This week we are saying goodbye to a gentleman who lived by the maxim to "Leave Things Better Than You Found Them." Ben Craig was a founding board member of UCS, back when we were originally called the Health, Welfare and Recreation Council. He was also our first recipient of the UCS Citizen of the Year award and received the honor again in 1997 when UCS celebrated our 40th Anniversary. His volunteer service to UCS never really ended as he continued on our Council of Advisors into this year.
"Ben Craig has had a hand in almost every significant institution in our community and was a continuous advocate around improving health and human service delivery in our community," reflected Mike Hockley, UCS Board President.
Karen Wulfkuhle, UCS' recently retired Executive Director, knew Ben throughout her thirty-two years with the organization and shared that one of the things she most appreciated about Ben was his belief that human services were an essential part of a community's infrastructure. "Ben was always looking to the future; what could be done to build a stronger community," she shared.
I only had the chance to meet Ben briefly as I was beginning with the organization and thank him personally for his service. He shared with me his support of UCS and importance of us continuing to be a voice for human services in our community - and I think challenging me to do my best.
As we reflect on Ben's legacy with UCS and so many other organizations in Johnson County, it challenges us to think of our role in creating community - our ability to bring fellow citizens together to chart the course for the next chapter of Johnson County and leave things better than we found them.
Julie K. Brewer