In keeping with a yearly tradition, the name of Ruth Freeark will be added to the list of people named Riverside’s Person of the Year. Freeark’s will be the 64th person to receive the honor. Her name was announced at the annual Riverside Chamber of Commerce Steak Fry on June 21.
The Person of the Year is selected by a committee formed of members of the Riverside Chamber of Commerce and the Riverside Township Lions Club. Anyone may nominate a person for the honor by submitting the name and a brief description of contributions the person has made to the community. Following the selection, the person is informed and asked to keep it a secret until the announcement at the steak fry.
Her contributions to the arts in Riverside made Freeark a popular choice. She and her late husband, Dr. Robert Freeark, founded of the Riverside Arts Center, and provided the building at 32 E. Quincy St. as its headquarters. The center has become home to many artists of all ages through classes and exhibits. She also has displayed her artistic talents with an exhibition of collages she assembled.
Being named Person of the Year was a surprise for Freeark and, as one might guess, a pleasant one. She will appear in Riverside’s July 4 parade and will be the honoree at a dinner at the Riverside Golf Club on Aug. 28. More information on the dinner will be available soon and as always look to the Landmark on how to purchase tickets.
This is the latest honor for Freeark, who was “prom queen” at the recent prom-themed fundraiser for the Riverside Arts Center during the Riverside Arts Weekend in May. It is apparent that her efforts and contributions to the community have been deservedly appreciated.
Freeark is the eighth woman to be recognized individually as Person of the Year, with Martha Heine receiving the recognition along with her husband, Lew. Lloyd and Dorothy Unger received the honor jointly, also. Congratulations Ruth, you are a welcome addition to the list.
Birthday wishes: Another lady to be recognized — Patty Miglore at Aunt Diana’s, who is celebrating her birthday on June 29. We will not mention her age, but stop in and wish her a happy birthday.