Category: Our Town

Ron Hafft: Librarian

To put things in perspective, when Ron Hafft began working at Indiana University Libraries, the Beatles had recently performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. “I thought I would work here for a couple of years,” he says. Last summer, Hafft, who is now the library’s computer coordinator, hit the 50-year mark. 

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Archer Foundation Teaches Children How to Garden

With a mission “to help boys and girls learn about gardening,” the George E. Archer Foundation (GEAF) works with schools and nonprofit organizations by funding horticulture-based curriculum and activities. Formerly the Hilltop Educational Foundation, the GEAF was established in 1984 to support children’s gardening through advocacy, fundraising, and volunteer efforts.

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Jason Jackson: Director, Mathers Museum

Jason Jackson likes to think of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures as a gateway between Indiana University and the community. “We’re deliberately located on the edge of campus,” he says of the museum at 416 N. Indiana Ave. “If you stand in the lobby and look left, you’ll see the west door that looks out onto the city of Bloomington. The east door, to the right, looks toward campus. We invite folks to come through whichever door is closer to them.”

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BLOOM’S GREATEST HITS: Don Fischer—Sportscaster

For the past 38 years, Don Fischer has been the voice of Indiana University football and basketball. He’s done play-by-play for more than 1,600 games, including three IU NCAA basketball championships (1976, 1981, 1987) and eight IU football bowl games, as well as hosted weekly coaches shows and anchored the daily radio program IU Sports Today. 

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Janae Cummings: Chair, Bloomington PRIDE

The level of support for LGBTQ+ people in Bloomington depends on your identity, says Janae Cummings, the chair of Bloomington PRIDE. “If you’re gay or lesbian, Bloomington is welcoming,” she explains. “If you are transgender or on the margins, the community has a way to go.”

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Brian Oliger IU Police Officer

In 1998, Brian Oliger was student teaching art in a Bachelor Middle School classroom. He’d come to Bloomington from Seymour, Indiana, to earn a degree in art education at Indiana University.

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Victor Kaposonore Manager, Uptown Cafe

As daytime manager, Victor Kaposonore is the face of the Uptown Cafe for breakfast and lunchtime diners. “We want it to be a casual place where everyone feels welcome,” he says. “I’ve made a lot of friends here.”

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Kate Braun: Actor

The moment Kate Braun felt compelled to become an actor is a moment as poignant as one you might witness onstage. 

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Recipes for Fall from ‘Earth Eats’ Book

For more than eight years, WFIU-FM has provided locally sourced food ideas via its weekly Earth Eats radio show. A cookbook written by the program’s former host, Annie Corrigan, along with program contributor Chef Daniel Orr, allows foodies to keep Earth Eats at their fingertips.

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Aliya Rife Youth Leader

Like any high-achieving high school freshman, Aliya Rife thought it would be a good idea to get some volunteer service on her resume before she started filling out college applications.

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Jessica Strunk Ivy Tech Vice Chancellor

When Jessica Strunk came to Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington in 2004, the career path she imagined for herself was confined. “I had my life all figured out,” she says. “I wanted to get an associate degree in office administration, and then I planned to be a secretary forever.”

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Fred Parker Jazz Promoter

When the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network gave its 2017 Be More Creative Award to Fred Parker for his decade-long work promoting jazz in Bloomington, they intended to spring it on him as a surprise. They almost succeeded.

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Waew Chantar: Entrepreneur

Since leaving Surat Thani nearly 30 years ago, Waew Chantar, now a Bloomington resident, has launched successful businesses on two continents.

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Daniel Larsen: Smart Kid

At the end of May, when many of his peers were kicking back and putting seventh grade behind them, Daniel Larsen was traveling to Washington, D.C., to compete in the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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