LJC moves project presentations, graduation to July


The COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented the Leadership Jackson County class from meeting in person in recent months, but it isn’t stopping them from completing projects that will make an impact around the county.

Director Terrye Davidson recently told the LJC board of directors that the five project presentations will be given the morning of July 28 at Pewter Hall in Brownstown. Then the 22 members of the class will have lunch before participating in graduation.

All of that was supposed to take place May 21 at Seymour City Hall, but the class hadn’t been able to meet in person for monthly meetings and to work on their projects. Therefore, Davidson received approval to move the presentations and graduation.

That means the groups have more time to finalize their projects.

"They are all continuing," she said. "It took them awhile to really get started again, but I think that they are going to make the deadline."

Of the project teams, Davidson expressed a few concerns about two of them.

One is the youth team that’s going to revitalize to the Medora town park. One hurdle is volunteers have to travel to Marengo and Georgetown to pick up used playground equipment to place in the park, and then it will have to be installed.

That was set to be done ahead of time so volunteers could help clean it along with spreading mulch, painting, fixing broken swings and making other improvements at the park on Jackson County United Way’s Day of Caring in May. That event, however, has been postponed until Sept. 11.

Now, the project team is working with Medora officials to move forward with the project under the town’s insurance because the park is on town property.

"They’ve been in contact with the town and they were OK with it," Davidson said. "I encouraged them to try to go ahead and make that move, make it happen. I said if we wait until September, the kids in Medora are missing out on a whole summer (of playing at the park)."

Davidson said the project team has raised nearly $11,000 in donations, including a GoFundMe campaign that raised nearly $1,000, a grant from the Owen-Carr Township Community Fund and several in-kind donations.

"I hope we can get it (done) before the end of July, but I don’t know," Davidson said. "The moving of the equipment is the big thing, but they’ve got a plan."

The other project affected by the pandemic is the social concerns team’s efforts to create a website for people to connect with nonprofit organizations for volunteer opportunities.

The group was planning an event to meet with leaders of local nonprofits to work out the details, but the pandemic forced that to be canceled.

Now, they are communicating with the organizations via email in hopes of finalizing their project.

"I still think they’ll get some takers," Davidson said. "I don’t know how many … but they are moving forward, and they are sending out their information."

LJC’s youth leadership program, YoJack, also was impacted by the pandemic. Because schools closed and switched to eLearning, the seventh-graders in the class missed out on their final two meetings.

Once schools announce their plans for the 2020-21 school year, YoJack Director Karen Haas, Davidson and new LJC Director Rexanne Ude will work together to set the final two meetings and also get the fall YoJack class started.

Finally, the next LJC class is set to have its opening retreat Aug. 27 at Camp Pyoca in Brownstown. Ude will lead the 39th class, as Davidson has retired after nine years as director. Davidson is working on filling the final spots for the 22-member class so Ude is set to go. Monthly class meetings will continue through May 2021.

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For information about Leadership Jackson County and YoJack, visit facebook.com/leadershipjacksoncountyyojack.


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