Local Artist’s Mural Embodies the Spirit of Fishers

Artist and Fishers native Nekoda Witsken will unveil the first public art mural on November 9 – which just happens to be her 21st birthday. The mural will be located on 116th Street in the pocket park.

Witsken, a pre-med student at Purdue University, hopes to create a conversation piece for Fishers residents. “I lived in Fishers all of my life and attended Hamilton Southeastern, so in my preliminary design for my proposal, I wanted to capture the work ethic and historical importance of the Mudsocks region,” said Witsken.

Witsken embodies the strong work ethic she hopes to display in her mural. She is managing a short window of five to six weeks from predesign to completion by coming home to Fishers on the weekends. “I love to paint. It makes me happy!” Witsken said. Sherwin Williams is donating materials for the project.

Witsken’s mural is the first part of the Town of Fishers Community Art Plan. The document is a joint collaboration among the Town of Fishers, the Fishers Arts Council and the Fishers Cultural Tourism Group. The Fishers Arts Committee, which meets to select the winning concept, pulls members from these core groups.

“The four sections of the plan highlight what community art is and why it’s important. It also details the history of community art and the vision for how best to use art within our community,” said Jocelyn Vare, president of the Fishers Arts Committee. Evaluation criteria is also included in the document.

“Public art brings the community together,” said Vare. “We’ve had great success with the community chalkboards in the pocket park, not to mention the community impact of the amphitheater.”

With 17 sketches submitted for the Request for Proposals for the first mural, the Fishers Arts Committee used a detailed rubric based on a scale of one to three points that includes the artist’s application, qualifications, creativity, spirit and impact. Points were also awarded based on how the artist would use the medium, safety, maintenance and feasibility. Two bonus points were given to artists from Fishers.

“We want the community to see that public art has a place in Fishers. It’s cool!” added Vare.

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Redeveloping Downtown Fishers

Tom Dickey & Scott Fadness“…The Fishers of the future will have a physical identity. It will have a ‘centerpiece’ or central places where residents congregate and call the heart of Fishers. Such signatures will cultivate our sense of place.” – Fishers Town Center Development Plan, 1992

In August, earthmoving equipment initiated the first phase of creating a new vibrant center for the Town of Fishers. Located at the northwest corner of 116th Street and Municipal Drive, the Flaherty & Collins project will become the town’s first public-private partnership downtown project. Community planners have long envisioned creating a downtown destination for the residents of Fishers. “We’re entering an interesting time in Fishers. The way we’re growing is changing because we can’t grow outward as much. We need to start growing in a way that has connectivity and adds walkability to our downtown,” said Rachel Johnson, assistant director of planning for the Fishers Department of Community Development.

Redeveloping the downtown area of Fishers will help to create jobs and provide sustainable growth as the town becomes a city. The cost for the first phase of a multi-tiered, long-term plan is $34 million and will be shared by the Town of Fishers and Flaherty & Collins Properties. The Town will contribute approximately $10.75 million from bond proceeds, and the remaining developer investment is estimated at $26.65 million.

“Overwhelmingly we’ve heard from citizens that they want more pedestrian access and want to drive less, and our plans make that happen,” said Johnson. Across the country, developers are moving toward this type of development plan. Johnson watches the first phase happen from her window at Town Hall. Over three acres of green space is being transformed into an area of retail, restaurants and residential living space. A town-owned parking garage will be the first structure to be completed and will help to provide 140 spaces of free public parking. The apartment units will wrap around the garage to keep it mostly hidden from view on 116th Street.

Named The Depot at Nickel Plate, the plans for the complex show 240 one and two-bedroom residential units and 16,000 square feet of leasable retail space. The upscale interior finishes for the apartments include 9-foot ceilings, granite countertops in the kitchen and bath area, wood flooring and stainless steel appliances. Residential amenities feature a secured lobby, a fitness club and a media and gaming lounge to name a few. The aesthetic façade of the structure will include pedestrian friendly streetscapes.

“On these three acres, we’re creating so much activity on space that wasn’t being utilized. If you were to do this in a typical suburban development pattern with a surface parking lot, it would take a far greater number of acres to achieve these results,” Johnson said.

