WINFIELD | The St. Vincent de Paul Society of Holy Spirit Catholic Church is Winfield's Citizen of the Year.
The John B. Curley-Winfield American Citizen of the Year honors the legacy of the late Winfield Township trustee who was one of the town’s founders, said Mike Kucik, owner and publisher of the Winfield American newspaper.
He presented the traveling plaque to St. Vincent de Paul President Bob Gorski.
On hand for the ceremony were Jack Powell and Barbara Graham, first and second vice presidents of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, as well as John Curley’s widow, Janet, of Winfield, and daughters Lisa Curley, of Winfield, and Erica Cook, of Chesterton.
“Started in 2010, this award recognizes an individual or organization for improving life in the community,” Kucik said. “You keep the award for one year and then pass it on.”
Don Samburg, who is currently a Winfield Town Council member, received the first award in 2010. Dr. Danielle Kauffman, a Winfield chiropractor, was the award recipient in 2011. Both were recognized at the presentation.
Gorski said what makes receiving the award special is that Curley was a major contributor to the society.
“He was the first one to help,” Gorski said. “I don’t think without John we’d be where we are today.”
An international group, St. Vincent de Paul Society at Holy Spirit is a group of men and women who provide food, clothing, home furnishings and household needs as well as temporary financial help with rent, utilities, medical and other special needs, he said.
Although the entire parish is considered part of the society, there are about 30 active members, Powell said.
“We help throughout Northwest Indiana, in Lake and Porter counties,” he said. “We don’t limit ourselves and we never turn anyone down.”