Study among first to receive Heritage Support Grant

The Indiana Historical Society is recognizing a Montgomery County organization for its role in upholding the state’s heritage. IHS has named the first recipients of its inaugural Heritage Support Grants, an effort first introduced to mark the state’s Bicentennial. The General Lew Wallace Study and Museum in Crawfordsville received a grant of $4,800 to have 16 historic paintings assessed.

The organization says six of the 16 paintings were done by Lew Wallace, himself. Wallace was a self-trained artist, who is most widely remembered for his Civil War service and for writing Ben-Hur, one of the best-selling novels of the 19th century.

“Each of the paintings has surface pollution, fine cracks in the paint or varnish, paint loss, and structural stresses from stretchers and frames,” said Larry Paarlberg, executive director of the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum. “The assessment will be used to develop an action plan for their conservation and restoration.”

The General Lew Wallace Study and Museum is one of 25 organizations recognized with the first round of Heritage Support Grants, made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Grant funds from the Endowment are allowing IHS to award a total of $2.5 million to organizations across Indiana, in at least five cycles through 2019.

In addition to funding, organizations that apply for grants will receive unique access to coaching on grant writing and individual projects. IHS is also organizing fundraising workshops led by its experienced Local History Services staff.

“The role of our local history heroes cannot be overstated,” said John A. Herbst, IHS president and CEO. “IHS estimates more than 900 Indiana organizations hold collections that total more than 20 million historical objects and 424,000 feet of historical documents. We are proud to support their work in communities across Indiana.”

There is still time for organizations to apply for the next cycle of Heritage Support Grants, but the deadline is fast approaching. Proposals for smaller awards of $500 to $999 are due Friday. Summary of proposals for larger grants, $1,000 to $50,000, are also due Friday.

Eligible organizations must be incorporated as nonprofits in the state of Indiana. Organizations should be history related or propose a project that is clearly history focused. Annual budgets must be less than $300,000.

Guidelines and applications are available at www.indianahistory.org/grants. Organizations looking for more information can also call IHS at 317-232-1882.

Celebrate Your Independence

A new pageant will kick off the Crawfordsville Bicentennial Freedom Festival on Monday at Milligan Park. The first-ever Miss and Mr. Firecracker Patriotic Pageant will take place at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Baldwin Field Stage. 

The pageant is wanting girls ages 0-18 and boys ages 0-8 to register for the event from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the gymnasium of the Crawfordsville Park and Recreation building. Registration fee is $25 and all proceeds will go to Crawfordsville Parks and Recreation.

Resident and volunteer Amanda Turpin is organizing the event. Turpin, who was instrumental in starting the Strawberry Queen Pageant and the Miss Indianapolis organization, has two goals for the pageant. First, she wants to highlight the local parks and recreation department. Secondly, she hopes the funds from registration fees will help the parks department.

“I love giving back and I thought a pageant would bring awareness to how great our Parks and Recreation Department is,” Turpin said. “I think this is a good way to put some money back into the city for parks and recreation. All the people at our Park and Rec are great people. They do so much for this city I just think we need to honor them.”

Each age group will be placed in divisions. Turpin said the newly crowned contestants will oversee the celebration and will be honored at the Baldwin Field Stage during the pre-fireworks ceremony. 

Turpin believes the new contest can become a popular pageant. 

“I think as our residents see this contest it will become popular,” Turpin said. “We are hoping this year’s contestants will show up in their best red, white and blue outfits and just have fun.”

Other activities for Monday at the park include children’s games beginning at 10 a.m. and a Kids Fun Run at 11 a.m. A Kids Dance Party will commence at 11:45 a.m. followed by the annual 12:30 p.m. bike parade for children age 0 to 12.

Baldwin stage activities include Dance by Deborah at 4 p.m. and

instrumental entertainment at 5:15 p.m. Miss and Mr. Firecracker will be introduced at 6:15 p.m.

A car show will take place 4-8 p.m.

Witt’s End Band will perform 7-9 p.m. with fireworks commencing at dusk.

Food vendors will serve during the day. Food vendors include Hawg Wild, Cotton Candy Annie, Jesus Kettle Corn, Sno-Cones, Gigglin’ Pig and 1832 Brew.

New Richmond

The 52nd New Richmond Fourth of July Celebration also is set for Monday with fireworks at dusk. New Richmond’s park will be full of children’s games, food and entertainment. Traditionally, the New Richmond celebration is the largest attended holiday celebration in the area.

There will be a 10 a.m. car show and a fishing contest. Food vendors begin serving at 10 a.m. Ryan and Brian will sing 3-5 p.m. with Bingo beginning at 4 p.m. Cornerstone Band will begin at 6 p.m. and veterans will be honored at 7 p.m.

Drawings will for cash prizes will run from 5-9:30 p.m.

A flyover is scheduled between 7-7:30 p.m. with fireworks at dusk.

Lake Waveland

Lake Waveland will celebrate Independence Day on Sunday There will be a 1 p.m. car show, bounce houses, food vendors and fireworks at dusk.

Raccoon Lake

Raccoon Lake at the Raccoon State Recreation Area will have the annual Fireworks on the Lake on Saturday at dusk.


