Coats needed for local families

Organizers of the ninth annual Coats for Families coat drive need your help.

“We are again accepting new and or gently used coats for families,” said organizer Paula Willis. “Donations must be new or gently used and with no repairs needed.”


Donations may be dropped off in the front foyer of the Hillsboro Nazarene Church, 453 S. State Road 341, Hillsboro, at the donor’s convenience.

Coats also may be dropped off from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Giggles-n-Grins Day Care, 1803 E. College St.; or at Curve’s, 705 N. Englewood Drive, Suite A, Crawfordsville.

The drive will continue through Oct. 10.

Organizers ask that no clothing or toys be donated to this cause — just coats, hats, gloves and new socks, if possible.

Coats will be distributed 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Hillsboro Nazarene Church.

“Please help us help those in need all around our Fountain and Montgomery County school districts,” Willis said.

For more information, call Willis at 765-918-8114; the church at 765-798-2350; or Alisha at 765-376-9725.

Ribs and Blues Fest set for Saturday

ROACHDALE — The second annual Rib and Blues Fest will take place 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at Roachdale with a menu of good food and good music.

Railroad Street in the northern Putnam County town is where the action will take place.


Organizer Joe Buser said his group learned a lot from last year’s festival.

“We served 600 meals last year even though the weather turned out to be very wet and cold,” Buser said. “But, this year we realize that was not a bad thing because it has made us be better prepared. We are planning on 1,000 meals this time.”

This year there are three barbecue vendors. Smokehouse BBQ, Hog-In-It-All and Crawfordsville’s Norvell BBQ will serve ribs and other barbecue favorites all day.

Roachdale residents will participate in a cooking competition of their own with a rib grilling contest. Participants will grill their favorite barbecue recipe to be judged by local residents Alan Zerkel, Gail Smith, Debbie Winger, Susan Price, Jason Hartman, Charley Riggle and Mike Mahoy.

The Roachdale Public Library will provide a children’s activity area at the library on Meridian Street during the festival.

The Carquest Cruise-In will begin at noon.

Those wanting to quench their thirst will find a variety of drinks at a beer and wine garden. Craft beer and domestic beers will be sold. Traders Point Winery will sell its wines.

“One of the craft beers we will have is the popular Sam Adams Oktoberfest Ale,” Buser said. “We will also have Sierra Nevada Pale and domestic beers.”

Spear Corporation will sponsor the music stage this year. Bands scheduled to perform are Wingnuts 1-3 p.m., Joel and Tosh of War Radio 3-5 p.m., Tad Robinson 5-7 p.m. and Blue’s Side Up 8-11 p.m.

“All of our performers are from either Putnam or Montgomery counties,” Buser said. “They will each bring their own styles and I am sure the people will enjoy each one.”

Buser said attendees should plan to bring folding chairs to the event.

The festival is sponsored by the Roachdale Revitalization Cooperative Alliance. All proceeds go to the betterment of the Roachdale community.

Co-op earns IACT award

FRENCH LICK — People across Indiana are taking notice of Crawfordsville and its newly formed Crawfordsville Health and Wellness Center.

On Wednesday, the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns presented the City of Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, Crawfordsville Community Schools, North Montgomery Community Schools and South Montgomery Community Schools with the annual Local Government Cooperation Award. The honor recognizes the success of the community’s health and wellness center.

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton represented the five largest government taxing units in accepting the award.

“The real story here is to pull five tax supported entities together — it is really unprecedented,” Barton said. “When you think about three school boards, county commissioners, county council, a mayor, city council and the Board of Works there are a lot of layers to get everybody on board.”

The clinic provides health services for free to employees of each taxing unit. The City of Crawfordsville alone reported saving its employees $300,000 in medical expenses in 2014.

Wellness for Life, the company that operates the clinic, was represented at the award presentation by Brian Garcia, manager of client relations. Garcia admits the clinic, which opened in January 2014, has exceeded the company’s expectations.

“The success of the clinic was bigger than what we thought would happen in the first year,” Garcia said.

Barton said the city’s return on the investment was 180 percent, and that all units showed positive financial success.

Barton said continued cooperation is important for the future.

“The clinic has laid the groundwork that could carry over to other things,” Barton said. “It starts with trusting each other, and that is a major part of this success.”

Gala event honors history of Vanity Theater

The Sugar Creek Players haven’t always needed a theater. The group has put on performances at the Holiday Inn, in high schools and even under a tent at the Lane Place. But now they are quite at home at the Vanity Theater on Washington Street.

To celebrate how far they have come and to thank all of the people who got them to where they are today, members of the Sugar Creek Players Guild were invited to enjoy “A Gala for the Guild” on Wednesday.

“We just wanted to show our appreciation to everybody that’s been a part of the history and the current times of Sugar Creek,” said Pam Bradley, Gala committee member.

Helen Milligan, 99, acted in the first Sugar Creek Players production in 1971: “You Can’t Take It With You.” She remembered those years of trying to find places to hold productions, how difficult it was and how it seemed like the community didn’t want theater anymore. The way the community embraces the theater has been the biggest change she’s seen.

“It’s changed for the better,” Milligan said.

The night honored many more of the people who have been with Sugar Creek Players since the beginning, including Bobbye Thompson, who was instrumental in obtaining the Vanity Theater and has continued to give her time to the Sugar Creek Players ever since.

During the gala, performers took turns on the stage, and some of them hadn’t been on the stage for several years.

Stephanie Pool has been involved with almost 50 Sugar Creek Players productions in some capacity. After being

diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the gala gave Pool a chance to get back on the stage that she has loved for so many years.

“I just liked the fact that I could come back and give it another whirl,” Pool said.

Jerry Graysen and Phyliss Fulford were the first performers of the night, and both of them have a history with the Sugar Creek Players that has come full circle.

Grayson directed the first show at the Vanity Theater in 1988, “Crimes of the Heart,” and both of them have taught and directed John Blair, who currently works at the theater.

“It’s great to see because, particularly in small towns, it’s hard to keep theater going. And I think it’s a great job that John (Blair) has done here and the board has done here.”

MUFFY thanks early donors with kickoff luncheon

 While the public phase of MUFFY’s 2015 fundraising campaign has yet to begin, good work is already being done throughout Montgomery County behind the scenes.

The Pacesetter phase of the Montgomery United Fund For You’s 45th annual campaign began July 30, and organizations large and small have been working hard to raise money for MUFFY as summer slipped into autumn.

“Pacesetters are businesses and organizations who set a standard for leadership in our community by donating or running a company campaign to benefit MUFFY before September 28,” said David Johnson, MUFFY’s executive director. “They give our annual campaign a terrific jump start, and we like to celebrate them for their efforts and thank them for giving this campaign such a promising beginning.”

MUFFY will toast these Pacesetters at its 2015 Kickoff Luncheon, which will be held at noon Wednesday at the Crawfordsville Country Club. Delicious delicacies will be paired with a short program, recognition of Pacesetter companies and the presentation of the first “big check” of MUFFY’s 2015 campaign. Pacesetters also will be recognized in local media and on MUFFY’s website, www.muffy.org.

2015 marks 45 years since MUFFY began its first fundraising campaign in 1970. Since that time, more than $13 million have been raised to assist area non-profit agencies in meeting the needs of Montgomery County’s residents. MUFFY remains the most efficient and cost-effective way to give to local non-profits, as it is the only fundraiser authorized to accept payroll deductions and distribute it to the agencies of a donor’s choice without the unnecessary expense of each agency running their own campaign.

For more information about MUFFY’s kickoff luncheon and to make a reservation, call 765-362-5484 or visit www.muffy.org/kickoff.html.