HSEHS Student Wins ‘Share Your Adventure’ Video Contest

Dan Resler, Hamilton Southeastern High School senior and staff member of the HSETV broadcast journalism class, won the “Share Your Adventure” video contest sponsored by YouTube, Lonely Planet and Intel September 26.

The video contest entailed making a travel video blog about a recent trip. The video Resler submitted two months earlier, entitled “On Nashville…,” detailed Resler’s trip to Nashville, Indiana, this summer and his observations while in the town. His winning video was first named one of the top five finalists and then chosen as the winner through fan votes on Lonely Planet’s YouTube channel. Resler was awarded a $10,000 VISA gift card for his winning video.

Resler has been making video blogs on his YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/danrezler) for the past two years that have garnered some success in the past.

To learn more about the details of the contest and to view Resler’s winner video, visit http://www.youtube.com/lonelyplanet.

Video entries were judged on literary merit, creative merit, originality, entertainment value and video graphic skill. Categories for submissions included outdoor adventure, urban adventure, visual adventure, culinary adventure and family adventure, with the top five consisting of one video from each category.

The other video blogs selected in the top five included “Adventures in South Korea and China,” “American Dogman,” “Eating Live Octopus” and “today (in NYC)”.

For more information, contact Hamilton Southeastern High School broadcast journalism adviser David Young at dyoung@hse.k12.in.us.

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Holy Heart Failure, It’s Batman!

Michelle Freed

Just when I finally got up enough nerve to join the whole planking craze that hit the U.S. over the last year, another trend has come along. It’s called batmanning, and I’m a little discouraged.

In case you’ve missed out on all the excitement, batmanning is just one in a line of social media phenomena that involves taking pictures of people doing strange things in public. I will bring you up to speed:

Planking – This is a popular and well documented ritual of publicly laying facedown, stiff-as-a-board, with arms touching the sides. The planker must be photographed, and evidence is shared online. I have never attempted to plank, although I once fell asleep in a doctor’s office in the same position. Unfortunately, a teenager captured it on his cell phone. He then exclaimed, “Way cool,” before posting it on his Facebook page.

Owling – This lesser known practice consists of posing crouched, like an owl, in unexpected places, such as on top of a public structure or in the middle of a sporting event. I can’t properly owl, as once I am in the necessary crouching position, it takes at least an hour and four assistants to get me back up, which proves to be too complicated and time consuming.

Horsemaning – A trend that took its name from the Headless Horseman, this involves considerable forethought and creativity. Two people pose for a picture so that a subject’s body appears to be decapitated. Talk about a buzz kill. One person has to be the head, and the other the body. I’m not kidding. Google it if you don’t believe me. When I asked a friend to participate in horsemaning, she just looked at me blankly and told me I needed to see a therapist.

Batmanning – And now we come to the good stuff. Purdue students are actually getting the credit for coming up with this one (Go Boilermakers!). This involves the fine art of hanging upside down by your feet (like a bat) from public structures. Whether your hands are at your side or folded across your chest is completely up to you.

My first reaction to batmanning was: what if you fall? It’s not like you can whip your feet around to land, cat-like, firmly on your feet. You will most likely bash your head on a hard surface, which would be a drawback. Being the serious journalist that I am, I immediately contacted my nephew, who is a sophomore at Purdue, in order to get his reaction. When I asked him for his thoughts, he simply replied, “It seems pretty dumb to me.”

My second reaction to batmanning was this: do you need special shoes? The answer, quite sadly, is no. There are no official batmanning shoes with special hooks, velcro or steel brackets. You just have to be able to keep your ankles at a 90-degree angle while supporting your entire weight … upside down. I have a suspicion that wearing a helmet would somehow be frowned upon.

I’m thinking about inventing some sort of inflatable pillow that could be placed underneath the batmanner, just in case. Obviously, I would call it The Bat Bumper. But probably by the time I get the patent and a prototype, this practice will be old news and a new fad will take its place.

In the meantime, I’m going to have to decline any batmanning invitations. There’s no way I’m hanging upside down in public. But perhaps at the doctor’s office …

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Geist Elementary Students Celebrate World Milk Day

GESzilligen1stgrademilk day

Amanda Zilligen’s class celebrate milk’s special day by wearing “milk mustaches.”

