Key to the Town Given to Orville Woody

First Key To The Town Awarded to Mr. Orville Woody

The Avon Town Council has awarded the Town's highest honor, the Key to the Town, to Mr. Orville Woody. Mr. Woody is the first recipient of this honor.

Mr. Woody led the efforts to incorporate the Town of Avon in 1995 and to create the Greater Avon Chamber Commerce in 1996.

The Town of Avon has established the Key to the Town award as the Town's highest honor to recognize individuals or groups that have contributed to the betterment of the Avon community,

The Key to the Town originated in medieval times of England when cities were protected with high walls and locked gates and admission to the city required legal papers and payment of taxes. A Key to the City was given to trusted persons that were allowed to enter the city without papers or payment of a tax.

The custom of granting a Key to the City has become a ceremonial occasion to recognize certain individuals or groups for their contribution to a community.

Mr. Woody was born in 1924 in Boone County. He briefly attended Central Normal College in Danville but then was drafted in to the Navy where he served in World War II as a quartermaster. Mr. Woody steered the damaged destroyer Saufley through the Panama Canal at the end of the war.

After World War II, Mr. Woody graduated from Indiana State University and began teaching. In 1950, Mr. Woody began teaching math and science at Avon High School and created a chemistry course for the high school.

In 1956, Mr. Woody went to work for Eli Lilly as an Industrial Engineer and retired from Lilly in 1980.

In 1975, Mr. Woody married his current wife Donna and moved to Avon. In 1986, he created Prestwick Realty and began to sell real estate.

In 1993, Mr. Woody created a group of Avon residents from the local service organizations to discuss the incorporation of a Town in Washington Township. The first proposal was to incorporate the entire Township but this effort did not receive support.

In 1995, Mr. Woody tried again to incorporate a Town and used the boundaries of the West Central Conservancy District as the proposed border for the new Town. The proposal was submitted to the County Commissioners and was approved by them and the Hendricks County Court.

In 1996, Mr. Woody contacted the surrounding Chambers of Commerce and asked them for help to establish a Greater Avon Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Woody established an idea to get one hundred businesses to sign up to become members at a dinner. The dinner was held at Prestwick Country Club and 114 members signed up and the Chamber was created.

Mr. Woody has two children from a previous marriage: Tom lives in Indianapolis and Brent lives in Florida.

Mr. Woody has performed as a member of the Hendricks Symphonic Choir.

Mr. Woody and his wife Donna are moving to Florida in mid April. The Town wishes Mr. Woody the best of luck and thanks him for his service to the Avon community.

Orville Woody and Council Member Beverly Austin