Construction at The Depot at Nickel PlateThe development has its own zoning code called the Nickel Plate District code. Having a zoning code in place will create an architectural standard guideline for maintaining the desired aesthetic quality for the new additions including the height of buildings. “We want to achieve a certain amount of interest at street level. People don’t want to walk by a continuous brick wall,” added Johnson. Unlike traditional zoning codes, the Nickel Plate District code offers more flexibility for property owners and tenants. “We want to represent our identity, and we’re open to variety, but we’ve set the baseline for quality architecture,” said Johnson.

Communities want a downtown destination with usable outdoor space. “We want families to go downtown, park their cars and figure out what to do, whether it’s dining, going to the farmer’s market or going to a concert at the ampitheater,” said Johnson, citing the success of the concert series as proof.

Developing by adding density is occurring all over the country as well as in other Hamilton County cities. Suggestions that Fishers is trying to compete with Carmel are untrue. “Carmel has been a great community for us to look at. We have been able to use guidance from Carmel planners, but we are not trying to copy Carmel. Fishers is its own distinct community,” Johnson said.

The Nickel Plate District downtown redevelopment project is part of the larger long-term 2011 Town Center Plan that includes developing four other districts: the Northeast Technology District, the Civic District, the Village District, and the Prairie District. Each district will have its own architectural guidelines. The 2011 plan establishes a framework for future growth in Fishers.

“We want community members to attend public meetings and provide input,” said Johnson. “Tell us what you want your Fishers to be.”

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PRO Martial Arts ARMOR Program Helps Kids Gain Confidence

Pro Martial Arts 2“My husband and I were looking to open a business, and we knew that we wanted to do something that gave back to the community,” said Neeta Pulliam. “The ARMOR Program sold us.” ProMartial Arts is a franchise, and the ARMOR Bullying and Predator Prevention Program is a trademarked program owned by the franchise.

The Pulliams enjoy presenting the non-violent, anti-bullying overview program to elementary schools and youth organizations, free of charge. If kids enroll in the studio program, they practice self-defense moves and engage in conversations on various types of bullying.

The ARMOR Program has two components. The program begins with 12 weekly lessons on how to prevent bullying, followed by 12 lessons on predator prevention. Presentations are tailored to two age groups — nine and under and ten and over. Lessons do repeat so that students can join at any time.

The bullying prevention portion begins by providing students with skills to recognize bullies and empowers students to set personal boundaries. This part of the program utilizes martial arts defensive skills as the last resort. It also teaches students what cyber bullying is and how to avoid it. “Schools have zero contact policies. We use martial arts techniques from the Korean art of Tang Soo Do to teach how to get away,” said Pulliam, owner of the Fishers franchise. “For example, if someone were to grab your shirt, these techniques teach you how to break the hold. The student gains confidence by learning to get away from bullies.”

The predator prevention portion of the program teaches kids that the real safety concern isn’t strangers but actually strangeness, as well as the importance of listening to their instincts and why they should always tell a trusted adult if they feel they’ve been in an uncomfortable situation. Additionally, sessions emphasize online safety and the importance of good communication between children and parents. “The problem of online predators is widespread. We want to make the children aware of what can happen so they can avoid harmful situations,” said Pulliam.

Both components of the ARMOR Program have been created based on research from child safety and crime prevention experts. After a child completes the program, parents can expect to see a stronger, more self-confident child. “Talk with your children at dinner or in the car about topics they’ve heard in the news (like bullying). Keep communication open,” advised Pulliam.

For more information on the ARMOR Program and other classes available at PRO Martial Arts, go to www.promartialarts.com or call 317-913-9139.

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Caring Mentors Impact Community Kids

YMI - Darren HeilDuring his ten years as a youth pastor, Darren Heil learned about some of the challenges teens face when emotional support isn’t readily available at home. He enjoyed his role of being a positive adult role model and knew that other caring adults would, too. His passion became finding a way to bring the community together to make a difference for the next generation.

Heil began developing the Youth Mentoring Initiative (YMI). He launched his first local program at Fishers Junior High School is 2010, followed by a program at Fishers High School less than a year later. “Schools are the ideal facility in which to provide mentoring to students because students feel that they can speak the truth,” said Heil.

