YOUR INDIANA COOPERATIVE COMPANION
DECEM BER 2 0 1 8
Gifts that keep on
giving outage info via facebook Our communication strategy if the power goes out
from the editor
Christmas state of mind
One of my favorite quotes about Christmas comes from an unlikely source: our country’s 30th president, Calvin Coolidge. He said, “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.” I perpetually plan for Christmas. As soon as Dec. 26 rolls around each year, I’m already thinking about the following Christmas and how I can make it extra special for everyone. I always try to prepare early, shopping throughout the year, wrapping gifts as soon as I can and poring through cookbooks for new cookie recipes to try. I love swooning over photos of others’ holiday décor, popping favorite Christmas movies into the DVD player (sometimes even in the middle of the summer) and, on the day after Thanksgiving, unpacking the 20 or so boxes to begin decorating the seven Christmas trees scattered throughout the house. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is sharing my love of the season with readers like you. Throughout the years, the Santa side of me has shipped out ornaments, music and movies to lucky readers. This year, in a nod to my obsession with adding holiday touches to every room of the house — including the powder room — I’d like to give one of you this sleighful of beautiful Christmas bath goodies. Look below to find out how to enter. I wish you the very best this holiday season. And, during this special time of faith, family and friends, let me close with more of Calvin Coolidge’s wise words: “To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
VOLUME 68 • NUMBER 6 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by:
ELECTRIC CONSUMER is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers: use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 272,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 ec@ElectricConsumer.org ElectricConsumer.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS Gary Gerlach President Walter Hunter Vice President Randy Kleaving Secretary/Treasurer Elmer Stocker Interim CEO EDITORIAL STAFF Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Member Relations/ Advertising Manager Ellie Schuler Senior Communication Specialist ADVERTISING Crosshair Media, 502-216-8537; crosshairmedia.net GLM Communications, Inc., 212-929-1300; glmcommunications.com Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication.
EMILY SCHILLING Editor email@example.com On the menu: April — Eggs: deadline Feb. 1. May — Southern Barbecue: deadline Feb. 1. If we publish your recipe on our food page, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.
Giveaway: To win the Christmas gift shown above, contact us as noted below by Dec. 17. Put “Merry Christmas” in the subject line.
Three ways to contact us: To send us recipes, photos, event listings, letters and entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website ElectricConsumer.org; email ec@ElectricConsumer.org; or send to Electric Consumer, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.
UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Electric Consumer does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Readers who receive Electric Consumer through their electric co-op membership should report address changes to their local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Electric Consumer, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number. No portion of Electric Consumer may be reproduced without permission of the editor.
03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS What’s happening at your local electric cooperative. 10 ENERGY Three steps to stay comfortable all year long. 14 PRODUCT PICKS Have yourself an electronic Christmas.
16 INDIANA EATS Carriage on the Square Smokehouse: BBQ to get you back in the saddle. 17 FOOD Candy-coated Christmas: Sharing the sweetness of the season. 20 COVER STORY It’s the season of faith and hope. Charity is also a
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major component of these Hoosier-based companies’ business plans, not just during the holiday season, but all year round. 26 EVENTS CALENDAR 28 SAFETY Snow going: How to get ready for winter.
30 PETS Keeping your pets safe during the holidays. 31 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 32 Y OUTH POWER AND HOPE AWARD WINNERS 34 C OOPERATIVE CAREER PROFILE
29 OUTDOORS Squirrel dinner by Chef Jack.
On the cover Luke Wright, founder of MudLove, is “the change” he wanted to see. Each ceramic mug, bracelet and more that MudLove sells provides one week of clean water to someone in need in the Central African Republic. The products are handcrafted at MudLove’s store and studio in downtown Warsaw and are sold in specialty shops and online. PHOTO BY RICHARD G. BIEVER
DECEM BER 2018
Strengthen www.kremc.com CONTACT US Local: 574-267-6331 Toll-Free: 800-790-REMC EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org OFFICE HOURS 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday-Friday ADDRESS 370 S. 250 E., Warsaw, IN 46582 SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS To report a service interruption after hours, please call 267-6331 or 800-790-REMC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS William Stump Jr., Chairman Dan Tucker, Vice Chairman John Hand, Secretary/Treasurer Kim Buhrt Terry Bouse Tony Fleming Pam Messmore Steve Miner Rick Parker
HEADING OUT OF TOWN? Remember to unplug electronics that draw a phantom energy load. Some gadgets, like TVs, gaming consoles, chargers and DVD players, use energy when plugged into an outlet, even when they’re not in use. — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
As some of you might know, cooperatives across the globe adhere to the same Seven Cooperative Principles that guide all our decisions — from how we run the co-op, to how we engage with our local communities. Concern for Community is the seventh principle, and it is one that all employees of Kosciusko REMC value year-round. But during the holiday season, concern for community seems especially important. Electric cooperatives have a proud history of giving back. Each year, KREMC donates $5,000 to Combined Community Service to help our members in crisis. We collect donations for a food drive in November that feeds many families through the holiday season. The employees donate their personal time and money to a variety of organizations from environmental foundations to wellness programs to church groups. I could go on and on. The folks here are very community-minded and it shows. Kosciusko REMC members help us give back, too. Through the Operation Round Up program, members can round up their energy bills to the next dollar amount, and the extra change goes toward helping those in need. Since the inception of the program in 2003, KREMC members have given back over $800,000 to worthy organizations right here in our community. Our commitment is also global. We have donated equipment and sent line workers to Guatemala on two occasions, so they can help bring power to thousands of people who have never experienced the benefits of electricity. There are many ways you can give back to the community that go beyond dollar donations. Take some time to go through your closets and find clothes that no longer fit or have lost their use and donate them. Volunteer for a local food or toy drive, deliver meals to the sick and the elderly or simply make a meal for a neighbor in need. No matter how great or small the act, every time we give back, we strengthen our community. Take the time to give back this holiday season. You’ll be glad you did.
