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Zionsville’s Only Monthly Community Newsletter


Princess with a Purpose Zionsville_June_2013.indd 1

JUNE 2013

JJ Kaplan Photography

A part of the Network of Hyper Local Newsletters

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WESTCLAY® Towne Road Near 131st Street

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zionsville c o m m u n©2013 ity newsletter | June 2013 The National Bank of Indianapolis Member FDIC

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Morning Dove: A Call for Volunteers | Wynne Lucas Ellie Brown: With an Idea that Sticks | Molly Goldby

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Alpaca Farm: All in the Family | JJ Kaplan


Samantha Robbins: Zionsville’s Miss Outstanding Teen Contestant | JJ Kaplan


Rachel Bazzell: Princess with a Purpose | JJ Kaplan


Miss Indiana Pageant: More Than Skin Deep | Jane VanOsdol

Business Spotlight: Massage Envy: That Healing Touch | Andy J. Murphy

34 36 39

Event Calendar


Erica Caputo: It’s a Piece of Cake | JJ Kaplan

TownePost Publisher

Tom Britt 317-496-3599

Business Manager & Sales Neil Lucas 317-296-7800

Story Submissions

Sales Associate

Mailing Address

Lena Lucas 317-501-0418


Jeanne Britt 317-823-5060

Creative Director Alyssa Sander

Post your stories to or email to P.O. Box 36097 Indianapolis, IN 46236-0097 Phone: 317-296-7800 Fax: 317-536-3030 The Zionsville Community Newsletter is published by Britt Interactive, LLC and written for and by local Zionsville area residents. Newsletters are distributed via direct mail to over 8,000 Zionsvile area homeowners and businesses each month. For more information, visit

ON THE COVER: Rachael Bazzell, winner of Miss Duneland 2013, who will be competing for the coveted title of Miss Indiana 2013. - page 24

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Publisher’s | Tom Britt Note

As the Brick Street Market, Market Eve and Indy 500 events are now in our rear view mirrors, we look forward to an equally busy month of June in Zionsville. With June comes Cruzionsville, Sullivan Munce’s Garden Classics and the Miss Indiana/Miss Outstanding Teen Pageant. We have dedicated a substantial portion of this June issue to highlight the Miss Indiana/Miss Outstanding Teen pageant, held annually at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center, and its two local participants, Rachael Bazzell and Samatha Robbins. We feel strongly that the pageant and these two young women deserve our recognition and the support of the entire Zionsville community. GOOD LUCK, Rachael and Samantha!!!! In talking with the Directors of the Pageant they wanted to thank the entire Zionsville community for its support and issue a special thank you to the Zionsville Lions Club for their help. We would like to welcome Zionsville resident Molly Godby as a new contributing writer to this month’s issue with her story on Ellie Brown. Lastly, we are continually looking for story ideas and writers. So, if you have an idea that you think would make a good story or a desire to write, please send me an email at

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morning dove a call for volunteers

and volunteers, they offer therapeutic riding programs for children and some adults with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities. It takes quite a bit of energy and effort to run an operation of this magnitude. For Morning Dove to be able to offer the large number of lessons that they do, they need over 150 volunteer hours a week. As you may have guessed, I am a volunteer with Morning Dove. After a quick, one-hour volunteer orientation, I was ready. I signed up for my first day of volunteering, and I immediately fell in love. For the horse lovers reading this, you can appreciate the happiness that comes with being around horses. As a volunteer, I am able to groom and tack the horses before each lesson, tasks that I truly enjoy. Next comes the lesson, in which a volunteer is paired with a child and a horse. As each horse has its own beautiful personality, so does each rider. After a long, challenging day, I look forward to talking to my first grade rider about her day in school. At times, I cannot decide which is stronger: my love for the horses or my love for the riders.

| Wynne Lucas As a child, I was lucky enough to have parents that supported my love for horseback riding. However, as I got older, the time commitment, as well as the financial aspect of riding, became too much. Yet, as many horse lovers know, that love for a horse never truly goes away. Recently, I was introduced to a wonderful organization in Zionsville : Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding Center. There I met three special ladies, Lydia Phillips, Kate Murphy and Elizabeth Coit. Together, along with a multitude of skilled instructors

Morning Dove is doing something amazing. However they are in a constant need for volunteers. As I said before, I have some experience with horses. Yet there is just as much of a need for volunteers with horse experience as those without any experience. Every volunteer has his or her own reason for volunteering. Some have been around horses for years, while others wanted to learn more about these magnificent creatures. Regardless of your story, Morning Dove would love to have you as a volunteer. I cannot adequately express how welcoming this group has been towards me. If you have even the slightest interest, I encourage you to contact Lydia Philips at or call 317-733-9393. For more information about Morning Dove, you can visit their website at Wynne Lucas is a sophomore at Purdue University.

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| Molly Godby tay-at-home moms often miss the days of “what once was.” For Ellie Brown, that was having a successful career in pharmaceutical sales. Although that career is in the past, Ellie definitely has kept herself busy. She has two young boys; and as all parents know, this involves school drop offs and pick ups, homework, projects, sports, and activities on top of the every-day responsibilities that come with having children and being a stay-at-home mom. Ellie also has been involved in the community with ZEF and the extremely popular Z-Bowl activities that took place when the Super Bowl came to Indianapolis.


Ellie Brown With an Idea that Sticks 10

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But then an opportunity came along that lured Ellie back into sales. Ellie’s sister, Becca Nelson, and Becca’s friend, Jennifer Pittman, had a new idea and a product they needed to promote. These ladies were creative, but they weren’t sure how to test the idea or get the product into the hands of actual customers. They knew Ellie would be the perfect person to help them with marketing their idea. Based on experience, Becca and Jennifer saw the need for a product that they could reuse over and over and that could stick on surfaces without damaging them. Being resourceful types, they did patent searches and checked materials to find out what people were using for products similar to what they had in mind. Once they had done their research,

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they had a huge brainstorming session to think of ways they could use this material. The first product they attempted was peel and reveal reusable “greeting cards.” A customer could buy a greeting card or a series of cards with pictures and quotes, for example, that could be peeled off to reveal the sender’s message. Normal greeting cards are thrown away after they have served their purpose; but if customers liked a particular peel-and-stick picture and message, they could peel it off and stick it on a cubicle and then remove it again and restick it on the refrigerator at home. And on and on. Now they knew how to design and manufacture the product, but they didn’t know how to bring it to market. That’s where Ellie came in. She took Becca and Jennifer to a major trade show to show their idea. Even after demonstrating that you could peel and stick a card anywhere – the refrigerator, the walls, clothes – and then reuse and re-stick it, the buyers told them they liked the idea of the reusable greeting card but they weren’t sure that their customers would “get it.” After receiving that feedback, and feeling defeated, the ladies regrouped and realized that while demonstrating the cards, they kept demonstrating the wearable aspect. This gave them a new idea. They would redefine their product.