YMI - Cheif OrusaFishers Fire Chief Steve Orusa is beginning his third year as a YMI mentor. After hearing Heil speak about the program at a church service, Orusa knew that he wanted to participate. He now serves on the YMI Board of Directors. Because of his work in public safety, Orusa has seen how the need for acceptance can lead kids to risky behaviors, regardless of academic performance and wealth status. “Group conformity is in, morals and accountability are out. With my mentees, I talk about understanding one’s own integrity and how to hold themselves accountable,” said Orusa.

The YMI program succeeds because of its focus on helping kids with social challenges and confidence issues. “To be a mentor, you need to be able to provide encouragement without conditions,” Orusa explained. He has observed that after kids have a foundation of values intact, they can get through both the good and the bad things that happen. “Mentoring adults have an opportunity to make a difference in the community, and impact the future,” he said.

The participating schools provide YMI with names of students who could benefit from the program. Mentors and mentees are paired based on answers both provide on a compatible life and interest inventory. Common experiences will allow mentors and mentees to bond. Mentoring sessions are held at the school in a comfortable, private setting.

YMI - Lorna GoodwinLorna Goodwin, the assistant manager at The National Bank of Indianapolis in Fishers, has always had a soft spot for kids. As the mother of three grown children, she felt that she could provide support and guidance for youth in need. When the Fishers Chamber of Commerce reached out to business leaders to mentor for YMI, she knew that she wanted to help. Goodwin spent one semester as a mentor and looks forward to continuing with the program. “Initially, I was surprised by the need for kids to establish a big picture view,” said Goodwin. Mentors share with their mentees how they’ve dealt with a similar problem or situation in their lives, a divorce or loss of a parent, for example. “The kids who are referred to the program are often not setting goals and making good choices. They don’t see that by making choices, certain doors open and others close. Or, how passing Algebra class is the ticket to getting a diploma. They tend to exist in the moment,” said Goodwin.

YMI provides training sessions and weekly discussion points. Mentors also get feedback from other mentors. Helping these kids is a positive thing for the mentors, too. “I spend an hour a week with my mentee, and the time flies by, and you do feel like you contribute,” said Goodwin.

YMI - Diane EatonHamilton Southeastern School Board President, Diane Eaton, is looking forward to her first session as a mentor. “I’m at a good point in my life to give back to the community,” said Eaton. She sees great value in the YMI program. “The Fishers demographic is changing, and families are changing as a result of our economic reality. Young people need our support and guidance as families deal with struggles,” said Eaton.

YMI is looking for more mentors. “We want to add 25 people this semester because we’re starting a new program at the HSE Freshman Campus,” said Heil, who stressed that volunteers are not counseling professionals, just caring adults. “We are recruiting. We want more volunteers and would love to find a corporate sponsor for the organization as a whole so that we can continue our vision with the highest level of service, integrity, encouragement and empathy,” Heil added.

On Saturday, October 12, YMI is hosting the Ultimate Dodgeball Challenge fundraiser to benefit the YMI school-based mentoring programs. “We wanted to do something fun and inclusive. Fun competition is good!” said Heil.

To find out how to share your life to change a life and learn more about becoming a YMI mentor, contact Carla Hayden at Carla@ymionline.org

The Ultimate Dodgeball Challenge on October 12 at Incrediplex located at 6002 Sunnyside Rd., Indianapolis. Registration deadline is September 30. The event offers three divisions —high school, all male, co-ed. Teams are limited to an eight-player minimum and a ten-player maximum. Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place. Price is $35 for students and $50 for adults and includes an event T-shirt.  For rules and registration, visit www.ymionline.org/udc

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By keeping the focus on play, the Children’s TherAplay Foundation Inc. utilizes innovative physical and occupational therapy techniques for children with special needs. Licensed therapists incorporate traditional therapy tools as well as hippotherapy into each child’s treatment plan. The TherAplay facility is located at Lucky Farms, a scenic horse farm in Carmel, where the four-legged staff members are always welcoming and a source of curiosity for new patients.

