First ladies, other guests enjoy foundation luncheon

Greetings from the bottom of my Irish heart and from all the relatives in Doonbeg, Ireland. Hope it was a glorious celebration with all the fixin’s and a little liquid refreshments to go with it.

This is the 200th birthday of Indiana and a Celebration of the Bicentennial was the theme of the first lady’s Foundation luncheon conducted last week at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. The foundation has been able to provide 175 grants in all 92 Indiana counties. The luncheon included Indiana Pale Ale cheddar soup, cold-smoked Indiana pork tenderloin, chocolate-chip cookie-dough waffles drizzled with bourbon maple drizzle (yum), compliments to Chef Brendon Cheney at the JW Marriott.

Former first ladies in attendance were Susan Bayh, Judy O’Bannon and Maggie Kernan. The decorations were in keeping with the state colors of blue and gold, and each guest received a gift bag with exclusive items within the theme of the bicentennial.

Guests from Columbus included Pam Lienhoop; Mary Ferdon; Denise Pence with daughters, Nicole Pence Becker and Lauren Pence Doolin; Ruth Johnson; Nancy Nyers, Louise Dorenbusch; Sherry Stark Tiede; Helen Haddad; Basil and Nancy Fritsch; Greg and Marilyn Harter; Suzie Rentschler; Kim Pence; Annie Poynter and daughter Gracie.

Pledging support

The CASA Day at the Statehouse gathered 350 Court-Appointed Special Advocate directors and volunteers from across the state, all wearing blue CASA Day T-shirts. Our local CASA group, Advocates for Children, was well represented with Therese Miller, executive director; John Nickoll, program director; Jaime Greathouse, CASA supervisor; Rick Scalf, committee outreach coordinator; and 13 program staff and volunteers who serve Bartholomew, Jennings and Decatur counties.The lovely, charming Leslie Dunn is the state director who spoke with much enthusiasm to the crowd and then introduced Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Loretta Rush. Indiana supports our children and youth through the Legislature and the Children’s Commission. Gov. Mike Pence spoke on behalf of the children of CASA and the many volunteers who give every child a voice in the courts along with hope and resilience. At the present time, there are 5,000 children who are either abused or neglected and in need of representation with a Court-Appointed Special Advocate. If interested in learning more, visit apowerfulvoice.org or call 877-604-9402.Local food grows on usA brochure at the IndianaGrown exhibit at the Statehouse says, “IndianaGrown is a statewide agricultural initiative created to enrich and preserve Indiana agriculture by promoting locally grown foods and products, and encouraging Hoosiers to buy local.”I have always been a farm girl at heart and visited this exhibit at the Statehouse last week where there were many Hoosier vendors displaying and sharing their sustainable local foods. We sampled and learned about many items from hemp to Bourbon Barrel-aged Maple Syrup (very tasty) from Gnaw Bone. Visit indianagrown.org to find out more about the program and its members, which we should honor and support. The Indiana Grown Locator app is available for iOS and Android to track your food from its source.

Music to our ears

Upcoming music to enjoy:Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, 7:30 p.m. April 2, Columbus North High School, “A Visit to Vienna”

Cabaret At The Commons, 7:30 p.m. April 7, “Confessions of a Star in Indiana,” with Shannon Forsell, 812-376-2638

Third Annual Crooners for CASA, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. April 9, The Commons, 812-372-2808

First Presbyterian Music Series, 3 p.m. April 10, Chris Young, Indiana University Professor of Organ and his wife, violinist Brenda Young

Columbus Symphony Orchestra, 3:30 p.m. April 10, Columbus North High School, “Death and Transfiguration”

Nancy Pence Fritsch can be reached at nancypencefritsch@gmail.com.