Local youth sharing her blessings with ‘Hunger Banquet’

Ellie Stephenson (right) is all smiles as she sees that the number of registrations for the Hunger Banquet she is hosting has increased; her mother, Mandy Stephenson, reacts to the good news. Ellie Stephenson hopes to have at least 50 people attend the unusual, interactive banquet set for July 15, which will focus on world hunger.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published July 9, 2018.

Ellie Stephenson is a bright, articulate 10-year-old who will be in fifth grade when school starts back up at Lincoln Elementary School. She also recently learned a powerful lesson about being grateful for what she has, an epiphany she wants to share with the world.

With a little help from her parents and some friends, she will do just that when she throws a “Hunger Banquet” for the community on Sunday, July 15, at 5 p.m. at Evangelical United Methodist Church. It’s an experience that participants are not likely to soon forget.

Pathfinder clients make new friends this summer

Jon Sizemore (left), 13, catches a basketball during some interaction time at the Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County Thursday, June 21. Also participating in the game are (from left) Alexia Ramirez, 12, Mitchell Parker, 16 and Ella Emery, 13. Members of the club hang out with Pathfinder teen clients each morning, doing fun things such as using the computer, watching videos and cooking.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published July 5, 2018.

Mornings in the summertime at the Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County are always busy and boisterous, with kids in every part of the club having fun on their break from school.

But for about 20 to 30 youths who are clients of Pathfinder Services, the fun is teamed up with making some important friendships.

Lancaster mission to build well in Africa continues to completion

Children who were first-graders at Lancaster Elementary School this past school year hold up a banner that states the grand total of their fund-raiser for the Georgie Badiel Foundation during a Skype call with the foundation’s creator, Georgie Badiel, on Thursday, June 28, at the Huntington Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library. The grand total, $11,588.91, will fund the construction of a well in an African community that does not currently have access to clean water.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Classes may have ended for good at Lancaster Elementary School this past school year, but the school’s mission to build a well in Africa did not.

Johnson returns home to Lime City to train for shot at national track title

Lauren Johnson, a professional runner from Huntington, runs a lap on the track at Huntington University’s King Stadium on Tuesday, June 12. Johnson is competing in the 1,500-meter run at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, which begin today, Thursday, June 21. With the meet being held in Des Moines, IA, Johnson returned to Huntington to get reacclimated to running in the Midwest’s climate.
Photo by Steve Clark.

When professional runner Lauren Johnson comes to Huntington, it’s usually to visit with friends and family in her hometown.

Her most recent trip to the Lime City, though, was motivated by something else. This time around, she was here to train for a national title.

Pair of HNHS grads leaving ‘Blessings’ to next generation

Huntington County Blessings in a Backpack founders Emily Johnson (far right) and Hollyn Anderson (second from right) symbolically hand off the ministry to members of the local committee during work time Wednesday, May 30, at Café of Hope at Life Church. Johnson and Anderson are graduating from Huntington North High School this year. Celebrating the occasion are (front row from left) Ashlynn Goster, Kate Gradeless and Autumn Anderson; and (back row from left) Dairian Goelz, Katie Melcher, Hannah Smith, Peyton Miller  and Meg McDonald.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published June 11, 2018.

Back in 2011, when Hollyn Anderson and Emily Johnson were in sixth grade at Crestview Middle School, they had no idea that they would make such a huge impact on the world around them – specifically, on hundreds of hungry children in Huntington County.

Their desire to feed kids has turned into a major charity in Huntington County, growing each year of its operation and bringing in thousands of dollars to make it happen.

Lancaster Elementary first-graders, others try to make last days count for something long-term

Jeanne Paff (seated), a first-grade teacher at Lancaster Elementary School, looks up at a screen displaying the Skype chat that she and students at the school had with Georgie Badiel, the creator of the Georgie Badiel Foundation, on May 7. First-graders at the school were impacted by a book that was inspired by Badiel’s childhood experiences trying to bring clean water to her village. As a result, the students started a fund-raising campaign to dig a well in an African village.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Lancaster Elementary School may now be closed, but if the school’s last classes of first-graders have their way, it will live on in a new form on the other side of the world.

Pair of local families get state honor for having centennial farms

Melissa Killen (left) sorts through photos showing the Killen family farm as it has changed through the years with her father, Donald Killen, during coffee time together at the Café of Hope, in Huntington. Donald Killen still lives on the homestead, which was recently recognized as a Hoosier Homestead Farm for being in the Killen family for more than 100 years.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Their families have been the salt of the earth for generations in Huntington County, producing food by tilling the land and raising a variety of animals. This year, the two families are being recognized for having their farms in the same family for at least 100 years.

Hoosier Homestead Farm centennial award

Photo provided.

Members of the Hosler family post for a keepsake photo after receiving the Hoosier Homestead Farm centennial award. Celebrating the occasion are (front row from left) Isaac Hosler, 6, and Sam Hosler, 10; (second row from left) Leah Hosler, 12, Stacey Hosler, Bonnie Hosler and Tom Hosler; (third row from left) Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler, Rep. Dan Leonard, Lulu Hosler, Deanna Hosler, Vicki Baker and Indiana Lt. Gov.

