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Mengel gives of himself for others

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Editorial: Feb. 28, 2013

TOPIC: Distinguished Citizen Award
OUR VIEW: Mengel helped many along the way

The past winners of Hardin County’s Distinguished Citizen Award have come from different walks of life such as business and the health industry.

Larry Mengel, this year’s award winner, has cut his own groove in our county. The retired U.S. Army colonel has been part of various projects with Habitat for Humanity that have turned dozens of lives around for area families.

In many cases, he helped provide a roof over their heads.

Mengel, who spent 10 years as Habitat’s executive director before ending his tenure in December, will be recognized publically Monday night for years of service and for being a difference maker in Hardin County. That in itself puts him in distinguished company.

The annual Friends of Scouts fundraising dinner is at Grace Heartland Church in Elizabethtown. He will receive the award from the Lincoln Heritage Council Boy Scouts.

After starting with Habitat in 1996 and gaining a knowledge of the impact the organization can make on lives, Mengel took over the lead reins of the program.

Mengel has a giving nature. He says, “I like to do work for needy people. Wherever there’s a needy situation, that’s where you’ll find me.”

The mission of the Lincoln Heritage Council Boy Scouts in recognizing an individual is to honor someone who adds to the community with their service to others.

Mengel is a wise choice.

Whether he was helping hammer nails or providing a comforting shoulder for someone who was given keys to their new home, Mengel has been there, working and watching over home project after home project.

Serving is a way of life for Mengel. Retirement after 30 years in the Army didn’t mean doing nothing.

Instead, he has a full-time job as a volunteer, serving about 50 hours a week with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, ReStore, Feeding America, where he serves on the board of directors, and at his church, Memorial United Methodist Church in Elizabethtown.

Larry Mengel is a perfect choice for this year’s award.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.