Long time volunteer Jack Badger given 'Pillar of Community' honor

One of the most recognizable faces in Carmel was given the first Pillar of the Community Award at CarmelFest.

Jack Badger, a consummate volunteer and cheerful presence at many community events, was given the honor in front of hundreds of people at the Gazebo at Carmel Civic Square just hours before the fireworks show on July 4. Mayor Jim Brainard presented the honor and spoke at length about Jack's many years of volunteering. 

Badger has been a resident since 1968 and has been active in the Carmel Dads Club, Carmel High School sports and his church. But many know him as the friendly guy with the big hat who has sold CarmelFest "spark buttons" for many years — a venture that helps fund the annual fireworks show on July 4. This was Jack's final year selling those buttons.

The Pillar of the Community Award was created this year by Mayor Brainard to honor an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to Carmel’s business, civic, social, educational and cultural communities within the city of Carmel. This signature award reflects the recipient’s total commitment to our mission of creating a warm and welcoming city, infused with a spirit of volunteerism and good will.

Like a stone pillar, the recipient of the Pillar of the Community Award will be one who has stood tall, upright and sturdy, through all challenges. Upon this pillar, many things can be built and many are sustained by his or her presence. Like a pillar of belief, the recipient of the Pillar of the Community Award will hold true to fundamental principles or practices, his words of wisdom and his actions accepted as true as a basis for reasoning or conduct as it pertains to taking on the challenge at hand.

The recipient of the Pillar of the Community Award will be a prominent person in the community, whether or not he or she ever held an elected or appointed office. A mainstay; a booster; … a champion for Carmel and its citizens.

Congratulations Jack! A well deserved honor!