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They would make something specifically to stick on clothes. “What would look cool on clothing?” they asked themselves. That was when the “Sticky Tie™” idea was born. Ellie went back to Indiana and Becca and Jennifer went home to Raleigh, North Carolina. Ellie wasn’t sure that anything would come of the tie idea, but boy was she wrong. Becca and Jennifer got to work. Four months later, in May, 2011, the Sticky Tie was created – design, packaging, the whole thing – and the company evREwares® was created. Ellie was brought on as a partner to manage marketing and sales. They set off to the National Stationery Show. Surrounded by delicate stationery offering whimsical designs, they were the loud, whacky ladies who were so hyped about their “crazy product.” They weren’t sure that this was the place they should be, but they stayed strong and their persistence paid off. The Container Store loved the idea and bought five styles to be placed in their “Winter Wonderland” section, which was all about cute and creative ideas for stocking stuffers. And so it all began…for real. The partnership has been so successful, in part, because of today’s technology. EvREwares® is based out of Raleigh, where Becca and Jennifer live, but Ellie is able to do almost

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anything and everything she needs to do from Zionsville. Her office is her house. These days, Ellie works about 40 hours a week, but not the traditional 8 to 5 hours – and thank goodness for that. She can take calls and answer emails from the couch in her living room and still be available if one of her boys were to get sick in the middle of the day. This creates a successful meld between being a mom who is available for her family, whatever happens, and being back in the ring as a sales rep. This is an ideal situation for Ellie and her family, as well as the business. She can be a mom who feeds her kids snacks in the afternoon and helps with homework, but who also can help run a successful international business – all at the same time. She knows, too, that none of this would work without the help of her loving and supportive husband, Jeff. He fills in the gaps, with help from other friends, when Ellie has to travel for business. Ellie and the evREwares® crew are proud to be a womanowned company. They are also proud that all products are created and services are performed right here in the USA. These businesswomen have shown that hard work and persistence pay off. EvREwares® has continued to grow. Now they offer several lines of Sticky Ties™ – collegiate, big guy, li’l guy, bowties. They also have sashes, locker décor, drink labels, and baby’s first years age labels, as well

as custom labels and designs for businesses or homes. Additional large retailers also have picked up their lines. You may have seen them in Urban Outfitters for a seasonal graduation line. You’ll find their products in Party City and Steinmart. They are about to be tested in Spencer Gifts, Hot Topic, Toys R Us, and Justice stores. Of course, living in Zionsville, we want to know where we can find evREwares® locally. Well, look no further than Ballerinas & Bruisers and Lesley Jane! The company has some lofty goals for the next year or so. They are looking at special licenses and are hoping that a larger company loves their idea and maybe would invest – for these savvy business ladies have other ideas in the mix that they would love to bring to market! But Ellie says it is not about getting rich. She says, “It is about having a dream and not stopping. It is about having all the right parts, working together, and then watching as your dream blossoms.” Check out the full line of products at Molly Godby writes for the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Indiana and is a stay-at-home mother of two.

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Pam and Todd Hrubey and friend. 14 zionsville c o m m u n i t y Zionsville_June_2013.indd 14

newsletter | June 2013

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Story & Photos | JJ Kaplan

Alpaca All in the Farm family

Have you ever driven on Highway 334 West and noticed an unusual farm on the north side with cute, cuddly “llamas?” I have often wondered what they are. I have often wondered why they are there. I have often wondered if I dared stop and see the animals. I finally got the gumption to pull in and quickly became enchanted with these little camelids. These are not llamas. These are adorable alpacas owned by the Hrubey family of Whispering Willows Alpacas at Fishback Creek Farm. Pam and Todd Hrubey (pronounced “Ruby”) bought their farm in 2004. Life was never simple and calm; nevertheless, they had always felt a yearning to raise some type of animal. After they were introduced to alpacas, Pam and Todd became enamored with these small mammals because of their low maintenance and loving temperaments. Alpacas can recognize their own names and are generally quiet creatures, even when they hum, cluck, and spit. They have teeth only on the bottom jaw to cut grass off at the ground; therefore, they really can’t bite. Alpacas were just the type of animal to bring serenity and humor to their busy lives. Alpacas are intelligent, affectionate mammals that are raised for their fleece, which is sheared annually. Alpaca fleece is valued for being lanolin-free and, thus, can be worn by people with allergies to naturally lanolin-laden wool. In addition, alpaca fleece is known to be extremely warm. This luxury fiber is woven into socks, hats, scarves, and sweaters or can be purchased in skeins for knitting and crocheting. Extremely soft and silky in texture, I would compare it to cashmere. For many with sensitivity to cold, alpaca socks, gloves, and hats provide an answer for warmth because the fibers are hollow and provide wonderful insulation. I decided to test June 2013

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Recently born Alpacas. a pair of socks, as I am constantly cold and sensitive to air conditioning. My toes are delightfully warm, but not too hot. I can’t wait until winter to wear them and know they will be the answer to many a cold night. One of the farm’s clients, in particular, endured circulation problems for years and had trouble with his toes in cold temperatures. After wearing a pair of alpaca socks, he was thrilled to finally have a solution to his problems in winter. Alpacas were originally imported from Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. In South America, white fleece is prized because it can be dyed with bright colors. In the United States, however, neutral colors, such as grey, fawn, and black, are in demand. Pam and Todd have bred 16

