Friday, September 17th, 2021

Torchbearers named for Bicentennial Torch Relay

Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2016

Torchbearers for the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay in Huntington County have been selected. Twenty individuals were chosen by a committee, independent of the Bicentennial Committee, to accompany the Indiana Bicentennial Torch through Huntington County on Friday, September 30.

The state of Indiana allowed Huntington County to have up to twenty Torchbearers and 37 nominations were submitted. The small committee choosing the twenty, evaluated each nomination form based on requirements and a scoring rubric provided by the state. The twenty selected were submitted to the state for approval. Three alternates were also selected in case there were any issues at the state level or a nominee declined the honor. All twenty nominees have accepted the honor of being a Torchbearer for the Bicentennial Torch Relay.

One of the two following criteria were required of a Torchbearer. Torchbearers must have achieved personal and/or professional excellence or celebrity status, or they may also have made an outstanding contribution to their neighborhood, community, region or state through service, stewardship and/or involvement.

Those selected as Torchbearers for Huntington County will accompany the Bicentennial Torch from Roanoke to Huntington’s festivities at Hier’s Park around 11 a.m. on September 30. The torch will then be handed off at the Wells County line in Markle. Torchbearers include George Bergman who is deceased. Bergman was an active servant in the community of Warren, Indiana, and the owner of H. Brown & Son Funeral Home, now known as Glancy H. Brown & Son Funeral Home. Shannon Glancy, daughter of Jeff Glancy, the current owner of the funeral home, will carry the torch in Bergman’s honor.

Robert Brown, also deceased, will be represented by Jessica Brown in the Torch Relay. Brown was the former president and CEO of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce. He was active in many facets of the Huntington community and was also named the Indiana Chamber Executive of the Year in 2007.

Dr. John Buhler is a retired dentist and oral surgeon who through his position provided free dental services at his office to clients of Matthew 25 and the Huntington County Free Health Clinic. He also serves the Open Door soup kitchen of St. Mary Catholic Church and his interest in historic preservation has led him to be a long-time member of Huntington Alert and the Indiana Historic Society. He has also served Habitat for Humanity. Buhler is also an Ironman who runs, swims, or cycles every day.

Bob Burnsworth is a realtor in Huntington County who enjoys serving his community. Bob leads a wheel chair basketball team and keeps a local free meal ministry organized. He spends many hours working at the meal ministry and is active in his church.

Perry Collins motto is “If you care you give.” Collins moved to Roanoke in 1958 and is officially Col. Perry Collins (retired). He served as the Vice Commander for the Air National Guard in Fort Wayne. Collins is involved with the Freedom on Main celebration in Roanoke, fundraising for the Roanoke Library, clean up of problem areas of Roanoke and more. He was named a Sagamore of the Wabash and received the Legion of Merit.

Deb Daugherty is a teacher in the Huntington school system, and has served as a volunteer lifeguard and swim instructor for the Red Cross for 30 plus years. She is also involved with Tri Kappa and its Follies and was the Huntington County Teacher of the Year in 2015.

Jean Gernand is very involved with history in Huntington County. A retired teacher, Gernand was instrumental in the beginnings of Huntington’s Pioneer Festival in 1976. She is involved with the Huntington County Historical Society and Museum, the Historic Forks of the Wabash and more.

Jessica Hartmus is 12 years old and has contributed over 100 years of service to her community over the past year. Hartmus coached three and four year olds soccer, works with the Home & School Association, is involved with Girl Scouts, represents Huntington at the Northeast Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair and works to improve lives in Uganda.

Marjorie “Marj” Hiner has impacted the community of Huntington in significant ways. Along with husband Homer they owned Hiner Transport. Marj and several other business leaders began the Quayle Commemorative Foundation in 1990, which led to the Quayle Vice-Presidential Learning Center. The United Way, ABWA, Chamber of Commerce, Huntington University, Heritage Days, Huntington County Leadership, Parkview Health Systems and more have benefitted from Marj’s leadership. She was named a Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe in 1989.

Pat Horoho is a former Huntington County United Way Executive Director. Horoho served the United Way from 1995 to 2011. She also served on Huntington County Leadership, Life Long Learning and the board of the Indiana Association of United Ways. In retirement, she continues to mentor new United Way executives through the Indiana Association of United Ways.

Bob Jennings is an avid runner in Huntington and spearheads the Huntington Y Runners club. He also serves on the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA board of directors, serves at a local meal ministry, helps cultivate the Huntington Community Garden and gives of his time through the City of Huntington Volunteer Program.

