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Pat Koch recognized as Golden Hoosier

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By The Staff

SANTA CLAUS – Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, in collaboration with Indiana Family and Social Service Administration’s Division of Aging, announced that 23 senior citizens received the 2019 Golden Hoosier Award. Among those named by the state was Pat Koch, founder of the Santa Claus Museum and Village, head of a local effort to respond to children’s letters to Santa and major figure in America’s Christmas Hometown. 

“With more than 80 submissions from individuals across the state, it was certainly difficult to narrow it down to 23 exceptional senior citizens,” Crouch said. “This year, we really expanded the program and could not have done it without our partnerships with AARP Indiana and the Eugene and Marylin Glick Indiana History Center.”

Crouch said that the award began in 2008 and annually honors Hoosier senior citizens for their years of service and commitment to the state. The Golden Hoosier Award was established to acknowledge and recognize outstanding seniors for their lifetime of service to their communities.

The Golden Hoosier Award is the highest honor bestowed on a senior in Indiana.

The ideal recipient is considered an unsung hero, who has not already received a Golden Hoosier Award, for the impact they have made in the lives of others and the community.

The 23 recipients attended a ceremony at The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, which celebrated their achievements. Koch remarked that it was a great experience to be presented the award alongside other Hoosiers with a  commitment to their communities across the state.

"I was thrilled to be among so many wonderful volunteers from the state of Indiana who are senior citizens like myself," she said.