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JUNE 2014

Rolling Thunder LPD’s Imposing Rescue/SWAT Vehicle

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ABA AUTISM SERVICES BY DAMAR 9905 Fall Creek Road DamarAba.org / 317-813-4690

‘WHATEVER IT TAKES’ & A HALF-CENTURY OF EXPERTISE While it might seem like a new ABA clinic opens every day in the Indianapolis area, ABA Autism Services by Damar stands out from the crowd. It’s the only one that can back up its ABA services with decades of experience meeting the needs of people with autism in Central Indiana. And it’s the only one that can draw from a full spectrum of professional services – from in-home support to residential care – to assist families. Most telling, perhaps, it’s also the only ABA clinic that carries the Damar name, a name nationally associated with leadership in helping people dealing with autism and other developmental challenges. Established on Indianapolis’ southwest side in 1967, Damar has helped thousands of Central Indiana children and adults confront and overcome issues associated with autism. After nearly five decades of pioneering treatment, in 2013, Damar opened its ABA services location on Indianapolis’ northeast side. ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) is recognized as the bestpractice treatment for children with autism, helping them address challenges with communication, social interaction, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Damar matches this proven approach with a “whatever it takes” promise and a focus on putting the family’s needs first. And, as a nonprofit organization that accepts Medicaid and private insurance, Damar serves families that otherwise might not have access to ABA services. “We work through barriers to make sure families get the services they need,” said Kristin McCoy, Director of ABA Autism Services by Damar. “If it’s a transportation problem, we work through that. If it’s a funding or scheduling problem, we work through that. And if a child needs something different, we have access to everything Damar offers.” In other words, even if ABA services are not what a child needs, Damar can help a family access the appropriate services – and back those with a half-century of expertise. 2 / LAWRENCE COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER / JUNE 2014 / atLawrence.com

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PUBLISHERS

Neal & Kathi Moore

neal@atLawrence.com / 317-609-0101 kathi@atLawrence.com / 317-674-FORT Cover Photo / Jon Moore

TOWNEPOST PUBLISHER Tom Britt

tom@atLawrence.com / 317-496-3599

BUSINESS MANAGER Jeanne Britt

jeanne@atLawrence.com / 317-288-7101

DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION Toni Folzenlogel

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Alyssa Sander

ADVERTISING DESIGNER

18 / COVER STORY

Austin Vance

EDITOR

Heidi Newman

ROLLING THUNDER: LPD’S IMPOSING RESCUE/SWAT VEHICLE

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Kathi Moore / Carly Lyon

Writer / Neal G. Moore

The Lawrence Police Department bags a behemoth--a surplus U.S. Army vehicle to be used for police SWAT actions and citizen rescues. Learn the story of how this beast of a vehicle found its way to Lawrence.

DEPARTMENTS 4 6 7 8 10

17

Old Oakland Tees Up Its New Clubhouse

21

Sanders Dentistry : Something to Smile About From Drive-In Movies to Wetlands Much Ado About Winning: LC Senior Nabs Top Shakespeare Prize

22 23

Two Lawrence Police Officers Receive Service Awards Good People, Good Causes: The Cupboard of Lawrence Township

Neal G. Moore / Kathi Moore / Christy Watson / Kara Reible / Cheryl Meyer

SHOP LOCAL!

Help our local economy by shopping local. Advertising supporters of the Lawrence Community Newsletter offset the costs of publication and mailing, keeping this publication FREE. Show your appreciation by thanking them with your business.

STORY SUBMISSIONS

A Daughter’s Tribute to the Father She Never Knew

Post your stories to TownePost.com or email to info@atLawrence.com.

