Carmel in brief — December 27, 2022


Tree recycling event – Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation will hold a Holiday Tree Recycling event from noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 2 at Westermeier Commons in Carmel’s Central Park. To participate in the drive-through event, community members can bring their live, decoration-free holiday tree to the Westermeier Commons parking lot. CCPR staff and volunteers will unload the tree, and it will be donated to Tiffany Lawn and Garden to be mulched. Free warm refreshments and treats will be available as a thank you. Learn more or register to volunteer at the event by emailing [email protected].

Best Holiday Market – The Carmel Christkindlmarkt has been voted Best Holiday Market in the USA Today 10Best competition for the third time. The holiday market candidates from across the U.S. were selected by a panel of experts and 10Best editors, followed by the public voting for their favorites. The Carmel Christkindlmarkt also received the first-place spot in 2019 and 2021. The Carmel Christkindlmarkt will remain open through Dec. 30.

Essay contest – Conner Prairie is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2023 by inviting students to write an essay in which they reflect on this year’s MLK Day theme: love. The contest is open to students in third through 12th grade. Entries should be submitted to [email protected] by Jan. 6. All submissions should include name, age, grade level and county of residence. The winning essays will be published on Conner Prairie’s website and displayed at Conner Prairie’s MLK Day celebration on Jan. 16. Winners will also receive a Conner Prairie Plus membership.

Toastmasters open house – Polished Brash Toastmasters, a local Toastmasters International club, will hold an open house from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 18, 2023, where guests can learn more about the benefits of being a Toastmaster, meet members and observe a meeting. The group meets each Wednesday at noon at Delta Faucet, 55 E. 111th St., with a virtual option for those who can’t attend in person. Together, they work on a variety of key business skills such as public speaking, leadership, delivering feedback and communication. RSVP to the open house at [email protected].

Synergize raises funds – Synergize closed out a year of local impact by supporting the Carmel Police Dept.’s initiative to bring a therapy dog to Carmel. This therapy dog could have many uses, including support for students in local schools, de-escalation of crisis situations, breaking down stigma around treatments for mental health and connecting officers to those in the community. Synergize raised $2,100 to support the initiative. Learn more at

Holiday Lights Recycling Drive – Carmel Clay Schools’ Green Teams, City of Carmel Utilities, City of Carmel, Tech Recyclers and White’s Ace Hardware are working together to offer a Holiday Lights Recycling Drive. Residents can recycle used and unwanted holiday lights through Jan. 20, 2023, at White’s Ace Hardware, 731 S. Range Line Rd. Since the start of the collaborative program, more than eight tons of holiday lights have been recycled. Recycling inoperable or inefficient holiday lights keeps those items out of landfills, which reduces the long-term carbon impact on the environment.

Bicentennial kickoff – The Hamilton County Bicentennial will open the county’s 200th year with a free, family-friendly event at 3 p.m. Jan. 22, 2023, at the Palladium in Carmel. Michael Feinstein, artistic director for the Center and founder of the Carmel-based Great American Songbook Foundation, will perform and emcee the program, which will include remarks from local dignitaries and engaging performances by area artistic talent. Attendees will receive a goodie bag as well as potentially a special, limited quantity commemorative item. Tickets for this seminal event are free but must be reserved in advance at or by phone at 317-843-3800.

Silver Pen writing competition – The Stratford is accepting essay submissions through Feb. 10, 2023, for the 10th annual Senior Living Communities Silver Pen writing competition. The Stratford will award three local high school seniors with cash prizes up to $2,500 to assist with their post-graduate plans. Award recipients will be announced in the spring. For the full rules and to submit an essay, visit

Phi Kappa Phi initiation – Bandith Carr of Carmel was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Carr was initiated at Ball State University. Carr is among approximately 25,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership.

Miler Series registration open – The 2023 500 Festival Miler Series running/walking events will start at a new location: Fowling Warehouse Indianapolis. The series features courses at 3-mile course on Feb. 11, a 6-mile course on March 4, and a 10-mile course on April 1 to help participants prepare for the organization’s Mini-Marathon, which is 13.1 miles, in May. Registration for the series is open at

Bicentennial ambassadors needed – High school sophomores and juniors interested in history and community can apply to serve as Hamilton County Bicentennial Ambassadors through a program sponsored by the 2023 Hamilton County Bicentennial Committee. Student ambassadors will serve as a bridge from the past to the future through conversation and public engagement from January through December 2023. Apply online through Nov. 30 at

Ice skating tickets available – Tickets for the Ice at Carter Green are on sale. The rink will be open Nov. 19 through Feb. 26, 2023. Skate sessions last 90 minutes, unless noted on the skate session calendar. The cost per session on all days is $10 for adults and youth 11 and older, $8 for children 10 and younger. Skates may be rented for $4 per person. Buy tickets and learn more at

Princess Program applications – The 500 Festival is accepting applications for the 2023 500 Festival Princess Program. Applications are available at The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Jan. 8, 2023. The program provides 33 women from Indiana colleges and universities with the opportunity to make an impact during their college years as ambassadors of the 500 Festival and its mission to enrich lives and positively impact the community. Each 500 Festival Princess will also receive a $1,000 scholarship.