Geist Elementary celebrated World Milk Day Sept. 28 by building a cow out of milk cartons, decorating the cafe in milk cartons and having a “build the tallest tower” of milk cartons. Students welcomed a special visitor “Lindsay” who came dressed as a cow to help with the fun. Prizes, a milk product of course, was ice cream.

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DJ for a Day at WZPL 99.5 FM

kid DJ

Kid DJ "Johnny- Be-Good" on WZPL.

Do you have a child who really wants to be on the radio? Well, here’s their chance!

WZPL (99.5) radio offers a special program called “Hey mom, I’m on WZPL” where kids are invited to be a DJ for a day. I thought I would check it out when my 11 year old boy, Johnny, wanted to give it a try.

We arrived at WZPL (9245 Meridian street)in the afternoon and were greeted by “Hunter” who took us to a studio.

Johnny recorded several lines with Hunter, saying things such as “You’re listening to 99.5 WZPL” or “You can be a DJ too, just go to the website at WZPL.com.”

Johnny, who decided his on air name would be “Johnny-be-good,” recorded lines for about 30 minutes then Hunter told him to say something on his own.

“Johnny-be-good” gave a shout out to some of his school buddies and then delivered a messge to “Smiley”— the morning DJ at WZPL— saying that he would soon be taking his job! So, how did Johnny enjoy his DJ experience?

“It was a little scary when they first turn the microphone on,” says Johnny-be-good. “But, once you get going, it was really fun!”

The recordings air Saturday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. on WZPL. IF you have a child that thinks they have what it takes to be a DJ, sign them up! Kids receive coupons from Moe’s Southwest grill. You can get more information at www.WZPL.com.

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A Haunting Good Time Like No Other

Corpse Manor If you’re looking for a good scare on Halloween, there’s a new haunted house in town. But be warned, they take their scares seriously.

The Corpse Manor opens this month in the Post Road Recreation Center just south of Pendleton Pike. But this is more than a haunted house put together just for Halloween. This is a professional theatrical production featuring real actors and actresses working for one common goal — to SCARE you. There are three haunted attractions in one, each with their own unique theme and staff. There’s the Corpse Manor, an old manor built on a graveyard with its foundation made of dispirited tombstones. You have the chance to visit the home of Lord Henry Calvert, who has been dealing with strange happenings at his manor since the day he moved in.

You may experience some of those strange happenings when you visit, and you may find that some of the spirits from the dead souls have never left! You be the judge. The floors are uneven, the rooms are in disarray and the hallways are very narrow, so there’s not much room to get away when something creepy comes at you and, yes, something creepy will!

Corpse Manor4 There’s also an attraction called Night Shadows, which is simply a play on our biggest fear – fear of the dark. A haunted trail awaits visitors next door called Sinister Woods – a wooded lot with no place to hide.

Owners Dan Justus and Bob Kints have traveled the country checking out some of the best haunted houses and are excited to open the Post Road attraction. “It is actually a year round facility,” says Dan. “The recreation center has go-cart racing year round and haunted laser tag through the fall.”

Bob says they worked hard to put this production together. “We made a scary production with professional actors from Footlight Musicals. This is the real deal. These people know how to scare!”

So this year when making your list of haunted houses to check out, don’t forget to include the Corpse Manor, Night Shadows and Sinister Woods, all at 4700 N. Post Road located at the Post Road Recreation Center, where you can find fun and snacks … that is, if you have an appetite left after visiting the haunted attractions!

For more information, go to www.corpsemanor.com. Tickets are $20 for all three attractions.

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Roller Derby or Bust!

Bona_Contention1

A crowd favorite of the Cirle City Derby Girls is Bona Contention, a 10-year breast cancer survivor.

The announcer yells, “Cassie Khaos is the lead jammer!” over the loudspeaker as the Circle City Derby Girls (CCDG) Party Crashers motor around the track, armored with kneepads, elbow pads and helmets. And they need them, because it isn’t long before there’s a pileup on the track; a handful of blockers go down and then just as quickly scramble back up on their skates and take off again.

