The French title of the award roughly means “heart of the elk.” Selection committee head Phil Miller said it’s meant to acknowledge the hard work of people in the community.
“The whole point of this award to recognize individuals and organizations who have done the most to put the heart in Elkhart,” he said.
L. Craig Fulmer was a civic leader for 25 years, said Miller. A founding member of the Elkhart Center redevelopment group, Fulmer was also involved with the United Way, Elkhart County Community Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“Most of the stuff that’s happened in downtown he’s touched,” Miller said.
When Fulmer passed away in May, the committee decided to give him the award posthumously.
The committee also chose to honor Gary Boyn, who Miller said was instrumental in the Lerner Theatre’s rebirth.
“Gary has been kind of the behind-the-scenes driving force to make sure this building did not go into disrepair and has now been renovated to the palace it deserves to be,” Miller said.
Boyn was also involved in Elkhart redevelopment projects like developing Riverwalk sites and the city plaza downtown.
Miller said both men are deserving winners of the Coeur de Cerf award.
“The idea is to find anybody or any organization that has done the most in the prior year and it can go back further than that,” he said. “They’ve been at this thing for more than a decade.”