News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 3, 2013

Readers’ Forum: July 3, 2013


TERRE HAUTE — Grateful salute to Honey Creek Fire Department

Her frenzied meows cried “Mom, I’m alive, I’m here, I’m here!” Tears of joy, clouded by fear, streaked my cheeks as I listened to her calling from somewhere underneath the unused shed. As of yesterday, Patches had been missing two weeks.

I had left Terre Haute on Sunday, June 9, to go back to Ohio to pack up 30 years in order to return to Terre Haute to care take of my 92-year-old father who has dementia. My sister had flown in from Florida to stay with Dad during my absence. Patches had gone out in the morning but had not returned before I left — and did not henceforth.

Upon my sister’s inquiries with neighbors, Patches had been seen around a neighbor’s shed. Neither Janet’s nor our neighbor’s attempts to hunt and call for Patches proved successful. Food and water were set out, yet they never saw her. I prayed she had not met with a traumatic end.

Sunday, after returning to Terre Haute, I began my own search, secretly hoping to find her alive, although reason was telling me something different. Naturally, I started with the shed. I could not hear her from the outside, but when I went inside, was then able to hear her confirming, compelling meows.

We dug and dug, she continued to answer my quests, but we couldn’t get her out. Frantic, I called 911 who sent the Honey Creek Fire Department. I heard sirens but assumed they were for someone else’s emergency. An insurmountable relief filled my heart when I saw them pull onto our street. The crew began immediately assessing the situation, they dug more and were laying all around the shed on the ground, flashlights searching — finally someone saw her, but she wouldn’t come out. They prepared the shed for lifting.

With crew members at each end and on the side using soft-end poles to help scoot and direct her to one of the tunnels, one crew member was able to finally reach in enough to grab hold of a front paw and pull Patches free. I was engulfed in overwhelming admiration and gratefulness. This  crew was more than terrific. Each and every one of them.

Upon inquiring if they would send me a bill, the reply was, “We don’t charge for this.” Unbelievable. There will be a donation.

Thank you, Honey Creek Fire Department, you were no less than totally awesome. After spending the night at the Emergency Clinic, Patches is now in her favorite spot, on Dad’s lap. I still can’t believe she survived two weeks pinned underneath that shed. Miracles?

Humbled by the capacity of human compassion and dedicated rescue professionalism, I salute you, Honey Creek Fire Department.

— Jill Stanley

Terre Haute

Special Olympics a special weekend

It is wonderful for Terre Haute, ISU and Rose-Hulman to welcome and host the statewide Special Olympics. These participants are such wonderful people and are certainly gifts that we can all appreciate.

At the opening ceremonies it was wonderful to see such a sea of color going down the ramps of ISU. They had such wonderful sayings on their shirts: “We all shine on,” “Don’t put dis in my ability,” and many others. My favorite shirt is the one Vigo County had several years ago and it said, “You are only a loser when you quit trying.” That is something we can all live by.

The Special Olympic Oath is something we can all live by; “Let me win, but if cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

There are many wonderful sponsors for this event: Finish Line did many events and they also took pictures; Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos and Newlin hosted a very popular photo booth; and there was Duke Energy, Knights of Columbus, GFS Foods, Law Enforcement Torch Run and Kroger to mention a few. I would strongly encourage everyone to become a volunteer for this event. What a rewarding weekend you will have.

There are many volunteer opportunities for this event. You can access volunteer opportunities at There are many upcoming events in Indianapolis that volunteers are needed. You will not regret any time you spend with these very special individuals.

— Debbie Hadley

Terre Haute