BRUCE GOSLEE President and CEO
Use your Co-op Connections Card to save at local businesses
KREMC rates and rebates
Calvin Bolt Inspections and Testing, Warsaw
Residential and farm service Service charge ............................$24.50 per month Kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge ......@$.0922 per kWh Tracker charge..........................$-.003297 per kWh
Electric water heaters 50 gallons or larger: • Gas to electric replacement — $125 • New construction water heater — $125 • Second water heater — $50 • Geothermal desuperheater — $50
Existing homeowners: 5 percent off whole-house inspection. 5 percent off random, mold, septic, roof and crawlspace inspections. 574-551-6680
Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/kosciuskoremc
Outdoor Lights* 40w LED........................................$8.75 per month 70w LED......................................$12.25 per month
HVAC: • Geothermal system installation — $250 • Air-source heat pump system — $150 • Programmable thermostat — up to $25 Visit www.kremc.com for complete guidelines and restrictions. Additional rebates can be found at powermoves.com.
KREMC to post outage updates on Facebook Outage in your area? Call 574-267-6331. When your power goes out, you want to
problem there. Your best bet is to call
know about it before you do, and we are
know what’s going on. We know it can
our office directly at 574-267-6331.
on it immediately.
be frustrating to be out of power. That frustration compounds when you don’t know how long you’ll be out or if KREMC is aware of you sitting in the dark. If there is a significant outage in our territory, rest assured, we will do our best to reach out on Facebook. If we know why the power is out and an estimated time for restoration, we will post that information as well. When you turn to Facebook for an outage update, please consider the following points: • Our Facebook page is not monitored 24/7 so chances are you will not find an immediate resolution to your
• Never share any account information
If you want to be sure and report your
like your address or account number.
outage, please do so by utilizing our 24/7
Our page is public, and your privacy
call center at 574-267-6331. And if you
is important to us.
are seeking an update on the situation,
• Please report your outage by calling into our call center at 574-267-6331. Reserve Facebook for updates. • Try to avoid miscommunicating outage information. We have found that more members get upset in response to incorrect information relayed through other members rather than from the actual outage. Here’s the long and the short of it: When your power goes out, most times, we
follow us on Facebook. We post updates as we have them. The winter season is upon us, and snow storms come with it. Please keep these points in mind if we experience a winter storm outage this year. Your safety and the safety of our linemen are our top concerns. We will keep you updated as best as we can throughout any potential outage. Thanks for following us on Facebook!
SAFE DÉCOR FOR A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON It’s almost time to deck those halls! Statistics show that home fires and electrical accidents typically increase during winter months, so keep these holiday lighting tips in mind for a safe holiday season.
Carefully inspect all electrical decorations before you use them. Cracked or damaged sockets and/or loose or exposed wires can cause serious shock or start a fire.
Consider purchasing LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
Never mount or support light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation.
Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation.
Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.
electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.
Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International
C’MON, BRING IT IN. Looking for a practical gift for your loved one this year? Consider a KREMC Household Utility Gift (H.U.G.)! A H.U.G. from KREMC is the perfect way to share the love this winter! It is easily redeemed by sending it along with a monthly bill payment or bringing it to our office. It doesn’t get much easier than a H.U.G.!
Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Why not give a H.U.G. for the holidays?
KREMC welcomes Jennifer Mann to the team KREMC welcomes Jennifer Mann to the member service team. Jennifer was born and raised in Elkhart, but moved to Warsaw seeking new opportunities. She quickly fell in love with Warsaw’s hometown community and beautiful backdrop. Jennifer has two grown children and three grandchildren. She comes to KREMC with over eight years of member service experience. She will be serving KREMC members at the front counter, so stop in and say hello! “Jennifer is a real delight!” said Stephanie Scott, KREMC’s member service and billing supervisor. “We are excited to have her on our team. I am sure she will do a great job for all of our members.”
Three steps – seal,
and equip – will keep you comfortable all year long!
With the winter weather temperature drops, you may have noticed your house feeling colder than you remembered last year. Or, you may have been reminded that your HVAC (short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system isn’t working the way you liked, and that you’ve been meaning to look into ways to improve the situation. Look no further! If you want to improve your comfort during the cold (and, for that matter, warmer months), here are the three steps you should take:
If your home feels chilly, it could be from
Properly insulate your house to maximize comfort. Many
cold air making its way into your house.
houses can benefit from additional
Make sure you have the proper systems to heat and cool your home. After you have
You should search for and seal any air
insulation. This step should be taken after
sealed air leaks and properly insulated your
leaks. Search your home, high and low.
sealing air leaks. Air moving through the
home, you can check into new equipment.
I’m being literal here! The most important
insulation decreases its benefits. If part
Now that some of your house’s issues are
leaks to seal are up high in your attic and
of your HVAC’s ductwork is located in the
resolved, you may need smaller equipment
down low in your basement or crawlspace.
attic space, it is especially important to seal
to properly heat and cool your home to keep
Framing and places where plumbing or
that ductwork and bury it in insulation.
you comfortable. A smaller, right-sized, and
electrical wiring or ducts poke through the
By adding insulation properly, your HVAC
more energy-efficient system will reduce
ceiling also need to be checked. Sealing air
system will have to work less to maintain
your electricity use, which will help save
leaks keeps your warm, cozy air inside,
the temperature in your house, saving you
you money well into the future.
which also prevents cold outside air from
electricity and money.
Seal air leaks to prevent drafts.
coming into your basement or crawlspace.
The best way to diagnose potential issues in your home is to schedule an
recommendations on steps you can take to improve your home’s energy
efficiency. If your home’s HVAC system is older than 8 years old, you may want
Parke County REMC
energy audit. You can contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor for details. Your co-op may even be able to provide the audit, which includes
to start researching replacement systems. You can get an idea of what options – and rebates – are out there to keep you comfortable all year long!
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Mid-term recap elections
INDIANA REMAINS SOLIDLY RED AFTER NOVEMBER ELECTION
BY SCOTT BOWERS Although most political pundits
Meanwhile, both chambers of
projected a Democratic “Blue Wave”
the Indiana General Assembly
to occur in the 2018 midterm elec-
will again see Republican super
tion, Indiana remained solidly red.
majorities. Despite marginal gains
by the Democrats in the state
Control of the U.S. Senate hung in the balance in the race between incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly and Republican challenger Mike Braun. Polling throughout indicated a close race, but
hold a 40-10 seat advantage in the Indiana Senate and a 67-33 seat
serve as Speaker of the House.
State Sen. Rod Bray replaces
advantage in the Indiana House.
Indiana Secretary of State Connie
percent. With Braun’s victory,
Lawson, State Auditor Tera Klutz
Indiana will be represented by two
and State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell,
Republican senators for the first
all Republicans, were all decisively
time since 1998.
re-elected on Nov. 6.
