While there probably is not a single Quad-Citian who doesn't know their company, the owners of Whitey's Ice Cream prefer to keep their charitable endeavors under the radar.
That was why brothers Jeff and Jon Tunberg were quick to admit they were "embarrassed and humbled" as they became the latest recipients of Modern Woodmen of America's Community Service Award. Jeff and Jon Tunberg were joined by their wives, Susan and Michelle, respectively, and several longtime employees as they were presented with the 2013 award during a breakfast ceremony Thursday at the Hotel Blackhawk, Davenport.
"We're here to recognize people who walk the walk when it comes to volunteerism," said W. Kenny Massey, president and chief executive officer of Modern Woodmen, a Rock Island-based fraternal financial services organization.
He told a crowd of more than 125 business and community leaders that the award was created in 1997 to recognize ''people who have helped improve the community through volunteerism. These two individuals certainly do that.
"Jeff and Jon were raised to work hard and also to give back," Massey said, adding that those values were passed on by their parents. They worked in the family business for their father, Bob Tunberg, before his passing in 1991.
In addition to their volunteer roles and the organizations they have supported, Massey credited the Tunbergs with providing the first job for "thousands of young teenagers in the Quad-Cities."
"We just think the Quad-Cities is a giving community," Jon Tunberg said in accepting the award. "To be singled out is embarrassing. We love the Quad-Cities, we love living here and are blessed to be part of it."
Jeff Tunberg also acknowledged their dedicated employees "who allow us to do things other than work." "Our father always told us to take care of the people who take care of you," he said.
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As part of the annual award, Modern Woodmen donates $5,000 to the recipients' charity of choice. Jeff Tunberg chose Youth Hope. Jon Tunberg chose Children's Therapy Center to each receive the $5,000 award.
"We don't give to charities to get awards," Jeff Tunberg said. "We have the opportunity to and we've been blessed with the resources to."
Massey said the purpose of the award also is to encourage volunteerism in the community and to support the local charities. The Tunbergs received engraved Waterford crystal clocks from Modern Woodmen to represent their time and dedication to community volunteer service.
Both graduates of Augustana College, the pair serve on a number of boards and organizations. Jeff Tunberg is a member of the CPC Pregnancy Resources Nomination Committee, Augustana College alumni Board, Junior Achievement Board and Salvation Army Advisory Board. He volunteers with First United Presbyterian Church, Quad-Cities Young Life, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Christian Friendliness and more. He and Susan have a daughter.
Jon Tunberg serves as a member of the Trinity Regional Health System Board, Moline Public Schools Foundation, Butterworth Trust Board, Moline Community Foundation Board, Moline Parks and Recreation Board and numerous committees at First Congregational Church, Moline. He and Michelle have three children.