Mounties off to best start since 1992

NEW MARKET — Cloverdale’s top player may have had a career night against Southmont on Saturday, but the Mounties are off to their best start to begin a season in more than two decades. 

With an impressive 83-69 win over the Clovers, Southmont improve to 4-0 for the first time since 1992. 

The Mounties knew Saturday’s matchup would be a tough one. Cloverdale is the defending sectional champs, are a favorite to win it again this season, and are led by Butler recruit Cooper Neese. 

Neese scored 13 points in the first half before exploding with 40 in the second half to finish with a career-high 53 points. 

“I know this is going to be hard to believe, but we just played a great defensive game,” Southmont head coach Jon Sparks said. “I know that’s hard for some to believe when we just gave up 53 points to someone, but there is a reason he is going to Butler.”

The Mounties used its defense and balanced scoring to overcome Neese’s effort.

“We had four players in double figures and another with nine points,” Sparks said. “Defensively, we made them a one-headed monster. To shut Jalen Moore to five points in the first half was an incredible effort for us. He was averaging more than 20 a game.”

The Mounties turned up the defensive pressure in the second quarter when they outscored Cloverdale 17-6 to take a 10-point halftime lead. 

The effort continued in the third period when he Mounties went on 17-6 run and led 55-35. Fueling that run was three different old fashion three-point plays at the Mounties exploited Cloverdale inside by taking the ball to the basket.

Neese then tried to take over the game as he last 11 points of the third period to cut the lead to 57-46.

In the fourth quarter, Neese hit three long-range baskets — some that were six-or-more feet behind the 3-point line — to start the quarter and scored 29 straight points at one time, but the Mounties countered with baskets of their own. Neese score 20 of Cloverdale’s 23 fourth quarter points and 40 of his team’s 47 second half points.

The Mounties were led by Kaleb Swick’s 23 points, including 17 in the second half. Cam Chadd added 16, while Ty Williams had 14 and Cole Wemer added 13.

“Like I said last night (following the team’s win over North Montgomery) we have several options to score and as long as we move the ball and find the open man we are going to score,” Sparks said. “If we do that and play defense the way we are then good things are going to happen.”

Southmont will travel to undefeated Danville in a key Sagamore Conference showdown on Friday.

Holiday bazaar with music set for Saturday

A Holiday Bazaar is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the  North Montgomery High Commons with the purpose of raising funds to help the school’s French students. More than 16 students and sponsors will be leaving in June to visit both England and France for two weeks. The bazaar, which has nearly 40 vendors scheduled, will include live entertainment and other events for a full day of holiday pleasures. 

North Montgomery parent Sabrina Bone is organizing the event. She has a goal to raise a minimum of $2,000. She got the idea after participating in vendor events with her Origami Owl business.

“I noticed that a lot of vendor events I was participating in were for a lot of schools,” Bone said. “I thought a vendor event at North Montgomery is perfect.”

Bone said the nearly 40 vendors will have something for everyone and for every age. Raffle tickets can be bought to win vendor donated prizes. There will also be a bake sale.

“We really have a great assortment of items with the vendors who are participating,” Bone said. “It will be good for holiday shoppers to find some interesting gifts.”

Entertainment, which will feature performances throughout the event, includes local and international talent.

Entertainer Sabina Santana, who is from the African country of Ghana, will be singing Christmas songs including some from her native country. She will also be selling her musical recordings at her booth.

“For anyone who has not experienced Sabina’s music they now have a great opportunity to hear her,” Bone said. “She is enjoyable to listen to as she sings and plays drums.”

Others performers will be the North Montgomery High School Choir, Vanity Singers, Hunter Patterson and Brian Bone.

North Montgomery French teacher Diana Fike is organizing the trip. She has taken her students to France on several occasions.

Bone also said there will be a special table set up to receive cash and gift card donations for the Amrick family of Darlington. The family lost all of their possessions in a house fire on Friday night.

“I am good friends with the Amrick family and I wanted to help them out,” Bone said. “They have three daughters and they lost everything which is really sad right her at Christmas.”

A sampling of the vendors that will be at the bazaar include Origami Owl, Avon, Do Terra, Norwex, Rodan and Fields, Scentsy, Jamberry, Younique, Becky’s Crochet, Lularoe, Young Living, Theresa’s Fun Flowers, Tupperware, Spaulding designs, Hettie’s Heritage and  Magnabilities. Bone said more vendors are being added daily.

Waynetown brings in Christmas season

WAYNETOWN — Beginning Saturday evening, Waynetown’s Tremaine Park is going to be all aglow as a result of an idea shared among a few friends. “Christmas In The Park” is now the newest event that will take place in the western Montgomery County community as a result of friends taking the initiative to start something new.

