A tribute fit for an icon
Marilyn Hardacre honored at the dedication of Hardacre Park
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — If there was ever a day in the sun, Marilyn Hardacre just had it. If anyone ever earned a day in the sun, it is Marilyn Hardacre.
The former Marshfield mayor, Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry executive director, and perpetual community activist was surrounded by friends and family as the park named in her honor was officially unveiled on Central Avenue on Thursday.
Hardacre arrived in style, pulling up to Rogers Cinema in a limousine and was then whisked inside. The Ohio State alumna entered the Megascreen and received a standing ovation from invited guests as the Columbus Catholic High School band played the Buckeyes’ fight song. Hardacre was then treated to a 27-minute short film where a cascade of prominent Marshfield citizens talked about the enormous impact Hardacre has had on the city.
The creation of Hope Lodge, Veteran’s Parkway, House of the Dove, Cedar Rail Court, Marshfield Area Community Foundation, Dairyfest, the paving of many of Marshfield’s city streets, building a YMCA, fundraising for the Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library — these are just a handful of projects in which Hardacre played a role and in many instances was the driving force.
“I’d say that if it’s good for the community, Marilyn’s involved in it,” Bill Mork, president and owner of Marshfield Furniture, said during the film tribute.
“She is an inspiration to a lot of people here in town. She’s a great example of what we want our citizens to be, incredibly involved and proud of the community they live in,” said Mayor Chris Meyer, who credits Hardacre, the city’s first female mayor, as a role model of his.
After the film tribute, Hardacre and the hundreds of guests migrated south for the official dedication of Hardacre Park on Central Avenue. A series of speakers, including Hardacre’s daughter Beth, offered their thoughts leading up to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the park. The last person to take the podium was the impetus behind the Hardacre Park project, Rogers Cinema owner Paul Rogers.
Rogers thanked the fundraising committee for Hardacre Park as nearly all of the money for the project was privately raised, though the city did contribute $25,000. Rogers thanked the crowd as well for the many donations that helped Hardacre Park come to fruition.
“With so many endeavors going on here in Marshfield, it’s amazing that we were able to get this done,” Rogers said. He went on to say that many people approach him and say, “Paul, you’ve got the Marshfield mentality.
“Yes, I do have the Marshfield mentality, and this is it, this park given by the citizens of Marshfield to honor someone who has given so much to this community. That truly is the Marshfield mentality, and I’m proud that I have it.”
In the spirit of the “Marshfield mentality,” let us at Hub City Times be not the first, nor the last to say, thank you, Marilyn.