by Eric Stearley
On Thursday, Aug. 28, the Wabash Carnegie Public Library invited its patrons and members of the Wabash community to meet, share, and discuss the future of the library, particularly plans to expand the facility.
“We have, for the past couple years, been thinking about some kind of expansion of the building,” said Director Ware Wimberly, “because we feel that there are needs that we cannot meet with the current structure.”
After analyzing how the current facility is used, they began looking at consulting firms, eventually choosing MKM Architecture and Design, a Fort Wayne firm with a long history working with public libraries, including several Carnegie Libraries. Partner Zach Benedict and Senior Associate Matt Sparling represented the firm at the public open house on Thursday, explaining the project motives, concepts and plans.
“In an evolved, progressive town of Wabash’s size, the type of community that would win a Stellar grant, it provides a really interesting civic institution that allows a self-employed, creative class to thrive, a place to meet clients, a resource, a business incubator,” said Benedict. “This is what a library used to be, and still is, in smaller rural communities that have a high percentage of creative class individuals, something that I think Wabash could attract in the coming 10 to 20 years.”
While expanding the library would create space for a larger collection, it would also create space for groups to meet, engage, and share ideas.
The Honeywell Golf Course and the Ladies Golf Association (LGA) are hosting the fourth annual Breast Cancer Prevention Scramble for men and women on Sunday, Oct. 5. The event begins at with a 1 p.m. shotgun start and concludes with a meal for all players. The scramble is a fundraiser to raise awareness of the importance of mammograms in the fight against breast cancer.
Proceeds will go to the Wabash County Hospital Mammogram Charity Fund. This fund provides for free mammograms and radiology readings for qualified women residing in Wabash County.
Lana Garber, secretary of the Ladies Golf Association, is assisting Mel Thomas of the Honeywell Golf Course in coordinating the event.
“Choosing to give our proceeds to the Mammogram Charity Fund allows us to directly help women in our own community,” said Garber. “Statistics show that breast cancer has touched every family in our county. Breast Cancer Awareness month in October is an ideal time for golfers, both men and women, to participate in a scramble for this great cause. Over $3,000 was raised in last year's event. Our goal is to exceed that this year."
“The Mammogram Charity Fund is directly assisting numerous women in our own county,” said Wabash Community Foundation Director Karen Newhouse. “As with all gifts to the WCH Foundation, 100 percent of the proceeds of this fundraiser is going to the cause to help provide free mammograms for qualifying women. I could share stories of how lives have been saved because the Mammogram Charity Fund was available. The Honeywell Ladies Golf Association’s scramble is a wonderful example of the compassionate action our community is willing to take to prevent breast cancer locally. ”
by Gary Andrews
The Manchester football team remembered their opener at Mississinewa last season and had one thing on their mind Friday night, and they got what they were looking for, payback !
The Squires got three touchdowns from Jacob Casper and one from Bailey Ness to top the Indians 27-13.
Casper got his first touchdown with 2:02 left in the first quarter after he ran a kick off back 82 yards for the score. After a Zach Hill kick, the game was tied at 7. The Indians led 13-7 in the second when Casper scored again. The Zach Hill kick was good and the Squires led 14-13 at the half.
With 11:51 left in the third quarter, the Squires would grab their first lead of the game when Bailey Ness scored on a 28-yard pass from Lucas Schilling to put Manchester up 20-13.
With the Squire defense dominating, Casper would put the nail in the coffin with 8:20 left in the game to grab a 27-12 lead, which Manchester would hold for their opening night win.
Lucas Scilling was 12 of 18 for 102 yards and 1 touchdown. Jacob Casper carried the ball 14 times for 94 yards and scored three touchdowns. Lucas Schilling rushed 5 times for 37 yards. Evan Milam rushed 2 times for 7 yards. Bailey Ness caught 5 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Keelan Norwood caught 5 passes for 23 yards. Daniel Griese added 2 catches for 12 yards. Evan Milam had 2 catches for 7 yards.
by Gary Andrews
It took two quarters for the Southwood offense to find their rhythm Friday at Southern Wells, but with the defense controlling the game the offense found that rhythm in the third to explode for 19 points on their way to a 26-7 win.
The Knights got two rushing touchdowns from Nathan Hollars and a receiving touchdown from Zach Ball. Southwood also got a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery from Blake Martz.
Passing: Hollars 4/14 for 41yds.
Rushing: Hollars 16/67, 2 TD’s; Berlier 17/73; Weiss 2/34; Kirk 1/7.
Receiving: Finicle 1/0; Kirk 2/28; Ball 1/13.
The Knights had 263 offensive yards.
Tristyn Howell led the defense with 13 tackles. Nick Rebholz and Luke Perlich added 12 tackles each. Noah Kirk and Kale Weiss had 8 tackles each.
Evan Kirkover had 1 sack. Blake Martz and Jeremy Keller each had a fumble recovery. Noah Kirk and Tristyn Howell each caused a fumble.
by Eric Stearley
Personal trainer Jakae Francis, owner of Wabash’s F.I.T. personal training, got the surprise of a lifetime when it was revealed that two of her most successful clients set her up for an appearance on The Steve Harvey Show.
