By Bob Burchfield, Editor
One year ago today – August 12, 2014 – I had a heart attack, followed by open heart surgery with four bypasses and a mitral valve repair on August 20. According to the heart surgeon, all my arteries were 90-100% blocked.
But thanks to God and the superb skills of Dr. Peter Walts and a team of medical professionals at St. Vincent Heart Center in Carmel, I’ve survived for one more year so far. It’s a miracle, pure and simple.
For most of my entire adult life, I was a mess. I ate anything I wanted. I paid no attention to the rules for healthy living. Second and third helpings were routine at meal time. Never read a nutrition label in my life. Even though I got up to 273 some years ago, I thought I was OK. Hey…6’3” and 273? What a healthy guy!
Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Here’s the thing. You get up every morning and look into the mirror and you see the same guy. And that guy becomes familiar. You get used to him. And he looks OK to you, so you don’t think much about it, even though you know deep down inside that you are a fat, overweight, out of shape mass of blubber.
So on Tuesday, August 12, 2014, I woke up feeling uneasy. Felt like butterflies dancing across my chest. My feet were swollen. But I didn’t have any of that classic numbness in the arm that they talk about. So what did I do? I got dressed and went to work, like every other red-blooded American male who doesn’t want to admit that anything is wrong. Real men don’t go to the doctor, right?
In fact, I went to work on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday before the R.N. at my employer’s health center insisted that I go see a doctor–and followed up to make sure I kept my word. Barbara Kelly: I love you. You saved my life. As soon as the family doctor saw me, he sent me straight to the cardiologist on Friday, who in turn sent me straight to the St. Vincent Heart Center by ambulance.
When I went into St. Vincent I was around 260. Today I am at 182. That’s -78, if you’re doing the math. I’m 40 pounds less than the day I got married 43+ years ago. I’ve gone from a 44 tight to a 36 waist. Just had my six months’ checkup last Thursday: incredibly, my blood sugar is down from 500 to the 90’s and low 100’s. A1C, HDL, LDL and total cholesterol are all in the normal range, as are all the other blood readings they measured. How did I do it? I’m one stubborn old dude, and I simply got determined to get myself straightened out and do my best to try to improve my health.
Lesson learned? The right motivation makes all the difference.
I thought fat and calories were important. My straight-talking and shoot-from-the-hip cardiologist, Dr. Charles Taylor in Greenfield, has me counting carbs and sodium. Turns out if you watch those two, the other two seem to pretty much take care of themselves for the most part, as far as I can tell. So it’s a max of 30 carbs and 700mg of sodium per meal.
This means that you have to read the nutrition labels on everything. I can’t believe how much sodium there is in everything. For example, those packages of fat-free turkey in the deli section at your grocer are loaded with sodium, as much as 1300mg in a serving, according to some labels I’ve read.
So I’ve discovered that, generally speaking, much of the American food industry is killing us with loads of sodium in its products. That’s what makes it taste good, after all. But you can find an ample supply of low-sodium products if you just read the labels. And you know what? Eventually stuff that you would never have touched, like the unsalted dry roasted peanuts that I snack on almost every day, come to taste pretty darn good.
And I’ve learned that if the dominant color on your plate is green, you’re probably eating fairly healthy.
Dr. Taylor said, “If you do aerobic exercise every day for at least 30 minutes, sufficient to break a sweat, you can reasonably expect to live another ten years.” That kind of scared me, because I had a lot more than 10 years in mind. So I’ve been walking on the treadmill.
He said, “I want you to swim.” I said, “To be honest, sir, fat boys are kind of self-conscious about getting into the pool.” He shot back, “Do you want to be dead or embarrassed?” You’ve got to appreciate a guy who doesn’t beat around the bush! So I’ve done some swimming.
But in my personal opinion, although the two obviously work together for your benefit, it seems to me that what you put into your mouth is more important than what you put into your exercise routine. Dr. Taylor is probably going to kick my butt when he reads that statement.
So here is what I have done:
- Stopped drinking coffee. The first three questions on the doctor’s questionnaire are (1) Do you smoke? (2) Do you drink? and (3) Do you use caffeine? You mean to tell me that the 3rd most important question on the list is caffeine? Yes. Yes it is. So I quit. Haven’t touched it in a year.