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animals with a wide range of natural colors to sell fleece that requires no dying, less processing, and produces a superior yarn. Starting with two alpacas and two territorial llamas to stand guard, Pam and Todd acquired their nucleus to begin an alpaca farm. They wanted to start small and see how their own children, Zane, Hunter, and Mackenzie, would participate with the daily chores. To their delight, the teens embraced the alpacas and supported the family plan to expand the operation. Within three years, their farm became home to thirty alpacas. Pam and Todd have many stories of how alpacas have brought humor into their lives. Their own teens would

invite friends over and, of course, they would all end up playing with the alpacas. Business acquaintances have been invited to back yard BBQs and ended up with a memorable evening with alpacas. 4-H kids would also “borrow” an alpaca for their project and practice showing it, including leading it up and down the stairs. On more than one occasion, one of the children has led an alpaca through their home, usually at an inopportune moment. “Oh, mercy. There they go,” Pam has muttered as an alpaca has strutted by when she was in the middle of a phone call. She chuckles as she recalls how normal that scenario became in her home. On another occasion, Hunter and Todd were showing an alpaca at an alpaca

newsletter | June 2013

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show in a large arena. An older woman confined to a wheelchair was watching the show by the sidelines. Their alpaca insistently wandered over, dragging Todd with her, and leaned down to gently give the lady a kiss on the cheek. It is difficult to not connect with these loving creatures. Pam and Todd are busy building and refining their herd, with an emphasis on quality of conformation and fleece. Babies, known as crias, are being born now and more are due in the fall. On my visit, I was fortunate to see a baby only one day old. These little ones weigh only 15 pounds and ALL LEGS! On the cuteness scale, I probably rate them at 200%. Is that even possible? I think so!! Todd and Pam hold open houses so that the public can learn about these magnificent animals. Frequently-heard comments include, “I love winter because the leaves have fallen, and I can see the animals out in the field from the road.” “I have never seen anything that cute.” or “Are they going to spit at me?” In reality, alpacas normally spit only at each other, usually as they fight over food. People have a natural curiosity and affinity for these beautiful animals.

the alpaca’s name. Eventually, there may be socks, gloves, scarves, and hats for purchase at their online farm store that are made from the fleece from your favorite little alpaca! Pam suggested a cute party idea of serving “alpaca feet” by taking two brazil nuts, banding together in a cookie, and then dipping the tips in melted chocolate. Voila! You have little alpaca feet for your dessert tray!

It is obvious how much the Hrubeys love their alpacas and take great pride in showing them to our community. Alpacas are cute, affectionate, and quiet little beings. Just as alpacas have become part of the Hrubey family, they could very well become part of yours too! To learn more about upcoming open houses, updates on animals, and latest news, visit

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The Hrubeys are a closely-knit family that are even closer because they all work together to support the farm. Zane, Hunter, and Mackenzie are now adults. Hunter has taken over the lead role in the family as manager of the farm. All remain involved in the family business and exhibit the pride of a parent as they tell you all about their favorite animal. The Hrubeys love to show off their alpaca herd and each animal’s unique personality and traits to the public during their open houses. For example, fleece is sheared and collected from each specific alpaca. When sufficient fiber from one animal is pooled and is sent to the mill for cleaning and spinning, it will be catalogued under

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| 17PM 1/7/13 2:11 5/29/2013 1:10:52 PM

massage envy 18

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L to R: Sherry Keene, Brandon Coverdale, Cindy Glessner, Bruce Keene, Charlie Marsh, David Glessner


5/29/2013 1:10:57 PM

That Healing Touch | J. Andy Murphy

cience tells us that nothing is as healing as the human touch, and Charlie Marsh knows this better than most. Marsh was living in Scottsdale, Arizona, when she signed up for a wellness Massage Envy membership. Curious about the franchise after several visits, she inquired about the business side of one of her most favorite places to be. She liked what she heard and tucked it into the back of her mind. Five years later, she decided the time was right to take the next step as a possible franchise owner; but that step took an unexpected turn when she learned the company needed a regional developer in Indiana (where she grew up). She applied for the position and got the job.


In 2007, Marsh opened what would be the first Indiana Massage Envy location at 146th and Meridian Streets. Business was swift as the wellness concept of professional massage therapy, delivered by highly-trained massage therapists, quickly spread. The process of engaging in regular massage therapy sessions that relieve strained muscles and pain, while reducing individual stress levels in a relaxing environment, truly does a world of good for the human body as medical reports clearly document the havoc that stress plays on the overall state of our general health. Add to that injuries that can accompany an active lifestyle at any age, and you clearly see what Marsh saw when she first decided to learn more about this very successful franchise operation. “I believe that the three pillars of the Massage Envy concept – Affordable, Convenient, and Professional – contain the wellness foundation that has expanded into over 1,000 locations nationwide,” she said. “We are open seven days a week in community locations that are convenient to our members on all sides of town. All our certified massage therapists have a minimum of 500 hours of professional training in the many areas of anatomy and physiology and meet all state and local licensing requirements,” she added. Massage Envy offers an alternative to your typical day spa with customized services and affordable pricing. They invite you to see what they are all about for $49. The one-hour session includes a consultation, dressing change, and then 50 minutes of hands-on massage with multiple types of therapy available. Massage Envy offers a variety of massage types from which to choose because therapeutic needs vary not only from person to person, but also from day to day. With variations in pressure, technique, areas of focus, and desired outcome, every visit is a chance to find your

new favorite massage or to experience wonderful facials with groundbreaking Murad skincare products specially formulated for Massage Envy Spa facial treatments. All four types of facials offer therapeutic solutions designed to promote healthy skin. Massage therapy helps you relax, re-align and rejuvenate. There are many positive aspects to receiving massage therapy on an ongoing basis. With the busy lives we lead, we can all benefit from a little stress management at a nearby Massage Envy. J. Andy Murphy is a published author and works as a literary agent for regional writers. She serves as the Executive Director of the WriteStuff Writers Conferences and Events.


LOCATIONS North Carmel/Westfield Greyhound Pass 317-816-0600 West Carmel/Zionsville 106th Street & Michigan Road 317-873-3909 Hamilton Town Center 317-776-2550 Keystone at the Crossing 317-846-8300 Noblesville 317-770-4910 Fishers

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116th Street & I-69 317-577-4400 A sampling of services would include: • Healthy Skin Facials • Relaxation Massage • Cranial Sacral Massage • Deep Tissue Massage • Geriatric Massage • Sports Massage • Prenatal Massage • Foot Massage Therapy • Aroma Therapy • Hot Stone Massage

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Samantha Robbins: Zionsville's Miss Outstanding Teen Contestant KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON Story & Photos | JJ Kaplan Keep Calm and Carry On…this phrase may be familiar if you are enjoying Pinterest as much as I am. Keep Calm and Carry On was a propaganda poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of WW II, and was intended to boost morale of the British public. Today it has been re-issued by a number of private companies, and has been used as the decorative theme for a wide range of products. If this is foreign to you, just Google “Keep Calm” images and you will be entertained for hours.

