Honoring present community leadership and recognizing leadership potential for the future, the Rush County Chamber of Commerce Monday evening paid tribute to Rushville banker Dick Eckel and Rushville Consolidated High School students Darcy Wilkinson and Mark McCorkle.
Eckel was presented the Chamber?s Citizen of the Year award by outgoing Chamber President Jim O?Connor. O?Connor characterized the award as an honor bestowed on ?that individual who has contributed to and showed support for the community?not just once in a while?but who consistently rises to the top of the stack, time after time. To me, Dick Eckel is what Rush County community leadership is all about.?
In receiving his award, Eckel proclaimed his great pride in Rush County saying ?I am super proud of the Rush County community and I hope that I?ve somehow contributed a little bit to the communities growth and development, and I assure you, I will continue to do so.?
Eckel is a life-long resident of Rush County and presently is serving his 30th year at Rushville National Bank where he has maintained the office of the president since 1981. He and his wife, Delila, have three children and three grandchildren.
The Rushville Boys? Club has emerged as one of Eckel?s pet projects. Having been actively involved with the Club for 40 years, he has served as president of the organization?s council.
He is a former Chamber president and has served as a member of the Mayor?s Task Force and chairman of the Rush County Industrial Development Corporation?s Finance Committee. Eckel boasts one of his most prized accomplishments as his recent solicitation of Steve Biro, former drug user and abuser, for a speaking tour through Rush County schools. Biro speaks about how drugs and alcohol ?can ruin your life.? Biro accompanied Eckel to last evening?s presentation.
Other nominees for the honor of Citizen of the Year were Rushville Consolidated High School drama and journalism instructor and Rush County United Fund Executive Director, Marcia Blair, and Rush County resident Rosalyn Fudge. Fudge is president of the Rush County Church Women United, chairman of Rush County UNICEF and chairman of Christian Education for Children and Christian United and Inter-religious Concerns for the Faith United Methodist Church.