WINONA LAKE — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana awarded the Charles D. Smith Award to Maple Leaf Farms & the Tucker Family during the 6th Annual BIG Celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, at the Winona Heritage Room.
Established in 2015 and named in honor of its inaugural recipient, this special accolade recognizes an individual or individuals who demonstrate passionate volunteerism, strong community leadership and a lifelong commitment to serving others, said a news release from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana.
Maple Leaf Farms is a dedicated and critical partner in strengthening the future wellbeing in the Kosciusko County Community. Founded by Donald Wentzel in 1958, Maple Leaf Farms started out as a small duck farm in Northern Indiana dedicated to producing quality products you can count on.
Today, Maple Leaf Farms is North America’s leading producer of quality duck products, supplying retail and foodservice markets throughout the world with innovative, value-added foods. The Tucker family firmly believes their values of commitment to family and community service as the foundation for the company’s success. Their passion shows in everything that they do.
Demonstrating their continuous commitment to community, Maple Leaf Farms has donated more than 17 tons of poultry products to Indiana food banks and pantries in an effort to help these hunger-relief organizations serve a continuous need in the state. Their sustainability efforts positively impact the farmers they partner with and the communities where their employees live, work, and raise their families. Maple Leaf Farms has also supported Big Brothers Big Sisters as a donor and advocate that has helped the Agency grow into the premier mentoring organization that it is today.
Maple Leaf Farms financial contributions and in-kind donations have helped bring innovative and enhanced programming into the area, providing unique mentoring services to our Littles so that they too will have the opportunity to reach their full potential in life. The Tucker family defends potential by volunteering as Big Brothers & Big Sisters and invests their time and talent as mentors to youth in need. Their efforts have created a long-lasting impact by bringing positive change to the community. It is with great honor that Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates the many achievements of Maple Leaf Farms and the Tucker Family with the 2019 Charles D. Smith Award.
The Charles D. Smith Award was established in 2015 and recognizes an individual or individuals who demonstrate passionate volunteerism, strong community leadership and a lifelong commitment to serving others.
For more than 45 years, Smith created a living legacy of civic service as an educator, mentor, leader and community advocate. Smith’s life served as testimony to the incredible impact volunteers can have every day. As an avid supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and the children in his community, Smith contributed to a 100% increase of children served in Kosciusko County. His altruistic gifts and his strong leadership skills provided the agency with invaluable resources to make Big Brothers Big Sisters one of the top mentoring organizations in the Midwest. Most of all, his genuine, down-to-earth nature and his contagious smile brought new light to the countless organizations and individuals he helped, and his presence is truly missed.
Smith’s dedication to family, faith, and community earned him a place among Northeast Indiana’s most honored citizens and set a high standard for volunteerism in our community. It is with great honor that Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates his legacy with the Charles D. Smith Award. Past recipients include Tom Roy (2016), Ernie Wiggins (2017), and the K21 Health Foundation (2018).