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Chamber's new Leadership class graduates

Adriel Pikediscussedher Leadership Shelby County team’sproposal for a “Bark Park” on River Road.The plan was presentedin a video featuring herteam members. The three LSC teams in the 2018 classpremiered their projectsatagraduation ceremony Tuesday evening.

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

Turning a downtown alley into a gathering space; creating a public park for dogs; establishing a networking organization for young professionals:

Members of the three teams in the Leadership Shelby County Class of 2018 presented their project proposals at a graduation dinner held at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.

LSC is an initiative by the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce to develop the participants’ leadership skills and foster community improvement projects. Founded in 1988, the program was revived three years ago.

A crowd of about 80 people gathered for the new class’s graduation ceremony Tuesday evening.

“This program takes leaders and makes them better,” Allan Springer, pastor of the Christian Life Center and an LSC alumnus, told the audience.

First up to present their project was The Alley team.

Inspired by similar efforts in Chicago, Fort Wayne and Madison, Indiana, its project is to turn the downtown alley on East Washington Street just across from the First Merchants Bank building, a block from the Public Square, into a gathering space.

“We definitely want to promote the arts in the alley,” said team member Hope Fenton.

They hope to have the alley done by late fall this year.

Next up, the Shelbyville Bark Park team members presented their plan via a video, including bloopers at the end that got laughs from the crowd.

The park is to be located in a vacant lot at the corner of Tompkins Street and River Road adjacent to the city’s new bike-pedestrian trail that’s due to be finished this summer.

Team members hope to open the dog park this summer.

Finally, the YPSC team took the stage.

Young Professionals of Shelby County will offer social networking activities to promote community development through volunteer and fundraising opportunities.

The group has already hosted one event, at the Riverfront Taproom on March 28, to bring together younger professionals with more experienced business and community leaders. 

For more information on the teams and their efforts to raise money for their projects, contact the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at 317-398-6647.