News Releases

Foundation announces LillyEndowment Community Scholars

Posted December 13, 2018

The Wayne County Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of two area high school seniors who will receive the prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

Molly Coomes and Joseph Lahmann were chosen from a pool of 92 applicants from throughout Wayne County. Each recipient will receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship and $900 annual stipend for required books and equipment to attend an accredited public or private nonprofit college or university in Indiana.

Molly is a senior at Centerville High School. At the end of her junior year she had a 4.10 GPA and plans to graduate with an Academic Honors diploma. Molly has participated in National Honor Society, 4-H, Students Against Drunk Driving, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Basketball. She served in several leadership positions, including Senate Floor Leader of Model Legislature and Class Secretary. Molly plans to attend Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and major in Health and Fitness Management and a minor in Nutrition. She is the daughter of Andy Coomes and Kevin and Renee Westover.

Joseph, a senior at Seton Catholic High School, completed his junior year with a 4.80 GPA and plans to graduate with an Academic Honors diploma. Joseph is very active in local community theatre where he performs and volunteers. He also participates in track and field, National Honor Society, and Student Council. Joseph plans to attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and major in Engineering. He is the son of Margaret Lahmann and Patrick Lahmann.

"The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is an amazing opportunity for students to continue their education after high school, without incurring the debt most students experience," said Lisa Bates, the Foundation's program officer. This year a total of 143 scholarships were awarded statewide by the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. in partnership with community foundations around the state. ICI is a nonprofit association that represents Indiana's 30 private, nonprofit colleges and universities and serves as the statewide administrator of the scholarship program.

Since 1998, 47 students have been awarded Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships through the Wayne County Foundation. This year's awardees will be recognized, at the Wayne County Foundation's Annual Report to the Community dinner in June, 2019.

'Peace On Earth' a Reid Tradition for at Least 30 Years

Posted December 12, 2018

Supplied Photo: Peace on Earth SignThe LED rope lights stand more than six feet at their tallest point.

The 'Peace On Earth' holiday tradition at Reid Health has missed only one season in up to 30 years. And it was for a pretty good reason – the team had just moved in.

The large lighted message had been part of Reid's history at its former campus on Chester Boulevard close to 20 years before the Sept. 10, 2008, move to 1100 Reid Parkway. That season was the only one in recent history where the message wasn't able to be placed on the hospital tower.

"The first version of the lighted sign, which was pretty worn out, was taken apart ahead of our move ten years ago," recalls Jeff Cook, engineering director. The original was made of steel bars, garlands and incandescent bulbs. Soon after settling in at 1100 Reid Parkway, Cook said people quickly missed the peaceful message for the 2008 holiday.

Thanks to the ingenuity of the health system's Engineering Department team, it was back up by the 2009 holiday season, however. After finding one to buy that was $10,000, the engineering team decided to build one and did so for less than $2,000.

Constructed of rolled steel and tubing with LED rope lights that stand more than six feet at their tallest point, the new version is much more energy efficient. It costs about $6 in electricity for the entire season. The original cost about $130 to light each season.

The message has been displayed on the campus, old and new, every year during the holiday season save the one. It was displayed much longer one other time – after the 2001 terrorist attack, the message was put up Sept. 12 and remained the entire year, Cook recalls.

Cook says 'peace on earth' is anticipated to endure at Reid Health for many years to come. "It's an important part of our tradition and history. The holiday season just wouldn't be the same without it."

Ivy Tech Richmond Launches "Win 1, Give 1" Scholarship Program

Posted December 10, 2018

Supplied Photo + Graphic: “Win 1, Give 1

Ivy Tech Community College Richmond is preparing to launch a new scholarship program that will give participants the chance to not only receive but give as well. The "Win 1, Give 1" Scholarship Program will offer a full, two-year scholarship- including the cost of books and associated fees- to one person. That person will then be able to choose a second person who will receive the same scholarship opportunity at Ivy Tech Richmond, Connersville and Rushville.

Applications will be taken until December 20, 2018 via Applicants music complete the "Request for info" section to be entered to "Win 1, Give 1". Five finalists will be chosen at random. One winner will be selected based on interviews with members of the Ivy Tech Richmond Faculty and Staff.

Israeli Auto Supplier Plans to Triple Hoosier Workforce in Wayne County

Posted December 10, 2018

RICHMOND, Ind. (Dec. 10, 2018) – Omen USA, a manufacturer of aluminum parts for the automotive industry, announced plans today to expand its manufacturing operations in Richmond, creating up to 200 new jobs by 2022.

"Indiana is home to a global economy, with foreign-owned businesses like Omen USA that support more than 193,000 quality jobs for Hoosiers," Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. "Indiana and Israel share important economic ties, and I was pleased to meet with Israeli government officials and business executives like Omen Casting Group Owner Yehuda Ben-Haim in Tel Aviv this spring to show our appreciation for their contributions to our state. As we work to strengthen the Indiana-Israel relationship, Omen USA will play a key role in taking our partnership to the next level."

