The Herald Bulletin

October 16, 2013

Editoral: Hoak shows the difference one person can make

The Herald Bulletin

---- — Sometimes the problems confronting a community and the range of needs can be so overwhelming that individuals feel powerless to do anything about it.

But people who are willing to work in partnership with others and can focus on specific tasks can make a major, positive difference in a community. The impact one man or one woman can make is significant. But this can be easy to forget, unless we have leaders who set the example for service.

This is where people like Duane Hoak come in. The retired Anderson University administrator has been a difference-maker in Madison County for decades. Early this month, his contributions were recognized when he received the Indiana Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award was conferred at an Oct. 3 ceremony at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

“The last three weeks have been very exciting, from the time I learned of the award to when I received it,” Hoak said in an Oct. 7 Herald Bulletin article (visit and search for “Hoak”).

“Wow. It was just an amazing honor.”

Like others who serve their communities, Hoak didn’t have an award like this in mind when he participated in service organizations and on local quality-of-life boards and committees. He did the work because it needed to be done for the good of the community, and because it made him feel good to do it.

The organizations that Hoak served are too many to mention in this space, but they include the local Kiwanis Club, the United Way, Aspire Indiana, the Salvation Army, the Madison County Youth Center, the Madison County Visitors Bureau and Anderson Public Library.

He did more than just sit on committees and boards. He was in there with his sleeves rolled up, leading the way by example and digging in to do the work.

Hoak has been a force for good in the community since he moved here in 1969. And Madison County has been blessed with a core group of citizens who are committed to making the community a better place to live.

They serve as role models for others to rise to local challenges and help lead Anderson and Madison County into the future.

Not everybody is positioned to provide the level of community service that Duane Hoak has, but everybody can pitch in to help. And every little bit of help is significant.

In summary Duane Hoak has helped set the standard for community service in Madison County.