News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

September 6, 2013

United Way hopes to raise $1.85 million

Pilot campaign has already brought in $779K

TERRE HAUTE — The United Way of the Wabash Valley is almost halfway to its fundraising goal for the new year.

Supporters attending Thursday morning’s annual campaign kickoff breakfast in the historic Indiana Theatre learned that the pilot campaign has raised $779,608.20 so far toward the goal of $1.85 million.

“It’s amazing how giving this community is. There are a lot of ones that come together to be a big one,” said B.J. Riley, president of the United Way board and Tribune-Star publisher.

He was referring to the “Be The One” theme that encourages individuals and companies to make a difference by supporting the United Way efforts.

The pilot companies began the annual campaign in July to raise funding for more than 30 agencies in Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties in Indiana, and Clark County in Illinois.

Representatives of those 21 pilot companies also heard a presentation Thursday about the new Mobile Market effort to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to local neighborhoods on a weekly schedule.

The market will be open to anyone, regardless of income level, and payment will be accepted in cash, credit and debit cards, and EBT/SNAP cards (food stamps). Many areas of the city have been identified as “food deserts” without close access to grocery stores. The project is intended to encourage healthier eating habits and decrease the incidence of diet-related conditions such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

A large trailer filled with fresh and healtful food will stop at designated spots on a regular schedule

Access to transportation is one of the factors that might keep people from purchasing fresh produce. Cost is another. The Mobile Market will initially purchase its products from a local retailer, said UWWV Executive Director Troy Fears, but will probably add locally grown produce as it becomes available.

The Mobile Market will have a “soft opening” on Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, Indiana Theatre owner Rob Lundstrom gave a report on the restorations now being made to the 1922 theater at Seventh and Ohio streets.

Since the project began in June, a lot of “eye level” painting and plaster repair has occurred inside the building, as well as the street level painting and restoration of the canopy and marquee. Replacement of the auditorium seating is planned for this fall.

The fourth and final phase of the project, which includes installation of the theater organ and piping, is scheduled for a June 2014 completion. The Indiana Theatre will be a multiuse building for a variety of events such as performing arts, weddings and rehearsal dinners, private parties, meetings, concerts and live entertainment.

“I do believe there is magic in this building,” Lundstrom told the United Way group. “You don’t know what it really is, but it’s kind of something you feel.”

Anyone wanting more information about the United Way annual campaign, or the Mobile Market, can go online to For more information about the Indiana Theatre, go online to

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

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