The Keep Calm and Carry On message was embraced by Samantha Robbins, who began entering the Miss Fall Festival’s Outstanding Teen Pageant two years ago. Shy and introverted, she didn’t earn the title her first year. She then entered Miss Heart of Indiana’s Outstanding Teen the following year, and she still didn’t earn the title. On her third attempt, she knew what the judges were looking for. This time, Samantha stood before them with a newly –found lightness, sense of humor, and confidence. The shy little girl had been transformed over the years into a well-spoken, well-rounded contestant by keeping calm, reaching

outside her comfort zone, and carrying on. On September 9, 2012, Samantha Robbins was crowned Miss Fall Festival’s Outstanding Teen 2013. The Miss Fall Festival’s Outstanding Teen Pageant is a division of the Miss America Pageant program. This competition is designed for young girls, aged 13-17 and less than a senior in High School. More than just a pretty face, this organization is looking to empower women by showcasing a person as role model. And in the process, the contestants become confident by embracing their personal platforms, public appearances, community service, and academic

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small dog from Indianapolis Humane Society, and adopted a cat from Indianapolis Animal Care and Control. She is beginning orientation at the Indianapolis Humane Society to learn how to volunteer her time and effort to help the animals find permanent, loving homes. As she has always been passionate about pets, she also realizes that adopting a pet also benefits the new owners. She embraces the phrase, “Who Rescued Who?” when thinking of pet adoptions. Everyone is a winner when a pet is finds their forever home. Contestants compete in four categories of ability:

achievements. Most girls have to reach beyond their comfort zone in the course of competition. On June 21st, Samantha, along with 25 other contestants, will compete for the title of Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen. This pageant takes place here in Zionsville, and coincides with the Miss Indiana Pageant in which Rachel Bazzell, our cover story, will compete. One contestant will be selected that night and go on to compete for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.

1. Active Wear - includes dance and fitness routines (this replaces swimsuit competition) 2. Talent - includes music, dancing, reading 3. Private Interview with Judges 4. Evening Gown with Onstage Question

She is an accomplished dancer, enjoys art, and will be performing a clean Rap song for her talent portion of the contest. She is excited to offer a positive message through Rap music. Judges compile the scores from each event to select the winner. What I realized in meeting Samantha and Rachael is that the Miss America Pageant offers a vehicle for young women to overcome weaknesses, develop confidence, and impact others by promoting a cause. We should be proud of two young women from Zionsville who are representing our community and are striving to make a larger impact on our area, state, and country. Remember to Keep Calm and Carry On, everyone! To learn more about Miss Fall Festival’s Outstanding Teen pageant, visit their page on Facebook, www.,or

Both Samantha and Rachael have had overlapping duties and enjoy a nurturing friendship. Shortly after Samantha was crowned Miss Fall Festival’s Outstanding Teen, she was asked to participate in a community service project at Lions Park. She was nervous and unsure of what to do. Immediately, Rachel approached her, introduced herself, and showed her the ropes. From that day on, the two pageant winners have been good friends and Samantha considers herself to be one of Rachael’s biggest fans. In both pageants, the contestants select a platform to promote. Samantha’s message is “Save A Life-Adopt Shelter Animals.” She and her family have rescued a stray puppy, adopted a 22

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newsletter | June 2013

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newsletter | June 2013

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Rachael Bazzell

Princess with a Purpose Story & Photos | JJ Kaplan


ow do you discover your real purpose in life? I’m not talking about your job, your daily responsibilities, or even your long-term goals. I mean the real reason why you’re here at all — the very reason you exist. Many would say that there is a component of giving back to others that is our purpose for being. Many search all their lives for their purpose. Some find their purpose at a young age. One remarkable young woman has found her purpose and is using beauty pageants to spread the word for prevention education and healthy living as a way to strike out cancer. Rachael Bazzell is the winner of Miss Duneland 2013 and will be competing for the coveted title of Miss Indiana 2013. Thirty-two contestants from around the state will gather in Zionsville June 19-22 for the competition which

consists of public appearances, private interviews, swimsuit competition, evening gown competition, talent competition, and an on-stage question. The pageantry will include a parade downtown on June 22 and a “Meet and Greet” at Boone Village. That night, the new Miss Indiana will be crowned. She will tour and represent the state during the following year. She will also compete in the Miss America Pageant. Rachael grew up in a small town outside Michigan City, graduated from Purdue University with an undergrad degree in Biology, and now is working toward her masters degree in Public Health. She is employed full time at the American Cancer Society at 96th Street and Zionsville Road. She relocated to Zionsville last August to be close to her employer, continue her education, and become a part of our close-knit community. June 2013

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Rachael understands that becoming Miss Indiana is a fulltime job. You have to work hard to represent the state every day. She is excited for this opportunity and plans to travel to all 92 counties in the state during her 365-day reign. This will be her final year to compete for Miss Indiana, as she has reached the age limit for this pageant.

duties in representing the state. Tenacity is necessary to keep on going, even when the going gets tough. Finally, the judges look for confidence in the girls. Regardless of how nervous they really are on the inside, the girls must look composed and confident at all times. Each of the thirty-two contestants possesses all these qualities.

The Miss Indiana Pageant reaches out to project a positive role model to younger girls. The contestants select a personal platform that they promote during their competition and subsequent reign. The Miss Indiana Pageant provided a platform for Rachael to share her message of cancer prevention after she witnessed her close friend struggling, and eventually succumbing, to this devastating disease. Seeing cancer first-hand ignited her passion to do everything possible to promote healthy habits to reduce the risk of cancer for others.

Personal appearances are part of the job of becoming Miss Indiana. Rachael had a fear of speaking, and struggled with a speech impediment and ability to read. Venturing out in appearances forced her to step outside her comfort zone and still portray confidence and dedication to her cause. Competing in pageants has helped Rachael overcome her fears and build up her confidence in spreading an awareness of cancer everywhere she goes.

