Donations, volunteers sought for Thanksgiving meal

Dinner are preparing another great feast, but they could use the public’s help.

“It’s hard to believe another year has gone and it is that time again to plan for the dinner,” said co-organizer Sheila Zachary. “More than 900 meals were served last year and we are excited and look forward to another great year.”

The 2015 Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held Nov. 26 at First United Methodist Church, 212 E. Wabash Ave. An optional worship service begins at 11:30 a.m. The meal is served from noon to 3 p.m. Carry-out and transportation are available.

Organizers anticipate they will see an increase in numbers again this year. 

“We estimate that we will need 35 cooked and carved turkeys, 30 – 6 lb. 5 oz. cans of green beans, 20 – 21 oz. boxes of Hungry Jack instant potatoes, 30 – 6 lb. 5 oz. cans of applesauce and cranberry sauce, 75 dozen rolls, 75 homemade pies, and an assortment of other desserts,” she said. 

All other food items, as well as paper products, will be purchased from monetary donations. 

Approximately 50-60 volunteers also are needed. Prior to Thanksgiving Day, volunteers are needed to help with food preparation, wall and table decorations and dining room set-up. On Thanksgiving Day, volunteers are needed to work a variety of shifts between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to prepare and serve dining room meals, prepare carry-out meals, deliver meals to home-bound, seat and serve guests, clean and reset dining tables and clean-up the facility.

Again, organizers plan to begin the day with a Community Worship Service to be held from 11:30 a.m. to noon at First United Methodist Church. Home deliveries will begin at 11 a.m.; transportation services will begin at 11 a.m. Seating begins at 11:15  a.m. for the worship service with dinner being served from noon to 3 p.m. 

The menu will be a traditional meal of turkey, noodles, mashed potatoes, seasoned green beans, homemade dressing, applesauce, cranberry sauce, rolls, butter and assortment of desserts and beverages.

The dinner was established for no particular group or individuals, but instead to provide a time for community members to come together and share in the day. 

“We invite Wabash men who are unable to travel home for the holidays, parents who have children visiting from a distance and are unable to accommodate the visiting families, brothers and sisters who are together after periods of separation and would enjoy time to catch-up without the hassle of food preparation and clean-up, and those who would otherwise be spending the holidays alone or those who are without the means of preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal,” Zachary said.

If you would like to volunteer time, donate a turkey, commit time cooking a turkey or other food items, call Mark or Sheila Zachary at 376-4365 or 376-9624 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. If time is at the premium, financial support is as important. Contributions can be mailed to the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, P.O. Box 23, Crawfordsville, IN 47933. Make all checks payable to “Community Thanksgiving Dinner.”

Courthouse alley closed until further notice

The north/south alley directly east of the Montgomery County Courthouse will be closed from now until approximately Dec. 13.


Marc Bonwell received permission for the closure Thursday during the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting. The alley will undergo demolition and repaving while it is closed.

There was some hesitation expressed during the meeting regarding how the closure will affect businesses around the alley, so Mayor Todd Barton asked Bonwell to check with the businesses and see if any accommodations need to be made.

“It has to be repaired,” Barton said, “so we really have no choice.”

The board also approved Bonwell’s request to close the sidewalk west of the courthouse for a few days sometime this month. Bonwell said they are going to be connecting storm water on Washington Street, but he could not give an exact date because the project is weather-dependent.

Crawfordsville Street Commissioner Scott Hesler told the board that South Boulevard lane closures will begin Monday while the street

department works on storm water mains.

Mayor Barton also told the board that construction on the outside of the Ben Hur building should begin Monday.

In other business, the board approved the 2016 wastewater budget and for parking spaces to be blocked off on Green Street outside the Crawfordsville Police Department for its Food Basket Drive.

Beard building sold to church

The Crawfordsville School Board unanimously voted Thursday to move forward with plans to sell the former Beard School.

The board met in a special meeting to discuss the bid they had received. Scott Bowling, Crawfordsville School Superintendent, said the bid of $125,000 is less than 90 percent of the two appraisals, which averaged to be $192,000.


The only bid came from The Vine church.

No one from the public commented during the special meeting.

