Page 6B THE BEACON January 2020







As I began writing this

month’s column, Christmas

songs alluding to COLD

weather come to mind, and it’s

just the beginning of November.

By the time you are reading

this, the Christmas songs

will be more appropriate!

Before the cold weather set

into Aurora, we were able to

get in quite a few fall activities.

To name a few, Main

Street Aurora was busy with

their fall dance, The Ghost

Walk, and another Get Wined

and Dined event downtown.

The second Ribbon Cutting

of 2019 with SEVEN new

businesses being recognized

with new ceremonial scissors

gifted to Main Street Aurora

by Councilman Terry Hahn.

New businesses included the

1819 Boutique, and Wellington’s

Ice Cream Palace. As

our folks at Main Street say,

“Aurora is open for business!”

The Lions club was busy

with its Halloween Parade

and fall pancake breakfast.

Over two hundred ninety

people were served breakfast

with proceeds going to the

Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts,

and “We Care Packages,” a

non-profit organization led by

Gambles Furniture & Appliances

419 Second Street

Aurora, IN 47001

(812) 926-1677





Nick and Judy Ullrich, Nancy Ray, Cindy Rottinghaus, Connie Cleary, Guinevere

Emery, Debbie Smith, Mark Drury, Charlotte Hastings, Rick Denton, Eugene Ison,

Donnie Hastings, Jr., AJ and Shannon Hastings, and Miranda Boyles at the dedication

of the Eagle Carving. Baby Charlotte Hastings is in the baby carrier.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor (or rather fried chicken of

their labor!) at the AFD Chicken Fry are volunteer firefighters

Eric Turner, Zackery Gibbs, and Mikey Childs.

Kathi Prarat that sends care

packages to U.S. troops around

the world. With their proceeds

from the breakfast, Kathi said

they would be able to send one

hundred forty care packages. If

you are interested in volunteering

or donating to this worthy

organization, please call Kathi

at 813-584-0867.

The Aurora Fire Department

(AFD) also had a hectic fall

with two significant events.

One was scary, and the other

was YUMMY! I do have to tell

you, though, I prefer YUMMY

over scary any day! The

proceeds from the fundraisers

will be used for supplies for

their rehab unit that provides

firefighters with snacks and

hydration during runs.

And while we’re talking

about our Fire Department,

did you know that in Indiana,

seven out of ten firefighters and

first responders are volunteers?

Our Aurora Fire Department,

however, is different from the

“norm” as it is 100% volunteer.

Aurora Fire Chief, Jeff Lane,

shared that our fire department

currently has twenty-six volunteers

with a planned roster of

thirty-five. As an incentive to

improve the volunteer ranks,

Representative Randy Frye

pushed for Indiana legislation

to provide college scholarships

for qualified firefighters and

first responders. The bill passed

the House but died in the Senate.

Believing that this is such

an important and worthwhile

endeavor, Ivy Tech Community

College agreed to fund scholarships

for two years beginning

in January 2020. They hope

that this pilot program will provide

information for the state

of Indiana to fund a statewide

program in the future. Scholarship

recipients must be active

volunteer firefighters or EMS

personnel. For more information

about this program, email

Chief Lane at afr501@hotmail.

com or visit Ivy Tech’s website


The November Aurora

City Council meetings were

busy. The Historic Preservation

Commission (HPC) gave

awards for notable preservation

efforts to the Denmure &

Moore Law Firm, Tim Miller,

Josh Mangold, Guinevere

Emery, Bobby and Sherry

Love, Adam Geyer, and

Mark and Leslie Thompson.

Charlie Wilkening, accompanied

by his niece, Diane

Fritz, was thrilled to be part

of a Veterans

Honor Flight

to Washington

DC. He

served in the

U.S. Army

from 1953 to

1955 during

the Korean

Charlie Wilkening War. Charlie

shared with

me that he was not sent to

John Blasdel welcomed

people to Hillforest during

the Ghost walk. (Photo

courtesy of Main Street


Korea, though, because his

last name began with the letter

“W.” The process of assigning

troops to Korea was alphabetical.

Troops with last names

starting with the latter part of

the alphabet were sent to

Europe. Charlie spent most of

his military service stationed

in the small German town of

Badtolz which is the hometown

of Marianne Borgman,

wife to Aurora City Councilman,

John Borgman. What a

small world! Typically,

soldiers in the Army during

that period served a two-year

commitment. Charlie was still

overseas when his two years

were up. Somehow there had

been a mishap with his orders,

and he was not properly

discharged on time. He

Winning First Place in the

Lions Club costume contest

for best homemade costume

is mouse and cheese

Kenna Batchelor and Bo

Barrott. (Photo courtesy of

Main Street Aurora)

remembers his Second Lieutenant

chewing him out for not

calling it to their attention that

his two years were up until

eight days after the fact.

Charlie shared that he enjoyed

the Honor Flight very much.

The Aurora Street Department

has undertaken a new

endeavor in collaboration with

the Aurora Park Board. The

effort will beautify our city

even more. It will create a new

“signature” for the City, AND

save some money. Rather than

completely removing dead

trees on city property, they are

seeking private sponsorships

to have the tree trunks carved

into sculptures. The first

sculpture, an eagle, was dedicated

at Lesko Park in honor

of Mayor Donnie Hastings

Jr. for his twenty-four years of

dedicated service to Aurora.

And LAST but not LEAST,

I have an update on the Aurora

Elementary Third Grade STEM

playground project. Well… the

third graders are now fourth

graders. Aurora City Manager

Guinevere Emery was very

excited to share that the City

of Lawrenceburg Community

Grant Program awarded the

City of Aurora $76,614 for the

ADA compliant playground

that the students helped design.

The playground will have

a baseball theme. More to

come in a future article as the

playground comes to fruition.

Way to go, kids! You’ve hit a


God Bless, Merry Christmas,

and Happy New Year.

Main Street Aurora’s

New Year’s Eve Dance

228 Second Street, Aurora

Tuesday, December 31st

Reservations Required

Tickets $20.00 each

Includes admission, dinner, soft drinks, snacks, midnight toast and party favors

Call 812.926.1100

231 Main Street Suite #210

Twenty-five Years of Bringing our Community and Businesses Together.

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