Judge appointed – Gov. Eric Holcomb on Aug. 9 announced Stephenie K. Gookins as his appointment to the Hamilton County Superior Court. Gookins succeeds Judge Gail Bardach who retired July 1, 2022. Gookins is a partner in the law firm of Terry & Gookins and has been in private practice in Hamilton County since 2000. Additionally, she has served as a public defender in various Hamilton County courts for the past 21 years. Gookins received a bachelor of science from Indiana University and a law degree from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law. Gookins will be sworn in as the judge of the Hamilton County Superior Court on a date to be determined.
K-9s to receive protective vests – Carmel Police Dept. K-9s Jax and Lolo will receive bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vests are sponsored by Don and Misty Fike of Galesburg, Ill. Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks. K-9 Lolo is a Belgian Malinois that began her service with CPD on July 16, 2014. She serves as a patrol dog and is specially trained in the detection of explosives. Her handler is Officer Chad Wiegman. K-9 Jax is a Dutch Malinois that began his service with CPD on June 4. He also serves as a patrol dog, with specialized training in narcotics detection. His handler is Officer Branden Owens.
Synergize benefits PCRHS – Synergize, a Carmel-based professional group focused on building friendships, held its July 4:30 Meetup at 3Up, with the event raising more than $2,200 for Providence Cristo Rey High School. The school opened in Indianapolis in 2007 and offers a “transformational educational experience to students with economic need,” including intense coursework, a multicultural environment and a mandatory corporate work-study program. In August, the 4:30 Meetup will benefit Dying Defiantly. Learn more at synergizeindy.com.
State’s cutest dogs – Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, the Indiana Destination Development Corp. and Indiana’s First Dog, Henry, are searching for adorable dogs in great locations across the state through the Visit Indiana Cutest Dog Photo Contest. A different winner will be selected every week for one year. Each winning dog will get a note from Indiana’s first dog, an exclusive ‘More To Discover IN Indiana’ dog bandana, a feature as one of the Cutest Dogs IN Indiana on the Visit Indiana social channels. To enter, upload a photo or video of your dog to Instagram, tag @VisitIndiana and use the hashtag #DogsINIndiana. Entries must include the location where the photo was taken.
Care-oke to benefit United Way program – United Way of Central Indiana is hosting a karaoke competition this fall to benefit its ReadUP childhood literacy program. Registration is open for soloists and musical groups interested in competing for a spot to perform live at Care-oke on Nov. 9 at Old National Centre in Indianapolis. The top 12 fundraisers will automatically qualify for the finale, and the remaining performers will be selected at random. Individual performers commit to raising at least $250, and groups commit to raising $500. The competition is open to singers across the state of all ages. The deadline to register is Oct. 10. Learn more at uwci.org/careoke.
Golf outing to benefit Indiana Donor Network – ALO Property Group will host the inaugural Brian Bondus Memorial Golf Outing at 11 a.m. Aug. 29 at Prairie View Golf Club, 7000 Longest Dr. in Carmel. A light breakfast, box lunch and beverages will be provided. The event will conclude with a cocktail hour and awards reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. Tickets for the golf outing and reception or the reception alone are available. Proceeds will benefit the Indiana Donor Network in memory of Bondus, an ALO Property Group employee who died in 2021 after a severe reaction to a peanut allergy. Learn more at golfgenius.com/ggid/alobondus22.
Trade invasive species for trees – Via a trade-in program, Hamilton County property owners can show proof of removal of an invasive species on their Hamilton County property and receive up to three, three-gallon native trees or shrubs for free. Landscape plantings of callery pear species, burning bush, Japanese barberry and Norway maple are the preferred species for removal, but any from the Official Indiana Invasive Species Council Invasive Plant List is acceptable. Trades are limited to one per address. Learn more and apply at hcinvasives.org.
Same as U Golf Tournament – The second Same as U Golf Tournament is set for 11 a.m. Sept. 23 at Pebble Brook Golf Club, 3110 Westfield Rd. in Noblesville. Check in begins at 10 a.m. A box lunch will be provided by Divvy’s, and dinner will be from Big DOg’s SMokehouse BBQ. Learn more and register at sameasu.org/golf-outing-2022.
Guilded Leaf authors announced – The Guild of the Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation has announced the authors taking part in the 18th annual Guilded Leaf Book and Author Events. The six novelists are Jennifer Coburn, Iman Hariri-Kia, Lynda Cohen Loigman, Kristina McMorris, Kyle Mills and Katherine Reay. The Guilded Leaf opens with the Book & Author Evening on Oct. 19. For the first time, this evening event will take place at the Main Library. At the Book and Author Luncheon at the Ritz Charles on Oct. 20, the authors will share insights into their lives and their writing. Book signings, a raffle, and the online auction will also be part of the luncheon festivities. Tickets may be purchased at carmelclaylibrary.org/guilded-leaf.
