Batesville Area Resource Center

It’s been a sometimes arduous four years, but the Batesville Area Resource Center has finally reached its full giving capability.

The newly-remodeled center at Huntersville and County Line roads was officially dedicated at an open house ceremony Friday, Oct. 5. A number of community dignitaries were on hand to celebrate with the building’s newest tenants, BARC’s board of directors and a pair of honored guests.

Angela Byers Weldishofer, BARC’s board president, introduced Doug Bessler and Jackie Fledderman, saying the “building was made possible because of you.” She noted Bessler and the late Ron Fledderman, Jackie’s husband, initially approached the city of Batesville about donating the building to rehouse the local food pantry, run by the Batesville Area Ministerial Association.

“We really appreciate what you guys have sacrificed and done for us,” she added.

Pastor Roger Dean, BAMA president, recalled the former pantry. “We’re blessed to be part of this project,” he said. “We know what the old pantry was like. We were told if we plugged in one more freezer, the old building might burn down.

“This has allowed us to serve more clients, store more food and save money by buying in bulk,” he added. “It’s increased the people we can help, mainly the working poor who are trying, but can’t quite make it.”

Representatives of each of the building’s five new tenants briefly explained their services.

Brenda Konradi of One Community, One Family said her organization mentors parents of children in need of mental health services and other support. She liked the idea of clients stopping in for one service and being immediately referred to a number of other helpful resources.

Project T3 (Totes for Tots and Teens) is a go-to resource for children placed in foster care or group homes. “Over the past year, we’ve supplied over 2,300 backpacks filled with items to children in 15 counties,” said Lisa Haessig. “Since 2007, we’ve given out over 15,300 backpacks.”

Jennifer Tackitt, Indiana executive director for Choices Coordinated Care Solutions, introduced her organization as a counseling service for people – namely expectant mothers – with substance abuse disorders.

River Valley Resources focuses on adult education in six area counties, said Mary Abrams. Classes for those 16 and up are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-8 p.m.

Kimberly Elliott of Southeastern Indiana Economic Opportunity Corp. Community Action Partnership said she’s “very excited to be part of this innovative program.” She added it’s like a one-stop shop, covering insurance, prescription assistance and utility assistance, among other benefits.

“When families are healthy, the entire community benefits,” said Byers Weldishofer. “The tireless weeks and months of this project have been nothing short of a life experience for everyone. We’re blessed to live in a caring community.”

Mayor Mike Bettice echoed the sentiments. “We’re blessed to have so many people who care about Batesville,” he said. “Many people around the city have donated generous support. That speaks well to what we support; for that, we’re very grateful.”

The final piece of business was to unveil a plaque commemorating the late Eunice Fledderman and Agnes Bessler.

Byers Weldishofer also thanked Rising Sun Regional Foundation for a $40,000 donation, the city of Batesville as an “incredible partner” and Buck Hoog for hours of construction work on the remodel.