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November 18, 2014 • Headlines
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The snow storm aftermath on Tuesday morning gave way to bright sunshine and beautiful colors. Pictured above at Versailles State Park is what may be one of the only trees left with bright red-orange leaves.
MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
Over 200 lined up for the recent Gleaners truck food giveaway.
MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
The blanket of white snow made for treacherous yet beautiful driving Monday morning. This photo was taken on Farmers Retreat Road near the Dearborn-Ripley County line.
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY RUTH KIEFFER
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More than food given away...

Mary Mattingly
EDITOR
mmattingly@ripleynews.com

There’s a lot more than food given at the fairgrounds in Osgood every first Friday and third Monday. There’s also kindness, compassion, goodwill and charity. The 15 or so volunteers behind the canned goods and bread tables, all claim they walk away with much more than what the 200 folks put in their grocery carts and boxes. Take Tom Grubbs. He has been a volunteer for the food pantry for three years. Retired, he’s there to pay it forward. “Someone did it for us. I want to give back, “ he explained. Volunteer Helen Ellinghaus has been helping at the pantry for 12 years. “It keeps me busy,” she says. And, she knows it’s a good cause. Lois Lunsford said it feels good to make others feel good. “I love working with the people. You don’t judge and you give what people need. It feels good to help.” Patrick Goble of Versailles readily volunteers his pickup truck for deliveries, and will drive to other counties to collect groceries if need be. “It makes me feel good. And, I meet new people,” he said. Then there was the Sunshine Society, the student group from Jac-Cen-Del High School, who went trick-or-treating for the food pantry and could then see their service project come full circle. “This is a real eye-opener for many of them,” co-sponsor Devota Dean said.

Gleaners food giveaway
MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
Pictured left, regular volunteers and the Jac-Cen-Del Sunshine Society helped hand out goods at the recent Gleaners giveaway.


Bill Warren coordinates the Gleaners giveaway and the county food pantry. He’s the president of the pantry. Of his volunteer crew, he gushes, ”They are just wonderful!”
For the November Gleaners truck giveaway over 200 people in need lined up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The truck has been coming here filled with groceries for over a year. It comes on the first Friday of the month. With few questions asked at the Gleaners signup, those living in the county received a ticket number at the registration table to fill their bags with canned goods, dry goods, bread, fresh produce, frozen pizza, and meat. “They get most excited about meat!” Warren acknowledged. On this day, there was also liver, hamburger, sausage, steak and more that came off the semi truck that day.

Dennis Stratton, the Gleaners truck driver, said donors from all over the state contribute and last Friday he carried 4,800 pounds of food in the semi. The semi truck comes equipped with awnings, tables and refrigeration making it convenient for communities to distribute the goods. One Versailles resident in line said, “ If I didn’t get this I wouldn’t make it through the month.” Another woman noted the donations stretch her monthly grocery bill. “Every little bit helps,” she said.
It was recently confirmed that the Gleaners truck will come monthly to Ripley County in 2015. Warren also just learned the local JayC stores will donate directly to the pantry. Over 100 loaves of bread were picked up this week, and they’ll also be giving frozen items as well.

While the Gleaners truck and food pantry are two separate entities, food to stock the pantry can be purchased from Gleaners at a low price, according to Warren. Warren is excited about the 7 pounds of bacon for each pantry recipient. That will go out in December. Also, the pantry is giving 200 nine-pound turkeys. There’s a freezer full of ice cream to hand out. Despite an improving economy, the needs continue to increase, with 20 new applications this past month at the food pantry. “We started with just 40,” over 10 years ago, he said. Warren is glad local families won’t go hungry over the holidays, but adds, “their needs will continue on after the season.”

The food pantry is funded through donations and by the five trustees (Center, Johnson, Jackson, Otter Creek and Laughery) townships. The Ripley County Community Foundation also provides grants for food, equipment and operations. “We welcome other trustees with open arms. We often serve their folks,” Warren said. He also said it’s unusual to find someone cheating the system. If they do, he asks them to not return. The food pantry at the fairgrounds is open on the third Monday of the month, from 9 to noon, and 5:30 to 7 p.m. Donations are welcome and checks can be made out and sent to Ripley County Food Pantry, 645 N. Columbia Street, Osgood, IN 47037.