Derived from the Greek word for horse, hippotherapy refers to treatment aided by a horse. The movement of the horse can be used in physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Unlike therapeutic riding, hippotherapy is prescribed by a physician as part of a treatment plan and is administered by a team that includes a licensed therapist in conjunction with a professional horse handler and a specially screened and trained therapy horse. “With hippotherapy, the horse impacts the rider. It is a one-on-one treatment with a licensed therapist, unlike a therapeutic riding lesson, and it’s also often covered by insurance and Medicaid,” said Lisa Kobek, executive director of the foundation. TherAplay serves children with special needs between 18 months to 13 years old.

In the clinic setting, a horse’s gait, or stride, coupled with the animal’s warmth can be used to treat a wide variety of diagnosis, including autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. “Every aspect of working with the horse touches on a part of the therapy, including the feel, sounds, and even smells of the horse as part of sensory integrative therapy,” Kobek said.

Patients with brain and spinal cord injuries, genetic disorders, and learning disabilities may also be helped by hippotherapy. Therapists incorporate a variety of exercises for each child, which can include riding backwards and standing with assistance. Doing so helps strengthen posture, head and trunk control, and balance. “You’ll notice that the children aren’t in saddles. The special therapy blankets they sit on allow the kiddos to feel the three-dimensional movement. Having this closeness and really feeling the horse is so helpful for patients across a wide variety of diagnoses,” said Kobek. Patients experience hippotherapy benefits with muscle tone and strength gains, and with gross motor skill improvements such as sitting, standing, and walking. Range of motion and coordination also increase.

TherAplay horses are chosen for the type of movement they produce, and for their temperament. All horses receive extensive training for their therapeutic role, and are handled with the utmost tenderness and care in the immaculate barn in which they are housed. In addition to the horse arena, TherAplay therapists utilize traditional therapy tools in the child-friendly clinic area and an outdoor playground in which therapy is administered in the form of play. “Some of our kids have a long journey in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices, others experience daily pain. Here, we want their time to be something they look forward to doing each session,” said Kobek.

Therapeutic goals that are determined by the TherAplay treatment team along with the patient and his or her family. Parents and family members can observe the sessions. As a proud parent of a hearing-impaired child, Kobek has first-hand knowledge of the benefits therapy can have on a child with special needs. “Children can spend a significant amount of time here, one and a half years of therapy on average, so our relationships with the families are so important to us,” added Kobek. A recent patient family survey found that 100 percent of families would recommend TherAplay to others. Because the program is so effective, TherAplay often has hippotherapy clinics across the country ask to share techniques.

To meet operating costs of more than $900,000 annually while keeping true to its vision of helping as many families as possible regardless of their financial situations, the foundation relies on the generosity of corporate and private donations as well as other charitable organizations, such as the Town of Fishers G.I.V.E. Committee. TherAplay is a registered, not for profit charity organization. “We work from earned income as well as contributions from our generous donors. We are so grateful,” Kobek said.

The foundation holds crucial fundraisers throughout the year, such as the 5K walk held in May and the golf tournament in June. The biggest fundraising event of the year is the annual Hoe-Down and Wild West Casino night. In it’s eleventh year, the event averages more than 400 attendees. The fun evening includes a live band and a mechanical bull, as well as live and silent auctions. The objective is to help the foundation continue to provide a warm and supportive environment to help children and their families achieve their goals and dreams. The Hoe-Down and Wild West Casino event is open to the public and provides opportunities for patrons to support the important work of the TherAplay team. (See details on the foundation’s website at www.childrenstheraplay.org.)

important to include the sidebar to tie in the story to Fishers

Sidebar: The Town of Fishers G.I.V.E. Committee The Town of Fishers G.I.V.E. (Generosity, Involvement, and Volunteerism by Employees) committee is comprised entirely of town employees. The committee has raised more than $30,000 for local charities by hosting toy and food drives, volunteer outings, and fund-raising events.

Each year, committee members suggest ideas and then take a vote. The charity of choice is notified, and the fundraising begins! This year, the committee selected the Children’s TherAplay Foundation. “A portion of the proceeds from the concession stand at the new Nickel Plate District Amphitheater will go to TherAplay,” said Aimee Ector, the human resources assistant for the Town of Fishers.

