Mt. Pleasant volunteer to receive Bishop Murphy Award for community work

Don Hire is many things to many people. To his family, he is a loving father, grandfather and husband. To members of the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant, he is a fellow Rotarian. To others, he is the Secretary of the Mid-Michigan Woodcrafters Club, where he helps organize the creation and donation of Christmas toys for charity. To members of Sacred Heart Parish in Mt. Pleasant, he is the “go-to guy” whenever they need a volunteer or helping hand. The list could go on; and tonight, Aug. 8, Hire will add one more thing to the list: recipient of the Bishop Murphy Award.

As described by the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, “The Bishop Murphy Award recognizes the lifelong commitment of individuals who share and live their Catholic faith in ways that continue the evangelizing mission of Jesus Christ. The award is presented to individuals who have given witness throughout their lives, in word and deed.”
Second from the left, Don Hire helps with Sacred Heart Parish's Lenten fish fry.
Connie McCann, Director of Development at Sacred Heart Parish in Mt. Pleasant, where Hire has been a member for over 40 years, coordinated Hire’s nomination for the award.

“That is Don,” she says. “He’s an incredibly giving person. It’s not even second-nature for him; it’s first nature for him – and not just at the church, but within the community as well.”

Hire, in the spirit you might expect of someone receiving the Bishop Murphy Award, is humble about the matter. He says he discovered he would be receiving the award when it was announced during the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant’s June meeting.

“I guess I was shocked, to say the least,” Hire says. “I didn’t expect anything like that. My first reaction was that there are a lot of other people out there that do a lot more than I do."

While it was unexpected, Hire added that it does feel nice to receive recognition for his efforts in the church and community.

“I didn’t really need recognition for it, but I was happy someone did recognize it,” he says.

Don Hire, who serves as Secretary of the Mid-Michigan Woodcrafters Club, cuts out a puzzle that will be given to charity at Christmas.Recognize it they did! McCann says when she was getting everything together for Hire’s nomination, there was no shortage of people willing to write a letter of recommendation for him, including the pastor at the parish, Father Loren Kalinowski; Senior Vice President of Isabella Bank, David Reetz; and fellow community volunteer, Eileen Jennings.

The Bishop Murphy Award recipients will be honored during a reception this evening (Aug. 8) at 6 p.m. at the diocesan Center for Ministry in Saginaw. Also receiving the award will be Veronica Grusecki, who is a member at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Bay City.

Hire will be surrounded by his family, including all five of his children – two of whom are traveling from New Hampshire and one from Massachusetts – for the occasion.

While the Bishop Murphy Award was first presented in 2007 and has since been given to 17 individuals, this is the first time that a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Mt. Pleasant has been selected to be a recipient.


“I can’t imagine any person who more exemplifies his faith and truly loves others as God loves us – just working behind the scenes for the good of his community,” says McCann.

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