Murray, TeGrotenhuis honored by MHAPC

Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Receiving top honors at the annual meeting of Mental Health America of Putnam County were Sue Murray as Person of the Year and Dan TeGrotenhuis as Educator of the Year.

Sue Murray was completely unaware she was coming to the Mental Health America of Putnam County annual meeting Tuesday to receive an award.

She had been asked to attend the meeting as a featured speaker. However, prior to her speaking, former MHAPC Board President Lucy Wieland spilled the beans.

At the meeting Tuesdayat the Putnam County Museum, MHAPC honored Murray as its 2006 Person of the Year. The organization also honored Tzouanakis Intermediate School Principal Daniel TeGrotenhuis as its 2006 Educator of the Year.

Murray was nearly in tears when she accepted the award from Wieland Tuesday.

"That was really sneaky," she said. "I've been working for two days (on speaking about) support groups.

"I'm humbled. I am real surprised."

Wieland said Murray was deserving of the award based on her vast experience.

"Our MHAPC Person of the Year has done it all," Wieland said prior to announcing who the winner was. "She's the best, most insightful person I know of."

Murray -- who has been Social Services Director at Putnam County Hospital since 1985 -- has served on several boards involved in mental health, including Cummins Mental Health, Family Support Services, MHAPC, among many others.

Wieland also said Murray had started several support groups at the hospital.

MHAPC Board President Susan Stewart presented the 2006 Educator of the Year award to TeGrotenhuis.

Stewart said TeGrotenhuis had many years of experience in education, including serving as principal at Tzouanakis and Reelsville Elementary School. In addition, he served as area director of Indianapolis Special Olympics.

"This is very kind," TeGrotenhuis said after receiving the award. "It does take lots of people to be successful and (the award) should be shared.

"We can make a difference."

After gathering herself, Murray then took the podium to speak about support groups.

She said she believed support groups were necessary because families are more extended than they used to be.

"I think each one of us needs support," Murray said. "We look for others that we can reach out to."

Murray also talked about the different support groups offered at the hospital, and how the Internet had become more helpful regarding support.

"We're all here for the same reasons," she said.

Stewart said Tuesday marked the 55th year for the membership meeting. However, she said MHAPC is doing its best to reach out more.

"We're trying to branch out to the community," she said.

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