Omen USA, which is a subsidiary of the Israel-based Omen Casting Group, will invest more than $15 million to increase its production in Wayne County, expanding its 76,000-square-foot facility by an additional 21,000 square feet and adding new production lines. The company, which announced plans in 2016 to locate its first North American operations in Indiana, plans to start work on the addition next spring in order to meet growing demand from automotive original equipment manufacturers in the U.S. and Germany for its aluminum drivelines, steering components and oil pumps.

The company, which employs 100 associates in Indiana, plans to begin hiring for all levels of manufacturing positions in the spring of 2019. Interested applicants may apply on site at the Omen USA facility or view open positions online.

"Indiana's business climate and the skilled local workforce have allowed Omen to ramp up our operations and our headcount quickly since finalizing plans to establish operation in Richmond in 2016, " said Doug Baldwin, EVP for Omen USA. "Expanding and increasing our production in Indiana will allow us to increase production for customers while continuing to add more quality jobs to the community."

Omen Casting Group, which is headquartered in Kibbutz Hatzor, Israel, was established in 1946 and now has operations in Israel, Portugal and Indiana. The company produces aluminum parts primarily for the automotive industry, providing steering, engine and driveline needs to manufacturers located across the U.S., Mexico, South America, Europe and Asia.

"I am thrilled to hear Omen USA is continuing to expand in their first North American facility here in Richmond," said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow. "Our relationship with Omen has been strong from the onset, and we continue to lay groundwork for much more mutual success in the future! I want to thank the Omen USA team for their continued commitment to our great city!"

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Omen USA up to $1.6 million in conditional tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County will provide a $237,000 general purpose grant for the company to use to offset expenses in building improvements, the purchase of new equipment or for the training of new employees. Omen USA will also seek real and personal property tax abatement.

Omen USA is one of eight Israeli business establishments with operations in Indiana, joining companies like Resin Home Design Products, ICL Performance, MCP USA, Taditel Automotive Electronics and Polyram Compounds. Together, these firms employ more than 500 Hoosiers around the state.

About IEDC

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana's economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit

Flu 101: December Medical Monday to Focus on Risk Factors, Treatment

Posted December 3, 2018

The December Medical Monday event will feature Reid Health's infection control specialist sharing about the flu. "Influenza 101: Risk factors, symptoms, treatment and more" is the topic for Kim Schneider, BSN, RN, who oversees infection control for the health system. Flu season typically occurs during the winter months each year. The best prevention step is the annual vaccine, along with good hand-washing practices, covering coughs and staying home when ill.

Medical Monday is a free presentation and will begin at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at Central United Methodist Church. To attend, please RSVP Sharrie Harlin at (765) 983-3000, ext. 4676. The church is located at 1425 E. Main St. in Richmond. Medical Monday is supported by Reid Health Community Benefit.

Auxiliary Donates Record $275,000 to Reid Health Foundation

Posted December 3, 2018

Reid Health Auxiliary's recent contribution to Reid Health Foundation of $275,000 was the Auxiliary's largest ever annual donation, thanks to successful fundraising by the Reid Health Auxiliary volunteers.

Supplied Photo: Randy Kirk, Reid Health Vice President/Foundation President, displays the symbolic "check" for the annual Auxiliary donation.Randy Kirk, Reid Health Vice President/Foundation President, displays the symbolic "check" for the annual Auxiliary donation.

The Auxiliary raises funds for the Foundation year-round with special sales and from proceeds in the Ginkgo Boutique, the hospital gift shop. With this year's donation, the Auxiliary has provided more than $3.5 million to the Foundation since its formation in 1948. The funds are used to support patient care at Reid Health, including funding technology and equipment needs supported by the Foundation. Past donations have funded, for example the green roof installed over a portion of the main campus, the grand piano in the atrium, pediatric therapy equipment, chemotherapy chairs and defibrillators.

"Our Auxiliary stands out in the nation as one of the most active and successful in support of the health system's mission," said Randy Kirk, Reid Health Vice President/Foundation President. "The dollar donations are always amazing, yet they do not reflect the truly priceless value of the thousands of volunteer hours also donated every year by our generous volunteers."

New officers for 2019 were also selected in the annual gathering at which the donation is celebrated. They include John Herig, president; Electa Berk, president-elect; David Garman, past president; Virginia Thompson, treasurer; Elsie Bragg, assistant treasurer; Max Bennett, recording secretary; Pat Shuck, assistant recording secretary; and Patsy Goble, corresponding secretary.

Auxiliary volunteers donate time to departments across the health system. Approximately 300 volunteers are active in various departments.

For information about volunteering at Reid Health, visit:

MRL To Host Two Holiday Programs in December

Posted November 27, 2018

Supplied Flyer: MRL Holiday Programs

On Monday, December 3rd from 6-7 p.m., Minnetrista Theater Preserves will present a family friendly production of Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol" with a new spin on the classic story. We hope this version will inspire families to read the classic book together this holiday season.