- Stopped drinking wine. I got infatuated in 2014 by a particular sweet red wine from one of the local wineries in the Indianapolis area. Bought it by the case. That’s stupid. Wine is loaded with sugar.
- Started drinking water. I never drank much water before. My urine was yellow every day; a beautiful golden color often. That’s bad. If your urine is yellow, you aren’t drinking enough water. Now all I drink is 2-3 liters of water every day, or Crystal Light lemonade. No soda, no coffee, no wine, no milk, no Starbucks, etc. I’ve never tasted beer, which has no appeal to me whatsoever, so that isn’t an issue.I found Clear American Water at Wal-Mart. Just $0.98 for two liters. It’s carbonated flavored water (cherry, peach, key lime, strawberry, blueberry, grape, and many other flavors, too). No sodium. No caffeine. No sugar. No calories. All zeros on the nutrition label. It tastes GOOD which makes it easy to drink my water every day. You can find it in – where else? – the soft drink aisle.I took a bottle and showed it to my family doctor and also showed it to my cardiologist. Both said it is OK for me to drink. But please note that it is carbonated and contains aspartame, so you may not be able to drink it depending upon your particular health and medical needs. For example, I know three women who had bariatric surgery; they can’t drink carbonated products.
Stopped eating like a Hampshire pig. Off my list: all-you-can-eat buffets, Italian subs, double cheese pizzas, shrimp po-boys, chocolate, candy bars, bread, pasta, ice cream, bacon double cheeseburgers, red meat, cakes, pies, brownies (I loved brownies!), my beloved banana milk shakes, soft drinks of any kind (diet or not), and my personal favorite: that most classic of Hoosier delicacies, the breaded tenderloin.
So what do I eat?
8 ounces of non-fat Activia yogurt (blueberry, strawberry, or peach). Water. Once or twice a month: two scrambled eggs and two slices of turkey bacon.
Fiber One bar. Water.
Typically turkey pinwheels and a handful of unsalted dry roasted peanuts. Water.
A handful of raisins or a few chips with Red Gold salsa. Water.
Typically grilled chicken and green vegetables (peas, Brussel sprouts, green beans, broccoli—not from a can due to the sodium content in canned products). Water.
It ain’t rocket science, and it ain’t glamorous, but it gets the job done. Portion control is what it’s all about. My plates used to be packed wall-to-wall with food. Now they are half empty at the outset of a meal.
The dietitian at St. Vincent Heart Center drew up a battle plan for me before I was discharged. She told me I could have an occasional quarter pounder or bowl of ice cream if I really want it. But I’ve learned that I can live without it, and I’ve forced myself to stay away from most of the fast food restaurants.
I do have my weekly treat: Every Wednesday evening after work I have a Qdoba Burrito Bowl. No tortilla: tortillas are typically loaded with sodium. Just chicken cubes, black beans, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Tastes good, gives me some flavor, and not too bad from a health standpoint.
Other things I have had over the past year:
- Hardee’s chicken tenders with a side salad.
- The very good Cobb Salad at Jim Dandy Restaurant.
- About once a month I have a 6” club from Subway (yes the 6”, not the 12”), no cheese, just lettuce, tomato and onion.
- Veggie pizza from Papa Murphy’s. Not too expensive, so I don’t feel guilty about scraping off the toppings, tossing the crust, and just eating the toppings.
- My other occasional treat is a turkey sandwich from Arby’s (toss the bread).
- And twice in the past year I’ve had chicken fajitas from El Rodeo or Guadalajara Grill.
The cardiologist told me to eat lots of beans: black beans, pinto beans, red beans, Navy beans, etc. I said, “Pork and beans?” I got a dirty look in return. I always ask the guy at Qdoba for extra black beans.
Five days a week I eat dinner at home. That used to be five days a week I ate fast food at dinner time, often late at night after the university classes I was teaching as an adjunct faculty member. Not good.
I’m not trying to be sanctimonious about it, but now I look around my workplace and I see a hundred people who could seriously benefit from losing, let’s say, 50 pounds each. But I can’t say that to them. It would just make them mad. I know, because it would have made me mad if you had said that to me.
