The Starke County Community Foundation honored Marilyn and Mathew Swanson Tuesday with the first annual James R. Hardesty Leadership in Philanthropy Award. The Swansons were involved in numerous organizations in the county, including the Community Foundation, where they helped create the Ancilla/SCILL Center Fund, as well as The Mat and Marilyn Swanson Family Fund.
When accepting the award, Marilyn encouraged residents to get involved to make their communities better.
“I really feel that it’s important for each person to try to contribute, no matter how small, to the place where they establish their home and where they live because, after all, who doesn’t want the best for their families? When Mat and I came here in the early ’50s, Starke County was very, very different from the way it is now, and it was obvious that we needed to approach the 21st century, even though the 20th century was only half over.”
For communities to stay successful, she says another generation needs to help out, “Try to get your children interested in community work. My time is over. My children are busy. Their children are going to have to be busy. We have to pass the torch because we can’t let it stop here. Thank you.”
Mathew Swanson passed away in January.
The award was presented at the Starke County Community Foundation’s 2015 Community Impact Reception.