Posted on

Did you hear the one about Darrell … oh, we can’t tell that one either

Did you hear the one about Darrell … oh, we can’t tell that one either
Did you hear the one about Darrell … oh, we can’t tell that one either
Darrell Voelker, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County, cringes as he's "roasted" by Third District Commissioner Terry Miller Saturday night at the Old Capital Golf Club. (Photo by Bob Davis, FGB Images)

Saturday night was a hoot!
All at the expense of one big, red-faced Darrell Voelker, otherwise known as the “Good Sport of the Year.”
Or “Flash Riprock Penbrook,” his overly-imaginative name of choice at age 12. That’s according to Darrell’s first cousin, accountant Donn Blank, who shared many shocking tidbits of Darrell’s youth at Saturday night’s 2002 Community Roast.
About 150 people attended the first roast here, packing the Old Capital Golf Club dining room in Corydon. The events that night began with a reception and open bar, then a buffet dinner followed by the pure, unadulterated life of Darrell Voelker, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County, as seen through the eyes of others. The “roasting” and the roaring continued past 11 o’clock.
“I can’t beat it,” Voelker said at the close of the evening, admitting that maybe he’s not the best storyteller after all.
“You’ve done a great job,” he added. And: “Almost everything that was said tonight was true — in some fashion.”
Don’t ask.
The laughter came so hard and heavy at times that tears fell from grown men’s eyes, and normally prim, proper ladies … well, they guffawed.
There was the one about Darrell’s innovative fax machine.
Well, don’t ask.
But you can ask Councilman Carl (Buck) Mathes for the “other side of the flat-tire story” that erupted several years ago during the Harrison County Fair. It’s a story that must be heard from Mathes; it loses too much in the second-hand translation.
The fund-raiser brought in some $15,000, the profits from which Blue River Services Inc. will deposit into its endowment with the Harrison County Community Foundation, which will match the donation. Blue River, a not-for-profit agency based in Corydon, provides services to the mentally handicapped and others, primarily in Harrison, Crawford and Washington counties and, to some degree, in nine other Southern Indiana counties.
“We’re still getting the final numbers together,” said Sherry LeClair yesterday.
LeClair, director of fund development for Blue River, dubbed the entire evening a smashing success.
Besides Blank and Mathes, the roasters included Mark Shireman, president of the James L. Shireman Co.; Denny Voelker, Darrell’s brother; Harrison County Commissioner Terry L. Miller; Sarah Turpin, vice president, Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County; David Reed, CPA, Blank & Ingram; Jim LaDuke, vice president, Albin Jewelers; Tom Powers, executive director, LifeLong Learning; and Pam Bennett Martin, vice president, Bennett & Bennett Insurance Inc.
It was as though all these people knew that one day they would get their chance and they had spent years gathering material and evidence.
“They knew this day would come,” Voelker said.
Several from the audience also had tales to tell, including Darrell’s older sister, Carolyn, and Jaycee cohort David Hussung. Messages were also read from Darrell’s twin sister, Linda, who lives in Kansas City; former Chamber president Judy Hess, and Gov. Frank O’Bannon, who bestowed a Distinguished Hoosier Award on Voelker.
Sam Uhl, president and CEO of First Harrison Bank, served as master of ceremonies, and came up with some hilarious one-liners of his own.
Giving the invocation, Corydon attorney Gordon Ingle warned Voelker of things to come:
“I hope the irony isn’t lost on you that they had to get a lawyer to give the invocation.”
By the end of the evening, Darrell’s wife, Sheryl, had been anointed “Saint Sheryl.”
All in all, Voelker said, the evening went well, and he wasn’t nearly as embarrassed as he could have been.
“It turned out pretty good,” he said. “I had a few scares when certain people walked up to the microphone.”
Especially when college buddy David Reed stepped up and inserted a videotape for all the world to see.
Don’t ask.

LATEST NEWS