L to R Front row: John Myers, Kris Fitzgerald, Chris Schurick, and Joe Watts. Back Row standing: Polly Blackburn, Rondell Shelton, Ted Robertson, Superintendent Doug Carter, Colonel Mark French, Ty Lightle, Erik Smith, Bill Bradbury, Cory Robinson, Dale Mullikin, and Chris Effner. Not pictured is Jimmy Cruse and Brent Johnson.

Putnamville Troopers Enjoy Day with Disabled Students

Vigo County—Today, troopers from the Putnamville Post, along with some of their family members, took time out of their busy day to provide fun and fellowship to a group of men and women with disabilities at the local Terre Haute Happiness Bag Facility.

For the past several years, various troopers from the local post have donated their time and effort to play basketball with the Happiness Bag students with disabilities. The students have coined a term for the event titled “Indiana State Trooper Fun Day. The games with the Indiana State Police are eagerly anticipated every year by the students and are considered a huge success in the realm of compassion and fellowship.

During the heartwarming day, troopers and participants from Happiness Bag shared camaraderie, lunch and fun during several games of basketball. The competition was competitive in a fun way, but simple friendship was the order of the day. Dance entertainment during half-time was provided by students of HB known as the Happiness Bag Hipsters. At the conclusion of the day, troopers presented the athletes and dancers with achievement medals provided by Happiness Bag.

Present today in support of the troopers, their families, and Happiness Bag Inc. were ISP Superintendent Doug Carter and Colonel Mark French.

Participating troopers were Bill Bradbury, Polly Blackburn, Jimmy Cruse, Chris Effner (retired), Kris Fitzgerald, Brent Johnson (retired), Ty Lightle, Dale Mullikin (retired), John Myers, Cory Robinson, Ted Robertson, Erik Smith, Rondell Shelton, Joe Watts, and Evidence Clerk Chris Schurick.

ISP family members that participated were Morgan Finney, Sandra Smith, Xavier Smith, Keilani Smith, Austin and Blake Fitzgerald, Kate and Sara Hannon, Hunter King, Greta Johnson, Mandi, Bryson, and Bailey Scott, Kathy Watts, and Samantha, Sophea, and Sydnie Shelton.

In part, the Indiana State Police Mission Statement reads, “ISP personnel will immerse themselves into their communities, where they live and work, providing those communities with dedicated, compassionate, and comprehensive law enforcement services” and the Happiness Bag Mission Statement reads “Happiness Bag, Inc. is dedicated to providing adapted educational and recreational services and programs that encourage the unique potential of children and adults with disabilities”. Therefore, Saturday’s games were a simple collaboration of the mission statements of both agencies and considered a huge success.

Happiness Bag Incorporated is an independent, not for profit, United Way agency that provides recreational and educational programs and services to individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities in the Wabash Valley. For more information about Happiness Bag Inc., please contact Executive Director Jodi Moan at 812-234-8867.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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