Shannon Hunsucker is invested in Medora.
She moved there from Harrison County nine years ago to join the Reach for a Star after-school program staff and has helped provide important educational and fun activities for students.
Then last year, she was a part of a Leadership Jackson County project team that completed a revitalization project at the town park.
Now, she will be able to continue those improvement efforts at the park after the Medora Town Council unanimously approved her as the new park board president.
During a recent meeting, Council President Jerry Ault said the previous president, Junior Bowers, had submitted his resignation and recommended Hunsucker for the role.
“(Hunsucker) was the lead person in getting our park straightened out and did an awesome job doing it,” Ault said. “I myself would love to see her be head of the park board.”
After reading through the town ordinance and getting some questions answered, Hunsucker agreed to do it.
“I’ve done a lot of work over there as it is, and that’s what (Bowers) was saying, that I was already putting the time in,” Hunsucker said. “It’s another thing to help the town and help our kids, somewhere safe for them to be able to go and activities to participate in and something fun to do.”
According to the ordinance, the park board must consist of a president, a vice president, a secretary and a groundskeeper. Hunsucker said she is talking to some people about serving on the board.
“I have people in mind. I haven’t spoken to all of them yet,” she said.
In 2020, Hunsucker and fellow members of the Leadership Jackson County youth project team, Brian Hamp, Makenzie Smith, Jolie Voss and Jill Willey, raised $10,909 to improve the playground at the park at First and George streets.
They received $250 that the LJC board of directors sets aside for each project team, $1,159 from a GoFundMe account and a $9,500 grant from the Owen-Carr Township Community Fund through the Community Foundation of Jackson County.
Also, Blue River Services, which oversees the Reach for a Star after-school program at Medora Community Schools, had a used playground feature at a facility in Marengo it was willing to donate, so volunteers traveled there to bring the pieces back to Medora to assemble.
Once the equipment was placed, youth from First Baptist Church and Calvary Baptist Church in Seymour and an adult leader spread 2 tons of mulch around the play feature and swing set, and LJC project team members installed new swings and put flowers in pots.
Since then, the basketball court was lined to also include four square and hopscotch; new picnic tables, equipment and trash and recycling cans were added; and benches, flowerpots and a Little Free Library were placed around an existing concrete block.
During the Jackson County United Way Day of Caring on Sept. 11, 2020, the LJC team and volunteers from Schneck Medical Center in Seymour provided a fresh coat of paint to the swing set, concrete block, basketball hoops and chain-link fence.
Looking forward, Hunsucker said she already has some ideas in mind for the park.
“I feel like we’ve got the playground in better shape,” she said. “I would love to see some improvements over on the ballpark side. I’ve started with some connections there to see what we can do. I’m not even above doing something totally different than softball or baseball.”
She is going to put out a survey to get feedback from residents, including ideas for events and activities.
“I’m going to send out a survey and see what the community members think, and then a lot of it will just be built off of that,” she said. “There’s such a huge area there, and it’s not being used. I feel like the more activities we could do over there, we could get hosted over there, the better. Plus, bringing people into town. I’m excited.”