Rachael embodies a healthy lifestyle to thwart her risk of cancer. For example, Rachael doesn’t subject her skin to the damaging rays of the sun or tanning salons. Many pageant girls look extremely tan, and that sends a mixed message to young girls that you need to tan to be beautiful. Instead, Rachael uses self-tanning lotions to add a bit of glow color to her skin without compromising her platform of healthy living. Taking care of yourself and being physically fit are both criteria for Rachael to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. By coincidence, I first witnessed Rachael’s dedication to fitness months ago at our local gym when she was doing complex twirling exercises on the basketball court. I have never seen anything so amazing. There she was, twirling, throwing, and spinning her baton. I was impressed with her precision timing and physical ability in mastering this difficult sport. I spoke with her about her twirling, and she explained that she has performed for several venues in Indianapolis, and even sets the baton on fire for exhibitions. She will be twirling for her talent in the Miss Indiana Pageant. If you can go and watch her, I’m sure that you will be enthralled and enjoy her show. When it comes to swimsuit competition, Rachael educates me that it isn’t about who is the thinnest or has the most beautiful body. Rather, it is about which girl is most dedicated to being a role model and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. What are the judges looking for in the next Miss Indiana? The winner should be relatable for all types of people she will meet during her reign. She must elude a sense of warmth, approachability, and connection to all types of people. She will continue to promote her personal platform with passion and sincerity. She must be well spoken, as public appearances and “Meet and Greets” are important 28

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Rachael’s pageant journey has been bittersweet, as she is now in her final competition as a four-year veteran. She now sees the value in mentoring younger girls. Years of friendship will be missed, but she cherishes the lessons she has learned about herself and about serving others. Pageantry has provided Rachael the platform to promote her cause and make a difference with her message of cancer prevention and awareness. Though there are certain expenses involved in pageantry, she assures me that there are numerous scholarships available and ways to borrow items for competition. One should not let finances interfere with a young girl’s dream to compete and become a spokesperson in public. Where there is a will, there is a way – and a lot of people reach out to help you. Becoming Miss Indiana will be a dream come true for Rachael Bazzell. She is looking forward to being a voice for cancer prevention and representing our state in the Miss America Pageant. She embodies the elements of a wellspoken, sincere, health-conscious, passionate young woman with a message to share. Though we may not all wear crowns like Rachael, we can relate to her in our purpose of helping others with our own messages to share. The American Cancer Society has made great strides in educating the public, finding cures, and offering support. Volunteers are always needed for various duties, such as driving patients to doctor appointments, assisting with make-overs for patients, or even talking with patients on their phone hotline. Visit or “Strike Out Cancer: Focusing On Prevention Education with Rachael Bazzell” on Facebook for more information about prevention and coping with cancer. JJ Kaplan is a 2013 award-winning portrait and equine photographer and writer. Visit or “Color My World Studio” on Facebook.

newsletter | June 2013

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“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.� - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Miss Indiana Pageant | More Than Skin Deep

Co-Directors: Frank Ricketts and Aren Straiger holding the pageant's ultimate prize. June 2013

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| Jane VanOsdol . Photos | Jesse Morton


hen the house lights come up in the Zionsville Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Wednesday, June 19, the mettle of 32 young women will be tested as they vie for the 2013 crown of Miss Indiana in the preliminary round of competition. More than simply a beauty pageant, the Miss Indiana Pageant is, as co-director Frank Ricketts likes to say, “a scholarship organization in a beauty pageant format.” Zionsville and the Indianapolis area will host the week-long series of events leading up to the crowning of Miss Indiana on Saturday, June 23, and the crowning of Miss Indiana Outstanding Teen on Friday, June 22. Umbrella of Miss America Pageants The Miss Indiana Pageant falls under the umbrella of the Miss America Organization and includes the Miss Indiana Outstanding Teen, Miss Indiana, and Miss America pageants. At the state level, the Miss Indiana Pageant exists as a nonprofit, and none of the positions are paid. Volunteers staff every job. Thirty-three local pageants feed into and are licensed by the Miss Indiana Pageant. Local competitions are comprised of both closed and open pageants. According to http://www.missindianapageant. com/contestant.html, “Closed pageants are defined by groups of counties or by a university. Open pageants are available to women who meet residency requirements to compete in Indiana.” Miss Indiana State Franchise The Miss America Organization awarded Ricketts and co-director Aren Straiger the Miss Indiana franchise nine years ago. At the time, this dynamic duo were successful local co-directors of the Miss North Central Indiana Pageant and were one of four groups to apply for the franchise to the


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Miss America Organization. The two did their homework and put together a proposed state board and identified the PAC as their perfect Zionsville venue for their home base. With local support from then-Zionsville School Superintendent Howard Hull, the Zionsville Lions Club, and the community, they presented an application that the Miss America Organization couldn’t resist. Ricketts credits his years of watching Burt Parks and the talented Miss America contestants as his inspiration for becoming involved in the pageant circuit. Straiger, however, is just following in her parents’ footsteps. As 40-year volunteers in the Miss America Organization, they currently function as executive producers for the Miss Indiana Pageant. “Their passion for the Miss America Organization was instilled in me at a very young age, and it is something that continues to this day,” she said. After receiving the franchise, Straiger and Ricketts set some lofty goals for the pageant:

1. Increase number of local pageants that were qualifiers for the Miss Indiana Pageant 2. Increase number of contestants 3. Increase number of people attending the pageant 4. Increase media exposure They’ve since met all those goals and then some. Under their watch, they’ve added the distinction of having Indiana’s first Miss America. In 2009, Miss Indiana, Katie Stam, won the title of Miss America in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both Straiger and Ricketts know all the hard work has been worth it. “We had ideas of how we wanted to see the state [pageant] run. We both believe that if you want something done, get busy and do it yourself,” Ricketts said.

Where’s the Money? The Miss Indiana Pageant would not be possible were it not for the help of generous sponsors. The title sponsor for the 2013 pageant is Indy Laser. Many other sponsors donate goods and services and money for the scholarship fund. “Miss America is the largest source of scholarship money for women in the world,” Ricketts said. The top ten winners all receive scholarship money. Several colleges also offer in-kind scholarships throughout Indiana, and the girls can qualify for scholarships during pageant week by winning awards in several other categories including academic, community service, and talent, just to name a few. “It’s gratifying to see these young women grow whether or not they win a title,” Ricketts said. Platform: Children’s Miracle Network Each young woman who enters the Miss Indiana contest must have a community service platform to promote if she is the winner. “The job of Miss Indiana is not just the Miss America Pageant,” Ricketts said. It’s a job that includes promoting her platform with appearances throughout the entire year. Straiger added, “Our contestants learn community involvement and become passionate about their personal platforms. They continue to develop their talents and strive to live healthy and active lifestyles,” said Straiger. Part of participating in the program includes promoting the Children’s Miracle Network, which is the platform of the Miss America Organization. In lieu of an entrance fee, the contestants to the Miss Indiana Pageant must raise money for this charity, which is then donated to a local hospital in the Children’s Miracle network. In Indiana, Riley Hospital for Children receives the donations. Consequently, the money raised from each state pageant stays in and benefits local children.