Indiana’s five Republican and
No matter the outcome of the
two Democrat incumbent
election, Indiana’s electric
House members were all easily
cooperatives have always worked
re-elected. In the state’s two
constructively and successfully
open seat congressional races,
with elected officials from both
Republican Jim Baird (4th District)
parties on state and federal level
and Republican Greg Pence (6th
issues important to our industry
District) both notched significant
and the 1.3 million Hoosiers served
wins, receiving 64 percent of the
by our member cooperatives.
vote. For the first time since 2010, Democrats will control the U.S.
DECEM BER 2018
Pro Tem of the Senate.
INDIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
retiring David Long as President
ultimately Braun 51 percent to 45
legislative races, Republicans will
State Rep. Brian Bosma will again
SCOTT BOWERS is vice president of government relations at Indiana Electric Cooperatives.
INDIANA’S CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS
4 5 7
Have yourself an
Remember the good old days, when a handful of plastic Army men and a broomstick horse could make a kid happy for hours? Today, the toys are a bit more complicated but just as much fun. Here are some
electronic gifts to bring smiles to the kids on your gift list. by JAY N E C A N N ON
THE GIFT OF SONG
Finally — a loyal companion for your child that doesn’t require feeding or daily walks. Meet Cozmo Robot, a tiny computer that syncs to a phone or tablet, plays games, expresses emotion and evolves as you get to know him. With the included Code Lab, your child can customize Cozmo into a perfect sidekick. $180. 888-280-4331; amazon.com
The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX lets your little one be part of the smart watch craze at an age-appropriate level. The watch features a camera for photos and videos, plus special effects, a calculator and a calendar. It comes in a variety of bright, fun colors. $55. 888-280-4331; amazon.com
Little ones can work on math and reasoning skills with the Trademark Games Pretend Electronic Cash Register, which comes with play bills and coins, food, a basket, and even a bank card for make-believe spending. A working calculator tracks prices, and the cash register lights and sounds will help keep it real for your tiny merchant. $30. 800-462-3966; bedbathandbeyond.com
Tired of sharing tablet time with your child? Here’s the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet, a kidoriented computer that’s not a toy. It includes access to games and educational content. You can even add Netflix, but don’t worry — the tablet has parental controls and a kid-proof case. $160. 888-280-4331; amazon.com
Do you have a future Grammy winner on your gift list? You’ll be Santa of the Year when you give the Karaoke USA DVD/ CDG/MP3G Karaoke Machine with Screen/ Bluetooth/LED Display. Young singers will sing along into a professional microphone — to 300 included songs. A second microphone is included for duets. $220. 800-462-3966; bedbathandbeyond.com
Got a budding LeBron on your gift list? Let your young athlete practice anywhere with the Franklin Sports Rebound Pro Frame Basketball Game. Features eight game options and a built-in digital scoreboard, and folds away when the season is over. $160. 800-462-3966; bedbathandbeyond.com
DECEMBER 20 18
BBQ to get you back in the saddle BY NICK ROGERS In the days of horse-drawn carriages, the Greensburg carriage house was a place to park your ride. This former spot for steeds to sit back and relax is now a Decatur County restaurant halfway between Indianapolis and
CARRIAGE ON THE SQUARE 117 N. Broadway St. Greensburg, Indiana
Cincinnati to which barbecue fans often giddy
up and go.
Tuesday through Friday: 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
After a successful run of smoked meat sales
Saturday: 11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
from a food truck, Hans Schreiber opened
Carriage on the Square Smokehouse six years ago. The usual suspects, smoked fresh and in-house, are all there — pulled pork, brisket, chicken and (after 5 p.m.) ribs. Schreiber also smokes corned beef, slings smokehouse burritos, and offers some grits and mac-and-cheese dishes. He also puts his own barbecue-style spin on nachos — the Walking Pony for the sweeter side and the Running Pony for the spicier touch — and loaded, smoked potatoes (the Wobbling Carriage or, for a bit of a kick, the Runaway Carriage). Whatever your selection, slather it with one of six sauces or fixings named for Schreiber’s mother, aunt and four uncles. There’s the Linda Rose (sweet Kansas City style), Chad (spicy Kansas City), Faith (Carolina mustard), Art (creamy smoke sauce), Rolland (mild horseradish cream) and Gery (coleslaw topping). Plus, if you pay with cash, you can save 5 percent off your bill. If you’ve still got room — or just an unyielding sweet tooth — sample such ice cream options as graham cracker or key lime pie. Be careful, though: Once you’ve savored the flavors at Carriage on the Square, not even wild horses might be able to drag you away. Nick Rogers is a communications manager with Purdue Agricultural Communications.
Crock-Pot Candy by Gale Rhodes, Battle Ground 1Â˝ lbs. white chocolate
Layer these ingredients in the
order given in the Crock Pot.
4 oz. German baking chocolate squares 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips 24 oz. dry roasted peanuts (lightly salted is best)
Cook on low for 2 hours. Stir and drop by teaspoonsful onto wax paper-covered cookie sheets. Cool. Makes 6 dozen candies.
Bonus recipe at electricconsumer.org/recipes
See J. Johnsonâ€™s recipe for Something Sweet.
food FO O D PREPARED B Y E MI LY S CHI L L I NG PHO TO S BY RI CHA RD G . B I E V E R
Cream Cheese Mints
Peanut Butter Snowballs
by Mike Hackman, Columbus
by Riley Carothers, Elizabethtown
1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
Red food coloring
3 T. butter, softened
1 lb. white candy coating, coarsely chopped
Green food coloring Mint flavoring
In a bowl, combine the sugar, peanut butter and butter.
Shape into 1-inch balls and place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
Beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until consistency of pie dough. Separate into two equal portions. In one portion, add drops of red food coloring and cinnamon flavoring. In other portion, add drops of green food coloring and mint flavoring. Mix together each individual portion. Pinch off small piece of cream cheese mixture. Roll into ball. Pour granulated sugar into a bowl; roll ball in sugar. Press into silicone candy molds and turn out at once. Cook’s note: Can be eaten immediately or stored in the refrigerator indefinitely! This is a fun activity that you can involve even small children in!
Meanwhile, melt the candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl. Dip balls in melted candy coating. Cook’s note: Dark, white or milk chocolate confectionery coating is found in the baking section of most grocery stores. It is sometimes labeled “almond bark” or “candy coating” and is often sold in bulk packages. It is the product used for dipping chocolate. A substitute for 6 oz. chocolate coating would be 1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet, dark or white chocolate chips and 1 T. shortening melted together.
