Trio of local students receive statewide community service award

Pictured (from left to right) are Decatur County REMC CEO Brett Abplanalp, and 2022 Youth Power and Hope Award winners Elizabeth Walden, Josie Hartman, and Henry Spreckelson. (Provided Photo)

Greensburg, IN — Decatur County REMC along with other Indiana electric cooperatives and their statewide magazine, Indiana Connection, recently honored five young Hoosiers in grades 5-8 who are making a difference in their communities.

They received Youth Power and Hope Awards during the Indiana Electric Cooperatives annual meeting on December 5.

The recipients each received $500 to further their community service activities and will be featured in the January 2023 issue of Indiana Connection magazine.

Decatur County REMC was honored to have three local recipients.

The five recipients of the 2022 Youth Power and Hope Awards are:

Josie Hartman, Greensburg. Hartman is a member of her school’s FOR-Club, which spotlights and encourages good deeds by students. One of Hartman’s club projects was creating a “compliment board” to spread kindness at school. She raised $500 for the United Fund by leading a snack sale for students. Hartman and her class also helped clean up her school following a storm. Hartman has also led a canned food drive and planted flowers at her church. She plants flowers at a local nursing home through her involvement in 4-H. She is a 6th grader at North Decatur Elementary School.

Henry Spreckelson, Greensburg. Spreckelson is a role model and leader through his membership in the local Mayor’s Youth Council. The council conducts a camp for fifth- and sixth-graders each year to promote leadership and making good choices. In addition to supporting the camp, Henry volunteers at the free movie and pool days that the club and local drug-free coalition sponsor. Henry also assists his church with many events and by serving mass. He is also an active 4-H supporter. Spreckelson is a 7th-grade student at Batesville Middle School.

Elizabeth Walden, Greensburg. Walden serves her local community by sending positive letters to nursing home residents as part of her Girl Scout troop. She delivers flowers and baked goods through her 4-H club; volunteers at her church; and, like fellow winner Henry Spreckelson, is a member of the local Mayor’s Youth Council. Not only does Walden serve others locally, but she has also taken her commitment to the community overseas through her Girl Scout Silver Award project. She and two of her friends made and sold beaded jewelry which raised over $3,000. That money was used to purchase school supplies for children in Kenya. This summer, Walden was able to visit Kenya and work in the same school that benefited from her donation. Walden is in the 8th grade at Greensburg Junior High School.

Asher Abner, Palmyra. Abner is active in 4-H, where he serves as a member, volunteer, and student leader. At St. Michael Church, he is an altar server and participates in several community service projects including a fundraising picnic and a blood drive for the American Red Cross. And at his school, he helps with events such as food drives and a walk-a-thon. The community project Asher is most proud of is one he does with his family. The Abners create “Birthday Bundles,” which are gift bags filled with cake mix, frosting, candles, and other items to help those less fortunate celebrate special occasions that often are ignored. The bundles are then distributed to a local food pantry.

Holland Beck, Franklin. At school last year, Beck participated in a young entrepreneur class. After learning how to use a 3D printer in that class, she made over 100 articulated animal figures along with still figures such as castles and vases. She then sold the items, with the proceeds benefitting a local animal shelter. She is also an active volunteer for Ascension St. Vincent Hospital where she contributes her time to several events that fundraise for the hospital and its Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

(Decatur County REMC press release)