National Honor Society

Indiana Connections Academy recently inducted more than 60 students into its National Honor Society for the 2020–2021 school year. Included in the NHS class is Brianne McBride, Grade 11, from Greenville. As a full-time, online public school, Indiana Connections Academy conducted an online induction ceremony allowing students to recite the NHS pledge and to be recognized.

The induction recognizes high school students in Grades 11 and 12 who have demonstrated the four pillars of the honor society: everyday scholarship, service, leadership and character.

Baptist Health Floyd missing its volunteers

One of the many casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the volunteer program at Baptist Health Floyd.

March 6 was the last day volunteers, usually found at the information desks inside the front entrance, were allowed to work inside the hospital. The average age of the volunteers is 75, which puts them at a high risk for the virus.

“They are so important to us and we miss them,” said Becky Nunn, volunteer services program manager.

Nunn said there are around 160 hospital volunteers. It is estimated they donate 25,000 hours a year to the hospital, which equals 10 full-time employees. “It’s a big savings to the hospital,” Nunn said. “That generation has a very strong work ethic and a desire to give back to the community.”

Besides the front desk and waiting areas, volunteers also drive the hospital shuttle, sew pillows, work at various off-site facilities, deliver mail and help with special projects.

Nunn said there were around 200 volunteers in 2015 but that number has slowly dwindled. Some have passed away while others are no longer able to work. She said she hopes when it is safe for the volunteers to return to the hospital that they will all come back, and bring along a few new faces.

“I keep in touch with them,” she said. “I have employees ask about them all the time. It’s harder in outpatient areas without them as we open things back up.”

She said staff has had to deal with more phone calls and questions without volunteers sitting at the information desk. “They act as traffic managers,” Nunn said. “They are a caring group of individuals with a strong work ethic. I just don’t know when they can come back. I wish I could say next week.”

Nunn’s volunteer department hosts many fundraisers each year including uniform and jewelry sales, and all of those proceeds are donated to the Floyd Memorial Foundation for student scholarships. Volunteers are honored each year at a banquet. She said one volunteer was recently singled out for 30 years of service while another donated 25,000 hours.

“They have such a great relationship with the staff,” Nunn said. “The ones I keep in touch with are anxious to come back. They are very much missed. The staff gets very attached to them and they are great ambassadors for the hospital.”

Autumn Adventure Weekend

O’Bannon Woods State Park is hosting Autumn Adventure Weekend on Oct. 31, 2020 within the framework of Indiana’s guidance for event planning, including social distancing, mask requirements, hand-washing and sanitizing of program materials this year.

Events include campsite decorating, pumpkin carving, the great pumpkin scavenger hunt and a variety of other activities. This year, however, because of COVID-19, if trick-or-treating occurs at park properties, it will be only for campers and other overnight guests.

“We know that families from local communities enjoy visiting to trick-or-treat and get a look at all the decorated campsites,” said Ginger Murphy, deputy director for Indiana State Parks, “but in the interest of safety for everyone, this is one of those traditions we are putting on hold for a year.”

All celebrations will incorporate safety guidelines developed in conjunction with the State’s COVID-19 Executive Orders and Back on Track Plan.

Check the DNR calendar for great outdoor programs for everyone at calendar.dnr.IN.gov. Check for campsite availability at camp.IN.gov or call 866-622-6746 or find available state park inn rooms or inn-managed cabins at indianainns.com or 1-877-LODGES1.

Baptist Health Floyd Promotions

Mike Alexander has been promoted to director of Environmental Services at Baptist Health Floyd while Heather Shrum has accepted the position of director of Food & Nutrition Services.

Alexander has been part of the Baptist Health Floyd team since April 2019 as manager of environmental services and has more than 20 years of experience in Acute Care Environmental Services/Housekeeping Management.

Shrum has worked at Baptist Health Floyd as a registered dietitian since August 2017. Shrum is a graduate of Western Kentucky University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics.

Deadline for Disaster Assistance Applications

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, as the deadline to submit applications for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus (WHIP+) for 2018 and 2019 losses. USDA did not originally specify a deadline when the program was announced.

WHIP+ compensates producers for losses because of hurricanes, floods, snowstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, drought, excessive moisture, and wildfires occurring in calendar years 2018 and 2019. Drought and excessive moisture were added as eligible losses for the program in March 2020. To date, FSA has received more than 133,000 applications for WHIP+ disaster assistance and paid out nearly $1.4 billion in WHIP+ benefits.

For more information or application assistance, go to farmers.gov WHIP+ webpage, or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, go to farmers.gov/service-center-locator.

No meeting for Sunnyside Master Gardeners

Sunnyside Master Gardeners will not be hosting an in-person meeting for November. Go to the website https://sunnysidemg.org for a link to the Virtual Meeting via Webinar on Nov. 3, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. Cheryl Gilbert of Old Thyme Log House will be presenting DYI Greenhouses. The event is free and open to the public.