Cottrel: Newest Enon Citizen of the Year honoree earns long-overdue recognition for community efforts

Elmer Beard will be celebrated as the 2020 Enon Citizen of the Year on Monday June 14 at Knob Prairie UCC Church. Submitted photo.
Elmer Beard will be celebrated as the 2020 Enon Citizen of the Year on Monday June 14 at Knob Prairie UCC Church. Submitted photo.

Since the beginning of the Enon Citizen of the Year Awards, Elmer Beard has often been a part of the ceremonies or selection process. In fact, he presented the award to others when he was mayor. This year, however, will be different.

This year Elmer Beard is himself the Enon Citizen of the Year. This is an honor that most folks agree is overdue.

The description of the award pretty much describes Elmer Beard’s life. “Recognizing the area resident who best characterizes Enon’s hometown spirit and, through his or her service, makes our community a better place to live.”

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One of the rules in the selection process states that nominees or their families cannot be village employees or hold positions within the village. And therein lies the reason he has not received the award before. It turns out that for most of his adult life Beard has been working, volunteering, or elected to a position of importance for the village.

Now that Beard has retired from Enon, it is his turn to bask in the community’s appreciation for all that he has done over the years.

Born into the Beard family that owned the elevator next to the railroad tracks, Elmer has been a part of Enon since he took his first breath. He attended Knob Prairie Church. He grew up as a member of Boy Scout Troop No. 17 and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

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As a young boy, he listened as his mother answered calls for the EMS and Fire. In fact, he often ran to the firehouse to pass on the news when there was a call for assistance.

Elmer was a 1973 graduate of Greenon High School and active in FFA. At Ohio State University he earned his BS and his MS in Agriculture Education.

Since he returned to his area he has been a strong supporter of Greenon FFA and served many years on the Greenon FFA Alumni Board and as president and treasurer.

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Elmer was a part of the group that started the FFA Corn Booth back in the 1980s and its proceeds have helped support the FFA program for nearly 40 years.

As an adult, Beard continued his support of the fire and emergency services. He earned a variety of certifications including Firefighter II, EMT Basic, Haz-Mat Technician, Fire Inspector and Fire Service Instructor. Eventually he became assistant chief and acting chief of the Enon Mad River Township Fire and EMS.

He was an Enon Jaycee and on Christmas Eves he managed the Enon Lions Club Santa Claus Visits.

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As a member of the Enon Community Historical Society, he has volunteered for myriad activities and stirred a lot of apple butter.

In the past, Beard was elected to Enon Village Council and served as Enon mayor. He has also served on Clark County’s Transportation Coordinating Committee and the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

I first met Elmer at Knob Prairie Church where he was part of various committees and helped to make those wonderful funnel cakes.

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Elmer lives in the middle of Enon, next door to the Apple Butter Festival with his lovely wife Delores and her beautiful gardens.

Now Elmer is not sitting around relaxing in his retirement. Nope. He currently manages the transportation for the Greenon Local School District which is not an easy job, especially during that pandemic.

Of course, Elmer can still be found in the middle of church and historical society activities, stirring apple butter and of course that FFA Corn Booth at the Fair.

If you run into him, be sure to shake his hand or give him a hug and tell him “Well Done.”

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