June Local Events Calendar

Klipsch Music Center Summer Concert Lineup Preview

/lawrenceindiana

JUNE WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS

MAILING ADDRESS

P.O. Box 36097 / Indianapolis, IN 46236 Phone: 317-823-5060 / Fax: 317-536-3030

atLawrence.com

The Lawrence Community Newsletter is published by the TownePost Media Network and is written for and by local Lawrence area residents. Newsletters are distributed via direct mail to more than 8,900 Lawrence area homeowners and businesses each month.

atLawrence.com / JUNE 2014 / LAWRENCE COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER / 3

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OLD OAKLAND TEES UP ITS NEW CLUBHOUSE Writer / Cheryl Meyer Photographer / Kathi Moore

One year ago—June 27, to be exact—Lyle Palmer, general manager and head golf pro at the Old Oakland Golf Club, received one of those dreaded 3 a.m. calls: the clubhouse was on fire, with one-third of the building engulfed in flames. Four hours later, thanks to the local fire department and a sprinkler system, the fire had been extinguished. The cause of the blaze: discarded smoking material, likely a cigar or cigarette, in an outdoor trash bin. Fast forward to today, and things are looking up for the 50-year-old private golf club, which is owned by Dawson Development Company. Palmer and the property owners worked with a group of architects and designers to create a new, contemporary clubhouse. All told, construction and renovation cost more than $1 million, Palmer said. The fire was so extensive that furnishings, TVs and even silverware had to be replaced.

Although the club’s golf carts were not destroyed, they had to be cleaned and scrubbed because of smoke damage. Part of the roof was missing, so snow delayed construction this winter. Becky Augustin, a member of Old Oakland Golf Club and an independent design consultant, offered her services to help reinvigorate a clubhouse that was outdated and in desperate need of a facelift. “Old Oakland, to my husband and me, has always been a fixture in our lives,” she said. “So when this came up, I said, ‘I’ll be happy to volunteer for this.’”

carpeting and tile. Furniture is more contemporary, with dining room chairs and tables resembling light laminate with a subtle pattern. The club’s dining room has a “sophisticated look,” Augustin said, with two large chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, creating a warm, natural atmosphere. The patio—always a popular summer hangout spot—has a “brick paver” texture so patrons will not slip. The pro shop, dining room and other parts of the clubhouse have floor-to-ceiling windows with clear views of the course. Another upgrade is an open kitchen.

She said the original building previously “looked old and tired.” First thing on the agenda was making the ceilings flat and introducing bulkheads for lighting and accent. The team updated colors to a neutral palette with variations of a warm gray. The flooring consists of attractive

4 / LAWRENCE COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER / JUNE 2014 / atLawrence.com

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The social area includes a 26-foot curved wooden bar, complemented by slate tile on the back wall, new TVs, lighted shelving and hanging pendant lighting. “The bar is the ‘wow’ factor—everyone will be shocked,” Augustin said. The new building, with its redesign and updated look, is the silver lining following last year’s fire, according to Augustin. “The fire was horrible, but it drew the club close together, and the owners have been really receptive to having this do-over and doing it right,” she said. “This will be like having a brand new building.”

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The office environment is very welcoming and all the team members are highly trained and friendly. Catherine, Daphne, Kate, Beth and Dr. Sanders will do everything they can to welcome you and also to help you afford the treatment you need and want. They accept most insurance and will work out a payment plan if necessary. In fact, this high level of service earned them the 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award! Some of their recent patient comments include, “Dr. Sanders is very gentle handling all the procedures. He always explains in detail the procedure he is doing. Overall my experience was excellent.” “I was afraid I would need a root canal, etc. Thank you so much for saving my tooth!” “I have finally found a great dentist. I have been to 10+ dentists over the past decade. I fully trust him with my teeth.” Dr. Sanders is a 1990 graduate of Indiana University School of Dentistry. He has been Choosing a dentist for your family is providing a full range of dental services to a personal thing. You need gentle and Lawrence, Fishers and Indianapolis patients affordable care for your children as well as for more than 20 years. He is committed to you and your spouse, convenient location providing each patient with an exceptional and hours that work with your busy schedule. level of care and attention. He and his wife, Beth, live in Fishers with their four children, Dr. Steven Sanders and his staff at Sanders which include triplets. Dr. Sanders and his Dentistry, located just off Binford Boulevard family are members of Holy Spirit Parish at 65th Street on Indy’s NE side, pride at Geist Catholic Church. He loves to golf, themselves on welcoming all patients like fish, coach baseball and basketball and family. This full-service practice offers spend quality family time with his wife implant restorations, cosmetic & general and children. dentistry, periodontal therapy and restorative care, using the latest dental equipment New patients are welcome. for your comfort and service. Same day Contact office at 317-253-8004 emergency care, teeth whitening, athletic or office@sandersdentistry.net. mouth guards , TMJ splints and anti-snoring Find them on Facebook and devices are also among their services. online at sandersdentistry.net 6 / LAWRENCE COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER / JUNE 2014 / atLawrence.com