“It was just so unbelievable,” said Francis. “It’s still so surreal that this even happened. I feel like I had tunnel vision. I don’t remember a lot of what I said or what Josh said to me.”
Josh Steele was the mastermind behind the surprise. A client for the past year and a half, he shed nearly half his body weight after deciding to get serious about losing weight two years ago.
“My starting weight was 579 pounds,” said Steele. “Basically, to sum it all up, I hated life. Just getting up in the morning, just doing normal activities that normal people take for granted like tying shoes, going up and down stairs, getting in vehicles. That kind of stuff, it was all a struggle for me every single day. I basically gave up all hopes of my dreams and passion for the future.”
Inspired by weight loss shows on television, Steele tried out for Biggest Loser and nearly made it onto Extreme Weight Loss, but ultimately came up short. Two years ago this week, Steele decided he wasn’t going to let it stop him, that he was going to make big changes whether he was on television or not. After six months of dietary changes and religious trips to the gym, Francis took an interest in him and decided to take him on as a free client, something she had done once before.
“Josh had lost 100 pounds before he even came to me, so I had seen the commitment in him before taking him on,” said Francis. “He was on the right track. Basically what I gave was, I taught him what he was capable of doing that he didn’t realize he was. My job is to take people out of their comfort zone.”
Along with Jakae’s training, Josh had support through a Facebook page he set up called “The Steele Project.” This allowed people from across the country to track his weight loss and watch a real person with real responsibilities succeed in losing an enormous amount of weight. Today, Steele is down to 304 pounds. He’s still a few pounds off his target weight of 280, but is now able to do everything he used to, even fitting into many of the same clothes he wore in high school, more than a decade ago.
“I’m 6’9”, so I’m never going to be 190 pounds or whatever,” said Steele. “I do basically everything now that I did in high school, and actually, I’m in better shape now than I was then. I really have no limits to what I can do now.”
After taking people out of their comfort zone during workouts, Francis was taken out of her own comfort zone when she was asked to appear on national television as a guest on Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show. The producers told her that they discovered her through her business’ Facebook page, F.I.T. Personal Training. They told her that she would be one of four personal trainers featured on a fitness-themed episode. Each of the trainers would be interviewed individually and then engage in some sort of personal training competition, teaching a stay-at-home mom something new that they could do without equipment or a gym membership. The winner of the competition would receive a prize.
“I’m thinking, oh my gosh, I cancelled clients, I have so many people that know I’m coming up here, I’ve gotta win this prize!” said Francis.
She said that they had her convinced, but she was still a little suspicious, because she couldn’t figure out why a nationally broadcasted talk show would choose a personal trainer from the small town of Wabash.
“She was texting me the day before like, ‘If you have anything to do with this, I’m gonna kill you,’” said Steele. “She was freaking out because she didn’t have a clue what they were going to talk about.”
Nonetheless, she took the stage for her individual interview with Harvey, and the true reason for her appearance was quickly revealed.
“Steve made a light joke, because he’s very funny,” said Francis, “and after I answered a few questions and talked for, it was very short, maybe three or four minutes, and he turned to me and said, ‘Well Jakae, you’re actually not on the show to talk about your job or your passion,’ and instantly, I started crying.”
Harvey went on to tell her that there were two people that wanted to thank her for something that she had done for them. She looked around the audience searching for her clients, and onto the stage walked Josh and his mother Mindy, who has lost 80 pounds while training with Francis and her son. She knew it would be Josh and Mindy as soon as Harvey revealed that it was, in fact, a thank you show and not a training competition.
“I think I was so shocked and so overwhelmed at what was happening that basically, when they were sitting there, all I did was cry,” said Francis.
She doesn’t remember much of what she said after the reveal, but she’s looking forward to the broadcast, which she will be viewing with Josh and Mindy at Harvey Hinklemeyers on Wednesday.
Steele is still working on trimming a few more pounds, but two related endeavors are equally as important to him right now. This week, he will take the American College of Sports Medicine test to become certified as a personal trainer. He hopes to extend the opportunity that Francis gave him to client of his own by offering free personal training to a selected individual. In addition, he is working with Francis to train a local 13-year-old who hopes to follow in his footsteps.
“That’s why I put my story out there so publicly,” said Steele. “I don’t if you’ve watched The Biggest Loser or anything like that, but you always hear people say, ‘If I can do it, anyone can do it.’ Well, technically that’s not true, because you’re not in that perfect world. I’m the normal person that has worked 50-60 hours a week and still found the time to work out. So that’s why I put my story out there. I want to let people know that anybody can do it. You just have to believe in yourself.”
In Francis’s mind, she should be the one thanking Steele.
“Josh, in training him, his story has brought me so much, and I didn’t ever intend for that to be the case,” said Francis. “His story has helped me and my business so much that I owe him more than he has ever thought he owed me. Every time I turn around, he’s thanking me, and I’m all the time telling him, ‘Josh, we’re even. You have done so much for me.’”
To watch the big reveal and catch the reactions as they are broadcasted across the country, tune in to NBC tomorrow afternoon. The Steve Harvey Show airs at 2 p.m. on Fort Wayne’s WISE-TV. For more information about Josh, check out The Steele Project on Facebook.