Dear Editor,

The rain cleared and the sun came out for the 5th Annual "Denim & Diamond" Dinner Tour. Nearly 180 people gathered in Milligan Park on the brisk fall evening for a "Saturday in the Park" celebration of recent accomplishments the Parks & Recreation Dept. has made with a little help from Montgomery County Community Foundation grants. The impact is tremendous and best understood when seen first-hand. Park Board Member Dale Petrie (also a MCCF Board Member) led the group through a game of "Simon Says" as he pointed out the Splash Zone, Skate Park and Sunshine Van Garage there within sight as well as further away the Sugar Trail and General Lew Wallace Study & Museum which are also in the park system and have also benefited from MCCF grants. Our thanks go to the Parks & Recreation Dept. and the Sunshine Vans for having us.

We thank Chad Westphal for coordinating local youth to demonstrate skateboarding skills. We may have missed a name or two and apologize for that, but they included Cortland Spear, Patrick Striegal, Tommy Hamm, Austin Tate, Andrew Howard, Trevor Jacobsen, James Howard, Logan Newlin, Kevin Kavle and Clayton Owen. Chad, an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Wabash College and once an avid skater himself, was one of many citizen volunteers who helped make the skate park a reality.

Many guests enjoyed playing cornhole on boards built by volunteers Fred Dennison, Tom Jent and Lyle Sanders and creatively painted and decorated by local artists Kelly Barton, Anne Viray Sipahimalani and Jeff Neal, Elizabeth Lincourt, JD Minch and the Sommer Elementary Art Club under the direction of Mary Lou Dawald. Sally Ray of Top Line Athletics sewed the bags in coordinating colors. We are grateful to each and every one of them for donating their time, talent and materials to do this. The boards were later sold by Silent Auction and proceeds will benefit the operations of MCCF.

Following the tour, we met at the Country Club for dinner where Chef Jeff McCandless had prepared picnic baskets filled with wonderful things like poached salmon with fresh dill and capers, roasted chicken salad with pistachios and cranberries and so much more. The meal was definitely another "gem" of the evening. All Denim & Diamonds guests received t-shirts which they were encouraged to "bedazzle" and many did! Those winning prizes for their efforts were: Terri Cravens, Mary Taylor, Jon Dantzig, Emily Saidian, and Jodi Walker. Honorable mention awards went to Suanne Milligan and Sally Evans. We thank the Vanity Theater and Sugar Creek Players for donating show tickets for prizes.

We could not have pulled off the event without the financial support of our generous sponsors which included: At the Diamond level ($1,000), Bon Appètit Catering, Capital Cities, NUCOR, Wabash College, MutualWealth Management, Kirtley, Taylor, Sims, Chadd & Minnette, P.C.; at the Emerald level ($500), Crawfordsville Country Club, Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health Crawfordsville, Tipmont REMC, Halderman Farm Management, Pace Dairy Foods, Lafayette Bank & Trust, and FC Tucker West Central; at the Ruby level ($250)Tri-County Bank, Estep Burkey Simmons, LLC, Puritan Water Conditioning, and Collier Homann & Perkins, LLC; and at the Sapphire level ($100), Brian Keim's Lawn Service, Davidson Greenhouse & Nursery, Johnson Williamson, LLC, Stephen Akers, Architect, LLC, Janet L. Rucker, DDS, Top Line Athletics, and Brenda Taylor.

In addition to our hosts and sponsors, we would also like to recognize and thank the following: the acoustical duo him&her for music, Rachel Mills and Kayla Bacon for sharing their photography talents, La Rosa on Main for loaning vintage picnic pieces for our décor. Our appreciation also goes out to Tom Edwards for setting out barricades for the partial closure of the park for us and to Morris Geiger for opening the Sunshine Van garage to us. We thank Cindy Cosenza, Sheridan Hadley and Paula Reed for loaning us the wonderful baskets in which Jeff packed our dinner.

We would also like to recognize the Marketing & Development Committee, chaired by Heather Dennison, which pulled it all together: Amy Cooper, Anita Klein, Sheridan Hadley, Amy Sanders and Nancy Sennett. And last, but certainly not least, we thank our guests who supported us by purchasing tickets, attending the event and generously bidding on the cornhole boards. Proceeds raised through the event will support general operations of the Foundation. Pictures of the event may be viewed on our Facebook Page as well as on our website at On behalf of the MCCF staff and board members we thank everyone who helped make D&D 2013 "Saturday in the Park" a smashing success.

Sincerely, Kelly Taylor, Executive Director

Cheryl Keim, Development & Program Coordinator