January 9, 2013

Downtown visionaries receive 2012 Beacon Award

by Jason M. Rodriguez

— Chalk another win for the downtown as the Pharos-Tribune announced Tuesday its selection for the 2012 Beacon Award winners as Kathy Dingo and Pam Leeman.

The two have led the downtown’s revitalization efforts through pocket parks on Broadway and Market, the unveiling of a 13-foot statue of dancers in front of The State Theater, and, through their involvement in Main Street, have brought statewide attention to Logansport.

The two were shocked, and emotional, learning about the local honor.

“I’m honored first of all,” Dingo said. “Absolutely this is a surprise. It’s also exciting to share this with the community and to be viewed by them as a leader like this is exciting. More than words can ever tell.”

Leeman also credited the work and efforts of the community to their downtown projects’ success.

“For the first time in my life, I am speechless,” Leeman said. “This is just an amazing honor that they have given Kathy and myself. To be able to share it with her, makes it even more special.”

The Pharos-Tribune launched the award in 2004. The paper seeks public nominations for the honor, which goes to a local visionary who has helped to chart a course for the community. This is the first time two people have won the award in one year.

Dingo and Leeman will be honored at the State of the City and County Address presented by Mayor Ted Franklin and the Cass County Commissioners. The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 30 at Angie’s Catering and Cakes, 1007 17th St.

Becki Harris, executive director of Logan’s Landing, said getting the two women together to work on a project creates an “unstoppable force.”

“This award couldn’t go to two more deserving people,” Harris said. “They have taken a vision for the downtown and for improvements to the community and they have made it a reality through their perserverance and their hard work.”

The two are also members of the Logan’s Landing board, which Harris said brings positive attention to the board as well.

“We are so excited and happy,” she said of the women winning the Beacon Award. “It’s a well-deserved honor. We’re thrilled that they’re receiving the honor.”

Dingo said there is plenty more that she and Leeman have up their sleeves to help make Logansport a better place to live and do business.

“Trust me, we are big dreamers,” Dingo said. “This is just a drop in the bucket of where we’re headed.”

Leeman agreed.

“We’ve always said we have a dream. We have a huge dream, and every year a piece of that dream is fulfilled just from the funds raised from the community,” Leeman said. “We’re just going to continue with our dream.”