Random Weekly Roundup

Returning from a week off and a trip to hike in the mountains of Virginia, I came back to a random list of projects to be picked up and restarted. Must be time for a random weekly roundup!

Our community was gathering to celebrate the joys of faith, music, and small town life as I pulled out of town with the Rev20 concert going strong on the Courthouse Square. At the same time, Gosport was having its annual Lazy Days festival with the exciting presentation of a parade, bed races, concerts, and good food. No shortage of summer fun here in Owen County. Sorry I had to miss those events.

This weekend the festivities will continue at the Coal City Festival. Your Owen County Community Foundation will join with other local groups to celebrate the legacy of our little borough in Jefferson Township. We’ll be on hand to join in the parade, cake walks, home-made ice cream, a tasty fish fry lunch, and more. Come on down and join the fun. The parade starts at 10.

On the community improvement front, the consortium of local groups who have been working on developing a Workforce Attraction & Quality of Place Improvement Plan have submitted their work to the Regional Opportunities Initiative (ROI), a non-profit that serves an eleven county region including Owen County, in hopes that our plan will open the way to grant opportunities to implement parts of the plan. Our thanks go out to all of the local volunteers who worked on the process and to the many community members who attended the discussion groups or filled out our questionnaires. Stay tuned for more information on these grant opportunities.

The work laid out in the plan will complement the ROI Ready Schools grant that was recently awarded to our Spencer – Owen Community School Corporation. The creative approaches to enhancing the offerings in our local schools will go hand-in-hand to make Owen County a more attractive place to live and learn.

Speaking of our schools, is there anything better than all of the back-to-school photos we’re blessed with seeing at the start of a new school year? All those pictures of bright young faces ready to get back in the classroom to learn exciting new things are always uplifting. I have to say as an oldster, the bright young faces also include the teachers, many of whom I seem to remember were graduating just a few years ago. Time marches on.

Your OCCF was also pleased to see the recent story about the Owen County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) that was created in 2015. This innovative program seeks to find alternatives to secured detention for our young neighbors who get into trouble with violations of the law. The program’s goal is to reduce antisocial behaviors by teaching these individuals life skills. Our community has already helped young people avoid detention and has saved $291,000 in expenses.

We maintain a fund at your OCCF that supports the JDAI.  You can make charitable gifts directly to the JDAI Fund to help this effort. We also maintain separate charitable funds to support two other important programs that support people in Owen County. The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Fund provides money to this important program that makes sure that children involved in the court system have an advocate to speak up for them. We also maintain the Adult Guardianship Fund that provides funding to a local program to ensure that our elderly neighbors have someone to look out for them if they are unable to protect themselves from fraud and other attempts to take advantage of older folks.

My sincere thanks and complements go out to the people of The Connection Church who support both the JDAI and the Adult Guardianship Program. Good people doing good things.

Coming up in less than a month, your OCCF will be hosting our 17th annual SMV Realty ~ Jim Fulford Golf Open to help raise funds to operate this local charity. We’re excited to announce that French Lick Resort & Casino has again provided the grand prize for the winning team. This year’s package includes an overnight stay at the resort plus a round of golf on the Donald Ross course and another round on the much revered Pete Dye course for each of the winning golfers. There’s still plenty of time to support the tournament as a sponsor and to get your team registered for the golf. Check our website for details.

So, there’s a little roundup of the many activities and good work going on around our Sweet Owen County. Next week, I’ll regale you with tales of the Appalachian Trail, beautiful views, and sore knees. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Your Owen County Community Foundation is committed to helping our Owen County communities become better places to live, grow, and work. We value community involvement and charitable spirit.

If you’d like to know more about how you can work with this local charity to improve our communities, give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at mark@owencountycf.org, visit us online at owencountycf.org, or stop by and visit us in person at our office on the Courthouse Square in Spencer, 60 E. Market Street.

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