Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

July 6, 2013

Heartland Cloggers dance on in spite of theft

By Brent Brown Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – It’s doubtful whoever kicked in Lois Bridges’ garage door last weekend had much of a plan behind his or her actions.

In true Grinch-like fashion, the as-yet unidentified perpetrator (or perpetrators) seemingly grabbed anything that looked to be of value in a late night heist at Lois’ East North Street residence. By the time it was over, the thieves had made off with the contents of a hefty toolbox, a few dozen music CDs, a large speaker, and what appeared to be a pair of CD players.

Only the items in question aren’t just any old CD players. The electronics stolen were Gemini audio systems purchased new by Lois at a cost of about $300 each. The players are an integral piece of each performance of the Heartland Cloggers, an area dance group led and choreographed by Lois. No audio system means no music for the two-decade old group’s members who dance – at no charge – at everything from the Decatur County 4-H Fair to nursing homes and assisted living centers in and around the Tree City.

They do it for the simple fun of dancing together, and each of the 10 members finds joy in bringing their unique style to every audience for whom they perform. It’s a sisterhood in every sense of the word – a dancing club that cares as much for one another as they do in brightening the days of those who watch them.

“We just go because we want to,” said Lois. “We don’t get anything out of it but the goodness.”

With no sound system and little to no music thanks to last weekend’s break-in, Lois and her Heartland Clogger “sisters” have found themselves in a bind. The group has planned a show at the upcoming Decatur County 4-H Fair, which is set to kick off the evening of July 16. Despite the lack of an appropriate sound system of their own, it appears the show will go on, provided the set-up is similar to last year’s. It’s also possible, Lois said, that some group members have copies of at least a few of the songs lost when the CD collection was taken.

Whatever the case may be, Lois and her friends have made one thing perfectly clear: They’re not giving up.

In the meantime, Greensburg Chief of Police Stacey Chasteen, who has officers investigating the break-in, told the Daily News that recovery of lost items in situations such as these is “about 50-50.” Lois contacted local pawn shops at the suggestion of local police, but has yet to recover anything she lost last weekend.

Whether or not Lois and friends ever see the pieces of their sound system again, the group isn’t about to give up doing what they love.

The Heartland Cloggers dance to everything from Gospel music to contemporary hip-hop, all in the hopes of giving smiles to members of their audience. They have met fellow folk dancers at conventions across the country and have attended functions together in Gatlinburg, Tenn. A favorite nearby destination for their shows is the Chateau in Batesville.

In the end, however, the venue matters little for the ladies of the Heartland Cloggers.

“We’ve done nursing homes, the county fair, state fair, several festivals,” Lois said, attempting to count the myriad places in which she and her dancing sisters have performed.

“I just don’t know why someone would do this,” she said when discussing the theft earlier this week. “I think it’s just a shame.”

If any reader has information regarding the recent theft at the East North Street home of Lois Bridges, contact the Greensburg Police Department at 812-663-3131. Anonymous tips may be left for detectives at 812-66CRIME.

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056