3 community members honored for contributions to Clark County

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Three Clark Countians were recognized for their positive impacts to the community Wednesday by county commissioners.

Commissioners selected Julie Driskill, Michael Stafford and Bonita Heeg as Luminaries — citizens who they said have been positive lights on the community.

“In a small way each individual is illuminating this community ... in the way that they have brought their passion forward,” Commissioner Melanie Flax Wilt said.

Flax Wilt started the Luminary recognitions after she was first elected because she thought that regular celebrations of of community members was missing, she said.

Flax Wilt selected Heeg, executive director of Springfield Rotary’s Services to People with Disabilities Program, citing her “selfless nature” and efforts to help community members with disabilities, particularly at the annual children’s Christmas party.

“Bonita, I just admire you,” Flax Wilt said at the ceremony. “I think the world of you, and it’s my pleasure to honor you this way.”

Heeg said she was shocked when she got the call that she was to be honored, believing that there are “at least 100 people more deserving.”

Heeg said everyone at Rotary works together to better the community.

“It brings joy and warmth in my heart to work with others to be able to assist others in need,” Heeg said.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Commissioner Sasha Rittenhouse selected Julie Driskill, a mentor with the Job Seekers Network who works with young people at the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center and Tecumseh High School. She said Driskill spends most of her time “giving back to the community.”

Rittenhouse said Driskill answers calls for individuals contemplating suicide a few nights a week in addition to her work with the Job Seekers Network to open a training facility for youth in New Carlisle.

“Julie’s heart, compassion, dedication — especially for youth in our community — is as deep as anyone I know,” Rittenhouse said. “She’s the kind of person that makes me want to be a better person and she does all of these things that I could never have the strength or confidence to do myself. She does it with a genuine interest for every individual she works with.”

Driskill said she feels her purpose in life is to serve and help others and she does not feel like she has done enough.

“I’ve always had a voice and I’m not afraid to use it, but I feel like my purpose and my mission is to help others find theirs, especially teenagers,” Driskill said.

Commissioner Lowell McGlothin selected former president of the Tecumseh Athletic Boosters and the New Carlisle Rotary Club. He said Stafford was key in getting a new locker room and weight room near Tecumseh High School’s Spitzer Stadium.

Stafford, an avid golfer, has also held numerous golf tournaments to raise money for local charities, McGlothin said.

Stafford said that he has “been really blessed” in his life and he doesn’t think that any of the Luminaries believe they are doing anything special.

Flax Wilt concurred with this and said the Luminaries are “leading with their heart.”

“That’s why we do it; it’s not to honor people after they’re gone and they never know what we thought,” Flax Wilt said. “We want to make sure that people understand how much what you do means to out community.”

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