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FROM DRIVE-IN MOVIES TO WETLANDS “We want to be a good community partner. We’ve been here for five years now and the testing is complete on the wetlands property, so we can move forward with the formal development of the park.” — Fred DuFour , Monarch Senior Vice President

Writer / Kathi Moore

If you know anything about Lawrence commercial development over the past couple of decades, you’ll recall the Pendleton Pike Drive-In Theater, formerly located on property now occupied by Monarch Beverage Company. Included in Monarch’s purchase of the land was a promise that a portion of it would be protected as a wetlands area. “We want to be a good community partner. We’ve been here for five years now and the testing is complete on the wetlands property, so we can move forward with the formal development of the park,” explained Monarch Senior Vice President Fred DuFour. In April of 2014 Mayor Dean Jessup announced the result of a city-wide contest to name the new linear wetlands park. Local resident Jewell Nicola submitted the winning recommendation, and the Lawrence Redevelopment Commission unveiled the newly named “Bragdon Wetlands Park”. The Bragdon family is considered among the founding fathers of the community—one of the first to settle in the Lawrence area—purchasing a 160-acre plot of land in 1834. Many Lawrence residents know the family as owners of Bragdon’s Post Road Garage, established in 1937 and still doing business just down the street from the new wetlands park. The family’s service to the community started in 1929 when Claude Bragdon became one of the founding members of the Lawrence Volunteer Fire Department. Senior family member Robert Bragdon, 82, worked at the drive-in theater as a teen and is excited the family is being honored. “It [naming the park] caught us by surprise,” said Ted Bragdon, third-generation owner of the garage. “Then, we were real proud and happy.” Final design work is underway for the Bragdon Wetlands Park, which is expected to include a walking path between East 46th Street and East 52nd Street, an overlook area, as well as permanent art installations. Groundbreaking is expected to take place sometime in 2014. atLawrence.com / JUNE 2014 / LAWRENCE COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER / 7

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MUCH ADO ABOUT WINNING

LC SENIOR NABS TOP SHAKESPEARE PRIZE Writer / Neal G. Moore

We’ve all been there—a high school literature class with required reading of a William Shakespeare play. So too, has Scott Van Wye who, like most students, did his reading assignment for the singular purpose of getting a good grade. But, the 18-year-old Lawrence Central senior and student of English teacher Richard Phillipy, developed a deeper appreciation for the Bard of Avon (England, not Indiana). “It’s a completely different experience just reading for a grade, and then seeing those characters come to life,” Scott said upon returning from New York City where he placed first in the thirty-first annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.

Scott Van Wye, center, with the top three finalists in the National Shakespeare Competition. Van Wye earned top honors.Photo courtesy: English-Speaking Union of the United States.