On Wednesday, December 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. enjoy Christmas jazz tunes at the annual holiday concert of the Richmond Jazz Orchestra as they perform at MRL. You're sure to recognize many of the performers as the group is made up of local Richmond musicians. Toe-tapping favorites sure to ignite holiday memories from years past.

Both events will be hosted in the Bard Room at Morrisson-Reeves Library, 80 North Sixth Street, Richmond. For more information, call 765.966.8291.

New Documentary Explores Local History of Gennett Records

Posted November 26, 2018

A new documentary from WTIU Public Television, The Music Makers of Gennett Records, set to air on Sunday, November 25th at 8pm, tells the story of the Gennett Recording Studios including rare 1920 recordings, interviews with some of today's most celebrated performers as well as touching on the progressive nature of Gennnett during a time of racial segregation.

Once located on the banks of the Whitewater River in the center of Richmond, Gennett Records recorded many groundbreaking recordings from some of the greatest musical performers of the time. Gennett became the place in the country to record jazz, country, gospel, sounde effects and more. Musicians of the 1920s, 30s and 40s, including Hoagy Carmichael, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Gene Autry and Jelly Roll Morton, flocked to Richmond to record their music. This amazing feat earned us the nickname "Cradle of Recorded Jazz".

Today, you can walk the same grounds where these historic musicians once played. The Gennett Walk of Fame located in the Whitewater Gorge offers a serene opportunity to walk among the stars. The Walk consists of large ceramic and bronze medallions featuring the images of the artists honored and a brief history of their musical accomplishments.

Following the premiere on WTIU and a Facebook Live on the same day/time, The Music Makers of Gennett Records will be available to watch on the website below from November 26 through December 26. DVD and BluRay copies of the program will be available for the public to purchase starting in April 2019.

The Music Makers of Gennett Records is made possible with production support from the Earlham College, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau, and the Al Cobine Recognition Endowment Fund.

Singles Interaction Newsletter - November 2018

Posted November 26, 2018

Supplied Flyer: December Interactions Newsletter

If you are 21 years of age or better and single, divorced, widow or widower, Singles' Interaction invites you to join them on Friday nights. Come to the Eagles Lodge, 75 South 12th Street, Richmond (membership not required) and meet other single people in the Richmond area.

Come, socialize, dance, and enjoy yourself!

LifeStream's AngelWish Program Makes the Holiday Season Brighter for Isolated Senior Citizens in Need

Posted October 15, 2018

Supplied Flyer: AngelWish

LifeStream Services is asking for your help in brightening the holidays for isolated seniors in need in East Central Indiana. AngelWish is LifeStream's annual campaign to spread holiday cheer to isolated seniors and people with disabilities. The program coordinates doorstep delivery of packages of food, personal care items, practical necessities, and gifts.

For many senior citizens across Indiana, the holiday season can be the loneliest time of the year. That's where LifeStream's AngelWish comes in. For over 20 years, generous businesses, clubs, organizations, churches, and individuals have come together as a community to ensure the most vulnerable are not forgotten during the holidays.

Last year alone, LifeStream delivered 1,491 gift packages. LifeStream is excited to touch the lives of even more seniors this holiday season as the program is offered across their 12 county service area – Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Union, and Wayne counties.

Below is how individuals and organizations can support the AngelWish program:

  • Volunteer: LifeStream will need assistance in packaging gifts, as well as delivering gift bags to the AngelWish recipients.
  • Donate Items: LifeStream is seeking donations of practical necessity items to place in this year's bags. Suggested items include peanut butter, tuna, soups, bath soap, hand lotion, shampoo, deodorant, denture cleaner, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, dish washing liquid, tissue paper, etc. Pick up/drop off of items should be coordinated no later than December 1.
  • Sponsor: Benefits can include logo and name listed on print and online materials, name listed in Streamlines newsletter delivered to over 3,500 homes and businesses, as well as the opportunity to provide promotional materials.
  • Monetary Donations: With every $25 donation, a senior will receive a gift bag and a requested gift of their choice. Checks should be made payable to LifeStream Services and mailed to 1701 Pilgrim Blvd., Yorktown, IN 47396. Please note AngelWish on the check.

Those interested in supporting the AngelWish program should contact Laura Bray, Volunteer Services Administrator, by calling 765-759-3372 or emailing You may also fill out the support form by visiting

LifeStream is an Area Agency on Aging that works to improve the quality of life for people at risk of losing their independence. LifeStream serves over 23,000 seniors and people with disabilities throughout 12 counties in Indiana including Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Union, and Wayne. Programs and services include care management, transportation, in-home care, Senior Cafes, home-delivered meals, guardianships, caregiver support, home modifications, information and assistance, volunteer opportunities and more. For more about the organization call (800) 589-1121 or visit online at and follow on Facebook at

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The highest point in Indiana is located in Wayne County, northwest of Bethel. At 1,257 feet, it is known as “Hoosier Hill”, but that title is a bit ironic.