PHO TO S BY RI CHA RD G . BI E V E R
MudLove founder Luke Wright stands in the company’s break area where his employees are surrounded by the company’s motto: “Our collective purpose is to disrupt patterns of brokenness through thoughtful and creative pursuit of love.”
Gifts that keep on BY BRIAN D. SMITH While his fellow Hoosiers go gift shopping in the falling snow, Luke Wright will spend December selling items that promote running water. Wright’s craft studio/retail store in Warsaw, known as MudLove, specializes in pottery, bracelets, necklaces and other handmade creations. But there’s a heart behind the art: 20 percent of all profits go to Water for Good, a Winona Lake-based organization that drills fresh-water wells in the impoverished Central African Republic. As Wright explains, “We want our products to be a tool for putting love into action.” Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the state, the entire inventory of Amerie Boutique supports charitable causes near and far. A cotton sweater contributes to fair wages for disadvantaged women in Peru. A backpack repurposes scrap leather from India while offering enhanced opportunities to local artisans. A bracelet provides funding and job training for the residents of an addiction recovery program in Kentucky. “Our slogan is, ‘Shop with a purpose,’” says owner Gina Mullis, 34, of Evansville. In this season of giving, Indiana businesses like MudLove and Amerie exemplify the spirit of giving back. They hope to stir the humanitarian instincts of shoppers by offering them more charitable bang for their buck.
CO URTE S Y O F MUDLO V E
From left, Tim Strider, Beth Prall and Bryce Hoffhein — all employees at MudLove — work on the clay bracelets by punching the shape and holes out with specially designed equipment. They use Xacto knives to perfect the clay pieces.
o what’s the meaning of
destructive lifestyle,” Wright says. “But I
the bigger question of what had caused
MudLove? Wright, 33, who felt
spent my last two or three semesters in
it in the first place.
a divine calling to use his art for
the ceramic studio as much as I could.
the benefit of others, sought a name
That was where I found my peace and
that would literally and figuratively
my joy and my passion.”
symbolize his mission. ”Clay without
His path from college student to business owner was more haphazard than choreographed. A pre-pharmacy major at Indiana Wesleyan University, he was doodling idly in biology class one day when an epiphany struck. Wright, who had dabbled in art since
Mullis, of Amerie (pronounced AMer-ie), had already found her passion when a life-changing event rocked her world. Having spent six years teaching middle school English and
wonder about the future symptoms, severity and progression of their disease.
she resolved not to let MS rule her
young students in her care.
life. A friend suggested that the stylish
strange tingling in her arms, and by
his own life. “I was leading a fairly
well understood, so patients can only
opportunity to guide and educate the
he missed the creative process.
miles away – but first he had to refocus
the central nervous system. MS is not
Mullis decided to stop teaching, but
Then one morning she woke up to a
improve the lives of people nearly 7,000
sclerosis, an incurable, unpredictable
coaching cheerleading, she relished the
childhood, suddenly realized how much
That recognition would lead him to try to
yielded the chilling diagnosis: multiple and often incapacitating disease of
water is dust,” he says, “and the same is true for us.”
Several months of medical tests
week’s end she had lost feeling in her hands and feet. Mullis spent the next five days receiving steroid infusions of up to 12 straight hours, which alleviated the numbness. But that didn’t answer
educator open a clothing store, which appealed to her – kind of. “Something was missing,” she recalls. “I didn’t want to just sell clothes. I was coming from teaching, so it made sense to continue doing something where I could give to others.”
Her answer was Amerie, whose name is a combination of “amity” (friendship) and “reverie” (a state of dreamy meditation). After compiling a lengthy list of possible monikers, Mullis settled on Amerie “because the ‘A’ pops up first on searches.”
Wright knew little about business when he began selling his own creations. “But I had clay and I had ideas, and I was excited about clean water,” he says, noting that his family had attended church with Water for Good founder Jim Hocking. “He was fed up with people dying [from contaminated water], and I loved his story.” Wright first set up shop in a Winona Lake garage, and using an antique alphabet stamp set inherited from his grandmother, he created ceramic bracelets bearing affirmative messages such as “hope,” “faith” and “love.” Although he now disparages those early efforts as “pretty ugly,” the $1 bracelets found a following, attracting not only repeat customers, but purchases of five, 10 and other multiples at a time. He founded MudLove a year later, in 2009, and in the ensuing near-decade has raised $450,000 for clean water. His shop gained unexpected national attention in 2016 when Warsaw native Ben Higgins, who appeared on Season 20 of the reality TV show “The Bachelor,” visited MudLove during a hometown promotional stop and wound up wearing a “hope” bracelet around his wrist in all 12 episodes. A Washington Post story about the “electric-blue string bracelet with a
Gina Mullis displays some of the products her company, Amerie, sells. While in the process of opening a new storefront in downtown Evansville, Mullis kept a rack of clothes and other items handy in the small office of her apartment for private DECEMBER 2018sales events.
small clay plate” generated additional buzz, prompting a collaborative effort on behalf of Higgins’ favorite charity, Humanity and Hope United Foundation, which funds projects for the poor in Honduras. Higgins agreed to publicize the effort, and Wright agreed to donate half the proceeds of “hope” bracelet sales, which amounted to about $60,000. Wright supports local charities, too: The original garage in Winona Lake now hosts a “give back gift shop” called Belove (be-LOVE), featuring the wares of both MudLove and wife Whitney’s handmade jewelry business, Bel Kai. A homeless shelter, a battered women’s shelter and a nonprofit art studio have received donations from Belove, whose jewelry line includes everything from handmade necklaces and earrings to custom pieces sporting song lyrics and company logos.
Amerie, which turned 4 years old in November, began with five charitable brands and now handles 80, stocking products from 15 to 20 brands at a time. A common label is “fair trade,” meaning wages and working conditions adhere to accepted guidelines. Mullis is in the process of relocating her business from Newburgh to an Evansville storefront. Before that, she was reaping about 70 percent of her revenue from the shop and the other 30 percent online. Internet sales have skyrocketed during the transition, which would lead some business owners to consider operating online exclusively.
At MudLove’s retail store and studio in Warsaw, visitors will find a bin of small clay “plates” with a large variety of messages and words that can be used for necklaces or bracelets.
