Answering the Call

by Jan Wright, Publisher

“I just want to feel like I made a difference in this world.” The words of Patti Bash speak to a higher motivation that resides in all of us. She has certainly lived up to this aspiration… just ask anyone who has served on a committee or volunteered with her!

“If I have a legacy, it’s probably motivating other people to be involved in voluntarism,” she adds. And Patti’s legacy is an exponential one. Not only does it lie in her own good deeds—as well as that of her husband, Dr. Stephen Bash—but in the work of those she has encouraged, inspired and supported along the way. This is the calling of a Local Legend.

Even in retirement, their work is never done. Ken Hinton has come out of retirement twice: first, to assist his hometown school district during a challenging time, and again to help out Carver Center when it was in danger of closing its doors forever. Ken exemplifies the spirit of giving back to his community.

The hard work and dedication of Joan Krupa were instrumental in establishing Peoria’s first federally qualified health center, a lifeline for our region’s low-income population. During her two terms on the Peoria County Board, she was a model of the bipartisan civility that seems to be so lacking in Washington and Springfield these days.

Through his business acumen and community involvement, Royal Coulter has been a pillar of the Peoria region for decades. He grew up in the family business and has since grown it into the largest family-owned environmental services company in Illinois. In this issue, Royal shares the secrets of his success… in business and in life.

Long known as “Peoria’s historian,” Norm Kelly has led a fascinating life, channeling his deep knowledge of Peoria and two decades of experience as a private investigator into hundreds of fascinating stories and articles. Norm really didn’t get started as a writer until age 50—which shows that it’s never too late to begin a new chapter in life.

The legacy of voluntarism and philanthropy runs deep with our Local Legends, and we are proud to highlight their remarkable accomplishments each year. They are role models for all of us, examples of the extraordinary difference we can make in our own backyard. As we thank them for their service, we may also ponder: What will our legacy be? iBi