The Town of Fishers employees are happily committed to improving the community through charity-based initiatives. “Our popular inflatables at the Fishers Freedom Festival are our biggest fundraiser. This year, we will be back at the Festival with the Run Express Train Station for toddlers, and a rock climb, jumbo slide, and obstacle course for the older kids. The money raised will go to TherAplay,” said Ector.

This summer, the Fishers Parks & Recreation Department will also be accepting in-kind donations for therAplay at the Summer Concert Series, and Movies in the Park activities.

The G.I.V.E committee has served numerous organizations, including Catch & Release, Chaucie’s Place, Delaware and Fall Creek Township Food Pantries, and the Hamilton County Red Cross. For more information on the G.I.V.E. committee, contact Aimee Ector at (317) 595-3106 or ectora@fishers.in.us

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Fishers Mom Of The Year: Claudia Davis

Fishers Mom Of The Year 2Although all of our nominees are deserving of being the Mom of the Year, the winner, Claudia Davis, mother of three daughters, stands out as the only finalist to be nominated by a non-family member. Her compassionate and nurturing spirit lead to her current role as a breast health navigator at Community Hospital North, where she serves as an advocate for breast cancer patients. Her motherly instincts extend beyond her own family, which is what makes her our Fishers Mom of the Year.

Breast cancer survivor Christi Poske’s 11-year-old daughter, Cassidy, wrote a school essay about Christi’s battle with breast cancer, citing Claudia as a true hero who helped her mom triumph over the disease. Claudia’s reassurance and positive attitude made her feel safe in a time of uncertainty. Christi sent the essay to Fishers Community Newsletter to nominate Claudia for Fishers Mom of the Year. “When I think back about my fight with breast cancer, there is no one else I would want by my side other than Claudia. Chemotherapy, surgeries, or simply a basic appointment, she always made me feel safe, and that I was going to be OK. To this day, when I get scared she is always ‘my run-to’ person,” said Poske.

Claudia and her husband, John, and their three daughters, moved from Elkhart, Indiana to Fishers in 1991. In short order, Claudia became a school volunteer and then school nurse. In 1996, Claudia went to work at St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, focusing on home care. “Building relationships with home care patients was very rewarding,” said Davis.

During her father’s battle with cancer, Claudia recognized that the oncology nurses were the most helpful resource to patients and their families. She joined Community Hospital North in 2000 and became certified in oncology and breast health through the Oncology Nursing Society. Claudia has received several awards for nursing including 2004 winner of Community Health Network’s Nursing Excellence award for patient-focused care. In 2007, she was awarded the Indiana Hometown Hero Award by the Indiana Pacers for her work with breast cancer patients. She is also a member of the Community Health Network Society for Nursing Excellence.

After hours, Claudia actively supports breast cancer events and fundraisers, including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Megan S. Ott Foundation. She serves on the Board of Directors for Indiana Women In Need Foundation, a support organization for women enduring breast cancer treatment.

After becoming aware of their mother’s nomination, Claudia’s daughters got on board with the idea quickly. All three have always known that they share an amazing mother. “I look up to mom as a role model in patient care. Since we both work at Community North, I hear from patients just how special she is,” said Jodi Statzer, Claudia’s oldest daughter. Second daughter Kelli Davis said, “I wasn’t actually surprised by the nomination, just unaware. My mother has always been an inspiration. She is an amazing person who truly cares about other people.” Courtney Davis, Claudia’s youngest daughter, added, “Living with a chronic illness myself, I know how valuable it is to have an advocate like my mom in the medical system. She inspires me to want to become an advocate for others suffering from Lupus.”

Married for more than 40 years, Claudia and John look forward to more vacations with her granddaughters, Chloe and Josie, in the years ahead.

Fishers Mom Of The Year 3As the Fishers Mom of the Year, Claudia will receive the following gifts and services: • Hair makeover, nails and makeup from Reeda Todd Hair Salon • Mother’s pendant necklace from Geist Jewelers • Month long membership to 7e Fit Spa • Day spa package from Message Envy • Bouquet of flowers from McNamara Florist • Dinner for two at Murphy’s Pubhouse • Wine basket from Tasteful Times

Congratulations Claudia!  You are an inspiration to all!

