The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

June 8, 2013

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Wanda Strunk

Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — For Wanda Strunk, 46, of Clinton, Felix Adler Day is a family effort.

Since 2009, Wanda has been chairwoman of the annual Felix Adler Day. Usually you can find her in the ticket booth during the event, greeting all who attend.

“You get to meet everybody. You get to talk to everybody and see every kid,” Wanda said.

Wanda married John Strunk, who is related to Felix Adler, 12 years ago. Theo Smith and John’s grandmother, Marge Strunk, are Felix’s nieces. Wanda said it was Smith who convinced her to join the Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center Board in 2008.

“Theo’s (Smith) a sweetheart. I’d do anything for her,” Wanda said.

Wanda is looking forward to Felix Adler Day. This is a free event, but children can buy $5 punch cards for specific rides and activities. She is happy to see different sponsorship for the June 22 event.

She added this sponsorship allows the day to grow and become even better.

“We are fortunate to have Wanda’s leadership at the head of Felix Adler Day,” Sarah Lind, executive director of the Discovery Center, said.

Wanda feels it is important for the Clinton area to continue to celebrate the life of Adler, who she said wrote the book on clowning. When Ringling Brothers Circus gives away awards for clowns, they are the Felix Adler awards. She added he is a big person for a little town to have.

Wanda’s own family history allows her to appreciate the history of Felix Adler even more. She is related to Edna Spies, a famous historian from Scott County. Wanda said Spies developed Iowa’s library system and first bookmobile and was involved in the Buffalo Bill Cody home.

The Ringling Brothers Circus apparently also stayed at her farm in Dixon.

Originally from the area, Wanda graduated from Calamus and majored in sociology and minored in psychology at Clinton Community College and Ashford University. However, she has always enjoyed writing. After a friend encouraged her to publish her work, she began looking at opportunities online.

Wanda works as a freelance writer. She is currently doing some technical writing, as well as ghost writing. She also has received awards for her poetry. Wanda helps her husband with his business, Strunk Enterprises.