STATE REP. BEN FREDERICK, a former Owosso Mayor, presented Chuck Kerridge with a state commendation during his retirement party. A number of local officials and/or dignitaries were in attendance including Owosso Mayor Chris Eveleth and Sheriff Brian BeGole.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
Chuck Kerridge, retiring from the Corunna Mayor position after 15 years of service, was recognized for his commitment to Corunna during a retirement party at the Community Center on Saturday evening, Nov. 12. The public was welcome to attend and hundreds of friends, family, city officials and local dignitaries stopped in to offer their gratitude to Kerridge for his numerous and continuous effort toward community improvements during his tenure. Kerridge has very much been a hands-on mayor: involved in many Corunna construction projects including his 5-plus years of dedication to the renovation of the Community Center and his ongoing work at the Youth Center/Commercial Barn in McCurdy Park.
One highlight of the evening, among several, included State Rep. Ben Frederick presenting Kerridge with a state commendation. Frederick reminisced somewhat, having served alongside Kerridge when he, himself, was starting out with Owosso City Council. Frederick expressed his satisfaction in witnessing the collaborative efforts between Owosso and Corunna that strengthened the relationship between the two cities.
“The thing that really impressed me about Chuck all of these years is his willingness to roll up his sleeves and really do any task required. That’s a literal statement,” Frederick said. “He’s here for the ceremonial stuff, but he’s also up a ladder or the scaffolding doing construction work.”
The state commendation was signed by Frederick, Sen. Tom Barrett, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist. A few highlights recognized Kerridge for his service on nine local commissions, his rehabilitative work on the Community Center, performing 125 wedding ceremonies and his effort with the annual Owosso/Corunna Labor Day Bridge Walk – a project Kerridge worked on alongside his wife, Donna, who was a passionate organizer of the event. More recently, Kerridge has turned his focus toward ongoing construction work on the Youth Center. Frederick commented that Kerridge has been a “true public servant.”
Following Frederick, Joyce Bremer, representing the Rotarians, presented Kerridge with the Paul Harris Fellow award – one of the highest honors in Rotary. Kerridge, a longstanding Rotary member, was presented with the special award for his commitment to “service above self,” a model of Rotary International. Paul Harris was a Chicago lawyer and Rotary founder.
Kerridge admitted being mayor has been a “big part” of his life and he hopes he can “still help in all different ways.” He offered his gratitude to everyone in attendance, also expressing the need for more people to join Rotary.
The evening was not intended toward gifts, but some close friends and family members in attendance presented Kerridge with a number of special, commemorative items. His wife, Donna, had a special bench made in his honor that is now centrally located along one of the new sidewalks in McCurdy Park, now dedicated as the Kerridge Walk.