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Gaining Confidence by Losing Inches

Seland Chiropractic Family Wellness Center’s Laurie Seland holds her photo from a few years and 70 pounds ago. Seland used their SkinnyUp! program and now gives free workshops on Wednesday evenings to share her story and help others fighting weight loss.

As swimsuits gain prime retail space once again, thoughts turn to warmer weather. If you’ve kept your New Year’s resolution to work out but aren’t seeing the results you’d like, consider looking into the latest non-invasive targeted weight-reduction methods.

The latest procedures make losing the love handles without pain possible. The SimplySkin Med Spa offers CoolSculpting, a revolutionary non-surgical body contouring treatment that delivers results. A certified CoolSculpting esthetician uses cooling plates to freeze and crystallize fat cells. Your body permanently eliminates the fat cells. “Clients can achieve a pants-size loss and are excited to get their closets back,” said Amanda Voss, office manager at SimplySkin Med Spa.


By freezing the fat cells below the skin, CoolSculpting allows you to tackle those love handles once and for all.

Unlike surgical methods, CoolSculpting achieves results without pain or downtime. During the procedure, clients feel an initial cold sensation that soon dissipates. The ideal candidate for this procedure maintains a healthy weight but struggles with stubborn bulges that can’t be eliminated through diet and exercise. Most clients can expect to see results within a couple weeks. “Clients get a wow month about 2 months after the initial procedure,” Voss said. An on-staff doctor determines if a patient is a candidate for CoolSculpting.

In addition to CoolSculpting, the state-of-the-art Medical Spa provides Liposonix, another targeted fat-reduction treatment. This treatment option uses high-intensity ultrasound to heat and permanently destroy targeted fat cells. Skin and tissue are unharmed. Liposonix can be used on the love handles and waistline as well as on small or curved areas. “Liposonix is really energy sculpting,” said Dr. Marcus Jiminez. “We use it to target smaller areas, often working its use into an overall aesthetic treatment plan with other options.”

Liposonix treatments cause minimal discomfort, and patients experience little to no downtime after the treatment. “We see excellent results with this procedure, and it usually takes only one time,” he said. Patients can expect to see a result 8 to 10 weeks after the Liposonix treatment, and the average reduction is around an inch (or pant size) from the waistline.

7e Fit Spa has the Torc device which uses bio-electricity to work out muscles in :30 minute sessions.

Losing inches while gaining definition and strength has never been so easy. At 7e Fit Spa, the 7e Torc Treatment Abs sessions use a device that mimics the body’s natural bio-electricity to work out abdominal muscles more effectively than a traditional workout. “The device contracts the muscles on a cellular level — that’s why it’s so effective,” said CEO of 7e Fit Spa, Steve Nielsen. Clients can see results after the first 30-minute session, but 6 sessions are recommended to achieve lasting results. Most clients don’t feel discomfort, and some say the procedure tickles. “You don’t experience soreness because the lactic acid doesn’t build up,” Nielsen said.

For those trying to lose weight before warmer weather arrives, Seland Chiropractic Family Wellness Center offers the SkinnyUp program to help you see a daily weight loss of up to 2 pounds. The 23-day option is for those wanting to lose 10-15 pounds, while the 40-day option helps those who need to lose 25-35 pounds. Patients receive FDA-approved homeopathic drops and follow Dr. Simeons’ diet to achieve amazing results. “The SkinnyUp program works to reset your metabolism and serves to detox your body to help get your body functioning better,” said Seland.

The frustrating ups-and-downs of weight loss and weight gain associated with emotional eating are familiar to Seland. She has lost 70 pounds on the program. “This program works. It’s amazing,” Seland said. She wants to empower people to take control of the number on the scale. Weekly support meetings provide strategies to help keep people on track.

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Hamilton County Citizens Go Through FBI Training

Community Outreach Specialist Kathryn Sipes and Terry Lee on the FBI Citizens’ Academy graduation night.

As part of a wide-ranging community outreach program, the FBI invites local leaders behind the doors of the Indianapolis field office to participate in the FBI Citizens’ Academy. By providing interactive opportunities, the aim of the seven-week program is to demystify the FBI and demonstrate how the men and women of the FBI protect citizens from harm.

