PARKERSBURG - For 2012, The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 198 honored the retiring executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg as its 2012 Citizen of the Year.
Michael D. Flanagan, who will retire in July, was honored by the group with an banquet Saturday night at the lodge.
Ezbai "Ez" Wells Jr., a member of the board that selected the recipient and the master of ceremonies, said Flanagan was honored for his more than four decades of service to the Parkersburg community.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Mike Flanagan, center, was honored by The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 198 as its Citizen of the Year with his wife, Dianna, left, and Ezbai “Ez” Wells Jr., right, a member of the board that selected Flanagan
"He has served the community in various endeavors," he said. "He has worked with the Adult Activity Center, the Parkersburg Housing Authority, substitute teaching at Parkersburg Catholic High School, but the area he is most noted for is the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg.
"He has served there for many years as the executive director of all operations. He is retiring this year so we decided this was a good year to honor Mike and give him his due," Wells said.
Flanagan, 65, will retire as director of the director of the youth organization on his 66th birthday on July 29. He said he was honored by the award.
"It's great to be honored by the Elks because it is such a caring and benevolent organization," he said.
Flanagan said the honor had a special meaning for him.
"My father joined this group when he moved to Parkersburg at the age of 17," he said. "He's a lifetime member. He carried the torch - even when he moved to Alabama, he kept his membership here and when he came back he was still available for them."
Flanagan said he appreciates all that the organization does for youth, especially for the Boys and Girls Club.
"They donated a big screen television to us that they were giving away for a raffle," he said. "In lieu of taking that, the individual gave it back and they used that money to develop their scholarship fund and they gave it to us. It was really fabulous."
Flanagan said he has come full circle with the Boys and Girls Club, starting as a staff member when it opened as the Boys Club in 1964 after he graduated from Parkersburg Catholic High School. He left for 18 years and came back in 1994 as the director.
"Hopefully that program has been more successful from that point forward," he said. "It's been a labor of love for me as far as the kids and I think we've made a lot of changes, not only in the program by accepting girls in 1997, we've renovated the pool and remodeled the gym and fixed up the whole and total of the club."
Flanagan said he will be involved with the club either as a board member or on the foundation board as the resource development person.
Flanagan and his wife, Dianna, have been married 38 years. They have three children, Christi, Kelli and Brian, and seven grandchildren aged from 6 to 11 years.
Wells said the lodge's Citizen of the Year award began in 1996 and has been awarded every year but one. He said the honoree is selected by a five-member committee.
"They take names from the membership plus they submit names they want to nominate," he said. "Once we get all the names in, we vote and make our selection."