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Town and Gown Names Distinguished Ada Citizen

Nov 6, 2007
Richard Lawrence and Norm Rex
Distinguished Citizen of the Year, Richard Lawrence, right, accepts congratulations from Norm Rex.
Richard D. Lawrence, educator and Ada community leader, was named Distinguished Citizen of the Year at the 42nd annual Town and Gown Banquet Monday night on the Ohio Northern University campus.

He joins a distinguished list of community leaders who have been honored for their work with the Ada community and Ohio Northern.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, Lawrence earned a bachelor of science in education degree from Ohio Northern and went on to teach technology at Ada Junior and Senior High and at Apollo Career Center, where he also served as adult education supervisor. He has served the Village of Ada as a councilman and continues as a trustee of the Ada Community Improvement Corporation. He has been an active member of the Village Tree Commission, the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Ada and Lima Rotary clubs.

He works with the Ada Food Pantry, served on the Bluffton Community Hospital Board, served as an EMT with the Ada-Liberty Rescue Squad and currently serves as chairman of the Hardin County Red Cross board. He has also served on the Hardin County Emergency Management Agency and the Harding County Regional Planning Commission. He is a member of the Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties National Alliance for the Mentally Ill "HOPE" Chapter, volunteers with the Ohio Prison Ministry and is active in his church.

The Town and Gown Association was established in 1957 by a group of townspeople and ONU personnel to develop and maintain a strong positive relationship between Ada and Ohio Northern.

The Town and Gown Association was reactivated in 1988 after 10 years of inactivity. The association's goal continues to be promoting harmony and good will between townspeople and the University.

The association hosts its annual banquet to honor newcomers to the community and to name the Distinguished Citizen of the Year. Sponsoring organizations include the Ada Education Association, Ada Ministerial Association, Ada Senior Citizens, Chamber of Commerce, Jr. Civic League, Kiwanis, Lions Club, Ohio Northern University, ONU Women, Quatre Club, Rotary Club, Twice Ten Club and Village of Ada.