But somehow we’ve got to get the attention of those who are overweight and out of shape and are eating their way to an early grave. And here’s the thing: I really don’t need to say anything to you or anyone else. Because you know if you need to lose weight. Putting it off is just bringing your funeral closer to reality.
I know now that you’ve got to get motivated for yourself. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: The right motivation makes all the difference. So stop the denial and get yourself motivated.
So what will it take to get your attention?
- Are you going to wait until you get to the point that I did before you do something about it?
- Are you going to wait until you have a six-figure hospital bill like me?
- Are you going to wait until you have incisions and scars all over your body like me?
- Are you going to wait until you have to do rehab at the hospital three days a week like me?
- Are you going to wait until you are on a first-name basis with your pharmacist like me? “Hi Bob,” he says when I walk in the door! (14 meds at one point; even with group insurance and co-pays, that’s over $1,000 a year out of pocket.)
- Are you going to wait until you have to make weekly trips to the lab, like me, for a blood draw to test your Coumadin levels?
- Or are you just going to wait until it’s too late?
And I don’t want to forget to mention this: When I was doped up on all those meds after getting out of the hospital, there was one in particular that just kicked my ass: Metformin. It made me dizzy. It made me nauseous. I couldn’t keep anything down. I threw up everything I ate. And I lost 37 pounds in 37 days as a result. On Oct. 9, 2014, I leaned over to pick up my car keys, blacked out, fell full-force onto the sidewalk and broke my collarbone. I’m convinced it was because of all those meds. When they finally took me off Metformin, my head cleared up and I started feeling normal again. Take my word for it: you don’t want to take Metformin if you don’t have to! Another good reason to get healthy.
Finally, for several months, perhaps six or so, my mind would just go blank. I’d be looking at you and having a conversation when everything would just stop. And I couldn’t force myself to think or speak. This would go on for 10-20-30 seconds at a time. The cardiologist told me that this is the after-effects of the anesthesia! I was under anesthesia for about eight hours during my heart surgery.
And here’s the most difficult part of this saga for me: my best friend and mentor for more than 31 years died on May 31, 2015, the day after his 61st birthday—three years younger than me. Heart attack, same as me.
I don’t think he saw it coming; I know I didn’t. As far as I knew he was in good health. We corresponded on Facebook just a couple of days before he died. I made it. He didn’t. That’s really eating at me and making me feel really guilty. I can’t figure out why God kept me and took him. But maybe, if for no other reason, it was to write this blog post.
Do what you have to do to get motivated. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family. Do it for your colleagues and fellow employees (your gigantic hospital bills will affect their group insurance rates).
DO IT BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
I don’t know how much more time I have on earth. I’ll be 65 in less than two months. So it might be today or tomorrow, might be 10-20 years from now. Whatever the case, I’m going to try to do my best to extend it for as long as possible. I can do this.
You can do this, too. It ain’t rocket science. Eat right. Exercise more. The weight will come off, the numbers will improve, and you will be happier and healthier and live longer. Just remember that what works for me may not work for you. Each person has to find out for himself/herself what works. So talk to your doctor and follow the doctor’s orders. A $20 co-pay for a visit with your doctor is certainly better than a $600,000 hospital bill.
I don’t know what else I can say. If you’ve read this far, will you join me in this endeavor to get healthy and stay that way? Good luck and best wishes in your life journey!
By Jen Thomas
On behalf of Dig IN, a Taste of Indiana
Indiana’s favorite food festival – Dig IN, a Taste of Indiana – returns for the sixth year on Aug. 30, 2015 at White River State Park.
The farm-to-fork festival will feature more than 80 dishes and drinks prepared by some of the top chefs, food artisans, brewers and vintners from around the state.
“There’s no other event that brings together so many great Indiana chefs in one place, offering dishes that include local meats and off-the-vine produce grown and harvested right here in Indiana,” said Thom England, executive director of Dig IN.
A general-admission ticket for $35 ($45 after Aug. 23), includes all the samples, plus live performances by Indiana-based musical groups. It’s a menu like no other.
Try pickled shrimp with fried toast, pancetta mac & cheese, watermelon soup or grilled peach shortcake with wildflower Ridge Honey lavender crème.
