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First Lady’s foundation aids art therapy

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The Easter bunny came and went for many years and then came the fashionable Easter Sundays with the Easter bonnets on parade. There was nary a lady’s head that was not adorned with a hat or plumes of some sort.

There was only one Easter bonnet at this year’s Easter sunrise service, and it was on top of my head. Only a few feathers on a headband, but there it was.

In The Republic’s SHE magazine, one of the writers, Catherine Hageman, noted that she was the only one wearing an Easter bonnet at her service as well and went on to wistfully hope that lady’s hats will come back in fashion.

At a large gathering, which called for a little more fashion than a suit or dress, I again donned the plumes atop my head.

This time I was inundated and delighted with compliments about my hat from numerous strangers who just might start wearing the many lovely chapeaus that are in all the stores.

The First Lady’s Charitable Foundation chose to support the Art Therapy Initiative at Riley Hospital for Children.

This occurred at the inaugural Indiana First Lady’s Luncheon, which was held in April at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. First lady Karen Pence presented a check for $100,000 to the Art Therapy Initiative from the foundation.

There were at least 600 women in attendance with many distinguished guests.

Also in attendance were the following former first ladies: Patricia Whitcomb, Judy O’Bannon, Maggie Kernan and Cheri Daniels, all escorted down the runway by Purdue University seniors and, finally, our first lady escorted by her son Michael, a senior at Purdue. Susan Bayh was unable to attend.

Following the formalities, luncheon was served, and guests were given a special thank-you Vera Bradley bag filled with goodies.

Entertainment was provided by Sandi Patty with her magnificent voice and an array of lovely songs, finishing with her husband Don singing “The Prayer.”

We enjoyed the day with friends Ruth Johnson, Alice Leonard, Helen Haddad and Louise Dorenbusch.

This First Lady’s Charitable Foundation was founded last fall to support youth and families of Indiana through scholarships, awards and grants.

It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation to which any and all organizations can apply for small grants for one year.


Magazine Club met in May at the home of Judy Callaway with co-hostesses Kathryn Glover, Marilyn Jerman, Barb Newton, Suzie Rentschler and Brenda Sullivan.

 Luncheon was served outside Judy’s home by the committee, followed by a walking tour of the beautiful gardens at the Miller home, which were bursting with blooms of spring.

We welcomed new members Judy Rinehart, Grace Kestler and Betsy Kieffer.

Driving to Bloomington in the springtime is always a treat, especially when an afternoon includes luncheon with friends.

We spent an enjoyable afternoon at the new home of Del and Letty Newkirk, enjoying a tasteful luncheon and lively conversation, which included Don and Dody Harvey.

The Newkirks have many friends in Columbus and Bloomington, where they devote much of their time and talents to the IU Museum of Art as well as the Brown County Art Gallery.

The conversation covered many topics, including the Indiana Heritage Arts 36th annual exhibition and sale today to June 21 at the Brown County Art Gallery.

This is one of the most prestigious art fairs in the state, a juried fine art exhibition of our Indiana artists.

Don gave us a very fascinating report from his visit to Purdue University about nanotechnology and the vaporization of silver.

We were brought up to date on all the happenings with each family, including the grandchildren.

Nancy Fritsch and Barbara Fortner can be reached at

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