Covington’s annual festival celebration began Wednesday and will continue through Monday with fireworks at dusk. The Covington Park has a carnival and vendors every evening through Monday.

Sugar Mill Lake

Fireworks at Sugar Mill Lake are planned at dusk on July 9. Cost is $10 per car.

Montgomery County Civic band plans patriotic playlist

The sounds of patriotism will be heard coming from the Lane Place grounds Sunday afternoon when the Montgomery County Civic Band performs its latest concert.

The free event begins at 3 p.m. at the gazebo.

“The patriotic concert is always a band favorite as well as a crowd favorite,” said Gary Ketchum, the band director.

The concert will begin with its regular opener, “The Star Spangled Banner.” The band will then play “American Patrol,” a popular march written by Frank White Meacham in 1885 and “1812 Overture,” which is best known for its climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing chimes and brass fanfare finale. Of course, the cannons are silent for the local rendition, Ketchum said.

Other selections will include “Sempre Fidelis,” the official march of the United States Marine Corps, which was composed by John Philip Sousa. The band also will play “This is My Country,” “Armed Forces Medley,” a tribute to the five branches of the U.S. military and “America the Beautiful.”

The audience will also treated to an arrangement of sing-along patriotic songs. 

A highlight of the concert will be a “Celebration of Taps.”

Ketchum said the arrangement will include a history lesson.

Sunday’s concert will end the same way as they all do with children having the opportunity to direct the band during “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Concert-goers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Free-will donations will be accepted.

Celebrating a big accomplishment

A total of 52 Montgomery County men and women have reason to celebrate after receiving their Indiana High School  Equivalency diplomas. On Thursday several of the graduates went through a graduation ceremony at Crawfordsville High School.

All of the graduates have spent several years and many hours earning  the requirements of the diploma. Now, each student has something to be proud for accomplishing what at times seemed impossible.

Thirty-seven year old Edgar Cancela said he worked full time while earning his degree while supporting a family. He attended classes both in the day and at night depending what shift he was on. He said it was not always easy to get out of bed and get to class.

“I would work nights and it was very difficult for me to get out of bed to go to the school,” Cancela said. “But, I would think of my family and that is why I got this done. My family was the reason I wanted to make sure I got my diploma.”

Crawfordsville HSE staff member Larry Manlove told the graduates to be proud of their accomplishments and to do good things in their lives.

“You all have come to this point for a variety of circumstances in your life,” Manlove said. “You have all worked hard to get to this point. Keep moving forward.”

Graduation speaker and graduate Taylor Melvin told the her fellow graduates to keep persevering. 

Commencement speaker Crawfordsville Superintendent Scott Bowling told the graduates a story about his grandfather who raised a family under difficult situations. He urged the graduates to take hold of the opportunities in front of them now.

“I have business leaders tell me all the time there are good jobs available in Crawfordsville that can turn into careers,” Bowling said. “All the employees want is for you to show up and stay drug free. If you do that, you and your family can have a good life.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Manlove presented educator Sharon Klaty with a bouquet of flowers and congratulated her on her recent retirement from the Crawfordsville HSE and Adult Education program. She has been with the organization since 1991. 

Cancela praised Klaty at the end of the ceremony.

“Sharon Klaty was always there for me and encouraging me,” Cancela said. “When I would miss a day, she would call me and tell me to come to the school. She helped all of the students every day.”

Graduate Shelby Council also praised her former teacher.

“I always felt so comfortable around Mrs. Klaty,” graduate Shelby Council said. “When ever I had a question she was always good to help me.”

Upon receiving the flowers, a teary-eyed Klaty showed the grace and humbleness her students have come to know.

“This night is not supposed to be about me,” Klaty said. “The reason I could do this is because of you students.”

Crawfordsville hires third firefighter/EMT this month

Until the age of 10, Crawfordsville’s newest firefighter lived in Montgomery County. Now, she is excited to be coming back to serve the community.

Dayna Kalaba was sworn in as the third new firefighter/EMT to join the Crawfordsville Fire Department this month, and she is excited to be moving back to Crawfordsville from Indianapolis.

“Getting hired was a long process, and I am glad to have made it through,” Kalaba said. “I am excited to be on the department. I am liking the guys I am working with and Chief Busenbark.”

Busenbark said Kalaba performed well during the six-month hiring process.

“We started this back in January,” Busenbark said. “Dayna did well on the testing and in everything else.”

Kalaba comes to Crawfordsville after working for CARE Ambulance in Indianapolis. Because she moved away when she was 10 years old, Kalaba is excited about reacquainting herself with the city that was once her home.

“I am looking forward to getting know the community better,” Kalaba said. “I also know the fire department and police department get along really well and I am looking forward to that.”

The Perry Median High School graduate attended IUPUI for two years, where she studied safety management. She eventually earned her EMT license.

“I have always wanted to be involve with public safety,” Kalaba said. “Being from here, it was important to me to come back to Crawfordsville.”

Future plans include Kalaba earning her paramedic license.

Busenbark said the process to fill the last vacant position in his department is underway.