The idea is to decorate the town’s park by local residents, churches and businesses. The park, which has gone through considerable renovation the last two years, is being divided up into separate parcels for each Christmas display. The community has gotten behind the idea and 27 spots have been reserved to be used for a display along the main drive in the park.

“We were sitting around talking about the town and someone had the idea to decorate the park,” resident Steve Proctor said. “The more we talked the more it sounded like a good idea. Once we got approval from the town council, and the word got out, the response has been more than we imagined.”

The displays started going up Saturday.The official lighting of all the displays is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday. Resident, and committee member Pam Howey will activate the switch that will light up each display simultaneously. 

The event will feature

caroling and special music by resident and Northridge  Middle School student Kiera Bennett. Refreshments of hot cocoa, coffee and cookies will be served by local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. Committee member Kevin Howey will emcee the celebration.

Saturday’s event will include a special moment in honor lifelong Waynetown resident Leah Switzer who passed away last week. The committee has decided to name Saturday’s lighting of the park “Leah’s Christmas.” Leah, who served the town in a variety of ways, always wanted to see the park lit up at Christmas. Her family is donating some decorations to be used at the park to honor Leah.

“Leah Switzer loved Waynetown and did a lot of good for the community,” Howey said. “We feel it is appropriate to honor her at the park in the town she loved.”

The Rusk Shelter is decorated and includes a large Christmas tree. The park light poles have been decorated as well and there is a 30-foot Christmas tree display in the center of the park.

The Christmas displays will be lit every night and guests are encouraged to visit the park to witness the various displays. A sound system will be playing Christmas music in the park.

A second event at the park is scheduled for

1 p.m. Dec. 18. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three displays as decided by out-of-town judges. At 2 p.m. the Waynetown Fire Department will escort Santa to meet with children and to pass out treats. Town Council members will serve refreshments.

Funding for the event has been provided mainly by resident donations. Commonwealth Engineering. Waynetown Merchants Association and the Town Council has also provided monies. Town employees have assisted in decorating the shelter and park.

“Everyone has gotten behind the idea and excited to see the completed displays,” Proctor said. “We hope people from everywhere will drive to Waynetown to see the park. We think it will be worth people’s time to visit our town park and enjoy the Christmas decorations.”

The local churches will take center stage beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday with the annual Luminary Walk. The event will start at the United Methodist Church before traveling to the Baptist and Christian churches. Each stop on the walk will present one of the advent themes: Methodist Church — Love, Baptist Church —Joy, Christian Church — Peace and Fruits Park — Salvation. The walk will end in Fruits Park with a live nativity, homemade cookies, warm beverages, and activity books for children. 

On Sunday, a people mover is available to transport attendees as needed. 

Orchestra to perform Sunday

The Wabash College Chamber Orchestra will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Salter Concert Hall in the Fine Arts Center.

Under the direction of Alfred Abel, the concert opens with the beloved overture to Rossini’s opera, The Barber of Seville. It will be followed by a beautiful and imaginative version of the Scottish air, Loch Lomond, arranged for brass quintet by the chamber orchestra’s own principal trumpeter, Steve Parke. The concert will conclude with Tchaikovsky’s most famous and popular symphonic work, Symphony #4 in F minor.

The Chamber Orchestra draws its members not only from the Wabash student body, but also from musicians on the faculty and staff, along with professional and amateur musicians from the surrounding community.

This Music Department concert is free and open to the public. Families are encouraged to attend this wonderful, audience-friendly introduction to great classical music.

MCCF grants $206k to 13 groups

Christmas came a few days early for several area organizations.

On Thursday, the Montgomery County Community Foundation awarded its third and final round of grants for 2016. It distributed grants totaling $206,161.44 to 13 organizations.

Some of these funds will help launch an art program for special needs residents, install a training course for K-9 units, add dental treatment for underserved residents and help purchase new transportation for the elderly and those with disabilities.

Several representatives from each of the 13 organizations were joined by MCCF board members for an awards ceremony in the MCCF office.

Kelly Taylor, MCCF executive director, said many of the grants were made possible through unrestricted and field of interest funds.

In past years, MCCF made one large disbursement, but this year the foundation chose to disburse funds throughout the year in three grant cycles. 

Taylor said the change worked well for the foundation, and she believes it was well received by the non-profits that applied. 

Taylor thanked the organizations for their diligent work in the community.

“We know that sometimes your days are very long in the work that you do, and sometimes the thank yous are very few, but we see the work that you do,” Taylor said. “I know this year our grants committee went out on several site visits so that we could understand the grants a little bit better. It helps us tremendously to see the work that you are doing and how our grant dollars are able to help you.”

Taylor also publicly thanked those who have donated to MCCF.

“We could not award this grant money today if it wasn’t for our donors and especially our fund donors,” she said. “Again the community foundation is all about people from our community who give money, and that money is endowed. It is there forever and it’s the earnings from our investments that we give back out in grant awards.”

