Small towns, large donations

Last week, I was lucky enough to take my first work field trip to Reynolds, Ind., where our client, Walmart, presented a donation to Western Indiana Sustainable Energy Resources (WISER).

For those of you not familiar with WISER, it is a BioTown USA educational initiative promoting the use of renewable energy technologies.  Because of Walmart’s commitment to sustainable energy, the Walmart Foundation generously donated $25,000 to the cause.  The money will be contributed to computer systems for the WISER Education Center.

While awaiting the check reveal, I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be apart of such a monumental day for WISER, especially because it was only my second official day as an intern!  Not only did I learn a lot about WISER and their mission, but I felt inspired by the passion that the board members expressed when speaking about the cause.

Prior to moving to Muncie, Ind. to attend Ball State, I had lived in Chicago for all my life.  And not just your average suburb of Chicago, but right down the street from O’Hare International Airport! One may call my town chaotic, but I find a background of airplanes and car horns to be comforting. This fast-paced lifestyle filled with constant noise and traffic is all that I’ve ever seen, which is why traveling is so interesting to me!  Having the opportunity to see new places as a part of my internship is more than I could ask for and visiting Reynolds was quite the adventure.

Finally, I had the chance to see the town that hosts all the large windmills surrounding I-65.  It may sound silly, but the windfarm is my favorite part of the drive to and from Chicago. I remember my first trip to Ball State when I was introduced to the windfarm and ever since then I’ve wanted to get a closer look.  The sheer size of one windmill blade alone left me speechless for half the trip!

I also loved how small Reynolds is. Upon arrival, I immediately thought of the old TV show, Cheers, because Reynolds is definitely a community “where everybody knows your name.” Because I never had that experience growing up, I was really aware and excited about the sense of comfort that was ever-present throughout the town.  It may have been a little too quiet for me, though.

The best part about small towns: mom and pop diners.  David and Marilyn love mom and pop diners so I was excited to finally experience my first one.  When we arrived at the diner, the thing that initially caught my eye was an American flag-themed scarecrow.  Already, I was impressed with how much personality the restaurant displayed.  Even more, the food was delicious and I’ve never had such friendly service.  If you’re ever in Reynolds, I recommend the USA Restaurant, Inc.!

Even though the day was long, it was ten times more rewarding. I can’t wait for all the adventures that are sure to come with my internship at Shank Public Relations Counselors.

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