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In early May, Van Wye joined 57 other high school dramatists at New York’s Lincoln Center for the national finals, each having previously won local and regional competitions. Contestants presented a Shakespeare monologue and sonnet (Scott performed Benedick’s monologue from Much Ado About Nothing: Act 2, Scene 3; and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 55: Not marble, nor the gilded monuments). “Shakespeare had lots of cool stuff to say, in lots of cool ways, and just to be able to bring that to life and explore and share is the greatest part of doing it,” Scott said. Van Wye—who will attend Indiana University this fall to study musical theater—said he did not expect to win. “For me, the prize was always just getting to finals, and by getting there I had already won.” The judges, however, were sufficiently impressed to present Van Wye with the top prize: a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s Young Actors Summer School in London. “When I heard them say the winner was from the Indianapolis region I didn’t quite get it until I heard my name. I felt the hugs and slaps on the back and felt wow, holy crap, I did it!” Scott explained that in elementary and middle school he’d always been a band kid, and upon moving to high school vowed “not to do choir or drama” as an older brother had. “I was going to be my own person,” he remembered. “Sophomore year, I tried out for the musical Cinderella—I really enjoyed it, and I haven’t looked back since.” While at IU, Scott’s focus will be to improve as a singer, actor and dancer, and is looking forward to participating Bloomington’s creative vibe. Perhaps some day we’ll see him on the silver screen. “I’d like to do it all—to grown as a person and performer.”

8 / LAWRENCE COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER / JUNE 2014 / atLawrence.com

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TownePost.com / JUNE 2014 / TOWNEPOST MEDIA NETWORK

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SUMMER CONCERT LINEUP PREVIEW Writer / Christy Watson

Will it be cowboy hats and boots, black T-shirts and jeans, or coconut bras and leis that don your arrival at Klipsch Music Center this summer? Are camping for Dave Matthews and date night for ZBB (Zac Brown Band) or Luke Bryan marked on your calendar, as well? The 2014 concert season is underway for yet another spectacular and diverse lineup that gets many area residents’ heart rates aflutter this time of year. Having just celebrated 25 years as a successful and nationally recognized “Best Music Venue,” the changes just don’t stop when it comes to improving the concert experience at KMC. Going head to head with mother nature during the off season, construction of a new bar in the venue’s south plaza and a new program that provides guests the opportunity to purchase a table for individual shows are just an example of the first class service this venue strives to give its guests. “The concept is that guests can experience wait-free service throughout their visit,

and their own reserved table. The bar will be in a great location so it’s close to just about everything,” says Andrew Newport, the GM for North American Concerts and Live Nation, who is celebrating his own 15-year milestone, working at the venue. “Healthier food options and locally grown produce and meat from responsibly raised animals is another very cool program being offered that allows us to support the community while offering better products to the fans,” offers Newport. The variety of talent this year is unsurpassed, with some rock ‘n’ roll heavy-hitters headed this way, from seasoned acts like Journey/Steve Miller, to Kiss and Def Leppard, to the farewell tour of Motley Crüe and Alice Cooper. Everybody’s favorite Caribbean crooner, Jimmy Buffett, returns June 26 while his Parrothead fans are busy preparing for their extravagant tailgate parties. Country music has made its way into the hearts of many and the evolution of the Country Mega Ticket has made it easier for patrons to catch the boot-

stomping, hip-shaking talent of acts like Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw and Lady A, to name a few. Camping at Klipsch will be offered for the two-day Luke Bryan event in late August. The season will round out in September with Toby Keith and the resonant sound of Dierks Bentley. Never to deny the showcase of newer talent and tastes, Klipsch excitedly will welcome OneRepublic/The Script, Wiz Khalifa’s Under the Influence of Music Tour, and Kings of Leon. With nearly all of the venue’s boxes sold out for the season, a great way to see the shows is through the VIP program that allows purchasers to take advantage of a private parking lot, access to the VIP Club and Lounge, as well as access to exclusive seats. Season seat and series seat packages are also still available. Whatever your tastes in music, be sure not to let those summer nights slip by without a visit to Klipsch Music Center, and meet up with about 23,999 of your soon-to-be closest friends.

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As Mayor Dean Jessup looks on, Officer Christie accepts service citation from Police Chief Mike Walton.

