WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Friday was the last scheduled day for Bonnie Lucas on WHO Radio.
But her final broadcast was forced to go on without her, and her retirement party was canceled.
Overnight, Lucas learned her father passed away, so she was not able to make her big day. On Thursday, Gov. Kim Reynolds proclaimed Friday, March 6 as Bonnie Lucas Day in Iowa.
The planned event for her last broadcast did go on as planned. People turned out to help Meals from the Heartland package meals to go overseas to hungry people.
“Bonnie lost her father last night, and I found that out in the middle of the night,” said Van Harden, her broadcasting partner for 25 years. “So they put up a big sign, it’s Bonnie Lucas Day. It’s mixed emotions, but a lot of people have come and done this because they wanted to come and honor Bonnie.”
Van and Bonnie and listeners were going for a record number of meals packaged.
"Once a year we invite the Van and Bonnie show to come in and pack these meals with us. This is actually their sixth year packaging meals,” said Greg DeHaai of Meals from the Heartland. “Helping the volunteers to make a half a million meals for the six years cumulative for the Van and Bonnie show.”
The half million mark was passed. A total of 407 people made 132,624 meals, pushing the number well past a half million by over 16,000 meals.
“I’ve got lots of stories and I thought maybe we were going to get one more day together, but that didn’t work out that way,” said Harden. “Some of us have lost parents, so we know how that works, so our sympathies go out to her.”