By Ray Tincher | For The Times-Post
The Lapel community is very fortunate having a group of citizens willing to give their free time to where they live.
It all started in 1988, when some Lapel merchants got together and tried to have an event.
It wasn’t very successful, and the local Lions Club with the American Legion stepped in for support.
Today, there are about 20 to 25 dedicated residents in this group who willingly get involved in their community.
In talking to Herschel and Nancy Hinkle, this writer has learned these volunteers have done several things that have greatly improved our community, with little or no recognition.
Column continues below photos.
Did you know, this group is directly responsible for 53 streetlights in Lapel? Did you know, one streetlight costs about $4,000? Did you know, this group helps fund our community with several other projects, which saves us taxpayers lots of money each year?
Hershel Hinkle and his wife, Nancy, are chairpersons of this year’s committee. They are aided with Ron Nunley as vice president, Danica Brown as secretary And Donna Lawther as treasurer. Connie and Bill Sears have handled the parade for several years. There are several other individual members.
They have monthly meetings to plan ahead for upcoming projects.
The annual Village Fair in Lapel has been a very popular event. However, 2020 and 2021 have been plagued by COVID-19. They are currently planning for the next fair in 2022.
The Village Fair is made up with about 100 vendors; 10 to 12 of those are food vendors. Arts and crafts are very popular.
Also very popular on the same weekend as the Village Fair are the rummage sales. You will see people in their golf carts visiting the sales throughout town.
Every year, Dan Daughtery, owner of Dan’s Music in Anderson, helps with the scheduling of bands to play free music at the fair.
Plus, during a very popular event for youngsters on Friday evening of the Village Fair, about 300 young people dance and enjoy listening to music, under the supervision of parents and volunteers.
Besides the good times, Village Fair profits also go to aid parks board projects.
“We bought and put up the Christmas wreathes each year for every light poles,” Hershel Hinkle said. “Of course, some of the town employees have helped us through the years. Some of us are getting too old to climb up those streetlight poles. We also bought American flags for all of the streetlight poles. Those flags wear and tear and need to be replaced. That also comes out of our funds.”
“When we started out trying to buy streetlights for the town, they cost about $2,500 each. They soon went to over $4000 each,” Nancy Hinkle said. “We were amazed by the way people came forward and donated toward the streetlight project, and we’re up with 53 lights. That was wonderful.”
Lapel Community Association is a non-profit organization.
Some of their funds go to help the local food bank. Other funds are donated to Lapel school projects.
When the new ball diamond opened on Brookside Road, the association gave $2,000 to help with the installation of fencing and dugouts.
If you have any free time on your hands, think about volunteering to help the Lapel Community Association. Not only will you be helping the community you live in, but you will also be proud of where you live.
You will also enjoy meeting and working with some great people.
Many times, the difference between an average town and a great place to live, are the volunteers who live there.