TWO LAWRENCE POLICE OFFICERS RECEIVE SERVICE AWARDS Merit officer Christie was singled out for responding to more than a thousand police The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post runs, including the arrests of 16 drunk 261 in Lawrence believes it is important to drivers and 71 other suspects. Christie also recognize the men and women who serve to serves as field training officer for new police protect us—and not just military personnel. recruits. Last year, Officer Christie chased and Annually, the VFW names its selections for apprehended a man who had attempted to Lawrence Police Officers of the Year—one shoot police officers during a vehicle pursuit. merit and one reserve. This year’s award Christie and other officers came under gunfire recipients are LPD officers Tim Christie and and were able to return fire, wounding the Matthew Hickey. suspect without harm to others. Chief Walton noted that Officer Christie showed extreme During a meeting of the Police Merit bravery and good judgment during the lifeCommission, the duo was cited for their threatening situation. exemplary public safety work. “I try not to make my selections for just a single act, but Reserve officer Hickey is a retired firefighter. for officers that perform at the highest level Last year, he worked 835 volunteer hours— throughout the entire year,” Police Chief well above the required 384. Officer Hickey Mike Walton explained during a low-key also more than doubled his required training ceremony in the city hall council chamber. hours. Hickey’s service included 287 calls Writer / Neal G. Moore

for assistance from citizens, processing 55 crime victim reports, and the arrests of 153 traffic violators. In announcing the award, Chief Walton made special note of Officer Hickey’s attitude and sense of humor. “He is always making everyone around him smile,” Walton said. Merit Commission chairman Rick Wilson expressed appreciation for Christie’s and Hickey’s work, and for all Lawrence police officers. “They do great work every single day, protecting and serving this community,” said Wilson. On a related note, the commission moved forward the candidacies of 16 individuals for consideration as new police officers. Chief Walton anticipates four or five department openings in the next year.

atLawrence.com / JUNE 2014 / LAWRENCE COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER / 17

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Rolling Thunder LPD’s imposing rescue/SWAT vehicle

Writer / Neal G. Moore Photography / Kathi Moore

18 / LAWRENCE COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER / JUNE 2014 / atLawrence.com

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Let’s play a game of “What if…?” What if you were hiking in Fort Harrison State Park and you suffered a heart attack? What if there were no road or path into or out of the rugged ravine where you lay in need of immediate medical attention? Would you: a) be forced to accept that no ambulance, truck or car would be able to get to you in a timely manner? or: b) take some comfort knowing that immediate medical help was on the way thanks to a tank-like vehicle capable of traversing virtually any terrain—a six-wheeldrive, 53,000-pound behemoth that, most recently, patrolled the streets and sands of Afghanistan? This not-so-unlikely scenario is one of the reasons Lawrence Police Department (LPD) jumped at the chance recently to snatch up a surplus U.S. Army allterrain vehicle for pennies on the dollar (not many pennies, but a whole lot of dollars.) Indeed, the sticker price—still affixed to the vehicle—was $733,000 when it initially rolled off a military contractor assembly line. The Beast (as I’ll call it here) was sitting in Texas when Chief Michael Walton accepted the Army’s offer: “If you can pay to transport the vehicle, it’s yours.” Sixty-two hundred dollars later, LPD had itself a beast of a vehicle for emergency rescue and SWAT incident use. “We’re constantly looking for government equipment that the military is no longer using,” Walton explained during a recent interview with Lawrence Community Newsletter. “Anytime we have an opportunity to upgrade our equipment, we take advantage.” For example, the department has in its weapons arsenal several military-grade M-16 rifles.

The interior will be outfitted with benches to safely seat 12 fully outfitted Swat Team members or up to 20 victims.

