Banner month for XC and Terre Haute

The month of November provided the community of Terre Haute, and the LaVern Gibson Championship cross country course, with the opportunity to once again demonstrate that it is the premiere destination for high school and collegiate cross country in the nation. 

Beginning with the IHSAA State Cross Country Championships, followed by the Nike Midwest Nationals, and the NCAA Division I National Championships, the course (and community) hosted some 5,600 runners from across the state and across the nation. In addition, these three events brought over 20,000 spectators to our community. Even more impressive is the fact that throughout the entire 2019 cross country season, over 10,000 runners and approximately 40,000visitors graced our community. 

The importance of this event to our community cannot be understated. The economic benefits alone are substantial as hotels, restaurants and retail stores all benefit. Just as importantly, the image of our community benefits from such events! For example, Terre Haute is able to showcase the trail system, as many teams make use of the Heritage Trail for their training. Teams also make use of our parks and other recreation areas in anticipation of their events. In addition, Indiana State University showcased its facilities to collegiate athletes from all over the country. It truly is an opportunity to demonstrate all that is good with our community.

I have been so impressed with everyone that has donated their time and effort to make this course and these events the success they have become. For example, the Tribune-Star and the Terre Haute Living Magazine have done an outstanding job of providing coverage for these events this year. Greg Gibson continues to see the value of the course to the community and has been a tremendous support. The Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau, including Dave Patterson and his staff, continue to work tirelessly on behalf of our community to market Terre Haute. Mr. Patterson’s commitment to our community and the time and effort given to market the LaVern Gibson Championship cross country course do not go unnoticed. 

Indiana State University continues to be an exceptional partner through these endeavors. Jeff and Angie Martin have been instrumental in shepherding the various regional and national events. Administrative support from Angie Lansing, Dennis Darke, Mandy Hopton and Anthony Bertoli has been of great benefit, as well.

As has been the case in the past, Mike Dason and Sam Bunch have spent countless hours in support of the course, its amenities and the meets. They were instrumental in the construction of a new start line tower which only further sets LaVern Gibson apart from other courses nationally. In addition, Mr. Dason continues to provide for web streaming of these events.

In fact, there have been approximately 35,000 views of the state meet and the Nike — giving Terre Haute more exposure on the national stage. 

Steve Girton continues to manage the grounds, ensuring the course remains in the best shape possible despite the unpredictable nature of the weather. Various other groups continue to support these events including local and state law enforcement, Junior Bowling, the Vigo County School Corp., Hospice of the Wabash Valley, and the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center, just to name a few.

I am thrilled to see such community effort around these events and am proud of the way Terre Haute is represented through its involvement in cross country at all levels.

— Mike Urban, Brazil

Grant helps keep Clay shelter going

The Clay County Humane Society would like to publicly thank the Wabash Valley Community Foundation for the $10,000 grant to get our floors redone.

Taking care of all the animals at the shelter is not just a five-day a week job. Those animals need cared for seven days a week; including holidays, and we are blessed with a wonderful and caring staff.

The contracts we have for the city and county only make up 30 percent of our budget with the rest coming from fundraisers and the many donations we get from so many caring people in the community and the surrounding area. Our medical bills, which include alterations, medicines and veterinary help, run around $5,000 per month. Because of our monthly expenses on just the basics of animal care, we have not had the luxury of being able to do necessary facility upgrades.

This grant is so appreciated. The floors will not only look great but will enhance the safety and health for all our furry friends. Thanks again to the Wabash Valley Community Foundation for making this happen.

— Clay County Humane Society Inc. Board of Directors — Ronda Boring, Patty Dulin, Jody Wyndham, Mark Loudermilk, Wade Snoddy and Toni Carter

Remembering the internments

Moving to Hawaii after high school, I had two friends there whose mothers were interned in the months after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. I discovered this while doing research for a play about the internment of Japanese Americans by Wakako Yamauchi titled “12 1 A.” 

The women declined to speak to me about their experience, as it was a part of their life they did not want to revisit.

Please commend columnist Mark Bennett on the well-written article published last Sunday. Let’s not forget the lives lost that day and thank those that serve and protect us today.

— Jan Itamura, New York, N.Y.


The Tribune-Star is committed to publishing a diversity of opinions from readers in its Readers’ Forum. We’d like to hear what you think on any issue. Email us at

Recommended for you