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Leadership graduates 15, plans playground at pool

Leadership graduates 15, plans playground at pool
Leadership graduates 15, plans playground at pool
James L. Shireman, above, receives the Friend of Leadership award from Sarah Turpin, while, below, Larry Bennett is honored with the Servant Leader Award, presented by Zach Lambeck.

The most recent graduates of Leadership Harrison County started their eight-month program in the dark and went out with the wind.
In between, they learned about leadership styles, conflict resolution, consensus building, servant leadership, among other things, as well as Harrison County history. They also selected a Corydon resident as their recipient of the Servant Leader Award and are working on constructing a playground near the May & Joe Rhoads Memorial Pool in Corydon.
The program for the 2005-06 class began Oct. 25 with an overnight retreat at O’Bannon Woods State Park. Just as darkness was falling and the assistance of lights would have been nice, a power outage zapped the forest of its electricity.
The traditional campfire illuminated the immediate area as the 20 or so individuals became better acquainted. Power was restored about midnight.
So when 15 of those successfully completed the program last month gathered for a graduation ceremony on May 25 at St. John’s Lutheran School south of Lanesville, a severe thunderstorm didn’t unsettle them. Not even when Pam Eisert, school principal and a Leadership Harrison County board member, had everyone move into a hallway for several minutes once the warning sirens sounded. Some attendees took their dessert with them. (The meal was prepared by the St. John’s Martha Society.)
The interruption occurred as Denise Griffiths and DeNeil Brown were explaining their class project, a playground at the swimming pool.
‘We thought it was going to be a simple project,’ Griffiths said.
Brown said the playground went from a $5,000 project, their first guestimate, to $76,000 as their wish list and requirements grew. ‘Each time we met, we learned something new,’ he said.
After many meetings, class members decided to design the playground in ‘zones’ to allow for construction in stages. This concept also would make it easy for a company or individual to donate to a specific area that could be named in their honor, Griffiths said.
The group is still raising funds for the project. A spaghetti dinner and auction in March netted about $3,000, and Magdalena’s Restaurant & Gourmet Gift Shop has agreed to donate 10 percent of purchases, when the playground voucher is presented during June, to the cause. (Vouchers are available from class members.) Leadership graduates will be in a dunking booth at the Palmyra Fish Fry the last weekend of this month, and they are seeking corporate and personal contributions.
‘It’s been a good educational opportunity for us all,’ Griffiths said. ‘Our passion and desire to see it through has grown.’
Corydon resident Larry Bennett was the recipient of the Servant Leader Award.
Zach Lambeck, who presented the award on behalf of the class, named some of Bennett’s involvements, including a founder of the local Kiwanis club, past co-chair of the Harrison County United Way campaign, and a member of the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau board and Harrison County Hospital Foundation board.
‘He probably wouldn’t want this award for himself,’ Zambeck said. ‘That’s one of the reasons why he’s getting it.’
Past recipients, in order since 1996, are the late Blaine H. Wiseman, Darrell R. Voelker, Pamela Bennett Martin, J. Gordon Pendleton, Frederick P. Griffin, Shirley Hawkins Raymond, Catherine Turcotte, Brent D. Lewis, Karolyn Mangeot and Maxine Brown.
Another award, the Friend of Leadership, was also presented. Sarah Turpin gave it to James L. Shireman of Corydon.
Turpin said Shireman helped create an endowment for the Leadership program, in hopes that some day the program will be self-sufficient. Shireman’s donation of $25,000 was matched by another $25,000 from the Harrison County Community Foundation.
Shireman, who owns a construction company, has served on several boards, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Indiana Health Systems Agency, Southern Indiana Mental Health Association and the Prosser Vocational Center.
‘Jim told me that he felt everyone deserved an opportunity for an education and a chance to better themselves and their community,’ Turpin said of Shireman’s willingness to generously give to the endowment.
Last year was the first time the Friend of Leadership was given. It went to Carl Duley.
Jeff Clay, Monica Harmon and Tammy Seitz were recognized as Leadership board members whose terms expired in December.
Completing this year’s class, besides Brown, Griffiths and Lambeck, are Brenda K. Brown, Derek Dishman, Lesa J. Hitner, Trish Hodges, Dana E. Kean, Judy Love, Roger H. Meier, Erin Jo Miles, Wendy Nalley, Kim Ruttle, Jeremy Utz and Sara Wilson.
Jeff Krohn, Leadership board president, encouraged the new graduates to ask themselves what they can provide to their community.
Leadership program director John Hodges also had parting words for the graduates. ‘Take your gifts and go out into the community and give of yourself. Help make this a better world to live in.’
Applications for the 11th Leadership class, which begins in October, will be accepted beginning in about a month.
To learn more about Leadership Harrison County or to obtain an application for the coming year’s class, visit online at