LPD currently employs a former BRINKS truck that’s been converted into an emergency-response vehicle, but the obvious benefits of the much larger, better-armored vehicle were too good to pass up. “This vehicle will travel uphill, through snow, water, mud. If we’re doing a rescue, we can do it in a better way,” Walton said. “With the existing vehicle we might not be able to.” LPD SWAT commander Capt. Tim Steele acknowledged that the department has been looking at a civilian version of a similar vehicle with a price tag of about $250,000. “By doing this, the chief saved the city a lot of money. It benefits citizens for future protection. This vehicle could drive right up to the bad guy and not even be damaged,” Steele said. The prospect of an active shooter is an ever-present threat that police around the country frequently train for. “Overall, there now are more dangers than there used to be,” said Chief Walton. “Thirty years ago when I started, you worried more about one-onone confrontations. We now are training for two or three people assassinating people in a school. Those things were unheard of [previously]. Now, we’re more worried about high-powered rifles and explosive devices. The potential is always great.” That’s where The Beast would come into play. LPD’s entire SWAT force of 15 officers, along with three medics from Lawrence Fire Department, can comfortably sit inside (2025 if standing). A turret atop the truck opens for use by a rifle marksman, and large, swingout rear doors allow for a swift exit. “It’s 100 percent safer than what we had. I feel

more comfortable sending my guys into a hot zone…going in and getting citizens out. With a patrol car there’s no true protection. Now, we have true protection,” explained Capt. Steele. Indeed, the former military vehicle’s bulletproof glass and steel-plated exterior can withstand a 50-caliber shell. The threat of a violent police run isn’t hyperbole. Capt. Steele recounted a recent call involving a Lawrence resident with mental health issues. “He was loaded with weapons—rifles, shotguns.” The Indianapolis Police Department Bomb Squad will also have access to the vehicle—providing technicians the opportunity to get closer, and to do so more safely, when dealing with an explosive device. LPD conducted a recent training session at an abandoned house using The Beast to practice tactical maneuvers. “It worked better than we expected,” said Chief Walton. “We learned some new ways to allow us more safe tactical approaches, entries. It will provide us with more successful response.” The department plans to replace The Beast’s jump seats with benches, and paint the vehicle black. Ominous? Yes. Intimidating? Perhaps. The point is to take some of the stress out of the equation—whether a police action or rescue-related event. “It’s like an umbrella,” offered Chief Walton. “I hope we don’t need it, but if we do, what I like best about it is providing our officers with the safest piece of equipment we could provide to make sure they go home at the end of the day, and that they can stay alive while rescuing someone else.”

The cockpit is well-outfitted and requires two drivers.

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GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD CAUSES THE CUPBOARD OF LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP

Writer / Kathi Moore

An additional food pantry is coming to Lawrence, scheduled for opening in late August. An initiative of the trustee’s office, The Cupboard of Lawrence Township, 7107 Pendleton Pike (just east of Shadeland), will help families in need of food assistance, provide healthier food options for clients and relieve the strain experienced by other food pantries throughout Central Indiana. “We’ve seen a 20-30 percent increase each year for the past three years in people needing our assistance,” commented Cindy Hubert, President and CEO, Gleaners Food Bank. “We need to model what Lawrence has achieved; there are very few communities that can pull this off, with all the entities coming together on this project.” USDA research shows that Indiana ranks 12th in the nation in the prevalence of food

insecurity. Roughly one in seven households had difficulty at some time during the year in providing enough nutritious food for their family. The recent national economic state has hit elderly people, the working poor and hungry children especially hard. Lawrence Township has eight small food pantries, funded in part by the trustee’s office, but only one ranks as a “Pantry Partner,” which Gleaners assists in handling the bulk of food distribution. The Sharing Place, located in the MSDLT administration building on Sunnyside Road, is open 12-18 hours a week and offers traditional pantry items as well as fresh produce, clothing and other necessity items.

