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August 31, 2017 • Headline News
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Operation Roundup gives over $73,000

Wanda English Burnett

Funds totaling $73,683.95 were awarded at a special awards ceremony from the second disbursement of REMC’s “Operation Roundup” program on Tuesday, August 29 at the REMC Community Building. The building was full of people ready to accept their checks to make whatever program they were involved with a better one. 37 different agencies ranging from schools to food pantries, received money that is possible through the generosity of the REMC membership by “rounding up” their monthly electric bill to the nearest dollar amount.

A large crowd gathered at the second disbursement of Operation Roundup funds that totaled nearly $74,000. People were happy to receive funds for various agencies, churches, 4-H groups and more as Barry Lauber, director of office services welcomed the group to the event. In less than an hour, people with smiling faces carried checks away that will benefit others in return.

The following projects received funds:
St. Paul Lutheran Church, $1,699 to be used to purchase an AED; Hopewell Baptist Church, $2,500 for men’s conference pro bass Jimmy Sykes; South Ripley Elementary School, $4,950 for Part 4 of 4 Reading/Writing Module; Ripley County Food Pantry, $1,000, purchase food for the pantry. Bill Warren was there with others to accept the check and told The Versailles Republican that would buy food for a month for the people they serve. He was excited about the money and grateful to Southeastern IN REMC.

More awards were given: Youth Encouragement Services (YES Home for kids), $2,500 for expenses; Ohio County 4-H Shooting Stars, $1,500 for a hand washing station, ammo, supplies; Canaan Vol. Fire Department, $2,500 for 800 Mhz radio for the chief; First Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg, $1,000 for their food pantry; Versailles Volunteer Fire Department, $2,500 for AED Elite; Friends of Pangburn Park, $2,500 for park tables and equipment; St. Paul Lutheran Church Dewberry, $1,300 for cemetery flags; Dearborn County Clearinghouse, $1,000 for food for their pantry; Dillsboro Farmers Market, $981 for a hand washing station; and Oldenburg Academy $2,500 to develop a multi-media studio.

Also receiving awards were: Daren Baker Memorial Park, $2,500 for equipment for the park, Laughery Valley Fish & Game $2,500 for gravel for a driveway to access fishing pond; St. Louis Catholic Church $250 K-5 recess equipment; Switzerland County School $1,200 for River REACH floating science project; Dillsboro Community Partnership, $2,383.95 for veterans signage on walking trail; Jazzy Jesters 4-H Club, $1,500 for fair booth repair, Purdue Camp; Jefferson County Fair Board, $2,500 to upgrade show arena; Habitat for Humanity – Jefferson County $2,500 to purchase truck for refrigerator roundup; Canaan Community Academy, $2,500 for 25 Chromebooks for students; Jennings County Domestic Violence, $2,000 to purchase range, table, chairs and microwave; and Whitewater Christian Camp, $2,500 to replace metal roof on cabins.

And the last groups were:
Dearborn County Solid Waste, $1,000 for fluorescent/LED light bulb program; St. Maurice Napoleon Youth, $1,500 to support 21 youth to go to convention; New Horizons Rehabilitation, $2,500 to purchase plants, groceries, and garden supplies; Ripley County Parks & Recreation $1,375 to get lettering for park entrance sign; Milan Lions Club received $2,500 to replace Christmas decorations in the Town of Milan; Ceil’s Learning Tree, $2,500 for supplies for challenged youth in Ohio County; Jennings County Historical Society, $1,250 to support museum and history projects; Ripley County Court Services, $2,295 to help fund new “Peer to Peer” program; Ripley County Soccer Club, $2,000 to purchase supplies for soccer program; Senior Resources for Jennings County received $1,000 to transport senior citizens to various events and Safe Passage was awarded $2,500 for materials and supplies for the shelter.

