Jim Pletscher, a fixture in downtown Idaho Falls, was honored as a “Brightest Star” for eastern Idaho for 2021 by the the Idaho Nonprofit Center.
The recognition was part of Idaho Philanthropy Day, which is celebrated statewide with award ceremonies to recognize the “amazing philanthropic work of nonprofit organizations, foundations, businesses, and individuals nominated by their peers,” an Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation news release said.
Brightest Star honorees have “demonstrated exceptional leadership through a significant amount of service and volunteerism in their community,” the award criteria said.
The Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation nominated Pletscher for the award “in reflection of his time and energy spent to improve downtown Idaho Falls,” its release said. The awards ceremony was held virtually Nov. 9. Pletscher was one of three eastern Idahoans honored as Brightest Stars for their exemplary community volunteerism. The other two were Laura Hale and Laura Wallis.
Pletscher is often referred to as “Mr. Downtown,” the release said and he looks for improvements to be made downtown without any prompting. “At different times throughout the year, Mr. Pletscher spends his weekends and weekdays refurbishing downtown dumpsters and building walls from the aftereffects of graffiti paint. This is routinely done at his own expense and time,” the release said.
On snowy mornings, he “is the first downtowner shoveling and sweeping sidewalks to ensure safe passage for patrons looking for a cup of coffee, bagel or breakfast to start their day,” the release said. In summer months, he can be found sweeping sidewalks and gutters and greeting shoppers and eaters downtown.
“The work Mr. Pletscher continually does, does not go unnoticed as he is meticulous and speedy in remedying unsightly vandalism or graffiti in the downtown area and we all benefit from his hard work,” the release said. “What results from his work is a clean and beautiful downtown that is graffiti free and clean and tidy. Mr. Pletscher is a rare treasure and Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation is so pleased he was recognized …”
Here are the other eastern Idaho 2021 honorees for Idaho Philanthropy Day:
Outstanding Philanthropic Company/Foundation
Lookout Credit Union
Westmark Credit Union
Snake River Animal Shelter
United Way of SE Idaho
Outstanding Adult Philanthropist
Tim & Sheri Forhan
Outstanding Adult Volunteer- Brightest Star
Outstanding Youth Philanthropist
Outstanding Philanthropic Media/Marketing Company
The Post Register