The Cupboard will likely serve 250-300 families per week once it opens. It will be open Wednesdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and 6-8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; and the third Saturday each month from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The Cupboard is owned by the Lawrence Township Trustee and operated by the newly founded Lawrence Township Hunger Coalition. “We think there’s a huge need here,” pointed out LT Trustee Russell Brown. “We are serving 15,000 families now and this will allow us to grow to continue to meet the need.” For more information or to volunteer or make a donation, visit LawrenceTownshipCupboard.org

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A DAUGHTER’S TRIBUTE TO THE FATHER SHE NEVER KNEW Dad. Despite the physical absence, Brigitt knew he was near. “I learned about my dad at Indianapolis native Corporal Robert V. Reno the knee of my grandmother,” she said. Her last saw his wife and infant son Thanksgiving, paternal grandmother saved all of the letters 1944, before deploying with the U.S. Army’s exchanged with her dad, and his personal 71st Infantry Division, heading to WWII’s effects—his Army hat, both of his Purple European Theater. Easter Sunday, 1945, Hearts and other war medals. “In my mind, I General George Patton was making his final created a perfect father from photos and letters push toward Berlin, and the job of the 71st was and other memorabilia,” explained Brigitt. to protect Patton’s Third Army. That Easter marked the beginning of the inevitable end Brigitt grieved, especially so when she reached of Hitler’s Third Reich. Outside Altenstadt, the age her father had been when he was Germany, the 71st engaged the 6th SS killed. When her own boys were about the Mountain Nord Division in a three-day same age, she grieved again. “As an orphan of battle that was pivotal to the end of the war war, I’m fiercely proud of my father and his in Europe. Sadly, Cpl. Reno was a casualty on willingness to defend his country. It wasn’t that first day of the battle. Back home, Alberta until I discovered AWON, however, that I felt Reno was left widowed with 20-month-old kindred with other war orphans,” she said. Robert, and was five months pregnant with daughter Roberta “Brigitt” Reno. The American WWII Orphans Network (AWON) has connected war orphans via an Father’s Day has always been bittersweet for online community, and has provided Brigitt Brigitt Reno Caito. “That generation didn’t a group of friends who understand what it’s talk much about the war. There were no like to have grown up fatherless. For many big remembrances, there were no support war orphans, AWON has been a blessing—to groups, and less-than-zero attention was share their grief, but most importantly, to heal. given to those families left without a father,” said Brigitt. “We were supposed to look The Veterans Administration estimates forward, not back, and the orphans left approximately 183,000 children were left behind were ignored collateral damage.” fatherless by WWII. In truth, the number is understated, based only on families that Having no father figure, Brigitt felt incomplete qualified for available benefits. Many did not compared to her peers. The “Dick and Jane” accept help, and untold numbers may have world they lived in didn’t allow for fatherless not known of the assistance. As book authors children to feel accepted. It was the era when Susan Hadler and Anne Bennett Mix wrote in divorce wasn’t prevalent, and moms stayed Lost in Victory, “With the arrival of the deathhome to raise children. Alberta did her best, announcing telegram, silence descended like and Brigitt came to truly appreciate her Mom’s a fog.” For Brigitt, “Silence swept so much efforts to provide as normal lives as possible possibility under the rug.” Many people did for her and her brother. not want to hear about the loss of a father to war. It was supposed to be a victory party, and Still, Brigitt did not have a father. There were, no one wanted to be reminded of the cost.” however, traces of the man she had never called Writer / Kara Reibel

Brigitt spent much of her life discovering the father she never met and yet loved all the same—grateful for the pieces of his life left behind.

THEN A MIRACLE HAPPENED.

Fifty-nine years after her father’s death, Brigitt found an AWON online chat group discussing the discovery of recordings that a few of their fathers made prior to deployment. As a free service, Pepsi Corporation had offered GIs the opportunity to record personal messages on vinyl records to be sent home. Could it be possible? Brigitt asked her mom if she recalled any such recording. Initially, she said no. A few months later at Thanksgiving dinner, her mom produced an envelope containing a warped 45 rpm record with Cpl. Reno’s handwriting on the cover. Brigitt’s heart raced with excitement. Thanks to the technical genius of a Caito family neighbor who was an audiologist, Brigitt heard her father’s voice. “Hearing my dad’s voice for the first time was incredible. No one ever told me he sounded just like his brother,” remembered Brigitt. AWON members are proud of their fathers’ sacrifices. For them, dads are forever young, forever perfect, and are heroes. “They died that we might live in freedom. Their lives were cut short, but they are with us still,” said Brigitt. If you grew up without your father, wouldn’t it be natural to make him perfect? This writer says, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.” A more detailed version of this story is available at TownePost.com.

