Letter to the Editor

Youth Development Commission says thank you, Putnam County

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Putnam County Youth Development Commission we wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the Putnam County community. Words cannot begin to express our gratefulness of how our 4th annual event "Dancing with the Putnam County Stars" was embraced. We are humbled by the generosity, kindness and unwavering support of this philanthropic evening that brings together the entire Putnam County community to have fun, highlight the outstanding talent in our area, while raising money for our most precious assets, the youth of Putnam County!

We are grateful to our sponsors for their contributions: Dance Workshop (Tara Gardner & Lita Sandy); Dr. Brian Casey and DePauw University including the Facilities, Theater, Media and Catering Services; Bittles & Hurt Funeral Home; North Salem State Bank; Cunningham State Farm Insurance; HMSB Insurance Services; Monical's Pizza; Jedele Enterprises Inc.; Lifebuilder Church; Eitel's Flowers & Gifts; and Amber Bowers Photography. Also Double R Farm LLC and Michael Goss Law Office, Teachers Credit Union, Dixie Chopper, Greencastle Hometown Dental, S&W Feed Center, Greencastle Pediatric Dentistry, Cottage Garden Collections, Mikey's Tobacco Shop, First National Bank, David Zeiner Enterprises, the Muir Family, Collins Evans Realty and University Lending, Taylor Made Awards, Endless PossibiliTees, Almost Home and the Swizzle Stick and Wilson's Tuxedo Rental.

Other special volunteers include Bill Merkel, Cathy Westman, Eileen Johnson, Jamie and Brooke Mourey, Paula and Dan Fry, Sarah and Grace Fry, Carla Plessinger, Nancy Zennie, Samantha Richardson, Madi Marsteller, Beth Benedix, Nicki Evans, Christa Campbell, Kaileigh Duell, Nicole Watson, Kristin Wade, Janet Gaston, and the Kappa Alpha Thetas from DePauw University.

Our judges and co-hosts continue to be a real highlight: Denny Bridges, Matt Headley, Diana LaViolette, Jana Brothers and Beau Battin. Jim "Fig" Hardwick from Fig's Follies always is entertaining and a special thanks to Stacey Baugh for making sure all routines (group and individual) were on stage and ready to perform.

The instructors continue to amaze everyone, in just 11 short weeks they transform the "PC Stars" into accomplished competitive dancers: Tara Gardner, Lita Sandy, Brad Sandy, Jessyca South, Hannah Clingan, Colleen Muir, Logan Kuhne, Ashley Clute, Brandon Halleck, David Boswell and Lori Briones.

The 2012 Putnam County Stars were absolutely amazing: Steve Jones, Rick Woodall, Mark Timm, Carrie Thompson, David Zeiner, Regina Walton, Sherry Cash, Jason Chew, Kathy Asbell, Dominique Gibson, and Chet Clodfelter.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention our returning "alumni stars" from 2009, 2010 and 2011 for their outstanding and entertaining performance in the opening group number: Deb Smith, Teena Bryant, David Wells, Sue Murray, Mary Miller, Jeremy Sheldon, Mary Ann Birt, Ron Spencer, Cindy Hennette, Brad Hayes and Jeff Rich.

The silent auction was once again very successful thanks to all the wonderful donations: Dance Workshop, Moore's Bar, Indianapolis Ice, Ball State University, Indianapolis Symphony, Long John Silvers, Indianapolis Children's Museum, Banner Graphic, Shoe Sensation, Almost Home, Snap Fitness, Jackson's Double Decker, Mona Lisa Spa & Salon, Dairy Castle, Goody's, Walmart, Cincinnati Reds Baseball, Jeffrey Boggess, Ashley Clute, Ambler Hill Florist, Kroger, Taco Bell, Headley Hardware, Auto Zone, Final Approach Bar & Grill, Inn at DePauw, Chicago's Pizza, Scott Riggle, Carol Emery, Family Video, Pizza King, Extreme Tanning, Ryan Newman Motorsports, White Cleaners, Monical's Pizza, Marvin's, Curves, DePauw University, Treasures on the Square, Johnson Cleaning & Maintenance, Tony Stewart, Candelaria Briones, Indianapolis Colts, Holiday World Splashin Safari, Indiana Pacers, Casa Grande, Buffalo Wild Wings, Indiana University, Greencastle McDonald's, Taylor Made Awards, Jennifer Blagg and the following artists: Jessie Scott, Lance Myers, Lynn Tweedie, Norm and Heidi Warren and Cloverdale, Greencastle, North Putnam and South Putnam high schools.

We are thankful to the many families that continue to support us annually by attending our open dress rehearsal. This year we collected six 30-gallon containers filled with non-perishable goods that were distributed to the Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry, Bainbridge Christian Church and New Providence Baptist Church. The Elks once again provided valet parking and with the onset of a rain storm, they were kept very busy. Their efforts raised money for the annual Relay for Life Campaign.

We can say with certainty that the evening was another success. $25,000 will go a long way to support our mission of serving the children and young people of Putnam County. Because of your heartfelt contributions, the following programs will continue to be offered at no cost to Putnam County families: CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), Let's Talk, (Anger Management) Thinking for a Change, Under 21 Prime for Life, (Drug & Alcohol Education), Putnam County Teen Court and Choices Program (for all PC 5th grade students). Events sponsored by the PCYDC include Coats for Kids and National Night Out. Annually the PCYDC touches the lives of over 3,000 children. Thank you again, you are the greatest!

We hope to see you next year as we present and celebrate our fifth annual event. Putnam County, we are thankful!

Renee Marsteller, President

Linda Merkel, Executive Director

PC Youth Development Commission