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Pageant Details With the pageant date rapidly approaching, each young woman is busy preparing for her areas of competition. All contestants must compete in five areas: talent, interview (a private, 10-minute interview with the panel of five judges), onstage questions, evening gown, and swimsuit. Preliminary competition is held on Wednesday and Thursday of pageant week, and the top ten move on to final competition and the crowning of the winner which, this year, will be held on Saturday, June 23. Ticketed events and the entire schedule can be found at http://missindianapageant. com/competition.html. Overall, Ricketts stresses the importance of each contestant being herself. “We don’t want them to fit a mold; we want them to be individuals,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re a size 2 or a 20. You need to be in the best shape you can be; it’s not a size.”



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As we anticipate the crowning of Miss Indiana 2013 from the field of accomplished contestants, Ricketts emphasizes that as far as Miss Indiana is concerned, the true definition of beauty is “being talented, confident, articulate, and involved in community.” Jane VanOsdol is a freelance writer and retreat speaker with

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June 6 & 20

Zionsville Farmer’s Market: Located in the heart of the Historic Village, the Zionsville Farmers’ Market is proud to bring you the best locally grown fruits and vegetables provided by Indiana farmers. In addition to wonderful food, enjoy live music and special events throughout the season. 8 AM - 11 AM. Contact Jennifer Gleissner,

Let’s Bloom: Garden Project: Calling all kids! Who would like to watch something bloom this summer? We will start our own garden and maintain it throughout the entire growing season. Activities include gardening basics, composting, garden tools, ecology and much much more! Ages 7-12. Registration begins May 14 (sign up for each individual class). 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM. Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library: 250 North Fifth Street, Zionsville. 317- 873-3149,

June 4

June 7 - 9, 14 & 15

Every Saturday

Free Kabbalah Seminar: We each have within us the power to create the life we want. Kabbalah teaches us how to activate that power. 7 PM at JW Marriott Indianapolis, 10 S. West St., Indianapolis. Register at www.introtokabbalah. com/intro.html. For more information, contact or 800-5222252.

“Amateurs” Opens: Zionsville’s Off Main Street Players and director Marcus Waye will present “Amateurs,” our final show of the 2012-2013 season, beginning June 7. Fri & Sat, 8PM; Sun, 2:30PM. Zionsville Town Hall, 1100 West Oak Street, in the Community Room. Tickets are $12. For more information, visit www. or call 317-595-3700

June 5 - July 26 {Wednesdays}

June 8

Lincoln Park Concert Series: Every Wednesday from 7:30 PM - 8:40 PM, June - July 2013 at Lincoln Park, S 2nd St, Zionsville, IN 46077. June 5: School’s Out for Summer: Family Concert featuring Island Breeze. June 12: Blues at Park, featuring The Jon Strahl band. June 19th: Mowtown to Downtown, featuring Lonnie Lester. June 26: Gazebo Jazz, featuring Chris Murray & The Common Time Quintet.

June 4 Zionsville Chamber of Commerce First Tuesday networking event: Join us for our monthly First Tuesday event brought to you by North Park Community Credit Union. 5:30 PM - 7 PM. Corner Vise Gallery & Frame Shop, 104 S. Main Street, Zionsville. This event is free for members and their guests. For more information, contact Julie Johns-Cole, 317.873.3836,

June 6th Poetry on Brick Street: Poetry on Brick Street will feature Norbert Krapf (former Indiana Poet Laureate). 6:30 PM. Eagle Creek Coffee Company: 10 S. Main Street, Zionsville.

Boone County Rodeo: A Fun Family Event. 7 PM. 4-H Fairgrounds: 1300 E 100 S, Lebanon, IN 46052. $7 Admission, $5 pre-sale. Kids 10 & under get in free. For more information, visit

June 10 Antiques Appraisal with Solomon/ Jones and Wickliff Auctioneers: Bring up to three antique items (jewelry, artwork, glassware, books, ceramics, textiles or similar) to be appraised by Ben Solomon of Solomon/Jones and Darren Lawson of Wickliff Auctioneers. No coins, no stamps, no rugs, no weapons. ADULTS ONLY, INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION REQUIRED. 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM. Lora Hussey Room, HusseyMayfield Memorial Public Library, 317- 873-3149

June 11 Music on the Lawn: “Howl at the Moon”, with Tom Sieling: Bring your blanket and a drink and


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Indianapolis Events Partner join us on the lawn for a fun, highly interactive evening of music and song with entertainer Tom Sieling and his guitar. Registration begins May 16. 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM. Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library, 317- 873-3149

June 11 Butler’s Pantry “Wine Parties” Class: A class presented by Sandy Rogers and Ron Hopwood at Butler’s Pantry: 213 S. Main Street, Zionsville, IN 46077. Sandy will design three tablescapes including an Italian wine party, a beach party and a Spanish tapas party. Ron Hopwood, From Hopwood Cellar Winery, will be teaching us how to select the proper wine with certain foods and sampling his delicious wine. This event is Free, but reservations are required. 7 PM - 8:30 PM. Call 733-8003.

June 12 Artist Reception and Exhibition Opening: Wine and cheese Artist Reception and Exhibition Opening for nationally known artist John Budicin. 6 PM - 8 PM. Sullivan Munce Cultural Center: 225 West Hawthorne Street, Zionsville. This event is free. For more information, contact Cynthia young 317-873-4900 or

June 13 Zionsville Chamber of Commerce Inaugural Golf Outing : Schedule of events: 10:30am – Registration; 11am – Meet & Greet lunch; 12 noon – Start; 5pm – Awards ceremony Event includes: 18 holes of golf with GPS-navigated cart; Meet & Greet lunch; Awards buffet dinner in GCI’s new banquet facility; Door prizes and silent auction items. Golf Club of Indiana: 6905 S 525 E Lebanon. For more information contact Julie Johns-Cole, 317-8733836 or Register at

June 14 Garden Classics: Evening fundraising event held on the grounds of the SullivanMunce Cultural Center. Guests will view vintage classic cars, automotive art by Tom Hale and by national artist John Budicin while listening to jazz by The Brick Street Quartet. Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres by Serenity. Wine, beer and non-alcoholic options will be served. 6 PM



- 9 PM. Sullivan Munce Cultural Center, 225 West Hawthorne Street, Zionsville. Tickets $30 for members of the Sullivan Munce cultural Center/$35 for non-members. For more information, contact Cynthia young 317-873-4900 or

June 14 & 15 American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Zionsville: We are celebrating 10 years of Relay for Life here in Zionsville. We are also celebrating reaching $1,000,000 raised by our community towards the fight against cancer. This year’s Relay for Life will be held in Zionsville’s Lions Park. Plenty of opportunities exist to participate and/or to sponsor. For more information please contact Angie Leary, ACS Volunteer 317.441.8656 or