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JUNE LOCAL EVENTS JUNE 7, 19, 29 / EBOOK TINKER STATION

JUNE 14 / 10th ANNIVERSARY OUTRUN THE SUN

2:00 – 4:00pm Lawrence Library Branch 7898 N Hague Rd imcpl.org/locations/lawrence/ Patrons are invited to learn how to select and use eReaders, as well as search and download materials from the library’s extensive collection of eBooks, audiobooks and digital music. Patrons can drop in anytime during this twohour visit by the library’s traveling eBook Tinker Station, which is staffed by an eReader expert who can answer questions about the equipment and collection. The Tinker Helpline is also available to call for answers to your questions at 275-4500.

7pm / Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park In celebration of its 10th anniversary, organizers have expanded the race site with more space for teams, participants, and sponsors. The celebration will take place in the Lawton Loop Parade Grounds that is within steps of the original race site. The scenic five-mile competitive run course enters the Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park and consists of some hills and elevations. Strollers are not permitted in the timed run. raceagainstmelanoma.kintera.org/faf/ home/default.asp?ievent=1096139

JUNE 30 / 2014 GREATER LAWRENCE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE GOLF OUTING 10am registration/ 11am shotgun start / The Fort Golf Course / 6002 North Post Road lawrencechamberofcommerce.org/events/GLC-Annual-Golf-Outing-152/details

JUNE 2–5 / BENJAMIN HARRISON YMCA SPLASH

5736 Lee Road / FREE! Four-day intro and orientation to swimming and water safety through practical experience. Children will learn how to prevent accidents in the pool, at the beach, while bathing or around water. Participants can attend one day or multiple days. Register (317)547-9622

JUNE 1–7 / NATIONAL GARDEN WEEK IN LAWRENCE

Benjamin Harrison YMCA TREE Party 5736 Lee Road / Mon. – Sat. Information in lobby Saturday party in annex with Keep Indpls. Beautiful and DNR demos, tree dedication, tea and cookies. gardenclubofindiana.org

JUNE 5 / FURRY TAILS WITH A TWIST

JUNE 18 / INDIANA PACERS SUMMER READING TOUR

JUNE 9, 16, 23, 30 / CRITTER CHATS

JUNE 25 / BINFORD REDEVELOPMENT & GROWTH YP AFTER-HOURS

10:30am / Lawrence Library Branch 7898 N Hague Road imcpl.org/locations/lawrence/ Families with children ages 2 – 11 are welcome as Minnetrista Theatre Preserves will present the production of “Furry Tails With a Twist,” featuring off-beat characters and puppets. Those attending will help deconstruct and reconstruct three beloved fairy tales. Call 275-4460 to register.

2–3:00pm / 10:30am Lawrence Library Branch / 7898 N Hague Road imcpl.org/locations/lawrence/ Children of all ages and families are invited to meet animals face-to-face, and spend time getting to know about them during this presentation by Animalia.

1:00pm / Lawrence Library Branch 7898 N Hague Road imcpl.org/locations/lawrence/ Children of all ages are invited to take a reading time-out with community helpers and leaders and read like a pro during this story time. Afterwards, those attending can spin the “wheel of prizes.”

5:30-7:30pm / BIER Brewery 5133 E 65th St / Indianapolis

HAVE YOUR EVENT FEATURED ON OUR EVENT CALENDAR! Contact Kathi Moore / Kathi@atLawrence.com / 317-674-3678 (FORT)

INDIANAPOLIS EVENT PARTNERS @LawrenceIndiana @AroundIndy

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Lawrence Community Newsletter  

Rollling Thunder: LPD's imposing rescue vehicle