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Conquering Life and the Ocean’s Seven

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Writer / Janelle Morrison  •  Photographer / JJ Kaplan The quest began more than 25 years ago when Zionsville resident Jim Barber decided that he wanted to become part of an elite group of swimmers to achieve the Ocean’s Seven. The Ocean’s Seven consists of seven long-distance open-water swims and is considered the marathon swimming equivalent of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. The challenge includes the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Molokai Channel, Cook Strait, Tsugaru Strait and the North Channel. Barber has completed three of the seven swims upon first attempt. He is preparing for his fourth, ...

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Piano Woman: Local Octogenarian Teaches Music and Life Lessons

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Writer / Rebecca Wood  •  Photographer / JJ Kaplan For over a half century, Jeanette Vawter has taught music out of her home. Thousands of students have tapped her piano keys and strummed her stringed instruments. Preschoolers have wiggled to Vawter’s beats while doting parents share in the joy. They’ve come to learn music fundamentals from this seasoned teacher, but they’ve stayed because what Vawter teaches transcends what can be gleaned from the pages of a piano book. At 85 years old, Vawter can best be described as spry. She maintains a schedule that those decades her junior would consider ...

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Kind Kate: Zionsville Woman’s Campaign to Spread Kindness

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Writer / Rebecca Wood Photographer / JJ Kaplan A few years ago, my tween son started a dog walking business. He printed flyers advertising his services and tucked them into neighbors’ mailboxes. Then he waited anxiously by the phone for a barrage of calls. Kate McGormley was the first one to contact my son. They made arrangements to meet. The next day, my son and I arrived at McGormley’s home and chatted with her about her pups. Within minutes of conversing with McGormley, I concluded two things: 1) She was perfectly capable of walking her own dogs, and 2) she ...

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Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Project: Honoring Veterans with Jill Fewell


Writer  /  Kara Reibel Photography  provided Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans is an initiative created by the Department of Defense to honor those who fought for our country during the Vietnam War. 2015-2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the homecoming of our troops from this unpopular war. Their return was far from celebrated, and these recent efforts are better late than never. Marking this historic anniversary is the creation of a Commemorative Gift to be given to all seven million Vietnam veterans with 150,000 of these brave men and women in Indiana. The gift is the first of its kind to ...

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Biking Around the Circle

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Monument Circle holds the 7th Annual Indy Criterium Bicycle Festival Writer  /  Demi Lawrence Downtown Indianapolis’ Monument Circle will be alive and booming on Saturday, July 9 as it holds the 7th Annual Indy Criterium Bicycle Festival from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. This family-oriented event is free to the public, offering amateur and professional bike racing, a Freewheelin’ Family Fun Ride with 1 mile and 3 mile events, BMX stunt shows and so much more. 100 percent of the proceeds from this all-day affair will go toward benefiting Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, a local youth development organization that uses bicycles ...

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Sue Ellspermann is Leading by Example


Writer  /  Kara Reibel Photography  provided We teach what we’ve been taught. We help others in the manner that we have experienced. Sue Ellspermann shares her mentors and those who have impacted her life along with her plans for leadership of Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the largest singly-accredited statewide community college system in the entire country. The new President of Ivy Tech Community College, Sue Ellspermann hails from the beautiful town of Ferdinand where she’s lived since the age of 2. One of six children, Sue and her two sisters worked in their father’s small jewelry store after ...

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Life’s a Beach Whiskey

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Writer / Janelle Morrison  Coming soon to a liquor store near you, the smooth and exceptional Beach Whiskey brand will be debuting “re-imagined” whiskey in the Indiana markets by the end of summer. Beach Whiskey LLC Chief Executive Officer Smoke Wallin is a Carmel resident and is a well-known “serial entrepreneur.” Wallin is also CEO of Carmel-based Taliera. He has a successful track record in the beverage industry. He created Cameron Springs Company, the bottled water company that was eventually sold to Nestle Corporation in 2000. Among many of his accomplishments, Wallin was the founder of eSkye.com, a software company ...

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A Summer Guide to Better Health


Writer / Stephanie Carlson Miller Do you want to feel energetic? Prevent illness? Ease chronic pain? Relieve stress? Remove toxins and heal naturally? Get moving on the path toward improving your quality of life by transforming your mind, body and spirit. Dive into goal setting and commit to wellness, a habit-forming, motivating way to live a more balanced and productive life. Regardless of your current level of fitness or age, from young mothers and seniors to cancer patients and those who suffer from serious ailments, a community of competent coaches and specialists are lined up to help jumpstart your sprint ...

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Join Us For The Country’s Finest Juried Art Fair


The Talbot Street Art Fair is the longest running outdoor art fair in central Indiana. Since its beginning in 1956, organizers have strived to make each year better than before. Celebrating this year its 61st year, the fair features over 250 artists both locally and from across the United States. The artists converge on Talbot Street between 16th and 20th Streets to present their work in many mediums. These include sculpture, glass, painting, jewelry, photography, ceramics, wood, printmaking, mixed media and fiber. The host neighborhood, Herron-Morton Place, invites several food venues to the site, so refreshments can be purchased while ...

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Summer Getaways in Fort Wayne


Within a few hours’ drive, a heartwarming getaway awaits in Fort Wayne, Indiana! Fort Wayne offers the big city attractions and activities that you’re looking for in a friendly, affordable city that will warm your heart. From catch-them-before-they’re-gone experiences to tried and true favorites, Fort Wayne has a great family getaway in store for you this summer! Start your getaway at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, consistently named “One of the Top 10 Zoos in the Nation.” Families are encouraged to “tickle their tress in the treetops” on the Sky Safari, travel through the Australian Outback on a river log ...

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