June 15 Gardens of Zionsville Tour: Tour six private gardens, including one with a chicken coop, throughout historic Zionsville. Event from 10 AM - 4 PM. Proceeds benefit the SullivanMunce Cultural Center: 225 West Hawthorne Street, Zionsville, IN. Tickets: $15 in advance and $20 Day of Show. Children 10 years of age and younger $5. For more information, contact Cynthia young 317-873-4900 or cynthiayoung@

June 15 Zionsville Paint Out: Artists will gather in the Village of Zionsville for a Plain Air Paint Out (Painting Outside) on Saturday, June 15, 2013. Come out and watch artists of all skill levels compete for prizes. The CruZionsville event will be held the same day and artists will have the opportunity to use Porsche cars (parked on Main Street) as subject matter. 7 AM - 3 PM. SullivanMunce Cultural Center, 225 West Hawthorne St, Zionsville. It is a free event. For more information, contact Cynthia young 317-873-4900 or cynthiayoung@ sullivanmunce. org. www.

book, “The Death of Common Sense & Profiles of Those Who Knew Him.” ADULTS ONLY. PLEASE REGISTER FOR THIS PROGRAM. 7 PM - 8 PM. Lora Hussey Room, Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library. 317- 873-3149

June 18 The Unofficial Hunger Games Survival Course: Join local survival expert Creek Stuart as he shows you some of the survival skills Katniss could have used in the movie. This hands-on two hour program has limited spaces available and is open to teens only. Registration required. 1 PM - 3 PM. Lora Hussey Room, Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library. 317873-3149

June 24 My Art: Learn how to draw using the Monart Drawing method and create a colorful, unique drawing inspired by a famous artist. Ages 7-10. Registration begins June 6. 2 PM - 3 PM. HusseyMayfield Memorial Public Library, 317- 873-3149

June 25 Right Tree, Right Place, Right Way: Learn which trees to plant in your yard, get insider tips on purchasing healthy trees from local nurseries, and gain confidence to grow healthy trees for maximum environmental and economic benefits. ADULTS ONLY. PLEASE REGISTER FOR THIS PROGRAM. 6 PM - 8 PM. Lora Hussey Room.

June 26 The Strange Case of Origami Yoda Book Club: Read You Must! Meet to discuss The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, then create your own Origami Yoda and enjoy other Star Wars activities. Snacks will be provided. Grades 1-5. Registration begins June 6. 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM. Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library. 317- 873-3149

Jun. 27 Tie-Dye Shirts: Bring a washed white cotton t-shirt and create a colorful tie-dye shirt. Registration begins June 11. Allow 30 minutes for each shirt and drop in anytime between 3 PM - 5 PM to make your design. Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library. 317- 873-3149

June 17 Conversation with Lori Borgman: Lori Borgman, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, author and speaker, offers witty insight on family and culture as she talks about her JUNE 2013

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CruZionsville On Saturday, June 15, the Central Indiana Region Porsche Club of America will once again line the streets of downtown Zionsville with nearly 100 shining Porsche cars for its 3rd annual event, “CruZionsville.” The cars will be coming from five states. The event has gotten so big that they will now be using two blocks along Main Street.

At 10 AM, Porsche cars will leave the staging area at the Meadows via Police escort to downtown Zionsville. There will be the singing of the National Anthem at the Midwest Estate Stage (set up in the parking lot on the south end of Main Street) at 10:30 AM followed immediately by a balloon launch. The event will have something 36 zionsville C O M M U N I T Y N E W S L E T T E R Zionsville_June_2013.indd 36

for everyone in the family. In addition to the dazzling cars, throughout the day there will be entertainment at the Midwest Estate Stage that will include several musical performances and a fashion show by local Zionsville designer Nikki Blaine. The cars will be leaving downtown around 3 PM. The event organizers are once again looking for children to participate in the carjudging activities. Anyone between the ages of 6 and 12 interested in participating as a judge should send an email to Stephen Tarr, sdtarr@aol. com, describing your interests in cars and why you think

you would make a good judge. The proceeds of the Cruzionsville event go to the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter – a great cause. Last year, the event raised $5,000. This year’s goal is $10,000. Admission is FREE to the public. For a complete listing of the day’s activities, go to www.CruZionsville.

Children ready to begin judging.

| JUNE 2013

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Garden Classics at the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center Evening fundraising event held on the grounds of the SullivanMunce Cultural Center on June 14. Guests will view vintage classic cars by Indiana Region of the Classic Car Club of America, automotive art by Tom Hale and plein air paintings by national artist John Budicin while listening to jazz by The Brick Street Quartet. Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres by Serenity. Wine, beer and non-alcoholic options

will be served. To see artwork from artist Tom Hale-Automotive, visit; for artist John Budicin-Plein Air, visit www. 6 PM - 9 PM. 225 West Hawthorne Street, Zionsville. Tickets cost $30 for members of the SullivanMunce Cultural Center and $35 for non-members. For more information: 317-873-4900 or

Miss Indiana & Miss Outstanding Teen Pageant The preliminary competition of the Miss Indiana pageant will be held on June 19 and 20 at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center, with the final round of to be held on Saturday, June 22. The Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen competition will be held on Friday, June 21. All competitions will begin at 7 PM. Come out and support local participants Rachael Bazzell and Samantha Robbins. Tickets are available at the website. JUNE 2013

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5/29/2013 1:11:31 PM

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5/29/2013 1:12:12 PM

Austin Pittman with one of his paintings displayed at Plum’s Upper Room.

Austin Pittman Falling While Finding His Way | Neil Lucas . Photos | JJ Kaplan Several months ago, I was sitting in Plum’s Upper Room having a drink and admiring what I believed to be four large photographs of a beautiful young woman that adorn the restaurant’s walls. That’s when Jayne Nolting, the owner of Plum’s, explained to this artistic neophyte that they were not photographs. Jayne told me that three of the works are oil paintings and that the black and white one behind the bar is a charcoal drawing. Recently, I discovered that the story of the local artist that created these captivating works, Austin Pittman, is as amazing as the works themselves. Austin Pittman graduated from Zionsville High School in 1994. By his own admission, Austin was not a remarkable student and, in fact, failed high school art class. It was not that Austin lacked ability. Austin, like so many in high school, simply didn’t know where he wanted to go with his