Chamber of Commerce annual dinner

Ripley Co. Chamber honors Morris, Street and Neal

Mary Mattingly
EDITOR
mmattingly@ripleynews.com

Magic and comedy seemed appropriate as the entertainment at the Ripley County Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner. Afterall, many may say that the citizen of the year, educator and business person of the year created a little of their own magic for our county. About 150 people turned out to honor Sally Morris, the citizen of the year, Brad Street, educator of the year, and Lila Neal, the business person of the year. The event was held at The Saint Florian center, formerly known as The Bullpen, with catering by The Rolling Pin. There were over 100 items on the silent auction, all donated by local businesses and individuals. Dan Dygert of Fishers provided the entertainment. He’s a magician and comedian and has been doing his act for over 30 years.

Phil Hart, president of the chamber, welcomed the guests and conducted the election of board members for three year terms. It included Alesha Neal, Gerry Nordmeyer, Matt McNew, Marc Rulli and Mike Hughes. There are 210 members of the chamber.

Lila Neal Bradley Street and Sally Morris
MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO

Pictured from left is Lila Neal, business person of the year, Brad Street, educator of the year, and Sally Morris, citizen of the year, were recognized at the annual chamber dinner.

Educator of the year
Brad Street is in his 14th year as director of the Southeastern Career Center, and told the audience he was honored to be recognized. In the nomination, Larry Eaton stated, “He has done phenomenal things for the career center. He has established programs with Cummins Engine, Honda and other companies. The enrollment has increased 30 percent in the past five years.”

With a bachelor’s degree from Morehead State and a master’s from Indiana University, Street said in accepting the award, “This is my 32nd year in education and the most fulfilling occupation that I could have ever imagined.” He mentioned how the career center can provide many educational opportunities, and that he has been working on an early college grant through Vincennes University. “We look at new things and new programs all the time,” such as an early childhood education and landscaping management programs to be added for the near future . “I’ve been blessed and given a lot of opportunities,” he said. His wife Shari, was also there. They have two grown sons, and an “awesome” grandson.


Business person of the year
Neals Funeral Home owner/director Lila Neal was awarded the business person of the year. A Purdue graduate, she and husband Bill have three children and five grandchildren. “Lila has been a long-time, positive figure in Ripley County. Helping children has always been a priority for her dating back many years ago when she was a 4H leader to her present work with the Kiwanis,” according to the nominating letter from Tom Tepe Auto Center.

A registered nurse, she was formerly the Ripley County Health Nurse before they decided in 1988 to buy and operate the funeral home in Osgood. A native to the county, she said she always was interested in the funeral business. “You really have to care about families and treat them as your family,” she told the chamber audience. Neal has been active in the Osgood Area Kiwanis and the community for decades. A Jac-Cen-Del graduate, she recently brought the Indiana Honor Flight movie to the Damm Theater and helped coordinate the donkey basketball and Kiwanis men’s beauty pageant fundraiser at Jac-Cen-Del.


Citizen of the year
Sally Morris was surprised early in the evening when her daughter Lauren showed up. The magician said he needed his “assistant” to help with a magic trick, and out walks Lauren with flowers for her mom. She came from Atlanta for her mother’s special night.

Morris is retiring next month after 17 years as executive director of the Ripley County Community Foundation. In nominating Morris, Mark Collier, principal at South Ripley Elementary and RCCF board president commented, “I have known Sally for several years and her dedication to the citizens of Ripley County has been outstanding. As director of the foundation she has provided leadership and commitment to the people who put their trust in the Foundation. I have always known her to be professional, dedicated and compassionate. “

In accepting the award, Morris shared with the audience several things she learned from the Foundation, such as surrounding yourself with a great staff, that volunteers can accomplish amazing things, and always offer food to get people to a meeting! She also mentioned her husband’s full support, her parent’s values, and her inspiring children. She was honored to get to know so many philanthropic people of the county, she said. “Even though you have nominated me I accept it for the foundation, and for the impact the foundation has on Ripley County.”



Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Milan closer to deal with CSX (front page)
• On The Record from the Ripley County Courthouse (page 3)
• Regional Wrap-Up: Standoff held at Greensburg home (page 7)


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