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Hurst Receives Elks Citizenship Award

By Elijah Poe, The Courier Times, New Castle, Indiana

Each year, New Castle Elks Lodge 484 chooses a local citizen, who is not necessarily an Elk, who has contributed to improving the community to honor them.

Mike Hacker, the Elks Exalted Ruler from 2023-23, honored Emily Hurst with the 2023-24 New Castle Elks Lodge Distinguished Citizenship Award.

“I know she puts her heart and soul into everything New Castle Main Street puts together,” Hacker told The Courier Times. “She really cares about New Castle and downtown.”

Born and raised in New Castle, Hurst and her family have been rooted in the city for five generations. For the past 18 months, Hurst has been working with New Castle Main Street as its project manager.

“It was incredibly humbling and I was really honored,” Hurst said. “Mike and I have only known each other since I started to work with Main Street, and I am humbled I made such an impression on him.”

Day to day in her project manager position, Hurst works on fundraising, following up on invoices, social media marketing, working on future projects, and more.

Hacker said some of the qualities for the award are showing leadership, volunteering in the community, and having been recognized as an all-around good citizen in the community.

“I always believed there was something really special about this place, and the opportunity to give back to my community has always been something I have been interested in,” Hurst said. “That confirmation in doing what I set out to do is really affirming and reassuring.”

Hacker said another reason for his choice was Hurst’s work helping the City of New Castle receive a $2 million grant last year.

Hurst said it was one of the most extensive grants she has ever been a part of. Her main role was the narrative section to tell the story of New Castle. She also helped with many steps all along the process spanning from March to October of 2023.

Hurst was invited to the award ceremony Saturday but was not aware she was being honored during the ball. She thought the Elks had invited Main Street due to them being a community organization.

“I started walking to the back and I see my mom and several of my best friends sitting at a table,” Hurst said. “I sat down and said, ‘What’s going on guys?’ That was when I was told I received this award. I was clueless.”

“When you are working in a service organization and serving the general public, a lot of time the loudest voices are the ones who are dissatisfied,” she continued. “It was good to hear the  voices that are telling you that you are doing a good job. Those voices are so important.”

Honored with her award, Hurst wants to keep on working to change the landscape of New Castle not only physically, but mentally and emotionally to create a better vision for the city.

Emily Hurst stands in front of the New Castle Elks sign. Hurst was honored with the 2023-24 New Castle Elks Lodge Distinguished Citizenship Award.












A note from Emily: 

After multiple failed “surprise” parties in my life, I began to think my friends and family might just be incapable of keeping a secret.

But I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. 🙂

It is incredibly humbling to be considered a leader in our downtown, and my goal is to continue to serve you all well.

As we relaunch our New Castle Main Street blog, now branded as “Keys to the Castle” we are excited to bring you more content like this about the people and places that make it well-worth calling New Castle, Indiana our home.

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