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home : columnists : betsy reason January 18, 2018


Kids love the new Club
Ella Hill loves the new gymnasium, the new cafetorium and the new Learning Center. She loves the new art room, the new music room and the new strength and training Room. She loves the new games room, the new kitchen and the new Teen Center.

The 11-year-old, a sixth-grader at Noblesville West Middle School, was the first one to greet us Monday afternoon as we entered the new $6.7 million Tom & Soni Sheehan Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville, where she offered to lead us in a tour.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Community to unite for MLK Celebration
The Noblesville First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir is more than 80 strong.

The Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is small but powerful.

Come Monday night, they will combine their choirs in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

While Bethel AME has played host in past years to an MLK celebration, it's a first-time collaboration with First UMC.

Saturday, January 13, 2018
Celebrating Atlanta Music Hall founder
In the small town of Atlanta, Ind., in northern Hamilton County, just about everyone knew Gerald Terry.

He loved strumming the banjo, working on banjos, and performing with his musician friends at Atlanta Music Hall.

The music hall is an old building that he and his wife, Roberta, bought 30 years ago to turn into a live music venue where musicians could play.

Friday, January 12, 2018
'Can't open it?' They can help
When two Noblesville siblings who volunteer at the White River Christian Church Food Pantry noticed that some recipients were not taking the canned food, they wanted to know why.

And when they found out that the reason was because some people didn't own a can opener, Connor Reiff and his sister, Maddie, decided they needed to help.

While discussing the issue over dinner with their mom, they came up with the slogan, "Can't Open It? We Can Help!"

Friday, December 29, 2017
Lions still doing good at 75 years
Wherever I go in Noblesville, I see Noblesville Lions Club members involved in our community.

They're grilling pork chops and frying pancakes on the Courthouse Square to raise money for philanthropic projects. They're marching in the city's parades through downtown giving out candy and bringing awareness to their club. They're handing out dictionaries to Noblesville third-graders to make learning fun.

Thursday, December 28, 2017
Still time to see Santa Claus
Growing up, I always liked to visit Santa

Claus at the local shopping mall. While sometimes the lines were long, I found

that the wait was always worth it.

Here at the Santa House on the Courthouse Square in downtown Noblesville, I've

taken my daughter to visit Santa every year after the jolly ol' elf officially arrives in the Noblesville Christmas Parade.

Saturday, December 23, 2017
Township Trustee gives gift of music
I was glad to hear that the String-Time Concert Series expects to return to the Hamilton County Courthouse Square in 2018.

That's thanks to Legacy Keepers Music, a nonprofit that has received an early Christmas gift from the Noblesville Township Trustee's office in a donation of $1,000.

The concert series debuted in July in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Legacy Keepers, an educational charity that Noblesville's Janet Gilray started in 2007 to offer musical family programming.

Friday, December 22, 2017
Lil Bloomers fills mom's big dream
Shauna Metzger left her job as a clerk at the Noblesville Township Trustee office more than two years ago to follow her dream and open a children's boutique in downtown Noblesville.

Since she opened Lil Bloomers, the mom-turned-entrepreneur hasn't looked back.

It's her second Christmas in business, this season operating three store locations, that also include Clay Terrace in Carmel and a store in Brown County's Nashville, Ind.

Thursday, December 21, 2017
Escape in new laser-tag arena
If you've always wanted to be part of the action in sci-fi movies, look no farther than a new laser-tag arena that's opening in Noblesville on Friday, just in time for Hamilton County schools' winter break.

The new two-story arena is part of a 7,800-square-foot addition at Three-Two-Fun bowling center on Westfield Road.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Silvernotes ladies really love to sing
Driving by the Noblesville Jim Dandy restaurant on Thursday, I noticed that the marquee was promoting the Silvernotes that night. But I didn't catch the time.

So I drove around the block, came back and saw that the Hamilton County Extension Homemakers' choral club, the Silvernotes, would be performing for the next two hours.

