Three Rivers names Ruesinks as ’24 Citizens of the Year

Bruce and Leilani Ruesink, Three Rivers' 2024 Citizens of the Year. (Watershed Voice file photo)

The Three Rivers City Commission and Three Rivers Lions Club have selected Bruce and Leilani Ruesink as the 2024 Citizens of the Year.

The Ruesinks are recognized for their involvement in education, theatre, the Three Rivers Women’s Club, Corey Lake Orchards, and more, Mayor Tom Lowry said Tuesday, July 2.

Bruce Ruesink grew up on a farm in Adrian, Michigan, and worked hard to build a strong work ethic. After retiring from teaching, he started running the orchard. He also served as president of the Three Rivers Community Players for 12 years.

Leilani Ruesink began her teaching career in Jones, Michigan, where she discovered that a one-room schoolhouse could be an effective learning environment for a talented and gifted program. She developed the Banana Splits program. After the program ended, she taught at Three Rivers Middle School. In Three Rivers, she taught eighth grade English and grammar until retiring five years later.

The Ruesinks will be formally recognized on Tuesday, July 16, at a banquet that will include Mayor Lowry.