Mayor Jim Brainard presented Jack Badger with the Pillar of the Community Award during CarmelFest on July 4th, 2014. Badger is the first recipient of the award, created to honor an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to Carmel’s business, civic, social, educational, and cultural communities.

“I’ve often said if I could bestow the honor ‘Mr. Carmel’ on anyone, it would be Jack, who has always said he is so very proud to be a member of a community that is always moving forward, never backward and never in neutral. I think we can say the same about Jack,” said Mayor Brainard.

A tireless volunteer and recognized face in the community, Badger is perhaps most noted as the mastermind behind the CarmelFest Spark Button, which he sells as a fundraiser for the annual fireworks display at CarmelFest. His volunteer ventures also extend to Carmel Dads' Club, Carmel High School athletics, Carmel United Methodist Church and The Center for the Performing Arts.

Badger first became involved with Carmel Dads' Club upon moving to Carmel five decades ago. When the Club expanded in 1978 to create a first-class sports facility, Badger helped facilitate the development and continued to help the Club flourish through many years of volunteer service.

Badger’s 9-year-old son, Mark passed away in 1979 due to an inoperable brain stem tumor. To honor him, Carmel Dads' Club named the new sports facility in commemoration of Mark; it is now known as Mark Badger Memorial Park.

“Like a stone pillar, Jack has been one who has stood tall, upright, and sturdy, through all challenges,” said Mayor Brainard. “Jack has shown us all how to courageously overcome personal challenges and turn them into opportunities.”

The Pillar of the Community Award was created this year by Mayor Brainard to reflect the recipient’s total commitment to Carmel’s mission of creating a warm and welcoming city, infused with a spirit of volunteerism and goodwill. The recipient of this accolade is a prominent person in the community, whether or not he or she has ever held public office.

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