A New Whiteland woman won the highest honor the governor can give for her service to the community.
Gov. Mike Pence awarded Maribeth Alspach with the Sagamore of the Wabash award for her work as a volunteer and in local government.
Alspach has worked as the clerk-treasurer of New Whiteland for 22 years and was town manager for 10 years.
She also led a committee of volunteers that raised $200,000 for Proctor Memorial Park, which is a park created as a tribute to veterans, police, firefighters and other heroes.
The Sagamore of the Wabash is an honorary award given to Indiana residents each year. State senators and representatives can recommend two people each year for the award.
The governor decides how many awards to give out each year.
State Rep. Woody Burton, R-Whiteland, nominated Alspach for the award. State Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, sponsored the award nomination in the Senate, and said he was honored to recognize Alspach for her inspiring work as clerk-treasurer and as a volunteer.
Alspach has spent her life helping others, Burton said.
“There’s a lot of good people that do things to help people and nothing is said about it,” Burton said. “I am very proud to be able to recognize someone for that.”
In addition to her work with the park, Alspach also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, participates in the Relay for Life and is on the board of directors for the Clark-Pleasant Education Foundation. This year, she will be part an all-female build for Habitat for Humanity representing Leadership Johnson County.
The statewide award came as a surprise to Alspach, who didn’t know she was nominated.
She was recognized by state lawmakers at the Statehouse earlier this year.
“I am thrilled and very honored to have received these awards,” Alspach said. “I will humbly accept them in honor and in memory of men and women who have served and are currently serving (in the military) in our community.”
Alspach also took the award as an opportunity to talk with lawmakers about Proctor Park, which is located off Tracy Road and created in memory of Sgt. Joseph Proctor, who was killed in Iraq.
“So many people in this county don’t know it exists,” she said
The Alspach file
Name: Maribeth Alspach
Award: Sagamore of the Wabash for service to her community as a government employee and volunteer
Residence: New Whiteland
Education: Whiteland Community High School graduate; 2005 graduate of Leadership Johnson County, 2006 graduate of Richard Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series
Work: New Whiteland clerk-treasurer
Service: Franklin Memorial Christian Church, Proctor Memorial Park Committee, Relay for Life, Clark-Pleasant Education Foundation, Habitat for Humanity
Family: Husband, Scott; three children and six grandchildren