Monday, December 18, 2017
Downright, downhill fun comes to Noblesville
There might not be snow on the ground in downtown Noblesville, but if you drive less than 15 minutes north on Indiana 37, to Strawtown Koteewi Park, there's a blizzard of snow to enjoy this holiday season.

And Hamilton County Parks & Recreation are ready to welcome the community to the parks' new tubing hill, Koteewi Run Seasonal Slopes. It's being promoted as Central Indiana's only specialized snow-tubing facility.

Saturday, December 16, 2017
Singing 'a gift from God'
Claudia MacRae sang on stage with popstar Madonna during Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 at Lucas Oil Stadium. She sang the national anthem for Indianapolis Colts football games at Lucas Oil. She sang at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

And this spring, she will sing at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The Noblesville woman in January will celebrate her 15th anniversary of singing alto with the 200-voice Indianapolis Symphonic Choir.

Friday, December 15, 2017
Lots of music, drama in schools
Attending this month's Noblesville Chamber of Commerce Holiday Luncheon got me thinking about all of the awesome music-related holiday productions this month at Noblesville Schools.

North Elementary's 11-member fourth-grade Hand Chimes Choir, which the community heard at the Noblesville Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in November, performed "Away in a Manger" and other lovely holiday songs as Chamber guests arrived and enjoyed the holiday luncheon.

Thursday, December 14, 2017
UMC Festival adds Janus choir, artwork
A year ago, the new Noblesville First United Methodist Church minister of music Jeff Wright renamed the church's annual Christmas concert to Christmas Festival of Music.

It's traditionally a night when the church's nearly 100-member Chancel Choir, 22-member orchestra and 13-member Chancel Ringers adult handbell ensemble, The Gospel Seekers men's quartet, and flute, piano and organ, all give glory to God.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
These folks have Christmas spirit
A group of folks are making the holidays brighter for people who might not otherwise be remembered.

Those who have attended or entered a vehicle in the annual Father's Day Car Show at Forest Park might have already met some of these folks.

Central Indiana Vintage Vehicles, which puts on the car show, donates all of its profits to The Elysian Foundation, which uses the money to benefit those in our community who are severely brain-damaged or who have other disabilities.

Monday, December 11, 2017
'Waltons' play reminds us of wholesome TV
When Westfield Playhouse this fall announced the theater would be staging "The Homecoming: Waltons' Christmas Story," my ears perked up.

I grew up watching "The Waltons," a wholesome TV series based on a Depression-era family with seven children, living at the foot of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.

Every Thursday night, we tuned in to CBS, which aired the show, a story told each week through the eyes of the oldest son, John-Boy Walton, who penned in his Big Chief writing tablets stories about growing up in a big family.
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Saturday, December 9, 2017
Teacher's last ballet
When Shannon Jenkins was 5 years old, she wanted to be "either a baton twirler or a ballerina."

She longed for the spotlight. To wear fancy costumes. And to dance "to wonderful music" in "big theatrical productions."

Growing up, her father had a passion for opera, and she listened to a lot of it, gaining an appreciation for the arts.

Friday, December 8, 2017
New toys needed this week for ages 5-12
This is a crucial week for Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County, which is having its annual Christmas Giveaway on Saturday.

Distribution prep work started Wednesday, setting up three halls of the Hamilton County Exhibition Center at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville. Then, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and Friday, Good Samaritan executive director and founder, Noblesville's Nancy Chance, is accepting donations.

Thursday, December 7, 2017
Garrick Mallery's legacy will live on
Garrick Mallery was all about giving back to our youth and our community.

He was one of Noblesville Elementary Football League's Founders, a Hamilton County 4-H leader for 25 years, and a donor of his family's land to Noblesville Schools.

Mallery, whose rich Noblesville history and family roots date back to 1820, would have turned 90 on Dec. 21.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Santa breakfast, holiday lightings welcome season
What a great holiday weekend.

Noblesville Main Street's First Friday in December kicked off with hot chocolate on the Hamilton County Courthouse Square.

