There’s nothing like a little spring sunshine to help celebrate those who help The Salvation Army continue to Do the Most Good.


Thursday afternoon, more than a hundred volunteers, corporate and organization partners, guests and employees gathered at the Garrison Conference Center at Fort Benjamin Harrison for our annual Recognition Luncheon.

WISH TV’s Eric Halvorson opened the event as emcee: “Thank you all for coming to The Salvation Army’s Annual Recognition Luncheon honoring those who are meeting needs in this community through the programs and services of The Salvation Army.”

After some introductions, he passed the mic off to Major John Turner for a Seasons of Service slideshow presentation. Seasons of Service took the attendees on a journey recapping just a few of the big things The Salvation Army did in 2012.

“We are here for one reason, to honor those who are changing lives in Indianapolis through the programs and ministries of The Salvation Army,” Major Turner said. “I often feel that as soon as one program or event is over another one begins, and I haven’t really had a chance to reflect back on the event we just finished.”

Each year at the recognition lunch, we try to highlight an individual whose life was changed for the better because of The Salvation Army. Eric Halvorson interviewed a young volunteer from the Eagle Creek Community Corps Center, Darrell Purdiman.

Purdiman, 22, has a found a place of friendship and a way to be a positive role model to not only younger men and women but his own nieces and nephew as well.

This placed has helped me broaden my horizons. I’ve made new friends. I like the kids. I like helping people. There’s never a slow day and always new people,” Purdiman said. “I want to be an example. I kind of had someone growing up, but I didn’t. I just always felt like I could be someone to look up to.”

The Salvation Army changes lives for people like Darrell every day. It’s fitting that our theme in 2013 will be Expect Change because when you put money in our kettles, expect change.

Finally, we recognized a few individuals who have gone above and beyond with their service to The Salvation Army:

Advisory Board Member of the Year: Steve Klipsch

The Advisory Board Member of the Year is an individual who actively represents themself as an ambassador, providing influence and recognition on behalf of The Salvation Army throughout the community.  This person is dedicated year-round through providing feedback to officers and staff, attracting community support of time, talent, and treasure, and commitment in their role to make a positive difference for The Salvation Army in their community. This individual has significant achievement(s) in quality and/or length of service for The Salvation Army; high moral character and integrity; and compassionate response to meet human need.  Their actions provide an example for others to follow.  This year’s winner consistently goes over and above what is asked of him.  He is been an integral part of the Women’s Auxiliary Golf 4 Giving Open, he serves on the Advisory Council for The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center, and he and his company were not only sponsors at this year’s WIBC Radiothon, but he could be heard on-air throughout the weekend calling in to donate incentive prizes.

Youth Volunteer of the Year: Marshall Murphy
The Youth Volunteer Award recognizes an individual under the age of 18 that has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to meeting human needs through the donation of time and talents to the programs and services of The Salvation Army.  This year’s winner put in more than 45 hours of volunteer time through Coats for Kids, the Older Adult Christmas Luncheon and Toy Shop. Though he only worked these three events, he essentially worked each of them from start to finish.  After setting up numerous tables with his mother at Coats for Kids, she was ready for a break and told him, “We’ll let the other people set up the rest.”  He smiled and said to her, “Mom, we need to be those other people.”

Volunteer of the Year: Beverly Collignon
The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an individual that has demonstrated exceptional commitment to carrying out the mission of The Salvation Army through a consistent and cumulative donation of time and talents.  This person has taken a leadership role in various projects, is a role model for other volunteers, and takes initiative beyond what is expected.  This year’s Volunteer of the Year put in more than 100 hours of work at more than 20 events and programs.  She went the extra mile at Toy Shop and prepared an entire meal for 20 volunteers without being asked to do so.  A fellow volunteer describes her as: “just so much fun to be around. You can’t help but become excited yourself about the task at hand when you work alongside her. Her passion for helping people shines through in every moment.”

Community Contribution Award: Mike Washington of Tuchman Cleaners
The Community Contribution Award is given to a corporation, organization or individual that has donated significant time, talent and treasure with the intent of positively impacting the community and generating a lasting contribution to Indianapolis through Salvation Army programs and services.  This year’s winner has lead his company’s charge for 26 years as Tuchman Cleaners, WTHR and The Salvation Army have partnered to bring warmth to tens of thousands of children through Bob Gregory’s Coats of Kids.  He and Tuchman’s not only clean every coat that is donated, but he also is at every event leading up to distribution day.  You will find him collecting coats outside of Lucas Oil Stadium and at Apple Fest.  He encourages his employees to volunteer and experience the joy of putting a coat on a child that doesn’t have one.  His contributions and those of Tuchman Cleaners have been essential to the wellbeing of children in our community.

Women’s Auxiliary Member of the Year: Billie Gilligan
The Women’s Auxiliary Member of the Year is an individual who actively participates in Women Auxiliary meetings, volunteer opportunities and events.  This individual will have served as a member at least ten years, holding a position on the executive board and/or serve as a program liaison.  This individual is dedicated to The Salvation Army and its mission supporting with time, talent and treasures.  This individual has high moral character and integrity; and compassionate response to meet human need.  Their actions provide an example for others to follow.  This recipient has been involved in the Auxiliary for 46 years.  She has held the office of president, has served on various committees, for the last few years has served as Parliamentarian for the Executive Board and is also the Liaison Chairperson for Community Care and Older Adult Ministries.

Doing the Most Good Award: Ron Herron
Doing The Most Good Award is given to an organization, foundation, association or individual that is committed wholeheartedly through lifetime service through the ministry of The Salvation Army and has acted above and beyond that commitment. Asking nothing in return, they are the embodiment of the statement made by Evangeline Booth, daughter of Salvation Army founder William Booth:  “There is no reward equal to that of doing the most good to the most people in the most need.”  This year’s winner became a friend of the Army 47 years ago when his mother began volunteering.  In 1991, she talked him into coming to The Salvation Army to see the toys that had been collected for families.  She told him that he needed to do something to help The Salvation Army collect more toys adding, “How can you refuse your mother?”  He couldn’t, and he started the annual Circle City Toy Run, a motorcycle ride to support The Salvation Army’s Toy Shop.  That was 19 years ago, and through serious health issues and even the loss of his dear mother, he has never let The Salvation Army down.  The Circle City Riders have collected thousands and each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, you can see and hear hundreds of motorcycles rolling up Meridian Street to The Salvation Army’s headquarters to drop off toys.