Board member Sharon Church at her desk at St.Vincent Mercy Hospital, where she is controller.
Who better to represent Elwood’s Chamber of Commerce than someone whose roots run deep in the very community they represent?
Roots don’t run much deeper than Sharon Church’s. She was born and raised in Elwood, graduated from Elwood Community High School, married her husband, Kevin, in Elwood’s East Main Street Christian Church, and when she was ready to settle into a career and raise a family, she and Kevin decided to stay right here in the very town they had called home their entire lives.
In addition to the Chamber board, Sharon serves the St.Vincent Foundation Board as a member, and she and Kevin have belonged to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Society for nearly 18 years.
In the rare moments Sharon gets to kick back and take some time for herself, she enjoys reading – mysteries and romance novels, mostly for their escape value, she said. She loves to cook, too. Cooking is by far her favorite pastime, she said.
“I like to bake,” she said. “My husband is a great cook, and we cook together. My family loves my lasagna and chicken and noodles. They especially love my yeast roles,” noting that she learned the recipe from the ladies of Eastern Star.
Besides reading and cooking, Sharon enjoys giving her time to the Tri Kappa Lambda chapter and her church, St. John Lutheran, of which she is a council member. She also helps friend Kay Marcuson prepare the church’s end-of-the-month meals.
With regard to her involvement with the Elwood Chamber, Sharon is proud to be part of its effort to promote her hometown. She believes the Chamber’s high-profile, annual events – such as the Elwood Glass Festival, the Red-Gold Chili Cook-off, and the Home, Health & Garden Show – always shine a positive light on her community and help attract visitors, and maybe even new businesses and residents.
“Elwood has gone through a lot changes over the years,” she said, “and there’s a lot of positive growth going on.”
She does see one area locally that is not as highly utilized as she would like it. That is the Elwood workforce.
“We have a lot of great people who have lots of talents,” she said, “and there’s not always an opportunity for them to apply those skills.”
Looking ahead, Sharon has a wish for Elwood.
“I hope to see the continued growth,” she said. “There are a lot of projects going, but I remember J.C. Penney, the 5 and Dime, and Leeson’s. I’d like to see the revitalization of the downtown. It’s happening, but we need more.”
Sharon and Kevin are the parents of four children – Laura Guest (husband Zachary), and the triplets: Kyle, Angela and Benjamin Church. Sharon says service to the community is important to both her and Kevin, and it’s something they have instilled in their children.
“Whatever we do, no matter how little or how much, can make a difference to someone,” she said. “We feel fortunate to have a wonderful home and children. We’ve been blessed in so many ways.” ●