Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


April 17, 2013

Kids’ Closet heroes

Greensburg — Today I’ll tell you about my grand adventure last week and expose some heroes you probably know, but before that - just a few more words about Fred E. “Skinny” Clemons who was born and raised in Greensburg and became famous in the race car news worldwide.

For those not on the Internet but interested in Clemons or racing, have someone print out copies of a few stories and pictures about him. An interesting fact, in 1925 he managed the Rushville motor speedway’s new dirt track. He and his wife Mabel had a daughter, Betty, who married Albert M. Rust, the subject of recent columns about his surviving the sinking of the Thomas McKean in 1942.  

Betty Clemons and Albert Rust had a daughter, Judy Rust Bodwell, who shared the story of her father and grandfather with me.

You will find that people continue to treasure a Clemons motor. There is a car he built that is on display in Europe. Why not in Greensburg? No idea. County Historian Russell Wilhoit sent a picture of Clemons’ marker at South Park Cemetery that the Daily News will print if there is room. Russell said he is adding Clemons’ memorial to his cemetery tour.

What does the word hero mean to you? A thesaurus gave as examples: brave man, superman, champion and conqueror. I prefer champion. See what you think after reading about my adventure last week.

I stopped by the Christian Church annex to see for myself what the “Kids’ Closet of Decatur County” is all about. Waiting in line were about 30 children with several adults. These were kids from kindergarten through the fifth grade. Already I was impressed. You may find this hard to believe but every one of those youngsters was well behaved.

One little girl sported a pretty little blouse. Another had on jeans with some sparkle on them. I thought of the Kids’ Closet” motto, “All kids deserve to feel special.” Sue Abplanalp had told me, “Sometimes all it takes for a child to feel special or get a boost of confidence is a new pair of shoes or a cool pair of jeans.”

The door opened where Jerry Abplanalp and Celia Grise were ready to help with registering. No financial information is taken or necessary. The only requirement is that the child be accompanied by an adult. Then we went downstairs where former teachers Sue Abplanalp, Judy Glore, and other volunteers were helping the children find what they wanted. More volunteers were due at 5 p.m.

Sue said many volunteers are teachers or former teachers, “because they know the need and they know what a boost it can give to a child. That boost can actually help their grades.” She said this project is intended to serve a group of students that don’t qualify for school lunches but still need help. Parents and teachers know how children experience growth spurts, and that a few new clothing items can make a huge difference when the season changes.

The kids remained well behaved, but the excitement was evident in their faces. Sue showed me a room that Lions Club members had built for the Kids’ Closet. That was a tremendous help. There is one room for the girls to try on items and another for the boys. Clothing is sorted by color and size which makes it easier for the kids to choose their items.

The heroes? Well, Sue and Jerry Abplanalp who started the Kid’s Closet, then there are the First Christian Church leaders that have given space, then there are the Lions Club members that built those marvelous shelves, then there’s Aldi’s that gave bags for the chosen items, then last, but totally vital, the volunteers including Melanie, Destiny, Steve and Chris Moore, Diana Horstman, Kelly Belt, Linda Newman, Barb Wolford, Jewell Chambers, Erica Kramer, Bonnie Fischer, Benna Moore, Rhonda Schmeltz, Cheryl Tarplee, Marilyn Frensemeier, April and Julie Hershauer, Sherry Stout, Bill Pratt and Krista Harmon. Yes, all heroes. Sue said there are about 45 volunteers, each one badly needed and they are hoping that more will volunteer. They are needed to wash, sort and hang donated clothing. They need more volunteers to work the day the Kids’ Closet is open.

The Kids’ Closet is run only on donations. Wal-Mart gave a $750 grant last year and the Decatur County Foundation gave a $1,500 grant. Churches help in many ways and Sandcreek Baptist Church gave an exceptional donation. As you can imagine, donations of new and slightly used clothing are always needed as are new underwear and socks.

What the Kid’s Closet volunteers need to now is form a board of directors. They need more donations, they need people that can explore grant options and they need more volunteers.


Text Only
  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Nature’s BountyOur daughters were raised in the country and definitely couldn’t be considered “citified” children. Not with Dad around! From the time I was a little boy, I learned there are a lot of good things coming from the wild, and I set about e

    July 29, 2014

  • Word of advice So, what’s the word?Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which th

    July 29, 2014

  • 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures INDIANAPOLIS – Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Brian Howey: Rising up to meet Putin's thuggery BLOOMINGTON – Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of the Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my pa

    July 29, 2014

  • Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th

    July 24, 2014

  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Early Migratory Bird 2014 Season Dates The 2014 early migratory bird season dates have been submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Indiana DNR as listed below. The dates are not final until the USFWS approves them, which typically hap

    July 24, 2014

  • Why incumbents get reelected Incumbents are masters at posing as outsiders, when in fact they are insiders who produce the Congress they disdain. It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its

    July 24, 2014

  • Lessons from the largely forgotten war As we approach the official date on which the First World War started, July 28, 1914, when the first shots were fired by the Austro-Hungarians who invaded Serbia, it’s appropriate to think about the lessons that catastrophic event has taught us one h

    July 24, 2014

  • Protecting Indiana's agricultural heritage With the 4-H fairs in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about agriculture. Since Indiana became a state back in 1816, agriculture has played a vital role in our livelihood. For those who are not from Indiana, our state is practica

    July 22, 2014

  • Improving Indiana's infrastructure It is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.