by Eric Stearley
On Dec. 5 during Wabash’s First Friday festivities, Arc of Wabash held an open house to celebrate its 60th anniversary. The community was invited to see the organization’s work firsthand and learn about the organization’s history.
A tour of the facility encompassed several historical vignettes, where volunteers acted out scenes as they might have occurred in 1954. The first gave viewers a glimpse inside a reenacted Wabash City School Board meeting where the education of children with disabilities was first discussed. The tour continued into a meeting of the parents of disabled children, which occurred just after the board’s decision not to begin what would now be referred to as Special Education. These parents worked together, and with the help of the community, founded the School of Hope, out of which Arc of Wabash grew.
“I think it was appropriately named,” said Arc of Wabash Executive Director Nancy Hoffman. “When they started this organization, it brought them hope.”
Attendees then got a chance to meet some of the organization’s clients and see them on the job in the facility’s workshop. The tour concluded with a benefit dinner.
During the open house, Artistica Gallery Manager Joyce DeVore presented Hoffman with a check for the proceeds of the organization’s recent art gallery show, featuring paintings created by Arc clients. In its second year, the show raised $4,010.25.
“It’s very much so more than we expected. It’s awesome!” said Hoffman. “The public response is amazing. The people that came in and immediately purchased paintings…it was phenomenal. The talent of the people doing the paintings is phenomenal.”
The City of Wabash has been informed that a company has been notifying residents of a service they offer, painting addresses on the curbs in front of residences. The company has not requested any authorization from the City of Wabash to perform these services, and the City of Wabash would like to inform residents that this type of operation can be questionable in nature.
The LIFE Center will be having their annual Rally for Life on Sunday, Jan. 18 at the Wabash Middle School auditorium, with special guest speaker Peter Heck. The program begins at 2 p.m. with the walk and refreshments to follow.
Jan. 22, 2015 marks 42 years of legalized abortion. The LIFE Center will be collecting baby bottles at the Rally. If you have been filling a baby bottle, please return it at the Rally. There will be a free will donation taken at the rally, along with donations of items the Center needs, which include wipes, prenatal vitamins, and 3T-4T clothing including pajamas.
The Center will always accept donations of baby clothing up to size 4T, diapers, formula, baby food, shoes and other items for babies.
The LIFE Center is in the process of raising funds for a new facility. Last month, the Center received a very nice donation anonymously that has helped their fundraising significantly. Their currently total is $40,000 and they are still in need of $60,000 to reach the goal of the building fund.
The Life Center provides pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and items needed for babies free to their clients. The Center is not affiliated with any government funding or one specific church denomination.
If your church or organization would like to host a baby shower/fundraiser for the LIFE Center, please contact the LIFE Center at 260-563-7275. You can also check out their website at wabashpregnancy.com or find them on Facebook.
by Eric Stearley
With the holidays in full gear, signs of festive celebration are everywhere, and this year, a group of students from Southwood Elementary School got a chance to participate in a holiday television special. “Sounds of the Season” is being broadcast on four Fort Wayne channels leading up to Christmas.
Students from eight schools in the broadcasting area were selected to participate in the eighth annual special, which will be featured on 21Alive, NBC33, Fort Wayne CW, and MyTV Fort Wayne.
"First graders from Southwood Elementary had the opportunity to sing in the "Sound of the Season" TV holiday special,” said Southwood Elementary Music Teacher Rhonda Dubuque. “The teachers and students were super excited!”
In the Sweetwater Sound studio, the group of first graders sang, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” and “Santa Medley” in their matching red “I Love Santa” t-shirts. Students from the other seven schools, ranging in age from Kindergarten to twelfth grade, also appear in the musical holiday special. The program showcases each group’s vocals, as they are accompanied only by a piano.
“We taped in the morning at Sweetwater studio, and then stopped at the Huntington YMCA to eat our sack lunches,” said Dubuque.
The Wabash County Veteran’s Service Office will be adjusting the hours of operation at the courthouse beginning Jan. 2, 2015. The hours will be: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The office will not be open on Wednesdays and Fridays. An appointment may be made for other times if the veteran is unable to come in during the regularly scheduled hours.