There will be smoked beef, sweet corn (and street corn), pork carnitas with avocado mousse and fresh, stuffed tomatoes. Plus, there will be plenty of drink options to wash it all down, including more than 15 Indiana craft breweries.
The event is noon to 5 p.m., but an early admission ticket for $60 gets visitors in to begin tastings at 11 a.m. Or, for the ultimate VIP Experience for $120, you’ll get to savor your tastings in an air-cooled tent, plus get rare and reserve beer and wines, and enjoy additional foods prepared by Bluebeard, Milktooth, Recess and FARM Bloomington.
Purchase tickets in advance online at www.digindiana.org, or at the gate.
Following is the list of participants and the dishes they’ll be serving on Aug. 30:
18 on the Square – Pulled Pork and smoked sweet corn salsa
240sweet Artisan Foodworks – BBQ goat and sweet corn cake
Bee Coffee Roasters – Crimson Coffee Soda
Bea’s Soda Bar – Honey Blossom Crème Soda
Cerulean – Corn Pound Cake with Mango and Lime
Citizen Hash – Tijuana Bacon Street Corn
Circle City Soups – Pintxo of Mushroom and Goat Cheese
Circle City Sweets – Grilled Peach Shortcake with Wildflower
Ridge Honey Lavender Creme
Cobblestone Grill – Pork Carnitas with avocado mousse, sweet
corn relish and cilantro green tomatillo salsa
Delicia & La Mulita – Carnitas with yogurt-tomatillo salsa
Duo’s Indy – Scnabeltier Raclette with Heirloom Potato and House
Fresh Artistry – Hoosier stuffed tomatoes
Gates Catering – Sweet Corn Gnocchi with Grilled Fischer Farms Pork Belly, Blistered Anaheim Peppers and Traders Point Fleur de la Terre
Goose the Market and The Smoking Goose – Smoked Beef Sammy
J. Ford’s Black Angus – Oriental Brisket Steamed Buns with Pickled Chilies, Honey Ginger Scallion Mayo and Cilantro Greens
Joseph Decuis – Wagyu Manga Meatball Bahn Mi
Just Rennie’s Cookie Company – Just Rennie’s Cookies
Lasalle Grill – Braised and Chilled Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast
Late Harvest Kitchen/The North End BBQ – Rabbit Sausage with Giardiniera and Country Mustard
Local Eatery and Pub – Chicken and its lunch…. Cured, Braised and Grilled Chicken Drummettes, Corn Meal, Bacon Root Vegetable Gravy
Meridian – Hot Brown-Roasted Turkey, Bacon Jam, Mornay Sauce, White Bread, Tomato Salad
Mesh – Pickled Shrimp with Fried Toast
Napolese – Heirloom Tomatoes & Cottage Cheese
Natural Born Juicers – Live at the BBQ
Northside Social & Kitchenette – Pancetta Mac & Cheese
Nourish – Duck Confit Chilaquiles
OAKLEYS bistro – Red Chile Braised Duck w/a Scallion Masa Pancake and Lime Cilantro Crema
One World Catering – Goose with the Golden Egg – Saffron Pickled Egg, Smoking Goose Salumi, Raita, Tulip Tree Tuile
Peterson’s Restaurant – Trout In a Fur Coat
R2GO + R bistro – Confit of chicken thighs, watermelon soup + watermelon salad
Severin Bar – Stone Ground Grit Bar
Scratchtruck – Blackstrap Molasses & Sriracha Pulled Pork
Shoefly Public House – Peri Peri Roasted Sweet Corn
Soulshine Market – Sweet Potato Shawarma
Spire Farm-to-Fork Cuisine – Mushroom Ragout with Gnocchi, Jowl Bacon and Smoked Corn Coulis
Spice Box – Chicken Panache
Taxman Gastropub – Cheese and cracker
The Loft Restaurant at Traders Point Creamery – Composition of Tomatoes, Farmers Cheese and Indigenous Sunflowers
The Oceanaire Seafood Room – Roasted Elk with Corn and Pickled Jalapeño
Tinker Street Restaurant and Wine Bar – Tomato gazpacho with Watermelon Relish
Tulip Noir – Chilled Sweet corn Buttermilk soup
Union 50 – Beer-Braised Serrano Lamb Sausage
Valley Kitchen & Bar – Brush Your Shoulders Off
Bloomington Brewing Co.
