Rick Eder had a rather unusual day at work on Thursday afternoon, July 17.
Thinking he had a client appointment at his Farm Bureau Insurance Agency, he emerged from his office and was greeted by family, friends, Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce members and a huge bouquet of balloons.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
It was then that Bob Pierce, executive director of the chamber, broke the news. “You are this year’s Citizen of the Year.”
Pierce then read a proclamation explaining how he had been chosen for the award.
“Wow, thanks, this is cool,” Eder said, still surprised by the award.
And, although it’s not usually disclosed who has nominated the winner, Pierce thought it would be OK to let Eder know.
“Your daughter, Corynne, nominated you,” Pierce said, and the nomination was voted upon by a group of former Citizen of the Year winners.
In fact, Corynne, who is headed to Western Michigan University this fall, wrote an essay about her every day hero — her dad, and won a $2,500 college scholarship for the work.
“I’m honored and very surprised,” Rick Eder said.
And although Eder was honored with the award, he was quick to recognize his staff for the outstanding job they do. “They are the ones who keep things running in the right direction,” he said of Nicole Maze, Kim Warrens and Joe LaRosa.
Also in attendance for the special presentation were his wife, Kim, daughter, Corynne and son, Ben, his parents Betty and David Murphy, father-in-law Neil Horning and brother, Jeff, as well as a large number of chamber members.
And despite so many people knowing about the honor — no one spilled the beans.
As Citizen of the Year, Eder will have to find someone else to drive the Farm Bureau Insurance cow in the Chelsea Community Fair Parade this year as he will be riding in style in a convertible with the top down.
Eder will officially accept his award on Thursday, Oct. 23 at a dinner in his honor at the Chelsea Comfort Inn and Village Conference Center.
Please enjoy the slide show below from the announcement.