This female dominated sport isn’t for the faint of heart (or brittle of bone). The CCDG jammer passes opposing skaters from the Cornfed Derby Dames of Muncie, racking up points as she goes, while her blockers play both offense and defense, trying to clear a path for Khaos while simultaneously blocking the other team’s jammer.

In the CCDG pack is Bona Contention, known off the derby track as Jeanie Neal. This last bout of their regular season is a special one for her. Because while she’s laying it all out on the track, fans can bid on a papier mâché version of her bust, decorated by a local artist, to benefit the Young Survival Coalition of Central Indiana. According to the YSC Central Indiana website, it is committed to providing connections, support and outreach to young women diagnosed with breast cancer, both during and after treatment.

As a 10-year breast cancer survivor, Neal is passionate about giving back to an organization that has given so much to her.

Breast Impressions, Inc., an organization whose mission is to increase breast cancer awareness and fundraising to support breast cancer education, prevention and treatment, has been working with leagues of the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association (including Indy’s other roller derby team, the Naptown Roller Girls) by providing breast casting kits to create busts to decorate to raise awareness and funds for local breast cancer programs. Neal knew this was a project for the Circle City Derby Girls.

“I pestered our team ever since I joined to do this,” she said. Six decorated busts in all were being auctioned off.

Mistress_Azrael_by_Bliss_Young-Morris

Fellow roller derby girl, Bliss Young-Morris (aka Mistress Azrael), decorated her own bust in a nod to her Irish heritage.

“Roller derby teams traditionally are involved with charity work,” Neal said. “Like ours, some teams donate a portion of their ticket sales to charity.” In addition to their fundraiser for YSC, the Circle City Derby Girls have worked with Second Helpings and Backpack Attack, among other organizations.

Fellow teammate Bliss Young-Morris (aka Mistress Azrael) was a bust model and decorator. Of Irish descent, she chose to decorate her bust cast in green with Irish symbols, including a stylized Claddagh. “It symbolizes friendship, love and loyalty,” she said. “With derby, it’s something as teammates that we share.”

As for Neal, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2001, she’s been in remission since finishing treatment in August of that year. She stays active with advocacy, going to Washington to lobby Congress for more research and reviewing grants for cancer related programs.

And she stays active with the Circle City Derby Girls (www.circlecityderbygirls.com), practicing four times a week. The team was granted apprentice status last spring and must complete the apprenticeship program to be eligible for full membership in the WFTRDA. In the meantime, Neal and her teammates will continue to hone their skills as warrior women on skates and helpers of the community.

Their decorated busts auction raised more than $700 for the YSC.

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It’s a Birthday Party, Kids!

When planning a kids' party, Heather Lapham Kuhn, events concierge at L’Evento Boutique, recommends planning ahead as much as possible to keep costs in line.

It used to be that a simple, homemade birthday cake and a few token streamers constituted a successful kid’s birthday party. Throw in a handful of friends and a donkey without a tail, and you were done.

Today? Not so much. Birthday parties for children have been elevated to an entirely different level, with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars being spent to celebrate this annual event. What’s a parent to do?
“Plan ahead,” says Heather Lapham Kuhn, events concierge at L’Evento Boutique. “The biggest reason people overspend on any celebration is last-minute planning. By giving yourself plenty of time to make smart choices and seek out bargains, you’ll save a bunch of money.”

Here are some other no-nonsense tips to keep in mind:

Click to visit the WZPL Parent Magazine online!

Be Yourself. Don’t get sucked in to a keep-up-with-the-Joneses scenario. Stick to your guns when it comes to the budget, guest list and location. If you’re not the do-it-yourself kind of person, there are plenty of options in the Indianapolis area that will bring the party to your home, or will host your special event at an offsite location. “Having parties at home, with family and friends gathering together to celebrate, has become more popular again,” says Amanda Henson, Best Fun, Inc. “But it can also be lots of pressure. Having someone at the party to entertain the kids, and even adults, is a good idea as it takes that pressure off and allows everyone to have fun.”

Have a Back-Up Plan. If your party is going to be outdoors, make sure you have an alternative date in mind or a location available should the weather not cooperate.