The "Shop Local" theme continued as downtown merchants had extended hours for Midnight Madness.

The Courthouse itself was beautiful with its colorful lights. And on Friday, the holiday scene was even more wonderful with luminaries that lit up throughout the downtown.

Monday, December 4, 2017
Ballet royalty in Noblesville
Robert Moore's story reads like a fairy tale.

The 39-year-old Noblesville man grew up here studying ballet but at age 14 left home and moved to Florida to train as a dancer.

After graduating from Harid Ballet Conservatory in Boca Raton, Fla., he auditioned and accepted a position dancing professionally for Boston Ballet and later Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, making a name for himself in the ballet world.

Saturday, December 2, 2017
Waltons story hits home at Westfield Playhouse
Watching this week's dress rehearsals of Westfield Playhouse's holiday production, show director Sam Brown finds childhood memories rushing back to him.

Brown grew up watching "The Waltons," a wholesome TV series based on a Depression-era family of nine, living in at the foot of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, whose story is told through the eyes of the oldest son, John-Boy Walton.

Friday, December 1, 2017
Liking those beards on NPD officers?
If there is a shortage of men's razors in Noblesville on Sunday, the Noblesville Police Department offers its sincere apologies.

Nearly three dozen NPD officers -- or almost 40 percent of the department -- who have been growing facial hair for a cause, will take razors to their faces at the end of this weekend.

Thursday, November 30, 2017
Tradition brightens up our downtown
Anybody who attended Noblesville Chamber of Commerce's Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony last Friday night likely noticed a few new acts, and some returning favorites.

Noblesville First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir opened the ceremony, singing "Joy to the World" to a standing-room-only audience, from the steps of the Hamilton County Government & Judicial Center.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Boys Club, Janus encourage giving
What a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend for the opening of Federal Hill Commons Ice Plaza, the Noblesville Tree Lighting, Noblesville Main Street's Ice Sculptures, the Noblesville Christmas Parade and Santa's arrival.

We've celebrated Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday today, and now it's time for Giving Tuesday.

It's annually the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a global day dedicated to giving back. A day to support your favorite charitable organizations. And there are again a lot of choices in Hamilton County.

Monday, November 27, 2017
We will miss you as Santa Claus
I can't help but feel a little sentimental this weekend.

If you've driven along Conner Street by the Hamilton County Courthouse this week, you've likely noticed that the Santa House has been set on the Square, awaiting Santa's official arrival on Sunday in the annual Noblesville Christmas Parade.

For 12 years, Noblesville's Don Roberts played Santa Claus at the Santa House on the Square. Every year, through 2016, he arrived on the fire truck as the finale for the Parade.

Saturday, November 25, 2017
Shop local on Small Business Saturday
We love shopping in Downtown Noblesville, where storefronts are decorated in different themes and different colors for the holidays.

And while today is Black Friday, I usually defer my Friday shopping until Small Business Saturday in Downtown Noblesville.

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, founded in 2010 by American Express to promote small businesses.

Friday, November 24, 2017
Thanksgiving Dinner, Trot
No place to go for Thanksgiving?

The Michael Treinen Turkey Trot and the Communitywide Thanksgiving Day Dinner are two traditions happening on Thursday that have grown to attract thousands of people.

The 10th annual Turkey Trot event that steps off Thanksgiving morning at 9 a.m. at Ninth and Conner streets was created following the death of Michael Treinen. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia three weeks before graduation, on May 11, 2007, during his senior year at Noblesville High School.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tri Kappa gets with The Times
Every year at this time, Tri Kappa sorority asks us at The Times newspaper to partner up in the promotion of the Beta Epsilon chapter's annual Red Stocking Fund drive.

And every year at this time, I ask the drive's coordinators, Pam Lehman and Anita Beck, along with Noblesville Township Trustee, to put on their red Santa hats to snap a photo to promote the drive.

We here at The Times are always glad to help with this fundraiser.

