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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rural Youth/Young Adults alumni reunion planned for Sept. 25

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The biennial statewide reunion for all former members of Rural Youth/Young Adults will be on Saturday, Sept. 25, in Scott Hall at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Franklin.

Registration is at 1 p.m., and the program begins at 2 p.m. Dinner will be available for purchase.

This is a new site for the reunion, which is held every two years. This year's reunion will include special recognition of members who participated in the Alpine ski trip to Innsbruck, Austria, Dec. 1969-Jan. 1970.

Keynote speaker will be Isabella Chism, second vice president of Indiana Farm Bureau Inc. and a naturalized citizen of the U.S. who was born in Austria.

Sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau Inc. and Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, Rural Youth/Young Adults was active from 1939-1989. It was made up of single adults between the ages of 18-28. The three broad aims of the organization were education, recreation and community service.

Its peak membership occurred in the 1950s and '60s when it boasted 6,000 members statewide.

At one time or another there was a Rural Youth/Young Adult club in each county in Indiana. Some clubs functioned continuously from the beginning; others were disbanded and reorganized at later dates. Still in existence is the RY/YA club in Bartholomew County, which has for many years sold homemade ice cream at the Bartholomew County Fair.

The ski trip to Austria was not the only trip sponsored by RY/YA. Among the others were trips to Spain, Hawaii and Las Vegas as well as to dude ranches in Texas and Colorado and the World's Fair in Toronto, Canada.

One of the group's major statewide community service projects was installing seat belts in automobiles before the federal government required them.

Dennis Noel of Seymour(bjnoel13@juno.com), and Richard Nigh of Shelbyville (rlnigh@yahoo.com) are co-chairmen for this year's reunion. They lead a planning committee of seven people from across the state. Mike Jones of Anderson (miketiltent@comcast.net), a retiree from Indiana Farm Bureau Inc., and Howard Crussel, of Lafayette (447-4239), a retiree from Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, both of whom are former state RY/YA consultants, are now advisers to the committee.

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