Left: Gina Mullis playfully peaks through a “Live Laugh Love” metal cutout — one of the home décor items she sells. Below: Cam Mutchler, one of MudLove’s newest employees, applies glaze to what will become bracelets. After graduating from high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this past spring, the ceramics artist came to Warsaw to work at MudLove. “I felt God calling me to use the talent He gave me to give back to people in need,” he said.
But the bricks-and-mortar boutique is more than just a retail space to Mullis, says her mother, Tina Bowman of Indianapolis. “She has to have that interaction,” explains Bowman, who worked for 26 years at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “She struggles financially, physically and emotionally, but this is what keeps her going.” Mullis acknowledges that Amerie is therapy for her – a positive pushback against a disease that leaves many patients debilitated and despondent – and she’d rather give back than give up. She has yet to take a salary from her business and works a second job as a student advisor for an Indiana digital school system. Still, every day at the boutique gives the former teacher a chance to continue educating. “There’s so much more meaning than just buying a shirt when you can hear the story behind it,” she says. “It’s not just shopping anymore – you’re part of an experience.”
I didn’t want to just sell clothes. I was coming from teaching, so it made sense to continue doing something where I could give to others.
GINA MULLIS, Amerie
Brian D. Smith is a freelance journalist from Greenwood. DECEMBER 2018
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FLAGSHIP STORES: MudLove: 122 S. Buffalo St. Warsaw, IN 46580 Belove: 804 Park Ave. Winona Lake, IN 46590 Visit www.mudlove.com/ apps/locations to see more retailers. Partners with Water for Good so each purchased product provides one week of clean water to someone in the Central African Republic.
AMERIE WWW.AMERIE.ORG Based in Evansville and available online 317-694-4770 www.facebook.com/ameriellc Supports a variety of non-profit organizations and carries brands that give back. Potter Juan Lopez carefully finishes off what will become a MudLove tumbler on the wheel.
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“A CHRISTMAS STORY COMES HOME,” Hammond (Lake), Indiana Welcome Center. View scenes from the holiday movie classic. Enjoy special events, contests and photos with Santa. Take your picture with “Flick” on the flagpole and browse the official “A Christmas Story” merchandise in the gift shop. Center hours vary. Free. 219-989-7979. www.southshorecva.com/achristmasstory. KOUTS CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSES, Kouts (Porter), citywide. Visit local craftsmen and find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. Lunch served on Saturday. Maps available online. Free. 219-405-1452. koutsevents.com/ christmas.
NEW YEAR’S EVE WITH THE TIME TRAVELERS, Delphi (Carroll), Delphi Opera House. Classic rock songs from the early days to the present. 9 pmmidnight. Tickets, $30. 765-5644300. info@delphioperahouse. org. delphioperahouse.org.
CHRISTMAS WALK, Terre Haute (Vigo), Fowler Park. Walk through the village and visit our pioneer volunteers in their 19th century cabins. For a small fee, enjoy carriage rides, crafts, hot drinks, and sweet treats. Stop into the gift shop for many homemade items. 4-9 pm. Free. 812-462-3392. email@example.com.
PURDUE CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY WINTER WORKS 2018 DANCE CONCERT, West Lafayette (Tippecanoe), Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue University. The company will perform Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The selected eight new dance works by dance faculty and student artists will take place in the Nancy T. Hansen Theatre. Tickets: $14 adults, $11 students, $7 children (12 & under). 765494-5993. firstname.lastname@example.org.
KOKOMO NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION, Kokomo (Howard), downtown courthouse square. Annual lighted ball drop, live music, fun activities and fireworks. 10:30 pmmidnight. Free. 765-457-5301. greaterkokomo.com/downtown/ downtown-events.
BEDFORD CHRISTMAS AROUND THE SQUARE, Bedford (Lawrence), Downtown Square. Live entertainment, craft vendors, chili supper, free Santa photos, kids’ barrel train rides, and window decorating contest. Illuminated parade, 6 pm. Free. 812-329-4221. downtownbedford.org/Christmas-aroundthe-square1.html.
SANTA CLAUS CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION, Santa Claus (Spencer). Roast chestnuts on an open fire, drive through Santa Claus Land of Lights and write a letter to Santa. Free. 812-937-4199. SantaClausInd. org/Christmas. Event also takes place on Dec. 7-9 and 14-16.
BUDDY JEWELL, Mitchell (Lawrence), Mitchell Opera House. Country star Jewell will perform a variety of his hit songs along with some Christmas tunes to celebrate the season! Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at mitchelloperahouse.com. 7 pm. 812-849-4447. aprince@ hoosieruplands.org.
CHRISTMAS IN SHIPSHEWANA, Shipshewana (LaGrange), townwide. Light parade and tree lighting ceremony. Other holiday events include a “Gift of Lights” drive-through light display, Chocolate Day, Kids Day and Santa visit. Free. 866-631-9675. shipshewana.com. Event runs through Dec. 31.
NOBLE COUNTY EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF COOKIES, CANDIES AND CRAFTS, Albion (Noble), Dekko Room, Noble County Office Complex South (2090 N. State Road 9). Homemade cookies and candies will be for sale at $7 per pound along with crafts for sale. 8 am-1 pm. 260636-2111. email@example.com.
SHIPSHEWANA ICE FESTIVAL, Shipshewana (LaGrange), downtown. Watch experienced ice carvers compete and create sculptures representing local merchants! $5 admission for chili cook-off. Pins for sale at participating merchants and at chili cook-off. Pin ensures January discounts. Check website for times. Free. 866-631-9675. shipshewana.com.
METAMORA CHRISTMAS WALK, Metamora (Franklin), Business District. Santa, carolers and lanterns along the Whitewater Canal. Shops open until 10 pm on Friday and Saturday evenings. Event hours vary. Free. 765-647-1212. metamoraindiana.com. Event runs until Dec. 16.
15TH ANNUAL HOLIDAYS UNDER THE SPIRES, Oldenburg (Franklin), Town Hall. Spend the day in the Village of Spires enjoying entertainment, old world style. 10 am-8:30 pm. Free. 866-647-6555. holidaysunderthespires.com.
WINTER WINE WALK, Corydon (Harrison), downtown. Sample wines from Southern Indiana wineries and do some holiday shopping. $15 admission fee includes souvenir glass for participants, hors d’oeuvres, and plenty of wine sampling. 3-7 pm. 888-738-2137. southernindianauncorked.com.