Monday, November 20, 2017
A challenge to 'Stuff Da Bus'
Every year, as I watch the Noblesville Christmas Parade, I notice that the Boys & Girl Club of Noblesville's buses are always entered in the parade.

Club Kids walk in front of the buses, that are filled with donated food to help our local pantries.

The "Stuff Da Bus" idea is a good one.

Members of the Torch Club at the Boys & Girls Club annually call upon local individuals, organizations and businesses to fill at least one Boys Club bus or more with food for local families.

Saturday, November 18, 2017
'Cactus' is clever Christmas comedy
Watching The Belfry Theatre's dress rehearsals of "A Christmas Cactus" earlier this week, I couldn't help but feel the spirit of the season.

The mystery-comedy -- which opens tonight and continues weekends through Dec. 3 at the Noblesville theater -- isn't your typical holiday classic but a charming contemporary Christmas tale set in the 1940s on Christmas Eve.

Friday, November 17, 2017
Nancy Chance needs your help
Every year at this time, Nancy Chance quietly asks for help filling the need.

She needs food, new clothes, new toys and money. Gift cards are also welcome.

The coordinator for Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County -- in its 37th year -- said the community's donations are vital to this year's holiday-assistance giveaways.

Thursday, November 16, 2017
Magic foursome auditions for 'America's Got Talent'
A casting producer for the NBC television series, "America's Got Talent" was watching YouTube videos, looking for "kid magicians," when she found Ryan Demler and his three sons.

Demler, who works under the stage name C.R. Ryan, performs a magic act with his sons, Braden, 13, Owen, 9, and Liam, 4.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Celebrating our veterans
Each Veterans Day, we fly the flags for each branch of the military. We recognize those who have nobly served. And we remember those we've lost.

On Saturday, a crowd gathered on the brisk autumn day to honor our local veterans and say thank you for their sacrifices during an annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Hamilton County War Memorial on the Courthouse Square in Noblesville.

Monday, November 13, 2017
Howard Kenley shares stories of wartime
Howard Kenley Jr. was a navigator on a Boeing B-17 aircraft bomber in the U.S. Air Force during World War II.

He was drafted in October 1941 and flew 35 missions, his last mission on April 18, 1945, just 20 days before V-Day, the end of WWII in Europe.

The 25-year-old looked forward to being discharged so he could go home, back to his new wife of two years. But rather, he would get another assignment, to be sent to Japan because, "We were short navigators," said the military veteran who reached the rank of captain during his four years of service.

Friday, November 10, 2017
Costuming 'Guys & Dolls'
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Celebrating Veterans Day
It's time to celebrate our military veterans and thank them for their service.

Veterans Day will be celebrated today through Saturday during an array of events in Hamilton County.

Noblesville Lions Club will offer a dinner for invited local veterans, at 6:30 p.m. today, Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Jim Dandy, 2301 Conner St., Noblesville. Veterans will be given a chance to share stories.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Club honors 3 at Farewell Tour
Noblesville's Bill Taylor grew up a farm boy, graduated from college, worked in the grain-handling industry and then started his own technology company.

Along the way, as an adult, he got involved in the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville, joining the Club's board 18 years ago.

"Be involved and give back to the community" is one of the six principles of the Taylored Systems owner and president.

Monday, November 6, 2017
Center raises bar with bowling, cooking, dance
If you've traveled Indiana 37 between Noblesville and Fishers over the past few months, you've likely noticed construction of an exciting-looking one-story building that features a huge round entrance and lots of glass.

I learned several months ago that the massive building would be the ultimate in childcare centers, with a bowling alley and lots of cool amenities.

It's the second Children's Learning Adventure childcare center to open in Indiana; the first was in Carmel.

Saturday, November 4, 2017
Community grateful for Luke Kenley
Retired Sen. Luke Kenley couldn't have asked for a better tribute party.

There was a beautiful cake. Lots of catered food. And hundreds of guests.

There were kind words. Some good-natured roasting. And lots of gifts.