Triton Brewing Company
Country Heritage Winery
Mallow Run Winery
New Day Craft
Dig IN, a Taste of Indiana 2015
Aug. 30, 2015, Noon to 5 p.m.
White River State Park, 801 W. Washington St., Indianapolis
ww.digindiana.org and at the gate, while they last
$35 for General Admission ($45 after Aug. 23)
$60 for Early Admission at 11 a.m.
$120 for the Ultimate VIP Experience, including:
• Parking in nearby underground garage
• Climate-controlled luxury restrooms
• Air-cooled tent
• Rare and reserve beers and wines available exclusive for VIPs
• Bistro table seating
By Jane Jankowski
Indiana Sports Corp.
When gymnastics fans and officials arrive in downtown Indianapolis to watch the USA’s and many of the world’s best gymnasts compete for national honors at the P&G Gymnastics Championships Aug. 13-16, 2015, they’ll also be treated to special events and activities in Bankers Life Fieldhouse and on adjacent Georgia Street.
For four days, Georgia Street will be transformed into a Brazilian festival featuring “Countdown to Rio” activities in recognition of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, athletes and officials from USA Gymnastics will kick off the P&G Championships Thursday, Aug. 13, at 11 a.m. before the first afternoon of junior women’s competition.
The kickoff will feature world famous gymnastics Coach Bela Karolyi and Hoosier Olympic gymnastics medalists who will be honored later that day at Back Home in Indiana night. 1996 Olympic team champion Jaycie Phelps and 2008 Olympic team silver medalists Samantha Peszek and Bridget Sloan will be recognized during pre-competition festivities. The Indianapolis Children’s Choir also will perform.
Countdown to Rio activities will be located on Georgia Street. The east block will become home to a 1,600-square-foot beach, where a sand sculptor from the Indiana Ice Studio will transform five tons of sand into gymnastics-themed sand art beginning Thursday, Aug. 13.
The west block will feature food trucks on Aug. 13 and 14. Participating trucks will offer discounts to P&G Gymnastics Championships ticket holders and will include healthy menu items approved by event partner St.Vincent Sports Performance. Food trucks also will be featured on Saturday, Aug. 15, on the east block of Georgia Street.
Well-known gymnastics celebrities, including 1996 Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller, 2004 Olympic all-around champion Carly Patterson, Peszek and Sloan will sign autographs on Georgia Street and Bankers Life Fieldhouse throughout the four days of competition. A schedule of locations and times for autograph signings will be posted onwww.pgchamps.com.
Before the senior women’s finals on Saturday, Aug. 15, Angie Miller, a 2013 American Idol finalist, will perform outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 6:15 p.m. Miller finished third on the hit television show and released her first extended play album last year. As fans leave the competition later that evening, they’ll be greeted by Brazilian music and a light display. The first 4,000 fans exiting the Fieldhouse will receive Olympic-themed glow sticks for the post-event entertainment.
Nearly 3,000 people are expected for the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show, an annual education event for the entire gymnastics community held in conjunction with the championships. The National Congress will be housed at the Indianapolis Convention Center and will feature presentations, demonstrations and educational seminars.
Here are fan activities for Georgia Street and inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Georgia Street Activities (free to the public)
· Bring your workout gear and participate in a special edition of “Workout Wednesday” led by Olympians Samantha Peszek and Bridget Sloan in the west block of Georgia Street. Wednesday, Aug. 12, noon to 12:45 p.m.