This calendar is published as a service to readers and the communities electric cooperatives serve. Electric Consumer publishes events free of charge as space allows, giving preference to free community festival and events in and around areas served by subscribing REMCs/RECs. While Electric Consumer strives for accuracy, please note that events, dates and time may change without notice. Electric Consumer advises using contact phone numbers or internet sites to check times and dates of events before making plans. To add events to Calendar, please use the “Submit and Event” form under the “Talk to Us” or “Calendar” buttons at electricconsumer.org; or mail your info to: Calendar, Electric Consumer, P.O. Box 24517, Indianapolis, IN 46224. Please submit info two months before the date of the event.
STORM KIT: Preparing your car for winter safety
HOW TO GET READY FOR WINTER
INSTALL WINTER WIPERS. Just be sure to remove them once spring rolls around. INSTALL WINTER TIRES. If you can see your breath, it’s time to install winter tires. KEEP WASHER FLUID FULL. Consider keeping a
he best time of the year to start winterizing your home is before the temperatures start to drop
and snow is already on the ground, but if you’re reading this and haven’t already made those small changes to your home, consider this your nudge to get started! Preparing your home for cold temperatures doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Understanding how to winterize your home to keep it running smoothly will not only keep you safe, but
• Insulate pipes in exposed or unheated areas.
spare bottle or two in the trunk.
• Keep your thermostat above 55 F.
MAINTAIN PROPER TIRE
• On especially cold days, open cabinets
PRESSURE. You should
to let warm air reach sink pipes.
Roof damage To avoid rooftop water damage from clogged gutters, clean your gutters after the last leaf of the season falls. This will keep ice and water from building up
check pressure more regularly during winter and refill your tires as needed. KEEP THE GAS TANK AT LEAST HALF FULL.
around the foundation of your home,
A full tank can help prevent
which could possibly cause leaking on
gas line freeze ups. Not
only that, but if you’re ever
This winter, plan ahead for burst pipes,
Before a storm hits, have a professional
stranded, your engine may
water and tree damage, and unexpected
check the trees around your home.
be the only thing to keep you
power outages. Knowing how to prepare
Dead or dying limbs on your trees will
for these common incidences can be
most likely fall during the first big storm,
warm until help arrives.
beneficial to you and the safety of your
causing damage to not only your home
but possibly to your neighbors’ homes as
it will keep your energy bill lower, too.
If a pipe does burst in your home, avoid electrocution by calling your electric cooperative right away to turn off your electricity before going down in a basement or before touching any plugged-in appliances.
KEEP YOUR REARWINDOW DEFROSTER IN WORKING ORDER. Being
unable to see behind you
When preparing for winter weather,
could create unsafe driving
remember to check on winter appliances
that have been stored away. Look over appliances like snowblowers and
PACK A WINTER SAFETY
Here’s how you can protect your pipes
generators to be sure the wiring isn’t
cracked and that all other parts are in
KIT: ice scraper, bag of sand
• Turn off outdoor faucets and have
sprinkler systems blown out by a
Start preparing your home for winter
now and enjoy the comforts of knowing
• Drain outdoor hoses. • Remove and drain window A/C units.
you and your family will be safe from
and a shovel, cell phone, flares, first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, jumper cables, warm clothing,
unexpected dangers in and around your
non-perishable food and
Squirrel Dinner by Chef Jack
garlic and onion. After marinating for two hours, I drained and dried the pieces of squirrel, lightly coated them with hot sauce and rolled them in a flour dredge, then browned them in peanut oil in an iron skillet. Once browned on both sides, the squirrel
B Y JACK SPAULDING
pieces were placed in a foil lined broiler
I haven’t had much of a chance to get out
water. He quickly bagged them up for me,
pan, covered and sautéed in homemade
and challenge the squirrel population this
and I was on my way.
blackberry wine, garlic, adobo, onion, and
Four squirrels were too much for my wife
red pepper. I slow-cooked the squirrel
year. The ones raiding the bird feeder and those making forays across our yard to the neighbor’s butternut trees live under an unspoken umbrella of protection here
and me to eat at one sitting, and I planned on fixing two and freezing two.
on the home front. However, their wood-
When I got home, my wife said, “Why
land cousins are fair game.
don’t you invite my sister, LeaAnn, and
On the way home from work a couple
our brother-in-law, Warren, for a squirrel
pieces at 275 F for three hours and basted them several times with the thickened blackberry wine sauce. The results were excellent! Paired with blackberry wine, the meal included
mashed potatoes, fresh sweet corn, home-
time friend and veteran squirrel hunter
I checked to see if they were “game” for
the pan drippings from the iron skillet. As
Bill Barker. I found Bill in his usual place…
some wild game. Warren couldn’t re-
for the squirrel, it was full flavored with a
standing at his work bench and fine tun-
member ever eating squirrel, and LeaAnn
touch of blackberry and fall-off-the-bone
ing one of his classic turkey calls. Before I
thought it was years ago, and she remem-
left, he casually commented, “Would you
bered it as being tough. But they said they
like to take home four squirrels I killed
were up to the challenge.
The meal got rave reviews!
Having gnawed on many a squirrel leg,
It never fails to surprise me when I see
weeks ago, I stopped by to see my long-
this morning? Karen and I have eaten about all the squirrel we want this fall.” You betcha, Bill!
I know how a fox squirrel, when fried by even the best cooks, can be tough and
made bread and squirrel gravy made from
individuals taste exotic fish or wild game for the first time and then say how good
it tastes. If wild fare is given good care
I was surprised and greatly pleased to
I made up my mind to try to make their
can’t beat the things that come from our
see Bill walk to his garage refrigerator,
wild game experience an enjoyable and
Good Lord’s larder for flavor or taste.
open the door and point to four young
tasty affair. Donning my chef’s hat, I
fox squirrels, cleaned and soaking in salt
quartered the squirrels and proceeded to
Thinking I might have squirrels to clean,
marinate the pieces in a dry red wine with
in the field and is properly prepared, you
Over the years, we have eaten and cooked just about anything you can name from the woodland and waters, and we’ve dined on a bunch of other exotic species as well… raccoon, muskrat, ‘possum, beaver, bison, quail, pheasant, prairie chicken, duck, goose, wild turkey, groundhog and so many more. However, I draw the line when it comes to the insect world. I’ll leave the dining on bugs, worms and such to the likes of Andrew Zimmern.
