Ed Merrion honored for making Michigan City better
MICHIGAN CITY — Since the mid-1980s, Ed Merrion has given more than 300 years of service to various nonprofit organizations whose mission was to help the homeless and impoverished in Michigan City.
Jim Fisher of the Michigan City Exchange Club, a former math teacher, broke down the numbers on Sept. 11 before presenting Merrion with the club’s Book of Golden Deeds Award, an annual honor recognizing someone who has given many years of committed service to making Michigan City a better place to live.
Over the past 33 years, Fisher said, Merrion has given 304 years of membership – 96 of those as a board director and another 19 as president or chairman – to organizations including:
• Rotary Club of Michigan City, director and president
• Indiana Association of Realtors, director and instructor
• Samaritan Counseling Center, director
• Michigan City Chamber of Commerce, director and chairman
• Montessori School of Michigan City, director and chairman
• Knights of Columbus Council, grand knight
• Boy Scouts Troop 802, scoutmaster
• Interfaith Community Men’s Shelter, coordinator
• Boys & Girls Club of Michigan City, director and chairman
• La Porte County Park Foundation, director
• Catholic Charities of Michigan City, advisory board
• Citizens Concerned for the Homeless, director
• Michigan City Housing Development, director and president
• Hours 4 Ours, mentor
“Ed Merrion has been tireless in finding solutions to the many problems that poverty brings to many citizens in Michigan City,” Fisher said. “And he has the kindness and relentlessness that makes it difficult to say ‘no’ to him.”
Jim Musial, executive director of the Sand Castle Shelter for Homeless Families, vouched for that when it was his turn to speak. He told the audience how he and Merrion met, and how Merrion convinced him to work at the men’s shelter on Sunday nights – by not taking “no” for an answer.
And Musial announced that Merrion will assume the role of board president for Citizens Concerned for the Homeless beginning Jan. 1, adding to his long resume of leadership roles.
“Ed Merrion is a pillar of this community,” Musial said. “We’re blessed to have him work with us.”
Suzy Vance, coordinator of No Regrets, said Merrion always put others first.
“What we’re witnessing here is a man who has lived out of his wits and out of his first nature,” she said, explaining that it goes against human instincts to constantly put the needs of others before one’s own.
“Thank you, Ed, for teaching us how to live lives that matter, and how to live our lives out of our first nature.”
Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Brandi Lewis also honored Merrion.
“How do you spell ‘Ed Merrion?’” she asked rhetorically, before answering: “D-E-P-E-N-D-A-B-L-E.”
Lewis said anytime she’s called on Merrion for help, all he’s wanted to know is where to show up and at what time. Once, she needed him to give a speech inside the Indiana State Prison, and she said he didn’t bat an eye at her request.
“It’s that type of dedication that has secured Ed’s legacy,” she said.
When it was Merrion’s turn to take the mic, he spoke of his childhood upbringing, saying his parents raised their children to believe that people are more important than things.
“It all boils down to how you treat people,” Merrion said. “… God gives everybody different gifts, and a community works when everybody utilizes those gifts. My gift is compassion; I really feel for people. …
“If everyone does a little for others and gives a little for others, the world’s going to be a better place.”