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life. Austin told me he was an avid reader in high school but, unfortunately, what he was reading had nothing to do with the subjects of his high school classes. After high school, Austin sort of bounced around doing a number of different jobs, including working as a drywall installer. Once, he successfully challenged himself to travel all the way to Colorado with just the single quarter he had in his pocket, his guile, and resourcefulness. Eight years out of high school and 26 years old, Austin finally decided it was time to have some direction in his life. While always having an interest in art, he enrolled at IUPUI and applied to the Herron School of Art. Because of lackluster grades in high school, he was not admitted to Herron until after he finished his freshman year at IUPUI. Unfortunately, in the spring immediately following his freshman year, Austin was involved in a terrible accident. J u n e 2 0 1 3 |


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While standing on the roof of a friend’s apartment in downtown Indy celebrating the friend’s recent engagement, Austin fell two stories and suffered a severe head injury. The initial prognosis was not good and included the possibility that he could be in a permanent vegetative state. After waking from a two-week coma, Austin had to go through therapy to learn to walk and talk again. Undeterred, he started back to school in the fall term, even though he admits that he was far less than fully functional mentally. The doctors strongly recommended to his parents that Austin be on constant medical supervision. He rejected the doctor’s recommendation and sought to live by himself and finish college. The road to normalcy and full functionality after his fall was long and full of pitfalls. During his sophomore year, Austin lived in a crime-ridden building near the IUPUI campus where he was the target of several physical attacks and robberies due to the fact that his obviously limited mental capacities made him a vulnerable target. Although not fully recovered, Austin graduated from the Herron School of Art and then went on to receive a Masters degree in Fine Art from the prestigious Pennsylvania School of the Fine Arts, the oldest art museum and art school in the country. 40 zionsville c o m m u n i t y n e w s l e t t e r | J u n e 2 0 1 3 Zionsville_June_2013.indd 40

Slowly, Austin’s mental abilities began to improve to where he is fully recovered today. Austin credits his passion for art as instrumental in his recovery. According to Austin, the intense focus that his art required helped retrain his mind to develop the concentration he needed to improve in the more mundane functions of life. In addition, the sense of accomplishment he gained from the growth and development in his artwork also provided a sense of confidence that he was truly making progress toward full recovery. Austin is presently married and the father a young son, Oliver, a name that Austin gave his son as a result of his love of history and the works of the English writer, Charles Dickens. While working on his own art projects and some commissioned portraits, Austin has taught various drawing and art history classes at Sullivan-Munce, the Art Institute of Indianapolis, the Broad Ripple Art Center, and Franklin College. While taking a drawing class taught by Austin at Sullivan Munce several years ago, Jayne Nolting became a friend and one of Austin’s strongest supporters. As a result, Plum’s Upper Room has unintentionally become a gallery for some

5/29/2013 1:12:17 PM

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Austin at Plum’s Upper Room working on drawing of his son, Oliver. of Austin’s early works. In an effort to support her friend and to promote a local artist, Jayne has graciously agreed to hold a public exhibition of Austin’s work at Plum’s Upper Room on June 15 at 2 -5 PM The exhibition will include newer work by Austin, not just the four pieces on semi-permanent display on Plum’s Upper Room’s walls. Please feel free to stop by and meet this remarkable young man and talk to him about his work that will be on display, or check out his work at

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5/29/2013 1:12:20 PM

Erica Caputo IT’S A PIECE OF CAKE Story & Photos | JJ Kaplan Sometimes, life gets complicated and you want to get back to basics. You want to reflect on good-ole classic Americana and days gone by. Oh, and what about pursuing the American dream of launching a successful business simultaneously? This may sound complex, but really it’s a piece of cake for a local businesswoman.


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newsletter | June 2013

5/29/2013 1:12:22 PM

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Erica Caputo, baker and proprietor of The New Old-Standard Baking Company, is realizing her dream of creating healthier and unique cakes that just happen to be delicious. The most frequently-heard comment is, “That is the best piece of cake I have ever eaten!” Only after they have raved about her cake does she fill them in on her little secret: all her cakes are organic and vegan. That’s right. Erica doesn’t use milk, butter, or eggs in her recipes that also boast no cholesterol, no trans fats, no chemicals, no preservatives, and are lactose free. What her cakes DO have is the same magic of baking that all recipes share – finding the perfect balance of texture, taste, flavor, and moistness. She takes great pride in being able to offer cake to someone who never has enjoyed a slice due to being lactose intolerant or someone who shies from animal products. Erica is determined to shatter the stigma that vegan food is bland. And she is succeeding.

Erica’s philosophy is to use the finest organic ingredients to create the best cake possible. Hers is a one-lady operation, so every detail is completed under her watchful eye. She even talks to her cakes with terms of endearment. Erica derives great satisfaction in knowing that every bite will be the best that it can possibly be. Erica began baking and waitressing when she graduated from college with a degree in painting. That’s right – painting. Reality quickly set in that she would need to make money to support herself. She had baked during college, and people frequently encouraged her to sell cakes. She began to listen to these suggestions and started baking and waitressing. Janye Nolting offered her commercial kitchen at G Simones to hone her craft, and soon Erica was baking cakes for G Simones and, later, Plums Upper Room. Bazbeaux Pizza also became a client. But the big proposition was just about to unfold.

One day as Erica was waitressing at Plums, she served her LemonLavender cake to a table of hungry customers. The clients were impressed with the bright and delicate taste of her cake and raved about how delicious it was. She eventually revealed that it was organic and vegan. Much to her surprise, one of her customers was the new president of Kroger’s Central Division. Erica was then asked to sell her organic/vegan cakes to Kroger. She will be offering samples of her cakes at test stores in Carmel. And there are plans for expansion down the road. Her first masterpiece cake was “OrangeOcado, “a combination of bitter orange marmalade cake topped with a soft green avocado frosting.” Other favorites include blueberry, strawberry, keylime, dreamsicle, tiramisu, chaicolate, dark chocolate with berries, and double chocolate. I sampled her double chocolate cake,

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and I have to say that it was beyond delicious. The cake was extremely moist, and the frosting was creamy and melted in my mouth. I did close my eyes to fully savor the moment. The cake was everything that she said – and more! Erica also creates custom cakes for weddings, parties, and special events. She uses organic decorations, such as apple peals shaped as leaves, citrus peel, and edible flowers. Her custom cakes are sure to make an impression on your guests. So when you think life gets a bit hectic, think of Erica’s story of making things simple, utilizing your talents, and following your dreams. The sweet smell of success really can be a piece of cake. For updates on Erica’s baking venture, visit

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Featuring Rachael Bazzell with the Miss Indiana Pageant

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Featuring Rachael Bazzell with the Miss Indiana Pageant