Group begins work on community projects

GREENFIELD — The 2016-17 class of Leadership Hancock County broke up into groups recently and began work on their community projects. The six projects are an eclectic collection of initiatives sponsored by nonprofit groups and will help the classmates develop their teamwork skills.

The groups will produce presentations on their projects that they will present at their graduation in May. Here are summaries of the projects and the team members who will undertake them.

Backpacks of Hope

Team members: Jennifer McMillan, NineStar Connect; Debbie Grass, Eastern Hancock High School; Jennifer Frye, city of Greenfield; Jennifer Stanley, Hancock Regional Hospital.An inventory system and a marketing and fundraising strategy for Backpacks of Hope, a county organization that provides backpacks filled with supplies to people in Hancock County.

Sexual assault awareness

Team members: Rachel Cremeans, Kindred Healthcare; Aaron O’Connor, Hancock Regional Hospital; Summer Grinstead, city of Greenfield; Robert Harris, Hancock County Sheriff’s Department; Rachel Dennis, Alternatives Inc.A fundraiser event — including a schedule for planning and advertising the event — for Alternatives Inc., an Anderson-based domestic and sexual violence shelter that strives to eradicate domestic and sexual violence in central Indiana through education, prevention and intervention. Alternatives has an office in Hancock County.

Little Free Library

Team members: Lisa Thompson, Hancock Regional Hospital; Rob Caird, Greenfield Banking Co.; Susie Coleman, Greenfield-Central High School; Marie Felver, Hancock County Community Foundation.A dedicated volunteer corps for Little Free Library Hancock County to oversee, maintain and stock the small library stations located throughout the county.

Greenfield murals

Team members: Laurene Lonnemann, Elanco; Cindi Holloway, Hancock County Public Library; Regina Jackson, Hancock Regional Hospital; Dede Allender, CGS Services/Hancock County Solid Waste Management DistrictIdentification of sites and preliminary work for murals in Greenfield. This project, sponsored by the Hancock County Arts and Cultural Council and Greenfield Main Street, focuses on researching the history of several downtown buildings that are in prime locations for a mural that relates to the original history of that building.

School sensory garden

Team members: Matt Davis, J.B. Stephens Elementary; Kimberly Sombke, Buck Creek Flooring; Teresa Smith, Hoosier Hear Gear; Hancock Regional Hospital

A plan for a sensory garden to be established at J.B. Stephens Elementary School, which will allow other schools to follow the plan. Teachers will use the garden to complement their lessons.

The Landing

Team members: Mike Graf, Greenfield Banking Co., Nicole Mann, Jane Pauley Center; Mike Schull, Hancock County Public Library; Monica Sexton, NineStar ConnectA website for The Landing, a Greenfield clearinghouse for young people who need guidance, substance abuse intervention and education. The website will feature testimonials and resources for young people who are at risk, said director Linda Ostewig.

Leadership Hancock County

Leadership Hancock County is a tuition-supported leadership academy that immerses budding leaders throughout the county in leadership discussions and experiences during an eight-month program.

The organization was formed in the 1990s with the mission to inspire residents to foster the traits needed to take on positions of leadership within the community.

For more information about Leadership Hancock County, visit