Former YMCA swimmers again take to pool to honor Hummer

A teenage Steve Ware (third from left) stands alongside four other Huntington YMCA swimmers who earned college scholarships under coach Glen Hummer. Pictured are (from left) Alan Dilley, who would attend Michigan State University; Gary Kinkead, University of Michigan; Ware, Indiana University; Van Rockefeller, Michigan State University; and Steve Folk, Western Michigan University.
Photo provided.

Originally published April 26, 2018.

Steve Ware competed for the Huntington YMCA during the heyday of its swimming program in the 1960s.

Under the tutelage of coach Glen Hummer, Ware and his peers won national championships, both as a team and individually.

In May, over 50 years later, Ware will be swimming for the Huntington YMCA once more. But what prompted him, at 70, to do so?

HNHS nutrition, wellness class students to leave tasty legacy behind

As his daughter, Nila (left), looks on, Jason McClure of McClure Orchard and Winery explains how tree grafting works to an audience of nutrition, wellness and agriculture students at Huntington North High School Thursday, April 5. McClure used “gold rush” and “pixie crunch” varieties to show how grafting is accomplished, then donated the two trees to the high school for its courtyard garden.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published April 12, 2018.

Some Huntington North High School nutrition and wellness class students won’t get to taste the fruits of their labors, but after the donation of two grafted apple trees from an orchard in Peru, they’ll leave a legacy that up-and-coming students will enjoy and continue to care for.

The students, members of Jan Hildebrand and Dayna Stump’s classes, as well as visiting ag class students, received a donation of two apple trees from Jason McClure, of McClure’s Orchard and Winery, during a guest class lecture and demonstration.

Huntington’s own World War I ‘Doughnut Girl’ to be feted Saturday

She was known as “The Doughnut Girl” – the Salvation Army soldier who came up with an idea to make doughnuts for troops fighting on the front lines in France during World War I. On Saturday, April 14, Helen Gaye Purviance, a Huntington native, will be recognized and honored for her service and ingenuity in bringing homesick soldiers a taste of home.

From humble beginnings, Riverview’s RTV hailing 25th year

RTV, the daily, student-produced television news show at Riverview Middle School, in Huntington, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this school year. The show was started by David Dean Sr. (seated right), a former English teacher at the school. With Dean in the RTV studio are (seated left) the very first RTV anchor, Rochelle Kiefer Kennedy, who is now a Riverview teacher, and (standing from left) Chris Husband and Steve Park, teachers who succeeded Dean in leading RTV.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published March 22, 2018.

Years ago, when Riverview Middle School’s daily, student-produced news show first began airing, it was based in a supply closet.

Today, the show, which is known as RTV, has expanded from those cramped quarters into a proper, two-room studio. The first room contains several computers used to produce the show, while the other houses the program’s blue and yellow set, instantly familiar to anyone who watches the show.

Local church group literally using ‘noodle’ to raise funds for projects

Members of the New Hope Church Oodles of Noodles crew (from left) David Walker, Janice Alvey and Gene Wilson, go for a record noodle as they run a long sheet of dough through the noodle-cutting machine. The group has made more than $10,000 in the past six years, making and selling the noodles one 14-ounce bag at a time.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Feb. 26, 2018.

It helps to have a sense of humor when you’re doing something as mundane as making noodles.

It’s what has melded a group of noodle-makers from New Hope United Brethren Church into a tight-knit and rather efficient group, and has helped fund some big projects in their church and the community.

And, they’ll tell you, that’s some big noodle-doin’s.

HU teams build in Mexico with more than bricks and mortar

Members of the Huntington University softball team work by a cement mixer during a recent mission trip to Mexico. Pictured in the foreground is Joelle Beals, a sophomore on the team. The following week, members of the HU women’s soccer team went on a trip to the same area in Mexico.
Photo provided.

Originally published Feb. 19, 2018.

Members of the Huntington University softball and women’s soccer teams recently traveled to Mexico for mission trips.

During their stays there, the team members helped construct a community center in an impoverished town.

The most important thing they built, though, didn’t require a single brick.

“People in the past week have said, ‘So, what’d you do down there? What’d you build?’,” says Amanda Burge, head coach of the women’s soccer team. “And my answer is, ‘We built relationships.’”

Select authors’ group has staying power with HCTPL readers

Huntington City-Township Public Library employees hold up the two most popular books checked out in 2017.  Circulation Supervisor Kay Stine (left) holds a copy of “Two by Two” by Nicholas Sparks, which was the most checked-out adult fiction book, while Library Assistant-Acquisitions Deb Roy holds “Cross the Line” by James Patterson, the most popular adult large-print book. The Huntington and Markle library branches are already on track to break 200,000 in circulation for this year.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Feb. 15, 2018.

When it comes to what Huntington City-Township Public Library patrons enjoy reading most, a select group of authors proves they have the staying power when it comes to the most checked-out reading materials of 2017. But look out, books – graphic novels are finding a lot of popularity among readers.