United Way at 100: $4.75M is the goal
100th campaign kicked off Thursday, adding incentives for new donors, increased giving, aiming at a target higher than in 2022.
Thanks to the ongoing support from Long Center for the Performing Arts, sponsor of today’s edition. The Laughayette Comedy Festival starts Oct. 1 with multiple shows in Long Center, Lafayette Theater and other venues. For show details and tickets, go to longpac.org or click on the flier below.
UNITED WAY SETS GOAL FOR CAMPAIGN 100: United Way of Greater Lafayette entered its 100th year by bumping its goal to $4.75 million, up from what the campaign brought in during the past two years.
“This is going to allow us to build over last year,” Kris Kessler, co-owner of Stall & Kessler’s Diamond Center and the 2023 campaign chair, said during a campaign kickoff Thursday at GE Aviation in Lafayette.
“It’s going to give us a target we can hit,” Kessler said. “And a target I believe we’ll exceed.”
The past two campaigns, in 2022 and 2021, have come in just over $4.6 million. Those totals were shy of the $5 million raised in each of the four, pre-pandemic-year campaigns before that.
Last year’s campaign received gifts from roughly 8,000 people, who put contributions toward supplementing budgets of 26 Greater Lafayette nonprofit agencies working in community health, financial and educational fields.
Kessler said the campaign this year would be structured to reach roughly 10,800 donors, with particular emphasis on getting people in younger demographics involved with first-time donations and volunteer opportunities.
The campaign includes a new set of discounts through assorted Greater Lafayette restaurants and businesses for anyone who gives a new gift of $100 or increases giving from last year by $100. (Details for what’s being dubbed the Century Club are here: www.uwlafayette.org/centuryclub).
The United Way also will host its second annual Run United 5K on Oct. 28 at the Tippecanoe County Amphitheater. (Registration here: uwlafayette.org/5k.)
What it supports: The United Way helps support the American Red Cross, The Arc Tippecanoe County, Bauer Family Resources, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America Sagamore Council, Lyn Treece Boys & Girls Club, Family Promise of Greater Lafayette, Food Finders Food Bank, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Hanna Community Center, Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, Lafayette Adult Resource Academy, Legal Aid Corp. of Tippecanoe County, LTHC Homeless Services, Mental Health America-Wabash Valley Region, NAMI West Central Indiana, Riggs Community Health Center, Right Steps Child Development Centers, The Salvation Army, Tippecanoe Senior Services, Lafayette Family YMCA, Heartford House, HomesteadCS, Willowstone Family Services, Wabash Center and YWCA Greater Lafayette.
The campaign runs through Nov. 16.
What you can do: To donate or to get your company involved, check out uwlafayette.org/donate.
TOYOTA TSUSHO EXPANSION PROSPECTS: The Lafayette Redevelopment Commission on Thursday recommended a seven-year tax abatement on $15 million in equipment Toyota Tsusho America is looking to install for tire and wheel assembly to support vehicles being built at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. plant on Indiana 38.
The abatement is contingent on Toyota Tsusho selecting a proposed warehouse site on Park East Boulevard, about a mile from SIA. John-Paul Volk, corporate counsel for Toyota Tsusho, said the company still was considering other potential sites, but that the commitment from the city for the personal property tax break would play a role in the decision to locate the operation in Lafayette. “This was a big step,” Volk said after Thursday’s unanimous vote by the Lafayette Redevelopment Commission.
Toyota Tsusho already has a facility on Haggerty Lane, where the company provides logistics work for SIA, receiving parts and then delivering them when needed to the plant just across the road. Volk said Toyota Tsusho’s role with wheel assembly would free SIA to expand operations on its existing plant.
According to the tax abatement application, the new Toyota Tsusho operations would include 50 new jobs, with a first line beginning in January 2025 and a second line in July 2025. Volk said that was a conservative number, with more than 50 jobs expected. The average wages listed in the application were $18 to $25 an hour.
The request later will go to the Lafayette City Council for a final vote.
TODAY’S A GOOD DAY TO LINE UP THE BASED IN LAFAYETTE REPORTING PROJECT, STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX. NEW OR UPGRADED SUBSCRIPTIONS, RIGHT HERE.
