Four counties, several programs and diverse cultures make every day different and exciting for Tony Franklin, University of Illinois Extension County director.

Denise Hester always has had an interest in helping others in a big way, and that desire makes her job as director of the Student Hunger Drive a perfect fit.

DONOHUE, Iowa -- If you poked your head into The Country Cupboard, a mom-and-pop-style shop in Donahue, Iowa, you might not guess it's owned and run by a large dairy farmer -- or that the customers who stop in come from all over the globe, as well as right down the road.

DAVENPORT -- In 1959, when Beth Anne Smiley was a child, a runner on the stairwell in the home of a family friend caught her eye. It was made of vintage wool -- the friend had cut all of the wool by hand out of her husband's good wool pants and used a technique called "hooking" to create the…

ROCK ISLAND -- In warmer weather, when the gardens are in full bloom, there is a sea of greens, carrots and radishes. Bounties of corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, watermelon, beets, broccoli and cauliflower. Patches ripe with blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. Orchards wild with pe…

ROCK ISLAND -- The moment a thin, dark garter snake slithered into a clump of grasses overhanging a boardwalk at Black Hawk State Historic Site, it was clear Dr. Tim Muir really is a biologist used to collecting animals in the field.

John Snow studied computer information systems and then managed the Bettendorf Holiday Inn for eight years before becoming director of the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Rock Island.

BETTENDORF -- For the love of engineering is the best way to describe Dawn Johnson's pride in her work. The 14-year marketing director at Missman Inc., Professional Engineers and Surveyors, said she has enjoyed learning the trade and leaving her past profession as an administrative assistant…

MOLINE -- Though Bob Ontiveros is 75 and spends half the year in Longboat Key, Fla., he works most every day, primarily as the driving force behind the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which he founded in 2008 and now serves as chairman .

BETTENDORF - With an eager expression and quick smile, Chris Glass is so friendly it's readily apparent that helping people with business problems would suit him.

MOLINE — Antonio Varela has been a member of the Boys and Girls Club since he was 5 or 6 years old. Now, he's 21 and director of the club's new Moline teen center, which opened last February.

In Latin, the word luce translates to light, and for Craig and DaMel Smith, owners of Salon Luce and Spa Luce, the word signifies a "brightening and uplifting experience," something they hope to bring to all their clients.

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