Page 6B THE BEACON January 2020 AURORA By Margaret Drury Community Correspondent aurora@goBEACONnews.com 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 O ur “ I GOT IT AT GAMBLES! ” Communities 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 at www.ivytech.edu. 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 Aurora) 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 HOME RUN! 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.
January 2020 THE BEACON Page 7B The Bernhard farm house in the 1940’s. LAWRENCEBURG By Debbie Acasio Community Correspondent lawrenceburg@goBEACONnews.com Thank goodness it is time to write this December article! I have spent the last few days obsessing about making a butterscotch cake (don’t need the extra calories), trying to find out where my great-greatgrandfather lived in Morris (the genealogy dead-end), and recovering from a wonderful weekend trip to Shipshewana (yes, I went crazy in the Amish bakery). I guess I am enjoying simpler pleasures these days. The Eagle Scout project of Lawrenceburg High School student Braden Nutley definitely reminds us of simpler pleasures. His “Give a book, take a book, and share a book” project will consist of four book stations in Greendale parks where you are free to grab a book to take home or share a favorite. Anyone interested in donating building materials, publications, or cash (to buy materials), can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Wouldn’t it be exciting to see these springing up in all area parks? Wednesday is a popular night in Lawrenceburg. Bagpipe and drum lessons, anyone? Check out the Lawrenceburg Fire House on Wednesday nights 6-9 P.M. for details regarding lessons given by the 35th Indiana Pipes & Drums Corp. I got a chance to see them in the Farmers Fair Parade, and they were terrific. Also, don’t forget the free community meal from 5:15-6:15 provided by volunteers on Wednesday at Hamline Chapel. All are welcome! Cops and Kids is a service O ur Communities Debbie Acasio, Santa, and Jen Bernhard Awad in 1957 on the day Santa arrived in Batesville in a helicopter. Coach Dennis Payne with son Javier enjoying the sectional trophy. provided by The Fraternal Order of Police Lawrenceburg that allows needy children to shop with a sponsor for warm coats or clothing. Greendale Policewoman Pam Taylor, coordinates this valuable service for the FOP. Donations can be mailed to the FOP, dropped off at either the Aurora or Lawrenceburg police station. Did you miss the deadline for Cops & Kids? This organization also awards $500 to two seniors in Ohio and Dearborn Counties each year through the foundation. Congratulations to Gavin Yoon, Lawrenceburg High football player for breaking the record of most receiving yards in a game, most passing in a game and tied for the most passing TD in a game. He made parents Shelly and Kee Yoon and Grandma Barb Scherzinger very proud! Also, congratulations to Lexi Knight for being crowned queen of Fall Fest. She is the daughter of Melissa and Brian Knight. Don’t forget to check out the winter festivities in Lawrenceburg this season. Besides the ice skating, Santa’s arrival in the parade, and small business Saturdays, the downtown area Jack Schwier and Jaron Clonts of Tiger Pizazz clown around at Coffee Shop Variety Show with the coffee condiments. will introduce a holiday market under Winter Wonderland Domes on weekends. They will feature unique holiday gift items. For info regarding ice skating hours, Santa’s arrival, shopping, and other planned winter activities visit www.thinklawrenceburg.com. AURORA By Fred Schmits Community Correspondent aurora@goBEACONnews.com Hi Neighbors!! Many of you are familiar with my friends at the “Liars’ Bench.” One member is Landon Smith, the “Piano Man.” He is cheerful, helpful, and full of laughter Mr. Smith has lived in Aurora all of his life. He attended St. John’s and Aurora High School with normal youthful challenges. His studies were nearly finished by his senior year. Mr. Smith has many attributes, the main focus involving the piano. From an early age, he could play arrangements by ear. Once his mother realized his talent, she enrolled him in piano lessons. The Smiths were encouraged to enroll him in the Conservatory, but his father declined. Landon went to work until the Army called. Landon was in the Army for four years, during which he played the piano to entertain the troops. One officer enjoyed Landon’s playing so much that he nicknamed him “the crazy typist.” Landon’s duty was mainly to type, but his talent for the piano changed that. Landon caught the fancy of Della Carr, whom he eventually married. They had two Landon Smith daughters, Cindy and Debbie, and were blessed with fiftythree years of marriage. Mr. Smith once played piano in Nelson Elliott’s band. He also played at church concerts and family outings. He now plays mostly by ear. When asked about his most memorable moments as a musician, Mr. Smith stated he was proud to play before over four hundred people at fundraisers for cancer research. He shared he was most embarrassed when he played with the band, and the piano was out of tune! You can’t stop and tune one of those things so quickly as other instruments. In 2012 Mr. Smith was inducted into the Southeast Indiana Music Hall of Fame. A very fitting honor for our neighbor, the “PIANO MAN.” Now, did you ever wonder… do we realize how blessed we are for our friendly and helpful nature as a community? Let me hear from you! W ellingtons ice cream palace Voted America’s #1 Vanilla Ice Cream 407 Second Street Aurora, IN 47001 812-954-1400 Home of the ice cream nachos! SHOP LOCAL and tell our advertisers you saw them in The BEACON!