Local Volunteers Honored with Golden Hoosier Award

Bob Bowman, of New Castle, and William Lewellen, of Richmond, were two of 23 older adults to receive the Golden Hoosier Award from the State of Indiana at a ceremony and reception at the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center on Monday, June 24.  The Golden Hoosier Award acknowledges outstanding Indiana senior citizens for the impact they have made on the lives of others and their community. The award is the highest honor given to a senior in Indiana.

Bowman and Lewellen were two of three recipients of the LifeStream Golden Hoosier Award in April, which recognized outstanding volunteerism across LifeStream’s 12 county service area including Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Union, and Wayne counties. As recipients of this award, LifeStream nominated them for the statewide Golden Hoosier Award.

Bob Bowman has devoted much of his life to helping those in need. As a lay leader in the United Methodist Church in the late 1980s, he co-founded Operation Classroom to bring educational opportunities to children in war-torn nations in West Africa. This program now has support from across the United States. He is also actively involved with the Salvation Army, the United Way, and the Kiwanis Club. A friend describes the impact of his generosity this way: “A man of ideals and action, Bob has spent over three decades committed to extending Hoosier hospitality beyond borders, seas, and nations.”

William Lewellen is officially retired from his role as pastor of the Temple of God Church in Richmond, however, he never stopped serving his congregation and his community. He volunteers his time officiating funerals, weddings, and regular Sunday services. He also oversees the church’s food pantry, which has been helping those in need since 1992. He is also well-known for the years spent as a volunteer chaplain at the local hospital, offering comfort to the ill and dying – and their ill and grieving families. As a friend says of Lewellen: “His desire to provide peace, guidance, and a gentle touch to the abused, forgotten, ill, dying, and forlorn has been a 30-year testament toward the meaning of Indiana grace.”

Bob Bowman and William Lewellen are two of many volunteers who make a difference across the State of Indiana and beyond. LifeStream relies on volunteers to assist in a variety of ways including serving meals at senior cafés, crocheting or knitting gifts for AngelWish, conducting administrative office tasks, and more. Those interested in volunteering with LifeStream Services can learn more by visiting www.lifestreaminc.org/support/volunteer or contact Laura Bray, Volunteer Services Administrator, by calling 765-759-3372 or email lbray@lifestreaminc.org.