Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lemonade Day is almost here!

Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 20th - Lemonade Day is almost here!!

Driving through Wayne County, Indiana last year on our way to see … a car show? an art exhibit? something? … we were surprised and even a tad perplexed by the plethora of lemonade stands popping up on every corner and beside every road along our route.

After the third or fourth cheerful face and sun-sparkling pitcher of homemade lemonade, we stopped for a quick and refreshing taste before heading northward to our destination. My hope had been to return early enough in the day to sample more of the sweet-tart elixir, but it wasn’t meant to be.

So it was with real delight that I learned about this Sunday’s Lemonade Day in Wayne County. It was only after I looked into the story a little more closely that I learned about the real purpose of this nationwide event and the positive impact it can have on our communities.

Before the first Lemonade Day was held in Houston, Texas in 2007, Richmond native and founder Michael Holthouse, was inspired by his daughter Lissa. He came up with an idea to give children a real-life look into the world of business. For a month prior to Lemonade Day, each child works with a committed adult to understand the steps necessary to set up and operate their own enterprise. The hands-on work of adding and subtracting, research and marketing and debt and profit culminate in the satisfaction that can only come from experience.

Children throughout Wayne county will be selling the fruits of their efforts – freshly squeezed – this Sunday, May 20th beginning at noon. Simply buying a cup, or two or three, is a delicious way to encourage the independent spirit of entrepreneurship.Those few cents will provide the youthful business owner with funds to cover their expenses, repay any investors, donate to a charity that each child selects, set a portion aside for savings, and yes – even spend some of it for fun!

This year more than 150,000 young tycoons from 36 cities will set up lemonade stands in towns, along country roads and in neighborhoods. Their month-long preparations will bloom and flourish in a day long celebration of the liquid sunshine known as lemonade!

Please be a real part of their success by stopping at a couple of stands this Sunday afternoon. For an investment of a few cents and a few sips, you, too, can reap the rewards of these kids’ enthusiasm and diligence. Enjoy!!!

If you would like more information, or if your community is interested in participating in next year’s Lemonade Day, please visit the links below:

Susan Ray is a freelance writer and co-founder of a local writers’ group. She loves her life in Indiana and is passionate about discovering and sharing the little known treasures and the unexpected beauty of the Hoosier state with newcomers and natives alike. “When I first visited Indiana, I expected the stereotypical corn and beans and flat landscape. What I found instead were acres of history, culture and adventure!” Susan often shares these forays into the wonderland of Indiana with her companionable husband and sends far too many postcards to her Tar Heel son and daughter-in-law. Visit her blog at and take a look at the latest news from the writers’ group at

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 Spring Photo Contest

Wayne County Convention & Tourism Bureau's 2012 Spring Photo Contest

Sponsored by Jade Matters Photography

Last summer we held our first ever photo contest and received over 500 wonderful photos taken in Wayne County during the summer months.  Because the contest was so successful in illustrating the beauty of Wayne County, and it also helped us increase our Facebook fan base so well, we're holding a Spring Photo Contest through the end of May 2012.  

One of the judges favorites in the 2011 Summer Photo Contest.
Our main purpose for holding our photo contests is to help build our digital photo library, for use online (facebook, website, blogs), print publications (i.e. brochures, visitors guides, postcards, calendars, etc.) or photo exhibits in the area.  We love using photographs that were taken by visitors and residents of the places and activities they love.  These photo contests also help us develop the public's awareness of and interest in Wayne County’s varied attractions and activities; increase awareness and appreciation of Wayne County’s landscapes, cityscapes and architecture; increase our interactions with Wayne County residents and visitors and their appreciation of art and art-related activities, and IT'S ALOT FUN!

Here is what you need to know if you would like to submit photos to the contest:

Photos are to be of attractions, historical and artistic exhibits/displays, public art, landscapes, cityscapes, streetscapes, historical buildings, etc. and people engaged in activities/actions — either as spectators or participants -- at Wayne Co. events and attractions (museums, parks, restaurants, festivals, fairs, concerts, shops, wineries, chocolate attractions, etc.).

Below is a good example of the kind of action photo we would like to see.  We want people participating in an activity, not just posing for a photo, at a recognizable Wayne County attraction.

Original photos (at least 300 dpi) will be submitted via the website (click on Spring Photo Contest) or disk/jumpdrive between April 1 and June 8, 2012. Mini (weekly or bi-weekly) challenges will be announced via Facebook and on our website to help direct participants to focus on a specific theme, topic, location or activity. Small prizes (i.e. Wayne County Discount Cards, Wayne County souvenirs, etc.) may be awarded during the mini challenges to the best/favorite photo for the specific challenge, to be judged by internal judges. At the end of the contest one Grand Prize Winner will be selected by a panel of judges and will receive prizes to be donated by area attractions and businesses. The Grand Prize Winner may or may not be selected from the mini challenge winners.

Many but not all of the photos will be shared on Facebook, in our blog posts, on our Flickr account, and by other means. The best photos will be used in our print and web publications.

This photo was submitted recently to the Spring Photo Contest



The Grand Prize Winner will receive:

  • $75 Gas Card
  • A Wayne County Basket overflowing with area-related gifts. 