A lot of smiles were on faces as they received their checks and told the board of directors, which consist of Carla Elston, Judy Copeland, Steve Black, Jerry Lamb, Mike Fledderman, Owen Menchhofer, and Keith Allhands, thank you for giving to their cause. General Manager Keith Mathews thanked all those who gathered at the event and thanked the generosity of the membership for rounding up their bills to benefit others, making the community stronger together. Barry Lauber, director of office services for REMC also thanked those in attendance and told them this was the second granting event and looks forward to many more.

To find out more about how you as a customer of Southeastern Indiana REMC can be a part of the giving, or to know more about Operation Roundup or to get a grant application and guidelines, go online to

The next opportunity to receive an Operation Roundup grant is scheduled for January 2018. Applications will be accepted in the month of December 2017.

Hoosier Watch: Fall speed ahead

By Jerilyn Lowery

Jerilyn Wilson LoweryThe upcoming weekend marks the capstone to the summer some would say. Summer’s last hurrah if you will. Peggy Toney Horton wrote, “Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul.” She’s got something there.

Some of us will recognize the Labor Day holiday on Monday by relaxing in the great outdoors, picnicking with family and friends, or traveling to see one last sight (or site) of summer. Then, we will settle in and wait for some regular season football and for the first fade of the leaves from green to gold. The crunch of leaves underfoot . . . sounds for the soul. Personally, this time of year feels like I struck a pot of gold. Although, last week’s PowerBall jackpot of $758.7 million (I can’t even count that high.) did not magically fall into my hands, I am happy nonetheless. Even without a new beachfront condo or a log cabin (on steroids in the mountains), I can still appreciate a good change of scenery.

Perhaps I am just as guilty as the next person for pushing the envelope a bit, but I do not yet have jack-o-lantern displays out like some, unnamed, stores do. Okay, there was a beautiful display of mums for sale that I could not resist passing by. It was time for one geranium (that decided to quit blooming) to go anyway. Then, there was that box of pumpkin spice coffee creamers that I tossed in my cart. In my defense, some items are hot commodities and savvy shoppers must seize the moment. Just saying. It is noteworthy that I bravely walked away from the fall display of M & M’s and sidestepped my way across the aisle to avoid a bag of fall-inspired Snickers from sliding off the shelf and into my hands.

The crisper air in the mornings, the need for a sweater to take off a little chill, and a leaf in the yard, here and there, just make me happy. Sure, I can mourn the carefree days of summer with the best of them, but don’t we all secretly yearn for a pot of chili simmering on the stove and the scent of apples and cinnamon wafting from the oven vent? Not everyone, apparently.

There’s actually been a book written about how people’s feelings change with the seasons. In “The Emotional Calendar,” John Sharp explores how dates can negatively affect our emotions if we associate them with negative memories like putting summer behind us to go back to school, or getting bad grades. Yet, others see a change of seasons (especially fall) as a chance for a fresh start. Sharp says that linear approach works for some. They like that feeling of productivity and order. On the contrary, others may need to compensate by seeking out positive activities to combat the negative feelings. Might I recommend chili and pie?

My friend (o.k. not really a best bud, but we met once, and I love his columns), Phil Gulley, who writes in Indianapolis Monthly might agree with the Harvard psychiatrist Sharp’s findings because Gulley’s own psychologist friend recently told him, “American children are unhappier than ever.” Why? Because of what theoreticians and politicians are doing to our schools. If Gulley’s friend had it his way American children would still go back to school after Labor Day. Maybe then their emotional calendar would be a lot happier until the end of May rolled around and their rear ends were still in school.

In writing about the so-called theoreticians that are ruining education today, Gulley reminisced about a teacher from his junior high days. Mrs. Helton. (Phil and I have that in common. I had a teacher named Mrs. Helton, too.) His Mrs. Helton’s theory of education could be stated in one sentence he wrote recently, “You keep at it until you know it, that’s my theory.” There are probably still some central Indiana kids out there who fear fall because of Phil’s Mrs. Helton, but she, too, had something there. So, keep at it, enjoy, compensate if you have to, and keep looking for that pot of gold.

Jerilyn Wilson Lowery graduated from South Ripley High School in 1980 and Indiana University in 1984.

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