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Des Moines Man Awarded Highest Honor by Lung Association

John Bergman receives Opal Fagle Award

(May 29, 2019) - DES MOINES, Iowa

For more information please contact:

Jill Thompson
[email protected]

Last week, the American Lung Association in Iowa honored John Bergman, Vice President-Real Estate Management at Hubbell Realty Company, with the Opal Fagle Award at their Annual Volunteer Reception and Awards Ceremony.

The Opal Fagle award is the Lung Association in Iowa’s highest honor for outstanding volunteer service. Bergman has been a volunteer for the Lung Association for more than 17 years and is the “founding father” of the Fight For Air Climb in Downtown Des Moines.

“We first approached John in 2002 about holding a stair climb event at the building he managed, 801 Grand. The first Iowa stair climb was held in February of 2003 where 157 people climbed the stairwell at 801 Grand and raised a total of $6,000,” said Micki Sandquist, executive director of the Lung Association. “Over the years, the climb has changed from being a one-building climb, to a three-building, and now to a four-building climb. This year, our climb raised more than $340,000. John’s leadership, guidance, and connections were there through all of the changes and its tremendous success. He is key in connecting with the right people, attending meetings and making those critical ‘asks.’”

In his time volunteering for the Lung Association, Bergman has also:

  • Served as a spokesperson for Lung Association with local media.
  • Contacted policy makers in Iowa and Washington D.C. on issues related to lung disease.
  • Attended and spoke at subcommittee hearings at the Iowa Capital.
  • Climbed each of the past 16 years, more recently on the Hubbell Realty Company team, and personally raised $2,000 each year.
  • He chaired the corporate Fight For Air Climb cabinet, served on the Local Leadership Board since 2015 and most recently served as the chair of the board.

“Congratulations John and thank you so much for all that you continue to do and have done for the American Lung Association,” said Sandquist.

This award is named after Opal Fagle of Marshalltown, Iowa in honor of her over 30 years of service to the Lung Association. Throughout Fagle’s career as a nurse with the Marshalltown School System, she had the most successful “I’ll Never Smoke” program in the state involving students teaching students about the dangers of smoking. Opal began serving on the Board of Directors in 1979, and promoted Lung Association programs not only in her local area but to her educational contacts throughout the state. Her husband, David Fagle, served on the Local Leadership Board until his passing last year.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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