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Community leaders inducted into EDA’s Hall of Fame

By Staff | Sep 17, 2017

Pictured above, Wayne “Bing” and Lila Crosby smile for the cameras while accepting their rightful place within the Winnebago Economic Development Authority Hall of Fame on Sept. 10, 2017. Bing was a member of the Winnebago Fire Department for 25 years, as well as the owner of Crosby Oil Company. As for Lila, she volunteered with American Red Cross for 25 years and also volunteered her time at the Parker Oaks living community in Winnebago.

On Sunday, Sept. 10, the Winnebago Municipal Center played host to a special ceremony for Wayne “Bing” Crosby and his wife Lila. Friends and family members alike, both young and old, gathered to pay homage to a pair of local legends.

Bing and Lila were recognized for their years of commitment to each other, as well as to the city of Winnebago. The Economic Development Authority (EDA) of Winnebago formally inducted the married couple of 56 years to its Hall of Fame.

When selecting individuals for this unique and prestigious honor, the EDA reviews candidates for several months before coming to a final decision. Candidates with vast achievements in volunteer work and those who display leadership within the community are taken into consideration for the award.

Winnebago Mayor Jeremiah Schutt was on hand for the special event. Schutt addressed the audience and spoke of how humble and gracious the couple was in accepting the award. In particular, Mayor Schutt recalled his memorable conversation with Lila when informing the Crosbys of their induction to the Winnebago EDA Hall of Fame.

“When I contacted Lila, she was quite certain that I was making a mistake,” Schutt quipped. “Even though Lila told me that she hasn’t done anything for the community, she and Bing have done plenty. We appreciate all the hard work they’ve done. They’ve definitely made Winnebago a better place.”

Naturally, no gathering featuring Bing and Lila would be complete without recounting the epic story of how the couple first met. Mayor Schutt spoke of how a chance encounter between the couple eventually led to a modern day fairy tale.

While Lila grew up in Truman, Bing hails from Winnebago. Lila, who was working at Winnebago’s Interstate Power Company at the time, first laid eyes on a handsome young gentleman who simply came in to pay his mother’s light bill.

“And the rest is history,” says Schutt. Together, the couple was able to raise five children, 12 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. As far as Lila is concerned, she and her husband Bing are “a match made in heaven.”

To the delight of the audience, Bing joined in on the applause once Mayor Schutt concluded his speech. Bing’s participation in the festive atmosphere drew smiles from all those who attended.

For a personal touch to the proceedings, Tom Crosby, one of Bing and Lila’s five children, stepped up to the podium to briefly address the crowd. Crosby delivered a playful punch line before speaking of his parents’ dedication to quality service for the community of Winnebago.

“We all alleviated my mother’s fear because she was sure that nobody was going to show up today, so thank you,” Crosby laughs.

“There are so many memories in Winnebago and it’s been just a great community. One thing about my mom and dad’s business is when they had a customer, they had a customer for life. They were very dedicated and loyal to their customers and the customers reciprocated,” Crosby continued.