Sidewalk Repair Grant funds available – In 2020, the Carmel City Council established a Sidewalk Repair Grant program to help keep residential sidewalks across the city in good shape and safe. This program was initially funded by a $50,000, non-reverting fund and there are still funds available for property owners to apply for assistance with sidewalk repairs. The fund assists residents who own and occupy their homes with the expense of repair/replacement of sidewalks and for removal of trees located on their private property that are affecting sidewalks by reimbursing up to 50 percent of the project cost, up to $3,000. Learn more and apply at carmel.in.gov/government/departments-services/community-services/sidewalk-repair-grant.
Squirrel stampede fun run – In 1822, a great squirrel emigration swept across Central Indiana. Carmel Clay Historical Society has partnered with Hamilton County Tourism to commemorate that event with a fun run called the Great Squirrel Stampede. The event, which features a 1K and 3K race, is on Sept. 17 at Coxhall Gardens. Proceeds will help fund construction of the new Carmel Clay History Museum, scheduled to break ground near Midtown this year. Tickets are $30 per individual or $50 per family. Visit carmelclayhistory.org for more information.
Arts & Culture digital passport – The recently launched Indiana Arts & Culture digital passport encourages visitors to discover new places and enjoy some of Indiana’s creative spaces. Sign up online for the passport and receive custom prizes for visiting multiple destinations across the state. Visitors need to check-in from a smartphone at one of the designated passport locations. Participants earn more by visiting more locations. For more information, visit VisitIndiana.com/arts or follow Visit Indiana on social media at @VisitIndiana on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Hamilton County Democratic Women meetings— The Hamilton County Democratic Women meet every third Saturday of the month at the Delaware Township Trustee Building 9090 E. 131st, Fishers. Conversations begin at 9:30 a.m., the meeting is from 10 a.m. to 11. All Hamilton County women are welcome.
Weed Wrangles clear invasive species – The organizations of the Hamilton County Invasives Partnership are inviting volunteers to help clear local parks of invasive species by participating in Weed Wrangles. During the Weed Wrangle, teams of volunteers, supervised by guides, will locate and uproot unwelcome plants such as bush honeysuckle, garlic mustard, autumn olive, English ivy and winter creeper. Learn more and sign up to volunteer at hcinvasives.org.
River Heritage Park closed – River Heritage Park has closed for planned improvements as part of Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation’s Reimagining Parks initiative. Upgrades include wheelchair-accessible playground features, sensory-friendly interpretive signage, ADA-accessible trails and boardwalks with overlooks on the White River and more. The park is anticipated to reopen after construction is completed in the winter of 2022.
Monthly beekeepers meeting – The North Central Beekeepers Club meets the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Cool Creek Nature Center, 2000 E. 151st St. in Westfield. Meetings are free to attend by all levels of beekeepers located centrally north of Indianapolis. Those interested in becoming beekeepers are welcome. For more information, visit facebook.com/ncbclub.
Eggs & Issues – OneZone Chamber of Commerce announces Eggs & Issues as their new monthly advocacy event. Starting in December, OneZone member attendees will hear about a variety of topics. From January to April attendees will hear from state legislators, what they are working on at the Statehouse, and how to get involved. Registration for the first Eggs & Issues will open in August.
Blood donors needed – Versiti Blood Center of Indiana has issued an emergency appeal for blood donations, as it has seen a drastic drop in scheduled appointments. The blood center anticipates the available inventory of blood to be at less than a one-day supply within the coming days. Versiti strives for at least a three-day supply of blood, so it can be ready to serve all patients, even during unexpected events. Versiti is seeking donors for more than 2,500 open appointments available at community blood drives and donation centers throughout the state. Donors can schedule an appointment to donate blood by calling 916-5150 or online at versiti.org/indiana.
500 Mile Challenge – Registration is open for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge, an online fitness program that encourages participants to complete 500 miles of physical activity, the same mileage drivers complete during the Indianapolis 500. Participants also have the option to complete 250 miles of physical activity in the Gasoline Alley 250 Mile Challenge. The challenges, which benefit the 500 Festival, kicked off June 13 and run through Oct. 31. Registration is $65 and includes a shirt, finisher medal, hat and more. Register for either challenge at IndyMini.com/500Miles.
Hospice volunteers needed – Anew Hospice is seeking volunteers to spend time with hospice patients throughout the Indianapolis area. Volunteers visit hospice patients to provide companionship through music, reading, doing puzzles, life review or just being a hand to hold. To learn more, call 317-300-2292 or email [email protected].