“Qualified candidates are those individuals with a sphere of influence,” said Community Outreach Specialist Kathryn Sipes. “This year, we received close to 100 applications, and 30 were chosen to participate.” This year’s class included among its members Fishers Town Manager Scott Fadness. “I am fortunate to be a part of the FBI Citizens’ Academy. I’m so impressed by the caliber of people in the Indianapolis FBI office, and the program is very impressive,” said Fadness.

Each of the seven sessions is presented by a senior special agent or subject matter expert. Topics covered include national threats such as terrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber crime. Participants get to experience how crime scene evidence is gathered and experience deadly force training with a firearms simulator.

Beth Taylor firing an MP5 submachine gun.

One of the highlights for the class is firearms day at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. The officers present a SWAT demonstration, and class participants have the opportunity to shoot several bureau weapons at the outdoor range. “I really enjoyed the range day and the SWAT demonstration—it’s not like what you see on TV,” said Terry Lee.

Participants attend a formal graduation ceremony after completing the course and receive a plaque and certificate to commemorate the achievement. Graduates are invited to join the FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association. The alumni association works to provide safer communities through service projects that promote a public interest in the FBI.

The role of the Citizens’ Academy is to inform the community of what the FBI is all about. “The program is really an intangible, incredible asset to the FBI,” added Sipes. This program gives citizens the chance to find out the truth behind made-for-TV dramatic portrayals of FBI agents and their work. “What impressed me the most is just how much the agents love their jobs and their country.” said Lee.

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Fishers Resident Takes the Go Red BetterU Challenge

On Feb. 17, Graham along with the other BetterU challengers attended the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon and participated in the fashion show.

Fishers resident, Ruthann Graham, is one of seven women selected to participate in the American Heart Association’s 12-week Go Red BetterU Challenge. As one of the faces of this year’s challenge, she hopes to inspire others by sharing her personal account of sudden cardiac arrest.

On April 1, 2005, the healthy 52-year-old Graham went to work as usual. As the day progressed, she began to feel nauseous. She told the receptionist at her office that she was ill. Moments later, she was unconscious. The receptionist at Graham’s office called 911, but told the dispatcher that Graham had fainted. When the paramedics arrived, Graham had been unconscious for 45 minutes, with no pulse or heartbeat – she was clinically dead.

At the hospital, doctors wrapped Graham in therapeutic hypothermia blankets to reduce her core temperature and placed her in an induced coma for four days. Her doctors prepared her husband and family for the probability that she would be in a vegetative state.

“When I woke up, I didn’t know anyone, not even my husband,” Graham said.

Remarkably, Graham regained her memory and has no lasting physical or mental disabilities.

After she stabilized, her doctor implanted a pacemaker. She left the hospital 12 days later, feeling panicked about what might happen if the pacemaker failed to work. She spent six weeks in both physical and occupational therapy to help regain muscle tone, but gaining confidence in her pacemaker took more than a year. Due to her fears about the limitations of her pacemaker, Graham avoided exercising, which resulted in a 50-pound weight gain.

Her best friend, Anne Ward, knew that Graham was struggling to regain control of her health. After seeing a news segment about how to become a participant in the BetterU Challenge, she immediately called Graham and urged her to submit an essay about her experience with sudden cardiac arrest.

“I was thrilled to be chosen, because I needed the chance to change my lifestyle with the support of the other challengers and the tools that the program provides,” said Graham.

In addition to the invaluable tools that the online program provides to all women who register, as a featured challenger, Graham received additional health opportunities. She met with a weight management counselor and dietician from St. Vincent Health and received a three-month membership to the Y in Fishers to work with a personal trainer on a fitness regimen.

Graham learned a great deal about nutrition from her weight management counselor and feels better about making educated choices about food. “I don’t count calories, I now focus on limiting sugars,” said Graham. “I’m unlearning bad behaviors and relearning good ones!”

On Feb. 17, Graham along with the other BetterU challengers attended the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon and participated in the fashion show.

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David Lindner: Still Scooping Up Life Lessons

David Lindner, former president of Lindner's Ice Cream stores in Central Indiana, is still scooping up life lessons.

