Huntingburg’s Phyllis Menke was among 21 older Indiana residents honored with this year’s Golden Hoosier Award for her volunteer service in the community.
Menke received special acknowledgment as the only recipient of the Indiana Golden Hoosier Humanitarian Award, which recognizes efforts to promote the welfare of others.
Menke played a significant role in restoring Huntingburg’s Old Town Hall. Since the 1960s, she has been dedicated to land ecology in southern Indiana, educating many on the effects of deforestation. At 96, she’s still the face of her family-owned business, OFS Brands, which is described as a cross between an educational preserve, a reforesting effort, and a corporate meeting center. Menke is also very active in the preservation of antiquities and history.
“For decades, Phyllis has made a difference for our entire region, especially with her mission to acquire and reforest thousands of eroded acres of land,” State Rep. Steve Bartels said. “Service-minded Hoosiers like her are vital to our communities, and their passion and energy is infectious to others.”
The Golden Hoosier Award, established in 2008, honors older Hoosiers who make a positive impact through volunteer work and commitment to their communities. To be eligible, nominees must be age 65 or older and have volunteered for at least the past three years.
“Longtime community assets, like the Old Town Hall in Huntingburg, will be enjoyed for years to come thanks to the restoration efforts championed by Phyllis Menke,” State Rep. Shane Lindauer said. “Instead of letting the building fall into disrepair, this Dubois County institution now hosts several functions such as meetings, banquets and weddings. Her efforts do not go unnoticed and I congratulate her on earning this much-deserved award.”
The award is presented by Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch in partnership with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and is the highest honor given to Hoosier seniors. To date, more than 260 citizens have received the Golden Hoosier Award.
This year’s Golden Hoosier Award recipients were honored through a video ceremony, which can be viewed at in.gov/lg.