Combine Celebrations. Many party vendors and businesses offer better deals for larger guest lists. Consider holding one big bash on a neutral date for two or more children at the same time.

Give Back. Fishers residents Lori and Matt Trulock started a family tradition with Camden, their son, on his very first birthday party held last month. In lieu of gifts, they asked each guest to bring items found on the Hamilton County Humane Society’s Wish List. “We actually collected a truck load full of donations, and we took Camden with us to deliver them,” Lori says. “He won’t remember it now, but he will understand it as he gets older, as we’re going to do the same thing each year.”

Be Creative. Pop culture, television shows, books and trends are always a good place to start for inspiration. Here are just a few examples of clever party ideas:

  • Letterboxing – Combine this popular activity with a round of pizzas at home and a gift bag filled with stamps, pens and a notebook. Check out www.letterboxing.org for inspiration.
  • Toddlers & Tiaras – One local group of tweens gathered for a slumber party and an all-out spoof on this television series. While poking fun at kid pageants, guests donned outlandish hairstyles and exaggerated make-up while competing for titles like Worst Costume and Funniest Routine.
  • 39 Clues – This popular book series lends itself to scavenger hunts, endless activities and exotic locales. Carmel resident Deana Keen, who chose this theme for one of her son’s birthday parties, said it was a hit. “It was a blast watching the kids eat Ramen noodles with chopsticks, wrapping toilet paper around themselves to look like mummies, and eating Vienna sausages in ‘Austria,’” she said.
  • Mall Time – Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on decorations and food, one mom simply gave her daughter and each guest $20, drove them to a popular mall for a casual lunch, and then tagged along while they figured out how to spend it all.

Planning a party for your child can be daunting, but with a little forethought and a bit of imagination, they can also be unforgettable events, with memories to last a lifetime.

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V’s Barbershop: It’s a Guy Thing

V's Barbershop

Co-owner Chad Renbarger sits outside his 116th and Olio Road location in Fishers.

Sorry gals… the business cards and promotional materials say it all. They read, “V’s Barbershop – It’s a Guy Thing.”

And now Fishers – specifically, 11687 Olio Road at Geist Landing – is the site of Indiana’s first V’s Barbershop, a place where guys can get shampoos, haircuts, old-fashioned hot lather straight-razor shaves, shoe shines and more. There’s no girlie salon or spa feel here. Just an hour, at least, of services geared solely for “successful men who value appearance and take pride in their grooming habits,” according to the website.

Co-owners Chad Renbarger and Bryan Wade, who are friends and Fishers neighbors, opened V’s Barbershop in July, with a grand opening on August 5. And it’s been a packed house ever since.

“When Bryan and I went into this business, we knew there was some risk, given the state of the economy and all,” said Renberger. “But we quickly found out that people will pay for high quality services and the overall experience, which includes about 34 individual steps.”

V's Barbershop The first V’s Barbershop opened in 1999 in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the brainchild of Jim Valenzuela (hence the “V”). His goal was to create a great old-time barbershop for himself and his son that would help him create memories for the two of them. His mantra was simple – make sure the visit to the barber was a relaxing pleasure and not a chore. What he has created today is the nostalgia of yesteryear with a modern twist. So far, there are shops in Arizona, California, Texas, New Jersey, Mississippi, Washington and now one in Indiana.

“Today is my first time coming to V’s Barbershop,” said Justin Chesnut. “And I am definitely coming back. It’s close to my home, it’s tailored for men, there are things for the kids to do while their dads are in the chair and an owner is on site all the time. I like that.”

Renbarger says he grew up going with his dad to the barbershop and has fond memories of those experiences. While not a barber himself, Renbarger understands the importance of hiring only the best and appreciates the diversity necessary so that all barbers know how to work with all types of hair and hairstyles. He says the key to a wonderful experience lies with the person providing your services.

The inside of V’s Barbershop is truly a step back in time, with its black and white checkered floors, solid wood cabinetry and collection of classic sports photos and memorabilia on the walls. The barbers all wear smocks and the wonderful scents of high-end men’s products fill the air.

But just to be fair, V’s Barbershop attracts women, too. First, gift cards from V’s for men’s services are a fantastic idea for the guy who has everything. And second, women are now dropping off their shoes and boots for old-fashioned hand shoeshines.