Do you remember your favorite Lindner’s ice cream flavor? Was it the perfect peach, or maybe butter pecan or rocky road? Or possibly a catchy name like Raspberry Salad or Purple Fink calls back childhood memories of warm summer nights. The man behind the fondly remembered ice cream is David Lindner, an Indianapolis business visionary and, a man who continues to live an incomparably full life.

Lindner spent his childhood in the Irvington area of Indianapolis. His father and uncle started an ice cream plant and store, Lindner’s Brothers Ice Cream stores, Inc. in 1929, known for offering the finest quality ice cream for a reasonable price. He attended grade school at George Washington Julian, School #57, where he encountered a love of learning and met his future wife, Elizabeth. After graduating from Arsenal Technical high school in 1941, he attended Purdue for one year.

In 1942, his college career was cut short when he volunteered to serve in World War II. With a background in flying and an interest in taking it further, he became an aviator. He flew a CG-4A overseas as a glider pilot and those war experiences shaped his life.

LIndner with writer Beth Taylor at his Morse Reservoir home.

With sharp detail, he recalls packing displaced Parisians into a plane to transport them out of the Buchenwald concentration camp. To squeeze more people onto the cramped plane, he asked everyone to leave behind all possessions. He watched a man toss his pair of shoes to the ground. “After seeing that, I decided never to have a bad day in my life.”

When the war ended, Lindner returned home to the family ice cream business. He spent time re-acclimating to post-war life by diving in and learning every manual job at the company, including packing ice cream cans and scrubbing floors. With limited automation, work nights followed long workdays — especially in the summer.

“We had to go back to the plant every night to fill the stoker and set the ice cream machine,” he said, recalling the days before the factory had an oil-fired boiler.

Lindner quickly assumed a leadership role as the director of the company, working with his mother, Hannah Lindner, who served as president of the growing business following his father’s death in 1940.

After contributing to years of measured growth, Lindner became president in 1961. By 1986, there were 40 locations, and Lindner’s ice cream regularly earned top billing at national ice cream conventions.

Lindner knew that a key component of business success is understanding what pleases the consumer. “On the East coast, vanilla bean was popular, but here that didn’t work. Our customers liked a good, smooth vanilla ice cream at that time,” he said.

Always one to think from a broader viewpoint, Lindner brought convenience stores and drive-thru windows to his stores in Central Indiana. Appealing advertising with coupons attracted new customers.

A newspaper ad from 1982 showing Lindner advertising his "award-winning" ice cream.

For all of his successes, he admits to having failed many times, but garnered valuable lessons from each failure. “Failure makes you get smart and refine your approach,” he said.

During his 40 years with the company, he relied on this knowledge as he found success in other business ventures, such as real estate. After selling the ice cream business, rather than retiring, he began a new phase of his career as an international consultant for several companies, including Chiquita.

Business success lead to far-reaching philanthropic accomplishments. Lindner served as a board member for numerous organizations including Community Hospital, United Way, Franklin College, and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to name a few.

In addition to helming a thriving, beloved Indiana business, Lindner excelled at fatherhood. He guided his two daughters and later his five grandchildren, to survive any issue by facing it with grace and gratitude,” said his daughter, Karen Lindner Moriarty, executive director and owner of Lindner Learning Center. Moriarty continues to enjoy the benefits of his business acumen. He is the senior executive advisor at the private, family-owned tutoring center.

Working with his daughter at the tutoring center has special meaning to Lindner who discovered that he has dyslexia later in life. Although a poor student, he credits his love of learning for his success. “The philosophy of learning has allowed me to tackle enormous obstacles in my life and reap rich rewards.” Each year of his adult life, no matter how busy, he has taken a formal course or a class. Most recently, he completed his Stephen Ministry training, so that he can serve as a lay caregiver to people in need.

“Our large, entrepreneurial family greatly benefits from this active coaching in areas of business and finance,” said Moriarty. To help pass on business lessons he’s learned, he and Elizabeth have created and funded investment seminars for their grandchildren. They also established an annual family vacation to keep the members connected.

Lindner greets each day with a positive mindset and decides how to divide a 24-hour day with intention. He begins each day with calisthenics. “You’ve got to take care of your body; it’s the only one you’ve got.”

As Lindner approaches his 90th year, he feels blessed by the richness of a life well lived. He gladly shares his secret to an active, long life: expect change and embrace it.

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