Photos are to be submitted electronically by posting them to the Wayne County Convention & Tourism Bureau’s "Visit Richmond" web page (see directions below). You may also save the photos to a disk or jumpdrive and drop them off at:

Old National Road Welcome Center
5701 National Road East
Richmond, IN

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the link to the Spring Photo Contest
  3. Read the rules & policies
  4. Complete the form and click on the agreement
  5. Upload your photo(s)
If you have questions, please contact Julie at or 765-935-8687.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dinner… and all that jazz

By Amy Lynch

Color me awed. Last night, I discovered that the Gennett Mansion, a majestic historic Main Street home in my hometown of Richmond, Ind. hosts a series of absolutely awesome gourmet dinners open to the public. Seriously, how could I have not known about this before now?!? This was without a doubt the best food I’ve ever eaten in Richmond, and right up there with some of the best food I’ve eaten lately, period.

Here’s the skinny: the lovely and hospitable Donna and Bob Geddes currently own the Gennett Mansion and live on the third floor. This Colonial Revival mansion was originally built in 1897 as the home of Henry and Alice Gennett, who lived in the house for nearly 40 years. Scratch the surface of Richmond history and you’ll uncover a whole slew of information about the Gennett and their legacy — the family manufactured pianos and later paved the way for new recording technology. Some of the most prominent jazz, blues, gospel and country music recording artists of the early 20th century recorded right here in Richmond, including Louis Armstrong, Hoagy Carmichael and Gene Autry. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a designated Indiana Landmark.

Since taking possession of the property in 2006, the Geddes have painstakingly been restoring it to a renewed level of grandeur. Their efforts have paid off handsomely, and Donna and Bob have generously opened the mansion for tours, weddings, live music, private parties, corporate events and a series of     Farm-to-Table dinners like the one my dad and I attended last night.

And what a dinner this was. The Geddes have employed the talented Chef Jen Ferrell to create sumptuous menus for these meals featuring locally sourced, organic products. Jen grew up in Brown County, earned a degree in environmental management from Indiana University before later easing her way into a cooking career, and moved to Richmond eight years ago when her husband took a job with Earlham College.

We arrived at 6:30 p.m. and had a chance to settle in and snoop around the house before the dinner began. Everything was gorgeous, from the fresh daisy centerpieces to the polished woodwork. The architecture and interior design alone is reason enough to come here. There’s a beautiful Starr piano standing in the main hall, a gleaming wood staircase and elegant furnishings throughout. Our dining room (one of several) was decked out with a beamed ceiling, bowed windows and a fireplace large enough to stand in. It was fun to see how the rich and famous of Richmond must have lived back in the early 1900s.

There were nearly 20 guests for dinner last night, although Donna said they can accommodate up to 40. Donna and Bob did all the serving themselves, and I spied on Chef Jen in the kitchen. This was an ambitious undertaking for only three people to pull off, and they did so flawlessly.
Our first course set the tone for what was to come with a triangular polenta cake with braised local bison from a farm up between Lynn and Winchester, all topped with a roasted red pepper paprika sauce. The bison was flavorful and tender, and the corn cake light, fluffy and steaming hot. We were off to a great start.

Next up was a salad of greens from the chef’s very own garden — a mix of torn romaine lettuce, spinach and bok choy with a few shaved purple radish slices on top and a sprinkle of almonds. The dressing was a white chocolate citrus, which has to be one of the more unusual salad dressings I’ve ever tasted. It was really delicious; the white chocolate flavor was not at all overpowering, just an interesting and subtle note in the overall fresh mix of ingredients. 

To cleanse our palates after that, we each received a small glass dish of mint julep sorbet. Made with fresh mint and top-shelf Kentucky bourbon and topped with a pink rose petal, it was as tasty for the eyes as it was the mouth. I drank a couple of mint juleps during a tour of Churchill Downs earlier last month and thought they were nearly cloyingly sweet, but as a little icy treat, the recipe worked perfectly. I even stirred a little bit into my iced tea to give it a slight minty kick. Perfection.

The main course was a real showstopper – beef croustade with roasted asparagus. Here’s the breakdown: take a tender piece of local steak, top it with porter roasted onions and gorgonzola cheese, then wrap the whole thing in phyllo dough like a little beggar’s purse and bake. It was soooooo delicious, like a beef Wellington but with phyllo instead of puff pastry. The asparagus on the side was perfectly tender; we also received a small basket of fragrant rosemary yeast rolls and a compound herb butter to spread on top.

Prior to bringing out the dessert, Donna served some wonderful coffee she’d brought back from a recent trip to Costa Rica (in addition to her Gennett responsibilities, she also works as an international flight attendant!), along with a cute trio of accoutrements to dude up our cups. What a fun and whimsical idea to stir in raw sugar, chocolate chips and fresh whipped cream.

Dessert was a picture-perfect slice of lattice-top sour cherry pie          (I overheard Chef Jen saying the cherries had come from Wesler’s Orchard) and a little scoop of housemade coconut ice cream sitting pretty beside it. Wow. I couldn’t imagine a better end to a better meal. Chef Jen made the rounds to each table during dessert, I’m sure collecting compliments all along the way. This meal blew my mind.

Last night’s dinner carried a per-person price tag of $38, which seemed extremely reasonable for the amount and quality of food we received. There is no alcohol served, only water, coffee and iced tea, but diners are perfectly welcome to bring their own wine or beer.

The Farm to Table dinners take place once a month or so; watch the Gennett Mansion Facebook page for updates ( I, for one, am thrilled to know these events are taking place in my little old hometown, and plan to make a return trip as soon as details are posted.

For more information:
Gennett Mansion
1829 E. Main St., Richmond
(765) 935-0055

Born and raised in Richmond, freelance writer Amy Lynch now makes her home in Indianapolis with her husband and three-year-old son. Read more about her food and travel adventures at