“By selling the building we eliminate the cost (for maintenance),” Board Member Steve McLaughlin said.

School Board President Dale Petrie said the cost to maintain the building is about $100,000 a year.

New Beginnings Child Care is currently renting the facility. They have two years remaining on the lease. Bowling said any sale is subject to that existing lease.

During the board’s regular November meeting, they voted unanimously to accept the bid by The Vine church.

“We plan to use the facility to do good things in the community,” The Vine’s Pastor Kyle Strauser said.

The sale will close in December.

Working together helps a TON

Crawfordsville Middle School, Northridge Middle School and Southmont Junior High School recently delivered the results of their schools’ canned food drive to the FISH food pantry. The three schools had a combined goal of donating one ton -— 2,000 pounds — of food. Instead, they blew that goal out of the water by raising almost 3,000 pounds of food.

The food drive began Oct. 19 and lasted for two weeks. Each middle school had a competition within the building, but no bragging rights were given this time to the winning corporation.

“As opposed to competition,” said CMS art teacher Laurie Vellner, “we wanted to come together and do something good. So that’s where this idea came from.”

SJHS Guidance Counselor Mary Scheidler said that the concept of the three schools working together came from the Montgomery County Rotary Club Leadership Conference. Students from all three corporations learn leadership and team-building skills, and during this year’s camp, they discussed how to use those same skills to give back to the community.

“Rather than going against each other, why can’t they work together?” said CMS science teacher Shannon Hudson, who was also this year’s speaker at the leadership conference. “Is not that the real world, and do we not want that for them in the real world?”

Hudson also pointed out that students from all three schools will benefit from the FISH food pantry at some point.

Tami Mussche, the FISH pantry coordinator, said the pantry serves residents from all around the county. Just in one month, 320 families benefit from the FISH pantry, or about 1300 people.

And this large donation came at just the right time.

“We always have a slow season from August until December, when the donations start coming in,” Mussche said. “So a thousand pounds worth of food is quite a bit for us. It should last possibly a week to a week and a half.”

Muusche helped the middle schoolers unload box after box of canned food from vehicles and was really impressed by the results of the students’ hard work and cooperation.

“It just shows that, at a young age, they’re learning and being directed by their instructors to give back to their community,” she said. “And that will be instilled in them through adulthood as well.”

Each of the three schools has already celebrated their own students by rewarding the winning group or classroom. For Crawfordsville, that included Halloween costumes and eating first lunch all week. For Southmont, it meant getting to eat pizza for the winning homeroom.

But before their celebrations and before they were even done unloading at the FISH food pantry, the schools were already coming up with ideas for their next service project. And if the results of this project are any indication, they won’t be competing against each other anymore.

School board president to resign

Crawfordsville School Board President Dale Petrie announced Thursday night his plans to resign his seat at the end of the year.

Petrie made the announcement at the end of the board’s November meeting. He was first elected to the school board in 1994.

Petrie cited his health as one of the factors for his resignation. He said that he suffered a stroke more than a year ago.

“Every doctor said ‘you need to slow down,’” he said.

Petrie said that he has been going back-and-forth on the decision for about a year-and-a-half. In addition to health reasons, he said that he has lost some of the passion he had previously.

“I don’t want to go through the motions,” he said after the meeting. “We can get new people on the board and new energy.”

During Petrie’s 21 years on the Crawfordsville School Board, he has seen a high school building project, a middle school building project and an elementary reorganization.

He said that the reorganization is something that stands out to him for his years serving on the board. The school district moved from three K-5 schools to one kindergarten-first grade building, one second grade-third grade building and one fourth grade-fifth grade building. The change took place in 2007.

“That was probably the hardest thing we did and one of the best,” Petrie said.

Board members Ellen Ball and Steve McLaughlin expressed sadness and appreciation to Petrie’s announcement. Superintendent Scott Bowling went a little further.

“Thank you for everything you have done for the school corporation,” he said. 

Bowling mentioned the different projects and accomplishments Petrie was a part of, as well as working with multiple superintendents during his tenure.

“You have given well to this community,” Bowling said. “And what a result.”

Petrie, re-elected last year, has three years left on his current term.