Two fireworks displays planned

Jun. 30—GREENSBURG — For patriotic fireworks buffs, the typically fantastic fireworks show at the Decatur County Fairgrounds will be available Friday, July 2, compliments of the Decatur County Parks and Recreation Department. Starting time is at dusk (approximately 9:30 p.m.), depending on the weather.

Guests are invited to "ooh" and "aah" to every explosion of color and noise. Volunteers will be on hand to accept donations from the public to defray the cost of the show.

It's been a well kept secret for a few years now that the Parks and Recreation show isn't the only opportunity to take in the time-honored cacophony of light and sound during the holiday weekend. For those who couldn't get enough of the fun Friday at the fairgrounds, Foundations for Recovery will be hosting a very impressive display of pyrotechnics Sunday.

Since 2019, the residents and staff of Foundations for Recovery have taken advantage of the natural beauty of the campus at Lifeline Wesleyan to share the 4th of July holiday staples — hamburgers, hot dogs, fireworks and community — with the general public.

"We usually have an event on the holidays to share with our families, and three years ago Brain Walterman of B&A Sealcoating called us and said, 'I have quite a few fireworks left over from a pretty big show, can we set them off in your backyard?'" said Foundations for Recovery Day Manager Chris Poling.

To understand the true synchronicity of such a proposition, one must consider the land upon which LifeLine Wesleyan Church and the Foundations for Recovery houses are built. Several acres of beautiful, rolling grass-covered hills, decorated with a children's playground and lots of accessible parking make it the perfect location for a proper and fitting tribute to the birth of our nation. And the folks at Foundations are putting it to good use.

"Last year, we had probably over 300 families here enjoying the fireworks, and the show lasted for about 45 minutes. It was a good time for all, and the Greensburg Fire Department even supplied a fire truck and a couple of their firefighters to be on hand just in case," Poling said.

During the pandemic, when other fireworks displays were shut down, the Foundations event was the only opportunity to celebrate the Fourth in a public way. And the Mayor signed off on the event, giving it local sanction.

The men staying at the shelter have an opportunity to give back to their community, helping set up for the 4th of July event, the police and fire department are always willing to support the event and foster relationships with the community, and so it makes for a natural win-win for everyone.

"The guys really get into it. They get excited because they see it as a chance to do something to give back," said Poling.

Recovery is tough. No one argues that point. And for the men staying in the two Foundations houses, it's an opportunity to ease back into their lives slowly and safely. Before their establishment in the last three years, many had nowhere to go and fell back into old patterns: offending to feed an addiction and back to incarceration.

"Of the 88 men who've been through our program since we opened, only 34 have been Greensburg and Decatur County residents," said Poling.

But the interesting thing is, to have success in your recovery "you have to change your people, places and things," said Poling. Many of the men who've been through the program elect to stay and create a life for themselves in Decatur County.

"Lifeline has been awful good to us letting us use their lot, and our guys help with parking, help with setup and cleanup — and there's a lot of cleanup!" Poling said.

The Foundations staff uses the opportunity to make a little money by selling hot dogs, hamburgers and soft drinks.

"We take care of that because we want the guys to have a chance to visit with their families, but we don't mind," Poling said.

"The new guys don't want to be here, but they know they have to be here, for their sobriety and to just be better men. We make sure they stay positive while they're here. so they naturally find things they're grateful for and we make sure they focus on those things," Poling said. "Sure they can be mad and upset when they come in, but we are a family and we have a good time, so their anger and fear usually fades after a space of time."

Many might be surprised to know that the Foundations men set up and tear down the popular Farmers Market on the Square every Friday.

"Tonya from Main Street lets us help her in that way, and she makes a small donation to Foundations in return at the end of the year. That means a lot to these guys as well," Poling said.

"We are a brotherhood here," Poling continued. "We do the hard stuff while we're working. We talk about our feelings, and that's hard for men. They are used to bottling up those feelings, so we encourage them to get used to sharing. They have to get used to their new way of life, and dealing with their feelings is an important part of that new life they're building."

Foundations for Recovery is at 2002 Moscow Road.

Gates for Sunday's fireworks display open at 7.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email