Besides creating a fantastic environment, Renbarger and Wade are determined to give back to the community and are doing so. They have already given contributions and proceeds from some events to various Hamilton Southeastern and Fishers High School sporting teams and events.

“The bottom line is that I love raising my family in Hamilton County and we love the family-oriented feel,” said Renbarger. “It just seems fitting for Bryan and me to operate a business here, create memories for dads and their sons and give back to the community. We’re off to a really great start!”

V’s Barbershop is open seven days a week. Appointments are needed Monday through Friday, with walk-ins welcome on the weekends. For more information or to make an appointment, call 317-845-8122, or view a complete list of services at www.vbarbershop.com. You can also “like” them on Facebook by searching V’s Barbershop-Fishers.

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FanStand Prints: Offering a Win-Win Situation for All Sports Fans

Co-owners of FanStand Prints Rory Underwood and Kory Seitz hope their bigger than life keepsakes hit a homerun in the team fundraising arena.

FanStand Prints, a rising company, offers custom high quality products using your favorite photo images. Wouldn’t it be great to take a precious photo of your son catching a baseball or your daughter dancing with her team, and transform it into a plush blanket or stunning wall decal for their bedroom? Well, now you can take advantage of transferring your snapshots into lifelong mementos with FanStand Prints. What’s more, schools and other sports facilities can have custom wind screens or banners placed on their fields, enhancing the façade of their domain, making it appear sufficiently sophisticated to all the fans.

“I would have absolutely loved having an action shot of myself when I was a kid,” says Kory Seitz, co-owner of FanStand Prints. “My mom once made me a quilt, piecing different memories of me in several sports that I played which meant a lot to me… but I would have been so thrilled to see my face up on a personalized banner of the facility where I played.”

This concept has actually been realized at Westfield High School when the baseball coach, last spring, asked FanStand Prints to dress their field with mesh windscreens featuring their seniors. These banners looked so incredible that the Westfield football team, this fall, has decided to highlight each of its seniors along with the cheerleaders on 33 banners.

Rory's daughter, Paige, models a custom throw blanket.

“These products sell themselves,” says Seitz, who has also sold banners to the Carmel High School volleyball team. He is also talking with other prospects on the college level, such as Indiana Wesleyan University, about making banners for the soccer team. Seitz continues, “We are not restricted to just printing sports items. We can print everything from baby blankets and other individualized images to 4-H, band, and more. No event group is off limits.”

FanStand Prints specializes in three main products: banners/windscreens, blankets and wall decals. The unique feature about this company is how it transfers the image from a photo onto a custom template or background of your choice. In fact, you can even choose to design your product by highlighting an image of your child in color with the background set in black and white for special emphasis.

Placing an order online requires just three easy steps. First, choose your product (banner, blanket or decal). Second, choose your template or background. Third, upload your photo. Due to the sizing of the products, the photos submitted should represent high quality (DPI of 300 or better). If the production crew does not feel your photo is satisfactory, they will notify you in advance and work with you on another option.

Promoting Student Athletes While Giving Back at the Same Time

The main goal of FanStand Prints is to help supplement the rising costs of organized sports. With schools charging participation fees and travel costs, it has the opportunity to offer a one-of-a-kind product to promote student athletes while giving back at the same time. Sports fans can take advantage of this opportunity either by the “Partnership Program” or by “Team Fundraising Options.”

The “Partnership Program” allows teams to earn a profit and offer discounts to their athletes. If players on a particular team, and all their respective fans (family and friends ) enter a given code when purchasing products, 10% of all sales can either be paid directly to the program or discounted for their athletes.

Another clever way to benefit from using FanStand Prints is by “Team Fundraising.” Can you believe a minimum amount of 50% of a fundraiser package will be given back to the program? For example, suppose your high school athlete finds a company to sponsor him/her. Similar to a golf outing, the sponsor can choose a level of fundraising with which to participate.

The athlete will receive a special keepsake in return – a 4×6 personal banner! Plus, the sponsor will receive recognition on the banner of the athlete they sponsor, which is hung on the school’s facility grounds. Furthermore, the higher the level of sponsorship, the more money your program makes and the more the athlete receives with free items.

