I’m Jonelle Moore, an almost lifetime resident of Winona. After graduating from WSU, I went to Green Bay where I taught orchestra for four years, got married, and had my first son before coming back to Winona. Once I returned, I taught music classes part-time at Winona Senior High. When school budgets started being cut, I had my second son and decided to try real estate to have a flexible schedule. I have since co-managed and owned a real estate company, and I continue to remain active in local music organizations as well.

I remember being upset when many of the facilities for people with special needs were cut a number of years ago, and I wondered what would happen to people needing those services. One of my best friends growing up had a sister who needed services, and her family has since benefited from HCO.

When I was first invited to join the pit orchestra for HCO’s musicals, I just thought it would be fun to be in another production.  I knew very little about the organization initially, but once I became part of the musical, I discovered it was so much more than “just another show”. The musical immerses the whole community into HCO’s mission and work in ways that could not be accomplished otherwise.  Even more importantly, those involved at every level – community actors, volunteers, HCO service recipients, musicians and supporters – become friends. The interaction and respect exhibited on all sides is beautifully heartwarming to observe. Playing accompanying piano for HCO consumers when they audition for the show is one of my very favorite things! They are so excited and everyone in the room cheers them on.

When I was asked to be on the Board, I was honored!  Everyone in this organization is amazing, and I am overwhelmed with the importance of their mission and how extensive the services are. The staff are so devoted and hardworking – so completely committed. They could never be paid enough for the job they do. It is a demanding and challenging job, but they care and their dedication is always on display.

I am very honored to be part of this organization, and I hope that all of Winona realizes how fortunate we are to have HCO!