Each night before bed, Marie Flurry prays, asking God to use her as the hands and feet of Christ. Those prayers have led her and Bill, her husband of 61 years, to complete mission work both locally and abroad. In 2019, at over 80 years old, they helped rebuild homes in Puerto Rico after a hurricane.
These actions earned them the 2020 Spiritual Leaders of the Year award, one of several awards presented Saturday during the annual “Celebrate St. Clair” banquet.
Chamber officials also recognized the 2019 honorees since last year’s banquet was canceled.
The 2019 honorees included: Capt. Jason Hatley, Firefighter of the Year; Sgt. Devin Jenkins, Police Officer of the Year; Rachel Ahrens, EMS Service Award; Terry and Tracie Ritter, Spiritual Leaders of the Year; Crystal Breitenstein and Tonya LaCrone, Educators of the Year; Dylan Britton, Outstanding Young Man of the Year; Hannah Licklider, Outstanding Young Woman of the Year; the St. Clair branch of Scenic Regional Library, Organization of the Year; Dollar Plus, Business of the Year; and Dana Dougherty, Citizen of the Year.
The 2020 honorees included: Captain Tim Wideman, Firefighter of the Year; Alexander Peck, Police Officer of the Year; Jaede Wrinkle, EMS Service Award; Nicole Wink, Educator of the Year; Case Busse, Outstanding Young Man of the Year; Kyley Henry, Outstanding Young Woman of the Year; St. Clair High School Clothes Closet, Organization of the Year; Gary Land, Citizen of the Year; The Medicine Shoppe, Business of the Year; and Bill and Marie Flurry, Spiritual Leaders of the Year.
Marty Hinterlong, owner of The Medicine Shoppe, also was recognized with a portrait, drawn by Wanda Obermark, depicting the pharmacy’s vaccination clinic.
“It has been a privilege to be in this community for 30 years,” Hinterlong said. “I am six doses away from 3,000 vaccinations.”
He said he started the vaccination clinic with hopes of vaccinating at least 1,000 people in St. Clair.
Marie Flurry said the award was “very humbling,” adding that the mission trips have left an imprint on her life.
“You just can’t believe the feeling that you feel when you see somebody who you have helped get back into their home or who you have helped in some other way. It is just amazing,” Flurry said.
“It is just a blessing to be able to do all of these things,” Bill added. In addition to their trip to Puerto Rico, the couple have been involved in six different mission trips to Louisiana to rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina. In 2013, Bill went to Haiti to provide water filters to the island’s residents, who are among some of the world’s most impoverished people.
A video of the banquet will be uploaded to the chamber’s Facebook page.