“When it comes to fundraising, what parent or kid wouldn’t be enthused about getting something to keep as a memory and at the same time, dressing up the facility?” asks Seitz, who says he was happy to jump on board this opportunity with FanStand Prints.

“Kory approached me with this concept and not only was I excited about the product but so were many of the people I shared it with,” says Rory Underwood, co-owner of FanStand Prints. “It ties in with my ownership of the The Strike Zone baseball facility and seemed like a good way for me to continue my interest in supporting and promoting youth sports in the community. We hope to be able to work with schools, youth teams… etc. to offer some fundraising opportunities as a way to give back.”

Seitz welcomes anyone who would be interested in becoming a sales representative. He suggests, “Anyone having connections with sports from youth leagues to college level would be a good fit with our company. There’s no specific time commitment necessary for being a rep for us. You can either work part time with people you already know, or full time, if you want to replace an existing job.”

For more information, please contact Kory Seitz (Kory@fanstandprints) and/or visit the website (www.fanstandprints.com).

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Opening of Conner Prairie’s Apple Store Marks Start of Fall

Grace Wiles, daughter of Megan Wiles, VP and president-elect of the Alliance, enjoys a crisp hand- dipped caramel apple from The Apple Store.

Grace Wiles, daughter of Megan Wiles, VP and president-elect of the Alliance, enjoys a crisp hand- dipped caramel apple from The Apple Store.

It’s that time again – when an Indianapolis tradition opens its doors and signals the real start of fall. It’s the opening of The Apple Store on Thursday, September 1, on the grounds of Conner Prairie.

Since 1985, The Apple Store has offered the best hand-dipped caramel apples, cider slushies, apple butter and a wide array of gourmet foods. The store, operated by the women of the Conner Prairie Alliance, provides a great destination for visitors, but it’s much more than that. The Apple Store has been a significant revenue stream for Conner Prairie. Last year, proceeds from The Apple Store allowed the Alliance to donate $90,000 to the museum, including $80,000 to support the 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana exhibit, and $10,000 to support the 1859 Balloon Voyage, making 2010 the store’s most successful year ever. In fact, more than $385,000 has been raised in the last five years by the Conner Prairie Alliance for the museum.

The Apple Store will be in operation September 1 through October 30, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. It’s also open during Symphony on the Prairie September 1-4 and on evenings during the Headless Horseman in October. Visitors who come to The Apple Store on opening day will receive a 15% discount on all purchases.

So just how does The Apple Store raise $90,000 in its short season? By selling:

• 19,374 hand-dipped caramel apples;
• 6,929 apple cider slushies;
• 7,437 apple spice and pumpkin donuts;
• 3,620 novelty items like decorated pretzels and other seasonal items; and
• many more seasonal, Amish and local products.

Jackie Clark, 2011 Chair of the Apple Store, said, “We’re looking forward to another great Apple Store season with all of our traditional treats, including Indy’s best caramel apples, cider slushies, apple butter … and maybe a few new surprises! Our goal is for every person who comes into the store to have a great experience and find something they love – that’s what makes it so rewarding for all of us!”

The Conner Prairie Alliance was formed in 1982 as a small offshoot of the Junior League of Indianapolis. For the first three years, Alliance members decorated the Visitors Center and helped staff with Candlelight Tours. In 1985, The Apple Store was opened in a pole barn on the Conner Prairie grounds. In 1993, ground was broken for the current Apple Store building.

Currently, the Alliance has nearly 100 members, with a diverse membership of working women and stay-at-home moms. Any women who are interested in learning more about volunteering to support Conner Prairie are invited to join the Alliance on September 13 at 9:30 a.m. for a behind the scenes look at The Apple Store and a tour of Conner Prairie’s newest attraction, the 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana. To sign up for this event or to join the Alliance now, please call 317-776- 6011 or email ConnerPrairieAlliance@gmail.com.

For more information, visit the Alliance webpage at www.connerprairie.org/Join-Abd-Support/Alliance.aspx or visit the store on Facebook at The Apple Store at Conner Prairie.

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