Diane Sanders

2016 - Spirit Award

Burlington’s Diane Sanders remembers always having an interest in popular music. But in 1968, while a Middle School student, she discovered Rock n Roll and that interest became a passion. Like many who came of age in that special time, her young life was packed with record parties, high school dances, concerts and Friday nights spent at a popular local teenage dance club. It was at that club “The Web,” then presided over by the legendary “Mom” Uffleman, that Diane first gained an appreciation of the abundant musical talent on the Iowa music scene.

That appreciation continued as Diane inevitably moved from her teenage years to become a young wife, mother and  helpmate as her husband, Steve, built his own successful business. Although commitments and responsibilities may have been expected to tear Diane from her early love of Rock n Roll that was not to be. She discovered that while she did not have the ability and talent to create music, she did have the ability to organize and champion a cause and she turned this ability to promoting the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association in Southeast Iowa.

Diane’s special attachment to the Association began at Arnold’s Park in 2007 when she and Steve attended the induction of the popular southeast Iowa band, Pat Hazell – Mother Blues Band. Diane walked away from that evening determined that she would give something back to the Rock n Roll that had meant so much to her as a teenager and young adult. She became a lifetime member and has since lent her organizational talents to attracting the public, musicians, and sponsors, such as the Musicians Pro Shop, to a continuing series of musical performances in southeast Iowa’s prestigious concert hall, The Pzazz. Entertainment Complex.


Diane functions as the Association’s Southeast Iowa Consultant, working tirelessly to keep the flame of her beloved music alive in her portion of the state. She is an active fundraiser and with the help of Dennis Duke, she has raised over $40,000 for the Association and has been instrumental in nominating The Macabras, Bob Saar and Andy Avery to the Association’s Hall of Fame. And in 2013, she had the pleasure of leading the charge to induct Mom Huffleman into the Hall. This proved to be especially satisfying because it was at Huffleman’s teenage dance club that Diane was first introduced to Rock n Roll and the Uffleman recognition seemed as especially fitting way to say thanks for the music that Diane has enjoyed and championed throughout the year.

Honoring achievements, educating youth, and inspiring artists.

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