Letter to the Editor

Thanks for making Chalk Art Bash a success

Friday, October 23, 2009

To the Editor:

On September 19, the Putnam County Convention & Visitor Bureau held it's third annual Sidewalk Chalk Art Bash on the downtown square. Pre-planning, diligent volunteers and generous donations are what made this event a huge success and could not have been possible without the financial and volunteer support from within the county. This was a huge undertaking by the Putnam County Convention & Visitor Bureau, but pleased with how it turned out. Over $5,000.00 was raised this year for families in need. Thank you to the Putnam County Convention & Visitor Bureau board members for their belief in this event and to the many hours that they had all spent volunteering in anticipation of the chalk art bash.

All monies raised were donated to a local charity called, "Return-A-Gift". The "Return-A-Gift" organization was founded in 1990 by restaurant owner Julie Burns, in order to help families in Putnam County at Christmas time. Along with Jack Dalton, Frank Hutcheson and Harry Moore, the idea spread rapidly through the community and resulted in contributions for food, toys and clothing. As a result, the first Return-A-Gift Christmas party was scheduled at a local restaurant. By 1993, the Christmas party had outgrown the restaurant and was relocated to the Putnam County 4-H Fairgrounds. In 1994, 500 guests were seated and fed by more than 100 volunteers. The organization works through local counselors from the High Schools in order to find families that might need help during holiday times.

Thank you to the: Putnam County CVB Board Members: David Jackman, Barbara Lane, Dick Wells, Judy Wilson, Rick Patel, Eric Hayman, Sharon Hammond, Don Gedert, Donna Houser, Larry Pickens and Amy Doan and Sharon Eiteljorge, Assistant Director and especially the Return-A-Gift family. (Frank Hutcheson, Marie Leach, Kaye Huber, Shirley Dalton, Jack Dalton, Julie Burns)

A Heartfelt Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors: Walmart* Superstore; McDonalds; Bright Futures; Donna Byrd from McDonalds; Nucor Steel of Montgomery County; Marvin Peters of Duke Energy; JKL Concrete; First National Bank; Jim Guilliam & Thomas Miller of Autumn Glenn; and Old National Bank.

A huge thank you to all of our Volunteers: Kay Gedert; Phyllis Evans; Jack Dalton; Shirley Dalton; Frank Hutcheson; Kaye Huber; Gaylene Layton; David Jackman; Judy Wilson; Katarina King; Abby King; Nora Stork; Indy New; Mr. & Mrs. Maxwell; Linda Freeman; Wanda Bitzer and Bill Eiteljorge, State Representative Nancy Michael and First National Bank and Mike Hanlon from the Greencastle Police Department.

A special thank you to the local businesses around the square, anonymous donors; all prize donors; Greencastle Fire Department; City of Greencastle, Walmart Super-Store; GFD Sparky and Ken Spence, DNR.

Thank you to all participants, young and young at heart. Without you, this would not have been a success!

We also thank our prize donors: Indiana Repertory Theatre, Grand Country Music Hall, Comedy Sportz Theater, Hoosier Park Race Track, Conner Prairie, Indianapolis Zoo, Wonderlab, Squire Boone Caverns, Evansville Zoo, Silverscreen Entertainment, Ben & Ari's, Shedd Aquarium, Pizza Hut, Marengo Cave Country Adventures, PayBack Foundation, Eiteljorg Museum, Great Times, Dave & Buster's, Chip Gannassi Racing Team, Indianapolis Indians, Subway, The Children's Museum, Fastimes Indoor Karting, Indianapolis Colts, Chief's, Long John Silvers, Treasure's on the Square and JKL Concrete.

Looking back, I realize not everything will be perfect with such a large event, however I hope everyone had fun and I look forward to 2010 and would like to say thank you to everyone involved. If I have missed anyone I apologize. Thanks again! See you next year.

Karla Lawless

Executive Director

Putnam County Convention & Visitor Bureau