A Winamac man will soon be the honored recipient of the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce’s H.J. Halleck Community Service Award. The award is presented in honor of an individual’s selfless donation of time, energy, and hard work in an effort to make their community a better place for everyone to live, and this year, David W. Barr will be presented with the award on March 8 at 6 p.m. at the event center in Winamac.
With an extensive history of holding a number of offices, serving several committees, and being involved in a number of projects, Barr embodies the spirit of the award. Barr served as both president and member of the Chamber of Commerce beginning in 1968, acted as president of the Kiwanis Club in 1971, held the position of fire chief for 11 years, and was a volunteer fireman for 40 years. On top of that, he was also a board member at Bethel Bible Church and a chairman on the school board in 1972.
Unbeknownst to Barr, his daughter Christine Gilman nominated him for the award. He said it came as a shock when he received a phone call from the Chamber of Commerce informing him that he would be presented with the award.
“I was sitting here, right where I am now, at the computer and the phone rang and they gave it to me and it was the Angie Asbaugh, president of the Chamber of Commerce. She talked to me and told me I had won the award. I didn’t have any idea I’d been nominated. It was a surprise,” he said.
Gilman said she nominated her father because of his involvement with the community and the significant portion of his time that he volunteered to bettering it.
“As I was growing up, he was on the school board and the chamber of commerce and he was a fireman for 40-some years, and he’s just always very helpful to anyone who needs help,” said Gilman.
Barr also installed the first Laundromat and car wash in Winamac, and was fortunate enough to know Dr. Halleck. He and his wife Virginia have been married for 61 years with three children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.