Annual meeting and dinner will be Feb. 7

A long-time community volunteer has been chosen to receive the Stribling Community Service Award from the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce. The honor will be presented to Jack Creason at the Chamber's annual meeting and dinner auction Feb. 7, 2014 at the Elks Lodge. The Stribling Community Service Award is the top presentation of the seven awards presented during the evening.
Creason, his wife and children moved to Mexico in 1970 after he was hired as an engineer for the A.P. Green Company. He worked in industrial engineering, then in manufacturing before becoming purchasing agent. Creason finished his working career as purchasing agent for National Refractories in 1995.
Creason met his wife, Mary, while he was attending the School of Engineering at the University of Missouri in Columbia. They were married in her hometown of Paris, and then both completed graduate degrees at the university before moving to Warren, Ohio for a short time.
Then they moved to Ft. Carson, Colo. where he fulfilled his military obligation which started in Reserve Officer Training at the university. He became a captain in the U.S. Army Artillery. After moving to Mexico, the Creasons became active in the community.
"Farming in the evening and working in Refractories created a busy schedule which came to an abrupt change at retirement," Creason said. "To fill this void I began to increase my time with civic projects."
His first community involvement in Mexico was with the Kiwanis Club. "Giving back to the community you lived in was strongly encouraged by A.P. Green management," he said. "So that's how I began more than 30 years ago." The Kiwanis Club honored Creason with the "Distinguished Service Award" in 2005 and the George Hixson Award in 2013.
During the past 15 years, Creason also has supported the "Next Step" program, which offers after school tutoring to elementary students. He received the "Volunteer in Literacy" award for his participation in the program. In 2012, Creason was presented the "President's Award" by Chamber President, Heather DeMint. He also has received several distinguished service awards as multi-year president and officer of the Audrain County Pachyderms. Creason has been a supporter of the Audrain Historical Society's Walk Back in Time annual event, and was a member of the committee which established the Refractory Museum on the historical complex.
It is with the YMCA, however, that Creason has had a more than a 30-year involvement. "In 1980, the president of A.P. Green, Mr. Bill Lowe, volunteered me to assist in raising money for the construction of a new YMCA," he said. "This began my involvement. I was one of several who lived through those smoke-filled bingo rooms as we raised money to keep the doors open during the Y's survival days." Creason was asked to return to the Y Board of Directors in 2006. In 2008, he joined fellow North Kansas City native Nancy Ekern as co-chair of the successful 4.5 million building expansion. He served as chairman of the facilities group, which coordinated construction.
In 2012, Creason completed his second six-year term on the Y board. He then received the Y's "Hero" and honorary "Lifetime Board Member" recognition. As past chairman of the House and Grounds committee, he now assists with the daily transition of maintenance in the expanded facility.
Creason and his wife are the parents of two children, John and Christy. John and his wife Karen have three children: Kathryn, Audrey and Jack. Christy and her husband Eric have two children, Andrew and Justin.
Additional award winners to be honored Feb. 7 include:
l 2013 Educator of the Year, Nancy Baker
l 2013 G. Andy Runge Ambassador Award, Prim Siripipat
l 2013 President's Award, Mexico Jaycees
l 2013 Civic Award, Mexico Community Health Team Ministries
l 2013 Philanthropic Award, Colonel Charles Stribling III
l 2013 Excellence in Tourism, Gold Crest Distributing