Dick Barkema was a former Hamilton County Supervisor and a big supporter of the Friends Forever Program. Dick shared these comments about the Friends Forever Program: "The consumers that are utilizing these services are receiving fulfillment of a gap in their lives. Friendship with volunteers, fellowship, and activities all aid in filling this gap. This brings them to a more stable state thus maturing some from requiring costly extended care. This will benefit the taxpayers of Iowa by using an ounce of prevention to avoid pounds of cure. As an elected official, we are constantly seeking ways to improve quality of life and at the same time save tax dollars. I have listened to testimonies from consumers who have voiced their thanks for having a place to meet with others and share in activities and education to help them deal with problems they face each day. I have also visited with many citizens who have voiced their approval and have applauded those involved with establishing this program. Another measuring stick of success is the much greater than anticipated membership. Seeing is believing and I see an enormous value to this program."
Dick Barkema was Hamilton County Supervisor from 1995 - until his death in 2004. We will always hold dear to our program the support and compassion Dick had for our members and will build off his compassion to continue providing services to meet the needs of our members. In October 2013, a tree dedication was held in his honor on the grounds of the Mental Health Services Building in Webster City.