ISP POST OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY: The Indiana State Police will host an open house at its Lafayette Post, 5921 Indiana 43, just north of Interstate 65, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. ISP plans to have its specialty teams and resources on hand, including a police helicopter, SWAT team, K-9 unit and Explosive Ordinance Disposal team. The event is free.
JOYFUL JOURNEY CLASSIC, SUNDAY AT LOEB STADIUM: Joyful Journey will host its second annual celebrity softball game and home run derby from 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, at Loeb Stadium in Lafayette’s Columbian Park. The home run derby starts at 12:30 p.m.; entries are $25, with a $200 prize for the winner. The celebrity game starts at 2:30 p.m. Admission: Pay what you wish, with proceeds going to Joyful Journey, an adult day center that supports people with Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related conditions. For more details, advance tickets, to sign up for the home run derby or check auction items, go to: jjclassic.org
PURDUE’S BIG READ GETS ROLLING: The Purdue English Department’s annual Big Read starts in earnest Sept. 6, with “5 Things to Know about ‘Journey to the West,’” a talk and Q&A with Li Wei, a Purdue assistant professor in the School of Languages and Cultures. The talk will be 5 p.m. Sept. 6 at the West Lafayette Public Library, 208 W. Columbia St.
The Big Read has been going since 2017, aimed at bringing people together across the community for reading and discussion of timely, relevant works of literature. The books are free, funded through an endowment set up by donors Harriet Crews and Sandy Biggs, available at local public libraries.
This year’s pick, announced in the spring, is “Monkey King,” a 16th century epic that also goes by “Journey to the West,” by Wu Cheng’en. The version being delivered to libraries in Greater Lafayette is a 2021 translation by Julia Lovell, a professor of modern Chinese history and literature at Birkbeck College at the University of London.
For more information, schedules and how to get in on the Big Read, go to: www.cla.purdue.edu/academic/english/the-big-read
MACKEY SEASON TICKETS, SOLD OUT: Purdue men’s basketball announced Thursday that the allotment of 9,000 season tickets had sold out for the 2023-24 season. Of those, 99% of last year’s season ticket holders re-upped, the athletic department reported. It was the third consecutive year of season ticket sell outs. Didn’t get in on it? Cross your fingers that you know someone who did.
OTHER READS …
Here are a couple of takes from candidates in the 2024 race for Indiana governor.
U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, one of give Republicans vying for governor next year, was in Lafayette Thursday morning. Among the topics, Braun cast a critical view on the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s ongoing study and plans to draw millions of gallons of water a day from a Wabash River aquifer downstream from Lafayette and send it via pipeline to the 9,000-acre LEAP District development near Lebanon. J&C reporter Noe Padilla had a piece that included this from Braun: “Sometimes when you get so ahead of your skis, you spend all that money, you think that you would have researched, is there a local water supply?” For more from Braun, here’s Padilla’s full story: “Sen. Braun stops in Lafayette for campaign tour, talks GOP debate, LEAP, education.”
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, another Republican in the 2024 race, released a video Thursday promising to eliminate Indiana’s individual income tax if elected. Her vow met with plenty of skepticism from her opponents and others. Indiana Capital Chronicle reporter Whitney Downard had this: “Crouch proposes to ‘axe’ state’s income tax if elected governor. Competitor gubernatorial candidates pan the plan for lacking details.”
AND, FINALLY …: Cool moment Sunday in Indianapolis during Blues Traveler’s sold out stop at Rock the Ruins. Front man John Popper brought out LD Miller to lead the band in Bill Withers’ “Use Me.” Miller and Popper got to know each other in 2006, when Miller – then a 13-year-old student at Wainwright Middle School and harmonica player in the family project, the Clayton Miller Band – got advice from Popper on his way to a second-place finish in that season’s “America’s Got Talent.” They’ve stayed in touch. Which brought Miller, who lives in Lafayette, to the stage last weekend. Click on the post below to see the clip:
Thanks, again, to the ongoing support from Long Center for the Performing Arts, sponsor of today’s edition. Check details about the upcoming Laughayette Comedy Festival shows here.
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