|Wed, Aug 20, 2014 02:28 PM
May 28, 2014 | 10:11 AM
A common theme among some of this year's graduates of the Leadership Harrison County program was the friendships that were developed and the confidence the class gave them.
"Nine months ago I couldn't have done this," Jimmy Pittman said Thursday evening while speaking for the group during the graduation ceremony at St. John's Lutheran School south of Lanesville.
"We made good friendships with each other," he said, "and I would appreciate doing it all over again."
Pittman, along with classmate Dana Jones, provided the class reflection.
Jones said the group celebrated the confidence Pittman and Kelly Matlock had gained during the nine-month program.
"One thing that describes this class is persistence," Jones said. "We would not give up.
"I love the relationships we built," she said. "And, we're going to have to see each other this summer; we have a fence to build."
The fence construction is the class project.
Classmates Roger Corley and Matlock talked about the project. Corley said the class came up with three "strong" projects before deciding on the fence, which will be put up near the parking lots at the soccer fields at the YMCA of Harrison County in Corydon.
"This will help protect the children," Corley said.
Factoring in the number of children who participate in the spring and fall soccer program, as well as the after-school program and day camp at the Y and those who attend the annual Healthy Kids Day, Corley said the project can have an impact on 28,667 youth each year.
Matlock explained that the class had a goal of raising $10,000 for the project.
"We're extremely close," she said, adding that they were about $1,000 shy.
The goal is to have the fence installed by the time fall soccer starts.
Anyone who wishes to make a donation to the project can do so by sending a tax-deductible donation to Leadership Harrison County, P.O. Box 471, Corydon, IN 47112 (write 2013-14 class project in the memo line).
A highlight of each LHC graduation is the presentation of the Servant Leader Award, with the recipient being selected by the class members.
"Nine months ago, a diverse group of business professionals came together for a common cause: to develop valuable leadership skills to better serve our community and to become familiar with the needs of our community," class member Pamela K. Boone said. "Early on, we were asked to think of a person or persons who, to us, was the epitome of servant leadership.
"While not knowing the full definition of what or who a servant leader is, for me there was no need to think; I knew immediately who that person or persons should be," she said.
After announcing Peter J. and Joan T. Schickel as this year's recipients, Boone read a list of the Schickels' contributions to the community, including establishing a scholarship endowment fund in 2005 through the Harrison County Community Foundation; their support for the Lanesville Community School Corp.; helping to establish the Lanesville Youth League Endowment Fund through the HCCF; and hosting the Deanery Catholic Youth Mass hayride and bonfire for 30 years.
"The Schickels have dedicated many years of servant leadership to Harrison County," Boone said. "Their positive influence continues to be an inspiration to the youth of our community."
The Schickels were invited to the program under the pretense that their son, Robert, was getting an award, so they were surprised.
"I don't know who orchestrated all this; I'm shocked," Pete said. "I'm shocked."
Joan said that they wouldn't be where they are today if it weren't for the help of their family.
Donn Blank, a longtime LHC board member, took a moment to tell the new graduates about the Friend of Leadership Award, something that's given from time to time when the board believes someone "goes above and beyond" to help the Leadership program. One such act was a monetary donation that helped start an endowment that continues to grow, helping to make LHC more self-sustaining, Blank said.
John Hodges, Leadership Harrison County's program director, said the class "got a lot of things done," and Lisa Sieg, chair of LHC's board, praised the group for taking time out of their busy lives to participate in the program.
Other class members were Loretta Ettinger, Kim Harmon, Otto Schalk, Suann M. Stroud, Louis Touchette, Matthew Trader and Cory Williams.
The meal was provided by the St. John's Martha Society, and a slideshow created by Sheryl Scharf, Hodges' assistant, played during the meal. The pictures showed the class members performing various activities during the monthly gatherings.
Kimberly Yackle was recognized as a LHC board member whose term had expired.
Applications for the 20th Leadership Harrison County class are being accepted.
To learn more about LHC or to obtain an application, contact Hodges, Scharf, Sieg, Blank or any other board member (Hollis Bruce, Karen Dubree, Tammy Puckett, Doug Robson, Jean Schettler, Cynthia Timmons or Gloria Wood) or visit the organization's Facebook page.
To end the evening, Sieg asked the attendees for a moment of silence in honor of the country's military.