This year’s winner of the Henry F. Schricker Award was recognized last night during an award dinner at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox. This year’s recipient, Joseph Eugene “Gene” Blastic of Bass Lake, fit the exact meaning of Schricker’s motto of “Service Before Self,” having been active in many community projects and organizations including the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, Starke United, Starke County Chamber of Commerce, Starke County Right to Life, and countless others.
Blastic was president of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation Board for two years, having been a member for more than 10 years, and was nominated volunteer of the year for Starke United in 2003. Blastic has served on countless boards and organizations, and was recognized as the Older Hoosier of the Year in 2009 by the board of Community Services of Starke County in recognition of his lifetime of service to improve the quality of life in the community.
Blastic said he was honored to receive the award and encouraged everyone to put service before themselves.
“It is humbling, flattering, and overwhelming to have received the Henry F. Schricker Award for service before self. I am certain there were many candidates, both nominated and not nominated, who are just as deserving as I am. Please use this occasion for all of us to renew and commit ourselves to never give up putting service before self,” said Blastic. (01-18-13 – Blastic – Service Before Self)
Blastic’s family was present during the ceremony to show their support, and his daughter, Jeanene Calabrese, presented a picture slideshow of Blastic’s life and explained how he embodied the motto of “Service Before Self.”
The Chamber of Commerce also recognized The Specialty Shoppe as the Business of the Year during the awards banquet, honoring owners Robin and Suzie Marshall with a plaque – a plaque they actually made.