B. Joan Keefer serves as the Department Head of the Indiana Room at the Huntington City Township Public Library where she has worked since 1978. Keefer has also served many years as Huntington County’s Historian. She has been a board member of the Historical Society and has received numerous awards for her work at the state and local level.

Marvin McNew Sr. served as the director of the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services, leading the DNR to provide better services for Huntington County. McNew, retired, is a life member of the Friends of the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services, Environmental Education Association of Indiana and a leader with the National Association for Interpretation.

Melanie Park was named a Huntington County Community School Corporation Teacher of the Year in 2011, and Indiana Teacher of the Year in 2012.  Park, a reading specialist teacher at Riverview Middle School, has taught first grade, language arts, social studies and French. She also teaches an online course for teachers, through Cengage Learning, about how to teach writing. In 2011, Park also received a Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship grant for her engaging lessons.

Stephen Park is a teacher at Riverview Middle School. Park has been a teacher for 22 years and developed an outdoor science lab at the school. He leads the adventure club which offers opportunities for students to explore the outdoors. Park has been involved with the “Teacher at Sea’ program, studies shipwrecks in Florida, volunteers at Parkview Huntington Hospital, with Purdue Extension 4-H and serves as President of the Friends of Upper Wabash Interpretive Services.

James Scheiber is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Scheiber is being recognized for his contributions and dedication to Huntington’s Historic Forks of the Wabash. He is also an avid gardener who has supplied plants to many organizations in Huntington County. Scheiber is also involved with the United Way, the Huntington County Community Foundation, Kiwanis and more. He was named the Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe in 2014.

Gene Snowden is a life-long servant both of Huntington County and the state of Indiana. He has served as Huntington’s Mayor, and in the Indiana House of Representatives and Senate. Snowden has been involved in the insurance and real estate businesses, the Huntington Church of the Nazarene, Olivet Nazarene University, Huntington University, Historic Forks of the Wabash, Optimist Club, United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts, Boys & Girls Club and much more. He was named a Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe in 2003.

Dean B. Stephan, deceased, will be represented by Megan Engle as Torchbearer. Stephan was a 40-year teacher, coach and principal at Lincoln Elementary School. He also served as a Huntington North Viking Boys’ Basketball Scorekeeper for 60 years, and was a 60-year member of the Exchange Club. Stephan served on the boards of the United Way, Salvation Army and YMCA. He was also a volunteer for the Huntington County Historical and Dan Quayle Museums. Stephan also enjoyed coaching Huntington County and Salvation Army sports.

Rose Wall is the former owner of Wehr into Flowers and has contributed much to Huntington particularly the downtown area. Wall was instrumental in Main Street grants being received by downtown business owners for the improvement of their buildings. She is a member of the St. Mary Catholic Church, opens her family farm each year for tours by school children and has chaired the annual Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe breakfast for many years. Wall has been involved with the former South Side Business Association, Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Rotary, 4-H, FFA and more. She was named a Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe in 2011 and currently serves as the President of the Warren Chamber of Commerce.

Cynthia Smyth-Wartzok serves the community of Warren through the Pulse Opera House Theater. She and husband Ron purchased the theater over 30 years ago, remodeled it and produce shows for adults and children. The theater also provides a venue in downtown Warren for those who enjoy performing.

The public is invited to the special Indiana Bicentennial celebration in Huntington County. The day will begin with a brief celebration in Roanoke on Main Street at approximately 9:45 a.m. with the lighting of the torch for the day and notable presentations. The torch will then begin its journey to Huntington for a celebration at Hier’s Park. This event is open to the public with a variety of booths from Indiana Humanity-All IN Program and the Erie Band, Community Choir and the unveiling of the State Endorsed Bicentennial Art Project, “We Had a Hand in the Bicentennial.” All fourth grade students in Huntington County will be on hand for the day as the Bicentennial committee has created several events that will promote the students’ studies in Indiana History.

Shown in the photo are the Bicentennial Torchbearers for Huntington County. The Torchbearers were officially announced Wednesday, June 29. Those representing Huntington are front row, Rosie Wall, Marj Hiner, Joan Keefer, Bob Burnsworth and Jessica Hartmus. Back row, from left are Marvin McNew Sr., Perry Collins, Deb Daugherty, Jessica Brown (in honor of Bob Brown), Bob Jennings, Dr. John Buhler, Melanie Park, Stephen Park, and Jim Scheiber. Torchbearers not included in the photo are Shannon Glancy in honor of George Bergman, Jean Gernand, Patricia Horoho, Cynthia Smyth-Wartzok, Gene Snowden and Megan Engle in honor of Dean B. Stephan.