· Kick off the first day of competition with the Circle City’s Taste of the Championships on the west block. Food trucks will offer menu items that feature health conscious items that have been approved by St.Vincent Sports Performance. Participating trucks will also offer discounts for those who present their P&G Gymnastics Championships tickets or credentials. Thursday, Aug. 13, and Friday, Aug. 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
· Official Countdown to Rio activities in the east block include a scavenger hunt and activities for kids such as balance beam skills and creating carnival masks; an interactive live art project that will be unveiled during Sunday’s competition; special gymnastics-themed sand sculpture on a Georgia Street beach; Brazilian music; photo opportunity with the 3-D letter sculpture “Rio.” Local gymnastics clubs will give demonstrations: the Gymnastics Company on Thursday, Dana Mannix Gymnastics and The Flip Zone on Friday, and Fusion Gymnastics and Geist Sports Academy on Saturday. Fan zone is available Thursday, Aug. 13, and Friday, August 14, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 15, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
· Happy Hour Thursday in the center block of Georgia Street with an Olympic gymnast appearance. Thursday, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Must be 21 to enter
· Olympian Shannon Miller will sign copies of her book It’s Not About Perfect in the CNO booth on the east block. Thursday, Aug. 13, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
· Special performance by American Idol Season 12 finalist Angie Miller, outside Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. Saturday, Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m.
· Samba lessons, Saturday, Aug. 15, 5:50 p.m.
· Capoeira performance. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines dance, acrobatics and music. Saturday, Aug. 15, 5-5:30 p.m.
· DJ Kyle Long entertainment. Saturday, Aug. 15, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
· Healthy snack food trucks: Seoulrito, Nicey Treat, Natural Born Juicers. Saturday, Aug. 15, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
· Following the Saturday night competition, Brazilian music and light display adjacent to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse
· At Monument Circle, just blocks from Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Indianapolis Power & Light Building will have festive lighting each night featuring the Olympic rings and the American flag
Bankers Life Fieldhouse activities (event ticket required)
· Thirty Empowerment Through Performance banners created by members of gymnastics clubs and other youth organizations from throughout central Indiana will be displayed throughout the championships at the Convention Center and Bankers Life Fieldhouse
· AT&T will offer Road to Rio 3D opportunities on a virtual beach
Spectators can enjoy makeovers at the P&G Beauty and Grooming booth, including CoverGirl manicures and makeup application from professional artists. Gillette hot towel shaves will also be available. Participants can learn about CoverGirl, Pantene, Secret, Gillette and Venus and receive samples
Kids can learn about the importance of fitness at the interactive Kellogg’s Fitness and Nutrition Zone, which features physical activities in building balance, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise, all of which are fundamental to gymnastics. USA Gymnastics athletes will sign autographs for kids who participate in the zone’s activities before each senior session. Guests may also receive free samples of Kellogg’s cereal products
At the Under Armour Performance Center, fans of all ages can demonstrate their gymnastics abilities in three events. Take home a photo of your talents to share.
· Healthy food menu items, such as fruits, vegetables and healthy salads, will be available at two concourse concession stands as a part of The Circle City’s Taste of the Championships. The food options meet guidelines provided by St.Vincent Sports Performance
· On Friday night, Aug. 14, the first of two competition days for senior men, the 2015 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame class will be recognized. The class includes acrobatic gymnasts Kristin Allen and Michael Rodrigues of Livermore, Calif.; female gymnasts Mohini Bhardwaj of Los Angeles and Terin Humphrey of Kansas City; rhythmic gymnast Jessica Howard of Jacksonville, Fla.; trampoline and tumbling specialist Jennifer Sans of Burnsville, Minn.; men’s gymnastics coach Mark Williams of Norman, Okla.; and Doug Hills of Portland, Ore., and the late Dave Moskovitz will be honored for lifetime achievement. Darren Renna of Boston will receive the 2015 USA Gymnastics Robert Miller Spirit of the Flame Award.
Members of Team Hilton will sign autographs on the concourse Saturday, Aug. 15, at 6:30 p.m. One autograph per person will be offered to the first 300 fans. Members of Team Hilton include: Donothan Bailey, Lake Forest, Calif./University of California–Berkeley; Chris Brooks, Houston/U.S. Olympic Training Center; Jake Dalton, Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma; Jonathan Horton, Houston /Cypress Gymnastics; Marvin Kimble, Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners Gymnastics Academy; Steven Legendre, Norman, Okla./University of Oklahoma; Danell Leyva, Miami, Fla./Universal Gymnastics; Sam Mikulak, Newport Coast, Calif., Eddie Penev, Penfield, N.Y., Paul Ruggeri III, Manlius, N.Y., Donnell Whittenburg, Baltimore, Md., Brandon Wynn, Voorhees, N.J., all with the U.S. Olympic Training Center; and Alexander Naddour, Gilbert, Ariz./USA Youth Fitness Center
Vanessa Atler of Bakersfield, Calif., who tied for the U.S. all-around title in 1997 and won two 1998 Goodwill Games gold medals, will sign her first children’s book, Let the River Flow before the junior sessions on Aug. 13 and 14. Based on Atler’s childhood as a young gymnast, the story is about overcoming setbacks on and off the playing field, as well as striving to do one’s best and enjoy the experience of participating in sports.
