Meridian Health Services - CURRENT Summer 2018

CURRENT | Meridian Health Services | Summer 2018 55 area of drug addiction and treatment. “A lot of people are hurting and don’t have the people they need in their lives,” Cornelius said. “Hank and I were on the chamber board together, and I’m amazed at how many good things they are doing to really make a difference, from homelessness to the opioid addiction problem. Meridian Health Services is doing a great job of making a difference in our community.” Joshua Rush, a college student at Ball State University, is one of the beneficiaries of the Dollison’s nurturing ways. “I’ve known the Dollisons since I was 5 or 6 years old,” Rush said. “This generation is a microwave society; we like to go fast. With the Dollisons, they help slow things down so you will understand what you’re learning while you’re learning it, and how you can benefit from it.” So, what becomes of the Dollison’s latest accolade—The Sagamore of the Wabash, established by Gov. Ralph Gates, who served 1945-1949, that was awarded to them in front of nearly a thousand of their family and friends at Rialzo IX? For the couple, who have made new beginnings for so many, so often, the Dollisons will have to make room on their wall for just one more reminder of how those around them appreciate all they do, so selflessly for others. But on this day, they agreed to one more high-five, one more nod to their commitment to cause and community, and Meridian was happy to provide the platform. This Muncie power couple was honored during Meridian Health Services’ Rialzo IX at Muncie’s Horizon Convention Center, where they were awarded a “Sagamore of the Wabash,” given by the Indiana governor and representing the state’s highest distinction. “We could not have been more pleased to be able to present this award on behalf of the governor,” said Hank Milius, president and chief executive officer of Meridian Health Services. “These two have devoted their lives to making our communities, our city, a better place to live. They are humble and gracious people.” Mary founded Muncie’s Motivate Our Minds more than 30 years ago when she saw a need for early childhood education in Muncie. She and Cornelius have worked together on projects like the Roy C. Buley Community Center in 2008, Shaffer Chapel history building project in 2013 and the ongoing work of the Whitely Community Council, started in 2012. Cornelius is a former board member of the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and serves now on the Board of Directors for the Muncie Action Plan. For the last three years, the Dollisons have made a point a few days each week, to stand outside Central High School and greet the students and educators in the morning. “It always makes you feel good when you’re helping young people,” Mary said. “We see them out in the community and they recognize us.” Why do they do what they do? “I was the oldest of eight children,” Mary said. “My parents couldn’t help me when I went to college but plenty of others did, and that’s when I learned it takes a lot of people to work together to make a difference,” she said. Cornelius agreed. “We started with our neighborhood then realized our vision had to change because it’s more than that; our neighbor is everyone,” he said. “Now we’re to the point, it’s more than just our neighborhood, it’s the whole community. That’s why we go to Central High School. We want them to know we care: the students, the teachers—all of them.” The Dollisons cite Meridian Health Services as the kind of partners who help elevate a community. Meridian’s behavioral clinicians work with children at MOMs and most recently Meridian provided flu shots at the Whitely Community Council. The Dollisons noted Meridian’s contributions in their neighborhood and the difference it has made, particularly in the T he last thing Mary and Cornelius Dollison wanted was another award, another accolade praising their contributions holding them up as pillars of the community. Except for a very few, the innumerable plaques and certificates they’ve been given over the years, stay in a box. Community champions receive state’s highest honor ‘We started with our neighborhood then realized our vision had to change because it’s more than that; our neighbor is everyone.’ — Cornelius Dollison Joshua Rush THE DOLLISONS. Cornelius and Mary Dollison have been awarded a Sagamore of the Wabash by the Indiana governor representing the state’s highest distinction. sagamore of the wabash current