LOCAL NEWS

Mentors willing to make a difference

For the next several weeks, the Journal Review will bring its readers stories of children in the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau’s Juvenile Mentoring Program who are awaiting a mentor. All names and some situational details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the child. Every child mentioned is part of a growing waiting list of children who wish and need a mentor. If you believe mentoring is for you, call Jill Hampton or email her at 362-0694, ext. 12 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Mentors come from all walks of life. The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau’s Juvenile Mentoring Program has a diverse selection of mentors. Some mentors are retired, some are young professionals, some are married with young children and some are empty-nesters. The main requirement for someone wishing to mentor is willingness to be a difference in a child’s life. 

The process to becoming a mentor includes a written application, three character references, a sit-down interview with program staff, an FBI and local criminal history background check, a driving records check and a volunteer training which teaches you how to be an effective mentor. After the mentor finishes with the process, he or she is matched with a youth who has similar interests. The program asks that the mentor meets with the child at least nine hours a month for a year. Several matches choose to meet past that year mark. 

Being a mentor is simple, and it can help change the course of a youth’s life significantly, said Program Manager Jill Hampton. 

One of the youth waiting for a mentor is Paul. Paul is an 8-year-old boy who lives in a single-parent home. He loves being outdoors, swimming, fishing, camping, as well as doing art and craft projects.

Paul is an outgoing child who is interested in pretty much everything. He enjoys playing the drums and collecting rocks and crystals. Paul’s parent reports that he is funny and active, and he does well in school, has great attendance and doesn’t get into trouble. His parent said Paul needs a mentor because the other parent is not involved in his life and Paul is in need of a positive, male role-model. Paul wants a mentor because it would be someone to do fun things with.

“After interviewing Paul, I felt that he was very easy to talk to, with a great personality,” Hampton said. “His interests are so varied that I feel he would be a compatible mentee for any potential mentor.” 

If you believe mentoring Paul is something you would like to do, contact Hampton at 765-362-0694, ext. 12. She can tell you the next steps you need to take. 

The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau is a MUFFY Partner Agency.

Mentors willing to make a differenc

For the next several weeks, the Journal Review will bring its readers stories of children in the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau’s Juvenile Mentoring Program who are awaiting a mentor. All names and some situational details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the child. Every child mentioned is part of a growing waiting list of children who wish and need a mentor. If you believe mentoring is for you, call Jill Hampton or email her at 362-0694, ext. 12 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Mentors come from all walks of life. The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau’s Juvenile Mentoring Program has a diverse selection of mentors. Some mentors are retired, some are young professionals, some are married with young children and some are empty-nesters. The main requirement for someone wishing to mentor is willingness to be a difference in a child’s life. 

The process to becoming a mentor includes a written application, three character references, a sit-down interview with program staff, an FBI and local criminal history background check, a driving records check and a volunteer training which teaches you how to be an effective mentor. After the mentor finishes with the process, he or she is matched with a youth who has similar interests. The program asks that the mentor meets with the child at least nine hours a month for a year. Several matches choose to meet past that year mark. 

Being a mentor is simple, and it can help change the course of a youth’s life significantly, said Program Manager Jill Hampton. 

One of the youth waiting for a mentor is Paul. Paul is an 8-year-old boy who lives in a single-parent home. He loves being outdoors, swimming, fishing, camping, as well as doing art and craft projects.

Paul is an outgoing child who is interested in pretty much everything. He enjoys playing the drums and collecting rocks and crystals. Paul’s parent reports that he is funny and active, and he does well in school, has great attendance and doesn’t get into trouble. His parent said Paul needs a mentor because the other parent is not involved in his life and Paul is in need of a positive, male role-model. Paul wants a mentor because it would be someone to do fun things with.

“After interviewing Paul, I felt that he was very easy to talk to, with a great personality,” Hampton said. “His interests are so varied that I feel he would be a compatible mentee for any potential mentor.” 

If you believe mentoring Paul is something you would like to do, contact Hampton at 765-362-0694, ext. 12. She can tell you the next steps you need to take. 

The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau is a MUFFY Partner Agency.

Church bazaar set for Saturday

No one associated with St. Bernards Catholic Church today knows exactly why there was a bazaar in 1866, but they do know that Saturday’s Fall Bazaar and Hog Roast will be the 149th consecutive similar event. 

The bazaar, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., raises funds for church activities and community organizations. The local event is believed to be the longest running fundraising event in the county. 

 

“We do not know why the church had the first bazaar,” church member Ron Hess said. “Maybe it was to help Civil War veterans or just help community members. We just don’t know, but the fact our bazaar started 149 years ago and we still have it today is really amazing.”

Hess said the importance of the bazaar is to help serve those in need.

“We will donate 30 percent of the proceeds to community organizations that help people,” he said. “We will give donations to HUB Ministries, FISH Food Pantry, Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army.”

The day-long event if full of family-friendly activities.

