Posted on

LHC to celebrate 20 years

Each fall, for the past 20 years, a group of a dozen or so Southern Indiana residents, mostly Harrison Countians, has circled up to develop and hone leadership skills during a nine-month-long program.
Next month, Leadership Harrison County will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a special event at Old Capital Golf Club in Corydon. Besides recognizing the newest Leadership graduates and presenting the Servant Leader award, the evening of Tuesday, May 19, will include guest speaker Denny Crum, a former University of Louisville men’s basketball coach and a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The event is open to anyone, not just Leadership Harrison County graduates.
Tickets for the outdoor event are $50 each with reservations due by Monday, May 11, by email to [email protected] or by mail to P.O. Box 471, Corydon, IN 47112.
Sponsorship levels are available as follows: Endowment, $25,000; Elite Table Host, $600; Table Host, $400; and Friendship, for any amount.
Social hour will be from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by the dinner then the graduation program and a live auction.
Leadership Harrison County was founded in 1995 as a grassroots organization by a small group of forward-thinking community leaders who were dedicated to effective and affordable leadership training for anyone who aspires to make a difference. After an overnight retreat in September or October, the class meets one day a month through May.
The first class began in the fall of 1995 and, in May 1996, had its first graduates. They were Tim Adams, Kim Auberry, Maryland Austin, Nancy Barks Casada, Jeff Bizzell, Deborah Bulleit, Doug Burbrink, Barry Cahill, Bruce Cunningham, Gary Davis, Kathy Diersen, Becky Eckart, Jane Kraft, Nancy Lemmons, David Lett, Janet Martin, Becky Mayville, Sheri McGill, Harriet Reed, Leslie Robertson, Linda Runden, Aaron Smith, Cary Stemle, Randy West and Marty Zearbaugh.
‘It’s a good program, and we keep it affordable,’ Donn Blank, a member of the fourth class who serves on the LHC board, said. ‘Most places charge at least $1,500. We just raised our fee to $400 last year.’
Leadership Harrison County has received funding from the Harrison County Council.
‘We are eternally grateful to the county’ for funds that have helped keep the cost down, Blank said.
However, Blank said LHC’s goal is to become totally self-sufficient within the next five years, thanks to an endowment fund established about 14 years ago by the late James L. Shireman that continues to grow.
Blank called Shireman’s gift of $25,000 ‘a big shot in the arm,’ and a scholarship in his name is offered annually to future LHC participants.
‘I would hope that other nonprofit groups would take off with the idea of creating an endowment, too,’ Blank said, thus freeing up county monies for other purposes.
For May, the Harrison County Community Foundation has selected LHC for its two-for-one matching gift program.
Blank hopes next month’s anniversary graduation, billed as an ‘Ignite Community Leadership Celebration,’ will rekindle some graduates to become more involved in LHC. Also, he said, the ‘Best Class Ever’ award will be established. (Each LHC class declares itself the best during its graduation ceremony.)
‘Whichever class has the most of its graduates in attendance will be given the award until the next year,’ he said.
A similar award will be given to the class that raises the most money.
‘Our 20th anniversary is a special opportunity to tell the world about our program,’ Blank said.
The program will include highlighting past LHC class projects.
For more information about LHC or to register online for the May 19 program, visit online at or call Lisa Sieg at 812-736-9636.