One of those surprises was the unveiling of "Kenley Commons" as the new name of the atrium at Ivy Tech Community College Hamilton County Campus in Noblesville. The former Noblesville High School -- from where Kenley played football and graduated in 1963 -- was fittingly the venue for this "Tribute to Sen. Luke Kenley" appreciation party on Thursday.

Friday, November 3, 2017
Boys & Girls Club to say 'farewell'
Standing inside the entrance at the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville after school one day last week, I couldn't help but get a little choked up as I watched kids get off of their school buses and walk through the doors of the Club.

The kids, mostly smiling, checked in their coats and backpacks and went on their way to the art room to paint, or to the kitchen for a cooking class, or to the gymnasium to play basketball.

The 1448 Conner St. building -- the former Noblesville High School built in 1910 -- has been home to Club kids grades K-12 since 1969.

But it won't be long until the building closes for holiday break in December, and the Club moves to its new 34,000-square-foot Tom & Soni Sheehan Boys & Girls Club, under construction just two blocks east.

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Remembering newspaperman Don Jellison
I knew Don Jellison for more than 30 years.

The former Noblesville Daily Ledger sports editor, then editor, hired me right out of college for my first job.

When Don moved on from The Ledger, he soon found another place to write. The Noblesville Daily Times, then The Times. And then at the Hamilton County Reporter, where he and his son, Jeff Jellison, together took to publishing a daily online newspaper and a weekly print edition.

Yes, Don operated a competing newspaper. But that didn't stop me from writing this column.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Best of shows to be honored
We have some great talent in our Hamilton County community theaters.

That's evident from the many nominations for the 48th annual Encore Awards, which will be presented tonight.

The social event of the year is like the Oscars for community theater, where people dress to the nines, and cheer on fellow thespians lucky enough to go home with awards for being the best in their show.

Monday, October 30, 2017
What's it take to put on NEMS musical?
I remember at the beginning of the school year when we found out that Noblesville East Middle School would stage "Guys & Dolls Jr." for its annual fall musical.

More than 80 students turned out for the auditions, showing off their vocal abilities and reading lines from the script.

For the past nine weeks, the 39-member cast has been rehearsing after school, first at NEMS and now at Ivy Tech Community College in Noblesville, where the musical will be staged just less than two weeks away, on Veterans Day weekend.

Saturday, October 28, 2017
Ghosts, goblins, ghouls, oh my!
It's the final weekend for ghosts and goblins, and we still have lots of Halloween activities on our calendar.

Tonight is Noblesville Parks' annual Free Family Halloween Party. We always try to attend, not only because we enjoy the hayride through the park, but for the music, games and refreshments. Plus Noblesville Police Department offers Trunk-or-Treat, and a downtown business, Fred and Lori Koppold's Tenth Street Photography, snaps memorable souvenir photos with special effects. It's 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at Forest Park.

Friday, October 27, 2017
Let's all head to the county parks
I remember when Cool Creek Park's Haunted Trails debuted 25 years ago. You squeamishly walked through the woods, where goblins lurked to scare you. It wasn't meant for the young or faint of heart, but there were less-scary activities for the little ones.

Tonight's Hamilton County Parks' Halloween event, "Little Haunt on the Prairie at Ghoul Creek Park" is only in its second year. But based on attendance and guest feedback from 2016's inaugural program, I am told that the one-night Halloween event that replaced Haunted Trails at Cool Creek Park is expected to become a popular tradition thanks to a staff committee formed to create a new approach for the event.

Thursday, October 26, 2017
John W. Kennedy made a difference
Noblesville's John W. Kennedy once told me that he stuck close to home because he had deep roots in a community he loved.

He graduated in 1972 from Noblesville High School, following the heels of his father, Jim, who graduated in 1944. His mother, Beba, was an NHS teacher. His grandpa, Moe Kennedy, coached football, basketball and track here. His brother, James Kennedy Jr., who most people know as "Chooch," is a 1968 NHS grad. His sister, Corya Kennedy Channing, is a 1966 NHS grad.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017



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