hall of legends

HONOREE: Howard County Hall of Legends inductee Steve Kroft talks with others attending the dinner and induction ceremony at the Kokomo Country Club in August 2014.

The Howard County Hall of Legends will honor six new members at the annual recognition banquet Friday, so get your tickets this week and celebrate the Class of 2018.

This year’s representatives of our community’s best and brightest should inspire not just our neighbors but all Hoosiers:

• Opha May Jacob Johnson, who was born in Howard County in 1878 and became America’s first woman Marine.

• Reba Harris, who started a second career in retirement as an addiction counselor and founded Gilead House, an agency helping homeless men, women and children.

• Don B. Smith Sr., who founded two Howard County banks and helped rebuild Russiaville after the Palm Sunday tornadoes of 1965.

• Steve Daily, who started out as a teacher and became Kokomo’s youngest mayor and chancellor of Ivy Tech Kokomo.

• Brian Harlow, who grew up in neighboring Tipton County and became Fiat Chrysler Automobiles North America’s vice-president of manufacturing.

• Kokomo Park Band, just the second community organization to become a “legend,” has provided music for local events for more than 100 years.

“Howard County residents are proud of their community’s contributions, past and present, to the world,” Dave Broman, executive director of the Howard County Historical Society, told us back in April. “Pneumatic tires, push-button car radios, and stainless steel are among the many innovations born here. The people of Howard County have produced critical materials for World War II, art glass for stained glass windows around the world, high-tech alloys for the Apollo moon missions and sophisticated electronics for automobiles.”

The Howard County Hall of Legends is open to individuals who have achieved significant recognition for their accomplishments in the areas of: public service, commerce and industry, science, technology, health sciences, art, literature/journalism, humanities and performing arts.

Learn more about past honorees at howardcountymuseum.org, and consider attending Friday’s Hall of Legends banquet at Bel Air Event Center, 3014 S. Webster St., at 6 p.m. Friday. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite.com, at the historical society offices at 1218 W. Sycamore St. behind the Elliott House, or by calling 765-452-4314.

See you there.

Kokomo Tribune editorial board

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