The first surprise for Gina Terril was that she was even nominated for the Lantern Awards’ Citizen of the Year. Her second surprise was that she won.
The Westfield resident won the award from the Westfield Chamber of Commerce during the Jan. 19 event at the Prairie Waters Event Center in Westfield.
“It was a complete surprise,” Terril said. “I’m overjoyed and in utter shock. I never considered myself remotely worthy of such an honor.”
The Westfield Lantern Awards had been an annual tradition since 1982 before the pandemic interfered with the chamber’s plans for a 2021 ceremony. Terril, who has worked for Indiana Members Credit Union for nearly 28 years, has lived in Westfield since 2012 and serves on the Riverview Hospital Foundation Board.
“It’s just giving back to a wonderful county hospital with a servant’s heart,” she said.
Terril is a co-founder of the Cancer Care Cup with her husband, Danny, who she married in 2014.
Prior to their marriage, Danny was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013 and has been in remission since 2013.
“I was still working and taking care of him at the hospital,” Terril said. “We met other couples who were hard pressed and out of personal time off. They had to go back to work and their loved one was fighting in the hospital. We saw people staying in their cars. He said, ‘When I get out of here, let’s do something about this and let’s take care of their everyday needs, hotel stays, gas cards, utility bills.’ Because when you get cancer, you get financial cancer, too. The paycheck stops but the bills don’t stop coming in.
“We worked with all the social workers at the hospital, and if there is a need, we try to fulfill it.”
The charity gala and golf outing, which are held annually in August, have donated more than $175,000 to cancer patients and families of Hamilton County since 2017. Terril said it doesn’t matter which form of adult or pediatric cancer the patient might have.
“The beauty of it is that the board is mostly cancer survivors,” Terril said. “With the community’s help, they fill the cup up and we are happy to share it.”
Terril is a Hamilton County Leadership Academy graduate and is part of the HCLA Alumni Council. She also volunteers at Hamilton County Meals on Wheels as a personal home delivery driver.
“I can’t think of a more deserving Westfield resident than Gina Terril to be named the 2023 Citizen of the Year. Whether it is through her philanthropic work with the Cancer Care Cup or her service on the Riverview Hospital Foundation Board, Gina demonstrates the best of us in all that she does for Westfield,” said Steve Latour, CEO of the Westfield Chamber of Commerce. “Gina has made one meaningful contribution after another, both personally and professionally, and sets the bar for all of us to work towards.”
Other individuals were also recognized for their work in the community. With her contributions as president of the Westfield Washington Historical Society, Diana Peyton received the Distinguished Service Award.
Peyton was instrumental in restoring the Barker log cabin, which was built in 1835 and owned by Nicholas Barker. The cabin was taken apart and rebuilt near Westfield City Hall. It is scheduled for to open to the public this spring.
Kayla Arnold, who works for the City of Westfield as director of the Westfield Welcome program, knew she was being inducted into the Westfield Young Professionals Hall of Fame. However, it was a surprise for her to be named the Westfield Young Professional of the Year.
“Westfield Welcome does more than 30 annual events,” Arnold said. “We look to grow that every year, just being able to get the community out and get them connected. We love to see families coming out to our events.”
The following is a list of award recipients and finalists from Lantern Awards program (names in bold were the award recipient among the finalists)
Community Volunteer Award of Distinction: Barbara Haehner, Heart & Soul Free Clinic; Carrie Larrison, Open Doors Food Pantry of Washington Township
Westfield Washington Schools Award of Distinction: Ashley Knott, Westfield Educational Foundation
Healthcare Awards of Distinction, sponsored by Indiana Members Credit Union: Erik Angelotti, Ella Pharmacy
Westfield Young Professionals Hall of Fame Induction: Joshua Andrews, Westfield Washington Schools Kayla Arnold, City of Westfield; Thea Snelly, The Zulu Group, Keller Williams Realty, Matt Trnian, Grand Park Sports Campus: Brian Tomamichel, Westfield Washington Schools
Westfield Young Professional of the Year: Kayla Arnold
Westfield Citizen of the Year Award: Finalists: Lisa Brandenburg, Shelly Brown, Matthew Deck, Dr. DeLayne Lefevre, Gina Terril
Distinguished Service Award: Diana Peyton
Nonprofit of the Year Award: Humane Society for Hamilton County, Open Doors Food Pantry of Washington Township; Student Impact
New Partner of the Year: STAR Financial Bank (Large Business Category); West Fork Whiskey Co. (Mid-Size Business Category); Nori Japanese Steakhouse (Small Business Category)
Board of Directors Business of the Year, Small Business Category: Dean Ballenger Agency, Hittle Floral. Quack Daddy Donuts
Mid-Size Business Category: Greek’s Pizzeria Westfield, Meijer Westfield, Sobczak Construction
Large Business Category: Abbott Labs, Community First Bank of Indiana, Heartland Growers