

Dougherty noted that Gades is also a foster mom and has taken people into her home who need a helping hand.

During Wednesday's presentation, Schmidt said, "The reason I think Dori is so special is that she makes everyone feel special."

Gades says she's been a fan of the students and families in Hancock "from the start" and enjoys going to their events. "Watching kids grow up, graduate, move on, college, married, babies, you know it's good, it's all good to see everybody ... doing what they want to do, being successful."

Pay It Forward Stevens County is sponsored by Morris Pizza Ranch, Stevens County Times, Bank of the West, West Central Screen and Print, the Regional Fitness Center, Superior/WestMor/Hancock Concrete, Stevens Community Medical Center, KMRS/KKOK Radio Stations and Shear Designs. Nominations can be dropped off at any of the participating businesses.