There will be children’s games and craft vendors as well as a bake sale. There also be Texas Hold’em, a corn hole tournament with a cash prize and Bingo. Raffle tickets will be sold for cash prizes and a quilt. Raffle ticket cash prizes include $2,500, $1,000 and $500 to lucky ticket holders.

There will be a silent auction and a casino with a beer and wine garden. 

Live entertainment will perform 5:30-8 p.m.

The hog roast will begin serving at 11 a.m. and continue through dinner.

“We hope Crawfordsville will come out for a good time and help support the bazaar,” Hess said.

The church is located at 1306 E. Main St. For more information, call 362-6121.

Making Matches

The recent Montgomery County Volunteer Fair gave local residents a chance to learn about 24 county agencies and organizations. Potential volunteers gathered Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club of Montgomery County to see if any of the opportunities met their personal passions and skill sets.

Cheryl Farr of Pam’s Promise said finding volunteers is not always easy, but volunteers are the lifeblood of many local organizations.

“A volunteer has to like people,” Farr said. “Most of the organizations have multiple needs that require multiple skills and a heart for people.”

Farr said last year’s volunteer fair paid off for her non-for-profit, which helps the county’s homeless.

“We were able to sign up volunteers last year and we even got our gutters cleaned,” Farr said.

Gary Vierck, director of the Linden Depot Museum, manned a booth at the fair. He said the train museum is always looking for help.

“Volunteers are so important, and we can never have enough,” Vierck said. “This fair is a wonderful idea and we have already signed up a new supporting member.”

Crawfordsville resident Keely Taylor, a current class member of the Montgomery County Leadership Academy, stopped at several of the booths.

“The Leadership Academy told us about the fair so I wanted to come check it out,” Taylor said. “This is a great place to learn about a lot of groups and what they do. I am interested in looking at the possibilities available and I am looking to get involved.”

Animal Welfare League President Mike Reidy was manning his organization’s booth. He said several potential volunteers had stopped at the booth for information.

Attendees were eligible for door prize drawings throughout the event. Also there were drinks and donuts available.

The event was sponsored by the Montgomery County Community Foundation, Youth Service Bureau and the Boys & Girls Club of Montgomery County.

Forum addresses Scott County HIV epidemic

Montgomery County could be at risk to be the next Scott County which is experiencing an epidemic of HIV cases. Local health officials and Indiana State Department of Health Sexually Transmitted Infections Interim Director Jeremy Roseberry gave a presentation on the Scott County epidemic at a public health forum Thursday night on the campus of Wabash College. 

Roseberry is on the front line of sexually transmitted infections in Indiana and it was his department that formed the first battle line between the outbreak of HIV and residents of Scott County which has a population of 24,000. 

 

In Thursday’s presentation Roseberry described how quick the outbreak exploded in the southern Indiana County and especially in the City of Austin with a population of 4,200 residents.

“The first two cases of HIV were reported in November of 2015,” Roseberry said. “By the end of March the HIV outbreak was declared an epidemic. As of today, we have identified 181 HIV cases, most of which are within a six block area in Austin.”

The ISDH is still monitoring the situation and treating it as a health epidemic. Roseberry said the lessons learned in Scott County need to be communicated to every rural county in the state and beyond.

Roseberry said some specific actions by those infected have been identified. In Scott County there was  poor public health infrastructure. Secondly, a new drug had entered into the community resulting in an increase of injection drug use. There also was a large needle sharing network among the drug users. Lastly, those who were infected with HIV were doing multiple injections every day.

“There were numerous lessons learned in Scott County,” Roseberry said. “Unfortunately some of the problems that contributed to the epidemic are the same challenges each rural county has.”

Roseberry said a lack of funding for health infrastructure is the norm in rural Indiana counties. He also stated in most rural counties there is a very limited HIV awareness amongst drug users. The ISDH also discovered there is a connection between those infected with HIV and Hepatitis C. Of the 181 HIV patients in Scott County, 167 also had Hepatitis C. 

“I was amazed at the network of users in Austin,” Roseberry said. “I would be in one house and there would be from eight to 12 individuals in the house shooting up and sharing the needles. I would go next door and some of the same people would walk in.”

Roseberry also said there was a lack of HIV testing opportunities for those without insurance. 

Montgomery County Health Department Nurse Rebecca Lang said the problem of no free testing exists in Montgomery County as well.

“For years I have been able to send potential individuals for HIV testing to a free clinic in Boone County,” Lang told the audience. “Now, I am not allowed to do that.”

The good news is that Lang is working with a coalition of residents and the ISDH to bring SDI testing to the county. Also, the County Health Department is working to overcome the barriers that were found in Scott County. 

Montgomery Health Department Sanitarian Amber Reed reminded attendees that information gathering is important to health infrastructure. The ongoing Health Department Survey is one way her department can garner important information concerning health needs in the county.

Lang reported that the amount of HIV cases in Montgomery County has been stable for several years and no new cases have been reported in 2015.

The forum was sponsored by the Montgomery County League of Women Voters.