Squirrel… it’s what’s for dinner!
JACK SPAULDING is a state outdoors writer and a consumer of RushShelby Energy living along the Flatrock River in Moscow. Readers with questions or comments can write to him in care of Electric Consumer or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
D E CE MB E R 2 018
pets safe during the holidays Keeping your The holidays are wonderful times for
prevent anxiety and carsickness. Have
inflammation of the pancreas, which can
families and friends. But they aren’t
veterinary records handy in case of
be life-threatening. Keep pets on a normal
without risks for our animal companions.
diet even though they may try to persuade
“Whether you are leaving your pet at home or traveling with them during the
ORNAMENTS. When using holiday
you not to!
decorations, remember that pets don’t
NEW PETS. Many love the thought of
understand the words “breakable,”
surprising somebody with a new puppy or
“family heirloom,” or “sentimental value.”
kitten on Christmas morning. However,
Rambunctious dogs, cats, and ferrets have
because the holiday household is full of
been known to topple many an ornament
hustle and bustle, decorations, toys, treats,
and knick-knack, and sometimes even
and stress, the excitement can cause a
whole Christmas trees. Help prevent
new pet to be confused or overstimulated.
mishaps by keeping larger and weightier
If you’ve decided it’s time for a new family
ornaments close to the floor, and valuable
member, consider waiting until the week
VISITORS. Pets can sometimes be
ornaments out of reach from curious
after the holiday. Puppy- or kitten-proof
overexcited, confused, or frightened by
mouths, noses, and wagging tails. Keep
the house, and introduce your new pet
the onslaught of holiday guests. You can
knick-knacks on shelves inaccessible to
into a quiet, safe environment.
help by keeping your pet in a quiet part of
your animal companions. Also, make sure
the house, and making sure he/she has
Christmas trees are tethered to a nearby
a safe retreat from children and well-
wall or window frame if you have ferrets
or cats fond of climbing.
TINSEL. Long, skinny pieces of plastic
DECORATIVE PLANTS. Plants and
or string can be very dangerous to
greenery like holly, ivy, poinsettia, pine,
our furry friends. Cats and kittens are
especially attracted to shiny tinsel. If
eaten, thin pieces of string or tinsel can
mistletoe can be
cause the intestines to bunch up, and
very toxic if a pet
can even cut through the intestinal
ingests them. Visit
wall. Either situation could be fatal, and
the ASPCA for a full list
would certainly necessitate a trip to the
of poisonous plants. If you
have an emergency, you can
holidays, planning is necessary to ensure they are safe,” said Dr. Steve Thompson, Purdue Veterinary Medicine clinical associate professor of small animal community practice. The following list can help pet owners as they consider safety for their animal companions during the holiday season:
TRAVELING. Pet owners who travel and leave their pet at home can board
call the animal poison control hotline at 1-888-426-4435.
the animal or find someone to watch
OVEREATING. People aren’t
it at home. Before boarding a pet, do
the only ones who sometimes
your homework and get references
indulge in too much of a
to ensure you’re using a high quality
good thing. Table scraps,
kennel. Animals should receive standard
garbage raiding, and counter
vaccinations about two weeks before
surfing can add up to lots of
boarding to ensure they have built up
rich food in a pet’s stomach,
the proper antibodies against common
which may lead to stomach
diseases. Animals that travel with you
upset. Even worse, too much
might need a mild sedative to help
rich food can lead to serious
Be sure to contact your veterinarian in case of a holiday crisis. In cases of emergency, contact the Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Emergency and Critical Care team at 765-494-1107.
Wabash Valley Power news
Encourage the heat to stay in your house this holiday season
With all the planning this holiday season,
An inefficient system costs more to heat
and may even personally do the audit.
home improvement projects may be the
and maintain water temperature. A test
The audit will include a thorough review
last thing on your mind. Yet with the
to see if you need more insulation is
of your home’s energy use, identifying
arriving winter weather, one thing is
simple: Touch your water heater to see if
potential areas of concern and even
certain: Your wallet won’t just feel lighter
it is noticeably warm. If it is, you should
recommendations to resolve them.
because of presents! Heating bills for the
consider adding an insulating blanket
winter months can add even more stress
by carefully following the directions. If
Taking a few steps will help improve the
to the season. Fortunately, you can take
the water heater is not warm, there is no
comfort — and energy cost — of your
steps now to help reduce your energy
need to add more insulation.
home all year long. Your local electric cooperative may even offer POWER
bill and maintain your home’s comfort. Properly insulating your home will
Insulate your water lines.
MOVES® rebates for qualifying upgrades
encourage the heat to stay in your home
Adding insulation to your hot water pipes
to equipment in your home. Contact
— and prevent your heating system from
can help keep your water hot longer,
your local electric cooperative or visit
working harder, which costs you money.
reducing the time it can take to get hot
www.PowerMoves.com to learn more.
Here are some steps to take:
water to your fixtures. If your water pipes are exposed to colder air, such as an
Seal up your ceiling, attic and air ducts.
unconditioned basement or crawlspace,
If you read our article in September’s
even more sense.
properly insulating the water lines makes
Electric Consumer or this month’s
Parke County REMC, then you know the
A home energy audit will help identify problems — and solutions.
importance of properly sealing your
If you want to learn more, you
home. Gaps around lighting, pipes and
should contact the energy
other cut-outs can cause heat to escape.
advisor at your local electric
Expandable foam can be used to fill the
cooperative. He/she can
cracks and prevent escaping air. You
provide details on a
also can review the air ducts to ensure
home energy audit
energy column (on page 10) by Jeremy Montgomery, the energy advisor at
they are air sealed and well-insulated. Since the ductwork carries the air you’ve paid to heat, any gaps or poor insulation can prevent that toasty warm air from reaching the rooms in your home.
Insulate your (older) water heater. If you have an older water heater, you may have an inefficient water heater.
NEVER TOO YOUNG TO give
Five middle school students join the ranks of community service award winners Every year since 2009, five community service-minded middle school students have been awarded Youth Power and Hope Awards from Indiana Electric Cooperatives and its magazine, Electric Consumer. This year’s winners — two sixth graders and three eighth graders from throughout the state — prove you’re never too young to make an impact in your world. All of these busy volunteers play key roles in helping others in their schools or communities. Each of the Youth Power and Hope Award recipients will receive $500. They are also being honored at the Indiana Electric Cooperatives’ annual meeting on Dec. 4.