Bob Brown, Veteran’s Service Officer noted this will extend the present hours by one hour each day and aligns the office with courthouse hours of operation. The new schedule will allow them to do outreach services to retirement and assisted living facilities for veterans that are unable to come to the office.
Brown may also be contacted via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are numerous Veterans Administration (www.VA.gov) and Indiana Dept. of Veterans Affairs (www.in.gov/dva) programs available. The programs can be viewed via the internet at the above websites. The Wabash County Veteran’s Service Office is here to assist veterans obtain benefits they have qualified for through their military service.
The Veteran’s Service Office telephone number is: 260-563-0661 Ext 1260.
Wabash High School is pleased to announce that we are preparing to award scholarship funds, which have been endowed by the Lucille Camp Scholarship Foundation.
To be eligible to receive funds from the Lucille Camp Scholarship Trust, applicants must be either a 2015 graduate of Wabash High School or a student who graduated from Wabash High School within the last three years (2012, 2013 and 2014).
Applications will be available in the Guidance Office at Wabash High School as of Jan. 6, 2015. Completed applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 6, 2015. Applications are also available at the High School website www.apaches.k12.in.us.
by Eric Stearley
A local dojo is expanding its offerings in an effort to help local women stay in shape while learning to protect themselves. The Saikou Shuri Ryu Karate School, located at 1595 Stitt Street, has begun offering a women’s self-defense class on Tuesday from 7-8 p.m.
“A lot of the women around town have come to me and asked about a self-defense program and what they can do to stay in shape,” said Sensei and owner Jerry French. “A lot of them are worried about being attacked by crazy people now a days. On the news, I saw where some women had been attacked, and I felt that if they had known a little bit about martial arts and how to defend themselves, they could have probably defended against their attacker.”
Shana Knight has been training in martial arts for two years, and when French opened his newest class, it was exactly what she was looking for.
“It’s a passion that I have. It’s for safety and to learn how to take care of myself, because it’s just my son and I, and the world isn’t like it used to be,” said Knight. “I am not personally into the karate side of it, because I like the self-defense side and learning how to take care of myself and the practicality of that.”
French has made it a mission to spread knowledge of martial arts and self-defense in the Wabash area, and has been teaching students for more than 20 years. He currently teaches half a dozen classes each week, and he’s well qualified to do so. On the nights he’s not teaching, he’s training. On some nights, he travels to Muncie to train under Chief Instructor George Sheridan. Other nights, he travels to Fort Wayne to learn from Grand Master Robert Bowles.
A student himself since the early 1980s, French holds a fifth-degree black belt in Shuri Ryu Karate. As if that wasn’t enough, he also holds a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a second-degree black belt in weapons, a first-degree black belt in Shinto Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu, and a brown belt in Kempo Karate. He’s competed in numerous tournaments throughout the country and held a Florida kickboxing title for five straight years. In 1997, he traveled to Japan to compete in the World Karate Championships, where he placed ninth.
by Eric Stearley
On Saturday, Nov. 6, the Wabash County YMCA hosted a bench press competition to benefit Wabash County Christmas Spirit. Male contestants were tasked with bench-pressing their body weight as many times as possible, while the ladies had to put up half their weight.
Local attorney Alan Zimmerman announced the competition, which featured five divisions and 23 contestants.
The Christina Doan kicked off the competition for the ladies in style, posting a respectable 56 repetitions, which won her first place. It was noted that Doan, a trainer at the YMCA, doesn’t actually train for bench press. Christina Bagma put up 44 reps, while Angela Graham completed 33 and Jill Owens posted 24. Hannah Hall took top honors for the teen division with 14 reps.
The men’s competition was split into four divisions by age. In his first bench press competition, Kyle James took first place for the 20-29 year old division, tying the competition’s overall winner with 33 reps. Dylan Poole repeated last year’s performance, taking second place in his division and losing by only one repetition. Brock Byram and R.J. Waldon tied for third with 31 reps.
In the 30-39 division, Adam Garrison was able to lock out 270 pounds 21 times for the win. Alvin Roberts took second with 20 reps, and Brandon Meekin lifted 295 pounds 15 times for third.
Last year’s overall winner Keith Herron matched last year’s number with 28 reps, which was good enough to win the 40-49 division. Don Peterson was second with 26 reps.
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