MHAPC presents annual awards at Putnam County Museum

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Mental Health Association in Putnam County held its Annual Meeting and Award Presentation on May 26 at the Putnam County Museum. MHAPC presented its "Person of the Year" and "Educator of the Year" awards to their "Heroes in the Fight" against mental illness.

The MHAPC Person of the Year Award recognizes an individual in the community who has shown outstanding dedication to improving mental health and wellness of individuals and families and who tirelessly promotes the mission of Mental Heatlh America of Putnam County. The winner of the award this year is Marj Peeler.

For many years, Peeler and her husband donated their time, energy and talents to students who would visit the Peeler Pottery Studio in Reelsville on field trips. The students would see first hand, various aspects of creating ceramic art as well as other media that Marj and Richard worked in.

In recent years, since the close of the studio, Peeler has been active with many groups, providing interactive workshops for those interested in many types of art at the Putnam County Museum and at the Putman County Public Library. She has touched many people with her inspiration and encouragement to try things they never believed they could achieve. She helped the children at Deer Meadow to construct a huge ceramic mural made by the students.

During June, Peeler will be helping children work in clay at the museum.

Peeler welcomes DePauw art students into her home at Asbury Village to share her treasures and knowledge with them. Many people in this community have been enriched and their mental health positively contributed to by Peeler through her art and her encouragement.

Finally, the donation of Peeler's children's book to MHAPC to help raise funds was a generous contribution on many levels. Peeler and her husband Richard have been supporters of Mental Health America of Putnam County for about 50 years. The museum has a display case dedicated to Peeler Pottery and Marj has donated many of the items in that case to the Museum. She has also made contributions to the library and is always agreeable to taking part in their activities.

The MHAPC Educator of the Year Award recognizes an educator in Putnam County who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to the mental health and wellness of children, families and fellow education professionals. The winner of the award this year is Anita Edenfield.

Edenfield is a speech and language therapist with Old National Trail Special Services. As a speech therapist she serves children of all ages and disabilities throughout the county and is known for her positive attitude and her love for and dedication to all of the children she has encountered. Her co-workers have sought her out for her expertise and knowledge about children and speech/language problems.

Edenfield has always gone above and beyond the call of duty in her dedication to her job and the children she serves. She has been active in a variety of ways in serving the community. She has been a Girl Scout troop leader for many years and many girls in Greencastle have camped with her and benefited from her dedication to enriching their lives as a Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette and Senior scout.

For almost 20 years, Edenfield has been active in Special Olympics as a coach, chaperone, helper and treasurer; both at the local, regional and state level. Many of our special Olympians have experienced her support, love and guidance and had opportunities to participate because she was willing to give her time and energy to them.

Edenfield has enriched the lives of her co-workers, the children she has served and many county citizens.

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