Elysia Laub, Lowell Sixth grade, Lowell Middle School Daughter of Andrew and Heidi Laub Although Elysia Laub is only 11 years old, she’s well versed in community service. She and her family participate in their church’s Angel Tree at Christmastime, she raises money and participates in a walk for the poor and she makes Valentine’s Day cards for veterans. But her greatest impact was borne from a classroom activity conceived by her fifth grade teacher, Kerri Coapstick. During Coapstick’s “Genius Hour” on Fridays, students can pursue a topic they are passionate about. “While my other students were finding the best recipe to make slime or experimenting with art techniques, Elysia’s passion was to organize, promote and facilitate a school-wide food drive for the local food pantry,” Coapstick noted in her recommendation letter for Laub. As a result of Laub’s project, the school collected enough donations to fill the back of a pickup truck. “I did this food drive because I don’t think anyone should have to go hungry,” Laub said. “If want to change things, I have to do something. I can’t just sit around and wait.”
Campbell Lively, Kokomo Sixth grade, Hamilton Heights Middle School
Nathan Jekel, Floyds Knobs Eighth grade, Highland Hills Middle School
Daughter of Carrie Lively
Son of Mike and Elizabeth Jekel
When Campbell Lively built an “ARK" to ensure homeless community members would be warm in the wintertime, she started from the bottom up. ARK stands for Acts of Random Kindness, a program she created this summer. She came up with the business plan at camp, then began working on ways to make money to turn ARK into a reality. She raised $126 through sales of homemade friendship bracelets. With that money, she bought material to begin making blankets to sell and also donate to those in need. In three months, she raised over $1,300 for ARK.
For Nathan Jekel, community service is a lifestyle. “When someone helps someone else create a better life, then they can be inspired to help someone else,” he said. In just one year, Jekel has logged in over 200 hours of community service. He is a member of the Youth Leadership Board for Miles for Merry Miracles, a youth-led organization focused on improving and enhancing communities through youth development and wellness initiatives.
“Even though I am helping others, I am really the one who ends up feeling good about the service I am doing,” Lively said. “I have learned so much by giving back to others.” Jared Bourff, one of her sixth grade teachers, said he is motivated by her positive attitude and how she helps others. “She reminds me to pay it forward every chance I get,” he said. “Campbell has not only shown me what it means to be selfless, but also what it means to be a servant leader in her community.”
Jekel has since become a leader of Good to Grow Green, teaching over 500 elementary school students about healthy lifestyles, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and philanthropy. This summer, Jekel helped launch Teens for Tobacco Twenty-one (T4TT), which educates parents and students about the harmful effects of tobacco products and advocates raising the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco to 21. In addition to his other community-based activities, Jekel serves on the youth advisory board for his Indiana state senator, Sen. Ron Grooms.
Elliott Rosswurm, Attica Eighth grade, Attica Jr./Sr. High School Son of Nathan and Suzanne Rosswurm This junior high student council president helped found the “Start with Hello,” campaign at Attica Jr./Sr. High School. Inspired by a movement started by parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, the campaign was designed to get students to talk to others who may not be in their “friend” group. As part of the initiative, inspirational notes were placed on every locker at Rosswurm’s school, hot chocolate was provided to students and at lunch numbers were drawn to encourage students to sit at random tables to meet others. Student Council sponsor Rachel Swank said he went “above and beyond to make his classmates feel included and help end social isolation.” Another student council-led program that Rosswurm helped organize focused
on raising money to purchase four new microwaves for his elementary school. Through school-wide “dress up days,” such as pajama day, hat day and boot day, the student council raised enough money to purchase the microwaves in just a week. In addition to his involvement in student council, Rosswurm volunteers at a local animal shelter and is an active 4-H member. “Both student council and 4-H have provided me the opportunity to be involved in my community and to make a difference,” Rosswurm said.
Zeta Whitmer, Rochester Eighth grade, Rochester Middle School Daughter of Phil and Christa Whitmer Zeta Whitmer’s community service outreach is as near as her Fulton County community and as far as Uganda.
member of Rochester Middle School’s “Champions Together” program. "Champions Together” is a collaborative partnership between the Indiana High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics Indiana. It promotes servant leadership among student athletes and those with intellectual disabilities. Whitmer plans “Champions Together” activities and gives speeches about the program. Her school has been selected to be the state’s fourth official banner school. As president of her school’s National Junior Honor Society, Whitmer plans group community service projects and talks with local business leaders to discover ways to help the community. Within her school, her sixth grade social studies teacher Dan Bailey noted Whitmer spearheaded a campaign which impacted her fellow students. “One of Zeta’s ideas was to write inspirational messages on the walls of the school and bathrooms to address the self-image concerns that many middle school students struggle with.” Whitmer said one of the “coolest” things she has done to serve others is to make bracelets for and correspond with 23 Ugandan children.
Whitmer is president and executive board
cooperative career profile
Proud to work for a co-op Top 3
responsibilities in a day 1. Calibrate electric meters at consumers’ homes. 2. Complete routine equipment inspections. 3. Locate and mark underground lines.
Brad Wentworth Meter Technician Noble REMC
How long have you been in your position? I started in 1998 as a meter reader and this position in 2006.
What education and training was needed for this position? Our advanced metering infrastructure allows the cooperative and consumers to monitor electricity use in almost real time. I had to learn how this equipment works and about the tools I use to keep the meters functioning properly.
What part of your job do you find to be most fulfilling? I spend more time in public relations than most would think, and it’s one of my favorite parts. I know I’ll be interacting with our consumers at some point in every day, and I’ll be able to explain how our system works to reassure them how our meters help both the cooperative and them.
Why did you choose to accept a job at a co-op? I worked long hours at my previous job, and I wanted to transition to a job that would allow me to stay close to home and spend more time with family.
How would you describe working for a co-op? I am proud to work for my electric cooperative. When community members learn where I work, I get such positive and complimentary reactions. They enjoy that they’re able to receive service from an electric cooperative. I’d also never worked anywhere that asked for my input. Four days into this job, more than 20 years ago, I was asked to contribute my ideas. This kind of culture really sets electric cooperatives apart.
Interested in an electric co-op career? Visit WePowerIndiana.org to learn about available careers or tell us about yourself.
Always call 811 before starting fencing & landscaping projects. Landowners completing these projects were more than three times more likely to hit a buried utility because they did not call 811 before breaking ground.