Donors who choose unrestricted funds basically are allowing the MCCF board of directors to choose how the funds are used. 

“As our community changes, and it has over the past 25 years and will continue to change in the next 25 to 50 years, we are going to have to address different challenges and do more innovative things in our community, and our unrestricted funds allow us to do that,” Taylor said.

The following organizations received funding during this cycle: 

• Abilities Services Inc. received $20,000 (Irwin Lee Detchon Fund) to implement the Creative Abundance model at the Crawfordsville facility. CA will train all administrators, staff, and consumers to create an atmosphere that encourages creativity and self-expression. The program includes art instruction and up cycling materials to create art which is then sold. The ASI consumer keeps a portion of the selling price; a portion cover supplies, and the rest supports the Day Program. CA is in place at the Frankfort facility and they are experiencing fewer instances of behavioral problems since the program started. 

• Crawfordsville Community Chorus received $5,000 (James G. and Susan Smith Fund, Walter Hulet fund, Hubert and Martha Massing Fund) which will support the group’s upcoming seasonal concerts. This includes honorariums for professional accompanists, soloists, etc. as well as publicity.

• Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County received $18,704.13 (Walter Hulet Fund, Marvin and Gloria Oliver Fund) which will be used to create a healthier environment for the pets. This will include ventilation improvements, additional stainless steel kennels, and commercial quality washer and dryer. 

• Crawfordsville Main Street received $1,320 (Chase Fund, Walter Hulet Fund) to add hanging baskets to ten additional light poles in the downtown area, all a part of their “Advancing First Impressions” effort.

• Crawfordsville Police Department’s K9 Unit received $17,584 (Hubert and Martha Massing Fund) for the purchase and installation of a training course for the K9s which will be shared with the county. The course will help keep the K9’s skills sharp so that they are well prepared for the many challenges they face in the line of duty. 

• Montgomery County Leadership Academy received $6,000 (Walter Hulet Fund, Dennis and Dee Hohlbein Fund) which will be used for programming in 2017. MCLA provides leadership training, preparing our community with well-equipped leaders. 

• Ladoga-Clark Township Public Library received $40,700 (Irwin Lee Detchon Fund, Walter Hulet Fund) which will be used to make building improvements which focus on increasing energy efficiencies. On the list is: ceiling modifications so that it can handle additional insulation; new windows; replacement of fluorescent lighting with new LED lighting. In addition to being more economical, it will also eliminate the humming sound and improve the quality of lighting. 

• Crawfordsville Adult Resource Academy received $5,419.71 (Irwin Lee Detchon Fund, Michael D. and Sally A. Hinkle Fund, John and Sandy Tidd Fund in memory of Ernest and Anna Tidd) for the purchase of a Promethean board, an interactive white board. This allows the entire class to view computer output, anything from video screening lessons to a simple PowerPoint, and everything in between. 

• Educational Foundation received $20,000 (Hubert and Martha Massing Fund, Samuel L. and Eva Fern Boots Fund, Carl F. and Margaret Henthorn Fund) which will be used to provide grants to teachers for special classroom projects. This allows creative and innovative educational experiences for students which fall outside the schools’ budgets. 

• Montgomery County Free Clinic received $32,800 (Faye O. and Anna Winter Schenck Fund, Drs. Paul and Mary Ludwig Fund, Irwin Lee Detchon Fund) which will be used to hire a dentist one day per week to at the Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic. It will also provide for an Outreach Coordinator and program materials and supplies in an effort to reach those who may not yet know about the clinic.

• Montgomery County Health Department received $15,450 (Faye O. and Anna Winter Schenck Fund) which will be used for the development of public health education materials and programs focused on disease prevention and quality of life promotion. This will be accomplished through the use of college interns. Three primary areas are being targeted based on the 2015 Community Health Profile Survey.

• South Montgomery Community School Corporation received $9,000 (Faye O. and Anna Winter Schenck Fund) which will go to the corporation’s Health & Welfare Fund where it will be used to cover medical, dental, vision, mental health, and Rx related expenses for students in need. 

• Sunshine Vans received $14,183.60 (Irwin Lee Detchon Fund, First Merchants Charitable Foundation/Lafayette Bank & Trust Fund, Larry and Barbara Frye Fund). The funds represent the 20 percent match needed for a federal grant to purchase two new low floor mini-vans. The vans provide transportation for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. 

MCCF manages more than 170 endowed funds, each established by donors with visions of making Montgomery County a better place to live. Since it was founded in 1991, more than $17 million in grants have been awarded. 

There will be three grant cycles in 2017 with due dates of Feb. 14, July 18 and Oct. 10. Eligibility criteria can be found at www.mccf-in.org

For more information about grants or about the foundation, call 765-362-1267, visit its website or find MCCF on Facebook.