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Meals on Wheels welcomes director

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GREENFIELD — Kathleen Vahle put in a little early overtime Monday as she stayed through normal business hours and sorted through her second day as Meals on Wheels of Hancock County executive director.

Vahle assumed the lead role at Meals on Wheels on Friday and was still acclimating to her new office after outgoing executive director Melissa Ewald’s departure in December after five years.

Vahle brings over 20 years of nonprofit, fundraising and marketing experience to the position with a special emphasis on senior nutrition, she said.

Through her association with Elders At the Table (E.A.T.) Coalition in Indianapolis, a cooperative effort by 22 organizations to ensure Central Indiana’s seniors who need assistance receive daily meals, Vahle said she is familiar with and understands not only the mission of Meals On Wheels of Hancock County, but also the clients it serves.

“Since I became connected with E.A.T., I’ve seen such a great need to address hunger, especially senior hunger,” Vahle said.

In addition to her event planning, management and fundraising experience for various organizations including the Nina Scholars Program at Ivy Tech Community College, Vahle also brings a background in grant writing to the table, which is what drew board members’ attention.

“We had several applications and conducted two rounds of interviews,” said board chair Scott Wooldridge. But it was Vahle’s grant-writing ability that set her apart, he said.

“During the interview, she brought us several opportunities that we had been missing. She definitely did her homework,” he said.

Board treasurer Andrew Jackson agreed.

“She has a lot of experience running nonprofits and fundraising,” Jackson said. “She’ll definitely know how to lead our organization.”

Originally from Philadelphia, Vahle moved to Hancock County 10 years ago and currently resides in Fortville. She is married and has two children.

In addition to raising awareness for Meals on Wheels’ mission and clients, the first major event planned for the group under her tenure is the Sumptuous Settings annual dinner and silent auction fundraiser.

This year, the event will be held April 26 at the Indiana Grand Casino in Shelbyville. Tickets for the event will be $35, and the organization is currently seeking donated items for the silent auction and corporate sponsorships, Vahle said.

For more information, contact Meals on Wheels at (317) 477- 4345.

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