Businessman Lee Marchant gets Be More Award for lifetime of service

53 individuals, groups recognized for efforts to improve community

By Dann Denny 331-4350 |
April 4, 2012

When Lee Marchant received a letter telling him he’d been nominated for a Be More Award, he didn’t know anything about the Be More Awards celebration, during which 53 individuals and groups in 10 categories were to be recognized for outstanding community service during the past year. And he didn’t really want to attend.

But Mark Moore, IU Health Bloomington Hospital’s president and CEO, used every ounce of his persuasive powers to talk him into going.

“OK Mark, for you I will go,” said Marchant, a local businessman who owns a number of corporations, including the Garden Villa Nursing Home and Indiana Home Health.

Now Marchant is glad he acquiesced. Tuesday night, before a packed crowd at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Marchant received the top honor — the Be More Dedicated award given for a lifetime of service.

“Those of you who know me well know I’m almost never at a loss for words,” he told an applauding audience. “I am so honored and so humbled and so happy. God bless you all.”

Marchant worked with IU Health Bloomington for more than 17 years, 12 on the board of directors. His 20-year involvement with Ivy Tech included positions on the college’s foundation board of directors, raising nearly $80 million during his tenure as chairman. He has also been a Salvation Army advisory board member for more than 25 years and an adviser to eight executive directors during that time.

“I never really considered anything I ever did as volunteering,” he said. “You just hope what you do makes some small contribution to an organization.”

The winners, all of whom had been nominated by community members, were selected by an independent panel of judges for their outstanding community service in the past year. The awards program is sponsored by the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, IU Credit Union, United Way of Monroe County and WTIU Public Television.

Mayor Mark Kruzan presented each honoree with a commemorative plaque; and MaryFrances McCourt, chairwoman of the board of directors of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, presented each with a $500 check for the organization for which the recipient volunteered. A total of $5,000 was presented by the Community Foundation to community organizations through the Be More Awards. Marchant’s $500 award was split between the IU Health Bloomington Foundation’s Dr. Clarence and Rita Marchant Fund, the Ivy Tech Foundation and the Salvation Army.

“You are critical components of our network for improvement, our network for change,” said Bet Savich, director of the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network. “You are its fuel. Community development doesn’t happen without community service. And I just want to say, it’s an honor to work alongside you.”

Be More Bloomington Awards

Two Be More Bloomington Awards — selected from all the submitted nominations using the criteria of overall excellence, level of community impact and embodiment of community goodwill — were presented, one to Phillip Saunders and one to Julie Pointer.

Saunders has been volunteering for the Shalom Community Center since the daytime shelter’s inception in 1999. He led the Shalom Team at the First United Methodist Church, where the shelter was housed for its first decade. He has served on the board and the finance and development committee, and designed the center’s donor database. He volunteers almost every day — picking up the mail, preparing donation deposits, entering data and printing and mailing thank you letters.

Pointer’s volunteer leadership with the Monroe County Girl Scouts for 19 years has helped the organization to flourish, allowing more girls to discover new opportunities, connect with new friends, and make a difference in the world around them. She currently serves as the service unit manager for the southeastern half of Monroe County, serving more than 500 girls and supervising 281 adult volunteers. She also chairs the Monroe County Cookie Sale Team and is in her ninth year as director of the Girl Scout Day Camp.

Other award winners

The Be More Collaborative Award (family or group) went to the tornado cleanup volunteers of Van Buren Township. In the weeks following the F1 tornado that hit Bloomington on May 26, 2011, local volunteers gathered with their chain saws, heavy equipment and strong backs to clean up tons of tree, building and other debris scattered across the southwestern portion of Monroe County. The funds will go to the Van Buren Township Volunteer Firefighters.

The Be More Phenomenal Award (board member) went to Donna Lafferty for her work with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra for an average of 100 hours per month over a period of 14 years. She has served as personnel manager, head of the nominations committee, and director of marketing and development. In 2011 alone, the committee raised roughly $38,000 for the orchestra, which relies heavily on volunteers for day-to-day operational support.

The Be More Involved Award (college student) went to Emily Bornstein for her volunteer work at Middle Way House. She designed an art program and curriculum for children ages 2 to 17, recruited other art students to help her, secured funding for supplies, and planned art activities each week, involving more than 60 children. She is working to ensure the program becomes a permanent collaboration between Middle Way House and the Hope School of Fine Arts at IU.

The Be More Creative Award (arts and culture) went to Mary Lee Deckard, one of the founders of the Monroe County History Center in 1980 after a group of volunteers saved the old Carnegie library building from being torn down. Since then, she has been a driving force on the collections and exhibits committee and the garage sale committee, helping at special events and single-handedly managing the Museum Gift Store.

The Be More Knowledgeable Award (education/literacy) went to Katie Hopkins for her involvement with the Monroe County Circles Initiative as a circle leader — someone who does not have enough resources to be stable, but is highly motivated to become self-sufficient. Hopkins helped create a video explaining Circles in Spanish and shared her story at trainings all over Indiana and the U.S.

The Be More Sustainable Award (environmental/animal welfare) went to Lisa Ritchel for her work at Bloomington Animal Care and Control. She serves as an adoption counselor and is responsible for registering all of the adopted animals’ microchips with their new owners’ information. She also spends hours each week comparing lost reports with animals in the shelter, calling potential matches, and reuniting lost cats and dogs with their owners.

The Be More Energized (youth) award went to Hannah Fidler, 16, who was one of the first and the youngest Bloomington volunteers to help open the 100 percent fair trade store Global Gifts in 2009 and has volunteered weekly ever since. She joined the board of directors in 2010 and quickly formed and led the educational outreach committee. She has since developed three fair trade curriculum modules for K-12 students and recently tested these modules at Harmony School during Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The funds will go to Fair Trade Bloomington.

Lee Marchant. Dann Denney | Herald-Times

Copyright: 2012

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.