The President of The Barker Welfare foundation announced on Friday, November 6, 2020, that the first recipient of the Barker Prize is Thomas P. McCormick.

As stated by Alex Ross, President of the Barker Welfare Foundation, “The prize is awarded in memory of John H. Barker and Catherine Barker Hickox, both of whom valued good citizenship, entrepreneurship, community service and philanthropy. The winner must be a resident of or own a business in LaPorte County, Indiana, and will be chosen by the Directors of The Barker Welfare Foundation. The Winner will embody the above qualities.”

Thomas P. McCormick has made many contributions over the years of time, talent and treasure in leadership roles benefitting the citizens of Michigan City. Tom served as a board member and officer of Citizens Concerned for the Homeless, Inc . He was a board member of the Share Foundation, the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, Indiana. and the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce. He was instrumental in raising the needed funds to increase the size of the Social & Learning Institute, Inc. building and helped create the Interfaith Community PADS, Inc.
Tom has served as a Director and Treasurer of the Barker Welfare Foundation for over 25 years, also serving as a Foundation representative on the Michigan City Barker Civic Center Commission and as the Treasurer of The Friends of the Barker Civic Center.

In addition, he ably managed the 2010- 2015 restoration and preservation of the exterior of the Barker Mansion and continues to be deeply involved in the preservation and restoration of the interior and the gardens. According to Barker Welfare Foundation President, Alex Ross, “Tom McCormick deserves the first annual Barker Prize, and has earned the deepest respect, admiration and gratitude of the Barker family and Foundation staff.”
Mayor Duane Parry read a proclamation naming November 6, 2020, as Thomas P. McCormick Day in the City of Michigan City. In recognition of Tom’s contributions, the movie room on the lower level of The Barker Mansion will be renamed “The Thomas P. McCormick Theater”. Attending the gathering on Zoom in addition to Mayor Parry were Tom’s family and friends, members of the Michigan City Barker Civic Center Commission, directors of the Friends of the Barker Civic Center, directors of The Barker Welfare Foundation, Sarah Berndt, Director of the Mansion and Anna Weissman, Curatorial Fellow.

After the ceremony there were many stories and recollections about Tom and his considerable and valued contributions to Michigan City.