Champion of the Month

Steve Wright Share

Dec 10, 2020  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Mar­i­on has a long­time pas­sion­ate ser­vant leader in Steve Wright. Wright has lived most of his life in Mar­i­on. He was born in Ken­tucky, moved to Colum­bus, Indi­ana, then plant­ed roots in Mar­i­on at age 14. He attend­ed the for­mer Wash­ing­ton Jr. High, then Mar­i­on High School, and grad­u­at­ed in 1973. Wright went straight to work for Indi­ana Michi­gan Pow­er, devot­ing 20 years with them. He also start­ed his own busi­ness­es, Wright’s Fam­i­ly Video, and lat­er a video pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny / ad agency which he oper­at­ed for six years. At that time, one of his clients, Gen­er­al Motors, asked him to join their staff as a Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Coor­di­na­tor. From 1999 until 2018, he worked for GM, the last six years of his tenure trav­el­ing and work­ing with deal­er­ships as a dis­trict sales manager. 

While gone, Wright missed his fam­i­ly and friends in Mar­i­on. Upon retire­ment, he and his wife, Cindy, moved back home to be with them and to again get involved vol­un­teer­ing for the com­mu­ni­ty. Of the pletho­ra of orga­ni­za­tions Wright served with over the years, he chose to focus strict­ly on two of them most dear to his heart…

From the incep­tion of the Walk­way of Lights, Wright has been behind the win­tery scenes. From 1993 until present – aside from the few years he lived out of state – he has worked to make the world­wide attrac­tion what it is today, from rais­ing funds to mak­ing impor­tant deci­sions with the com­mit­tee. In 2019, he and the com­mit­tee and the City worked togeth­er to cre­ate a mag­i­cal move­ment with the annu­al event – adding a down­town fes­ti­val with two main sites, rerout­ing the parade to can­vas the down­town, and near­ly dou­bling parade par­tic­i­pa­tion. Since the event did not occur in 2020 due to the pan­dem­ic, Wright plans to take it up a notch” in 2021.

Wright also decid­ed to keep serv­ing with the Mar­i­on East­er Pageant plan­ning com­mit­tee. Fol­low­ing decades of help­ing one of Marion’s most spe­cial events come to life, he expressed a desire to con­tin­ue to help ful­fill the East­er Pageant’s mis­sion to tell the sto­ry of Jesus Christ.

Mar­i­on has also been the recip­i­ent of Wright’s ded­i­cat­ed ser­vice chair­ing the Mar­i­on-Grant Coun­ty Cham­ber of Com­merce, Grant Coun­ty Eco­nom­ic Growth Coun­cil, Grant Coun­ty Jail’s Chap­lain­cy Pro­gram, and also serv­ing on the Unit­ed Way of Grant Coun­ty Board. He also attends Sun­ny­crest Bap­tist Church where he ded­i­cat­ed many years toward their TV min­istry. Wright is also a three-term City Coun­cil­man, even serv­ing as Pres­i­dent and Coun­cil Liai­son for the Util­i­ty Ser­vice Board. He is also serv­ing an inter­im role as Exec­u­tive Direc­tor for the Grant Coun­ty Fam­i­ly YMCA which serves many needs of youth and families.

In July of 2020, Wright con­tract­ed and con­quered the COVID-19 virus. After a lengthy bat­tle includ­ing sev­er­al nights in the hos­pi­tal, he recov­ered and shared his sto­ry pub­licly. I couldn’t have asked for bet­ter care from MGH. My advice is to not wait to get med­ical care. The virus is real and serious.”

Wright is a cham­pi­on of many things…even over­com­ing the coronavirus…but he has an over­ar­ch­ing love for the Mar­i­on com­mu­ni­ty over­all. This is a place that if you want to get involved, you can. I returned because I like to be involved, and be with the peo­ple here. The oth­er places I’ve lived were nice, but there is no place like home.”

Wright and his wife have two chil­dren and five grand­chil­dren, all liv­ing with­in a mile in Marion.

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