Event merchandise, including gymnastics gear, event-specific t-shirts and other items will be available at merchandise booths
The Indiana Sports Corporation, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana are the local organizers of the P&G Gymnastics Championships. St.Vincent Sports Performance is the official medical and performance nutrition provider of USA Gymnastics and the P&G Gymnastics Championships. Premier level sponsors are Deloitte, Vera Bradley, Kroger and OneAmerica Financial Partners. Local event partners are Bohlsen Group; Washington National Insurance Company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group; Hendricks Regional Health; Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield; Crowe Horwath, and Faegre Baker Daniels. The headquarters for USA Gymnastics has been located in Indianapolis since 1983.
Tickets for the P&G Championships may be purchased at Ticketmaster through www.ticketmaster.com.
By Kay Feeney-Caito
On behalf of the Feast of Lanterns
The Feast of Lanterns is a free annual family friendly festival organized by the Lanterns Foundation Inc,( a 501c3 Non Profit) and volunteers from the community. The festival takes place Saturday August 22, 2015 from 4:00-11:00PM at Spades Park (1800 Block of Nowland Ave) and admission is free.
This colorful and visually-appealing one-day festival features colorful and glowing lanterns plus food trucks, live music from local and national bands, a kids zone, community vendors, artists, yoga, a beer garden, and more. Festival attendees especially enjoy the event after dark when one can see and enjoy the lanterns and lights throughout the festival.
The Feast of Lanterns Festival is host to local artists with items for sale, neighborhood organizations, games, and performances. Food trucks this year include Duos, Calliope Sno Balls, Cosmic Chrome, Tacos on Wheels, The Flying Cupcake, Gordon’s Ice Cream and more. The beer garden will feature Sun King and Flat 12 as well as New Day Mead and Tastings new wine truck.
Live music this year features Liz Janes, the Pork and Beans Brass Band, The Silver Dollar Family Band, S.M. Wolf, a DJ and more.
Spades Park is located on Indy’s near eastside at 1800 Nowland Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information, visithttps://www.indyfeastoflanterns.com.
All are invited to bring family and friends from 4:00 to 11pm on Saturday, August 22, 2015 and be a part of over a decade of community tradition.
By Josh Duke
Visit Hendricks County
A chance to win a Meet & Greet with Jeff Gordon, new live entertainment, children’s activities and expanded vendor booths have been added to the Jeff Gordon Day lineup on Thursday, July 23, 2015, in Pittsboro, Indiana. The event will include ongoing activites at Scamahorn Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fans can register for an exclusive Meet & Greet with the legendary NASCAR driver beginning at 9 a.m. at the Visit Hendricks County booth in the park. Registration for that giveaway will only last until 11:30 a.m., and only10 lucky fans will win.
At 10 a.m., the majority of the festivities start in the park including the band Fonda performing on stage, children’s activities from Stalhut amusements including bounce houses, bungee trampoline and more, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Street Team activities, show cars, a merchandise trailer and food vendors open.
The parade featuring Gordon will begin to roll down Main Street promptly at noon. An awards ceremony for Gordon on stage in the park will follow at 12:45 p.m. Activities will then continue in the park until 3 p.m.
What: Jeff Gordon Day
When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Scamahorn Park in Pittsboro
9-11:30 a.m. – Sign up for Meet & Greet at Visit Hendricks County Booth in Scamahorn Park.
10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. – Vendor booths open, Fonda performs on the Main Stage.
Noon – Jeff Gordon Day Parade.
12:45 p.m. – Awards Ceremony in Scamahorn Park