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.

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.

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

Veracity partnership – Veracity IIR has added retired United States Secret Service agent Roger Goodes and his firm, Goodes Security, as a new partner. Prior to joining the private security industry, Roger spent 26 years with the USSS.  While there, he provided executive protection at the highest levels, including the Presidential Protective Division. Learn more at and

Governor’s Fellowship – Applications will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2023, for the 2023–24 Governor’s Fellowship, which provides a unique experience in Indiana state government by placing fellows in various state agencies on a rotating basis throughout the year. The program is open to college graduates who receive a bachelor’s degree in the summer or fall of 2022 or spring of 2023. Fellows are paid, full-time employees who participate in the day-to-day activities of state government. Apply at

Student Leaders internship program – The 2023 application for Bank of America’s Student Leaders paid internship program is now open through Jan. 13, 2023. Selected students will participate in an eight-week paid internship at a local nonprofit organization to learn first-hand about the needs of the community and the critical role nonprofits play. They will also attend a leadership summit to learn how government, business and the nonprofit sector work together to address critical community needs. Learn more and apply at

Free COVID-19 tests – Genepace Solutions in Carmel is giving away excess COVID-19 testing kits that expire on Dec. 31. The business at 316 S. Range Line Rd. has been providing COVID-19 testing throughout the pandemic but does not expect to be able to use the tests it has on hand before they expire. The tests are the Carestart brand manufactured by AccessBio. Each box contains two tests. The free tests may be picked up at Genepace Solutions. Learn more by calling 463-999-9877 or at

Diabetes specialist opens office – Dr. Hisham Allababidi has opened a Carmel office of Franciscan Physician Network Diabetes & Endocrinology Specialists. He is part of a team of physicians and advanced practice providers who treat adults who have diabetes, thyroid conditions or endocrine disorders. The Carmel office is at Franciscan Health Carmel, 12188-B North Meridian St., Suite 250. Board-certified in endocrinology, Allababidi was on staff with Deaconess Health System in Evansville before joining Franciscan Health.

RRCA selects Carmel Half Marathon – The Road Runners Club of America has designated the 2023 Carmel Half Marathon as its Central Region Championship event for its 13th annual race on April 8. The RRCA Championship Event Series is the largest grassroots-organized running series in the U.S. with more than 200 races participating that attract nearly 300,000 participants. RRCA Championship Events are designated annually at the state, regional and national level through a competitive bidding process. As part of the Championship event, RRCA will provide awards for the top Carmel Half Marathon finishers residing in RRCA’s designated Central Region. Registration is available for the Carmel Marathon Weekend at

Diabetes Prevention Program – Franciscan Health is offering a Diabetes Prevention Program, an initiative that provides a supportive environment where participants work together in small groups to learn about healthier eating and boosting their physical activity to reduce their contracting diabetes. The program is led by a trained lifestyle coach in a classroom setting and delivered over a 12-month period. Participants must be at least 18 years old, overweight (body mass index over 25), diagnosed with prediabetic conditions or diagnosed with gestational diabetes at any time. Qualified participants can reach out to [email protected] or call 317-528-4962 to inquire about the program and to register.

Blood donation guidance updated – The American Red Cross invites those who spent time in the U.K., Ireland or France and have never tried to give blood because of concerns over variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) – related to mad cow disease – to give blood and help save lives. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated its blood donor eligibility guidance on vCJD, eliminating the deferral for those who spent time in the U.K., Ireland and France between 1980 and 2001. In alignment with FDA changes, the Red Cross began accepting donations Oct. 3 from individuals who have not tried giving blood before due to the prior donation criteria. Learn more and schedule an appointment at

500 Festival launches Living Well Program – The 500 Festival has launched the Living Well Program, a no-cost, resident-based health initiative for apartment complexes to promote resident wellness and build community. It includes discounted registration for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, training resources and built-in support to reach health goals. It also features head-to-head competition against other apartment complexes for an award for resident participation. Learn more at

Hospice volunteers needed – Brighton Hospice in Carmel is looking for volunteers to help office staff perform a variety of office duties such as organizing admission paperwork, filing, preparing and sending mail, answering phones, stocking supplies and helping with special projects and events. Hours and days for this volunteer opportunity are flexible and training will be provided. To learn more, contact Katresha Taylor, volunteer coordinator, by calling 317-798-2160 or by email at [email protected].