April 10, 2018

News release from Greensburg Daily News

GREENSSBURG – Jackie Blasdel was honored posthumously for outstanding leadership Saturday evening at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

Co-organizer of “the largest Lincoln Day Dinner in Greensburg’s history” and candidate for township trustee Christian Rust described the event: “We wanted this evening to be something for the record books. We have invited over 400 people, and we even have childcare so the younger folks don’t have to worry about getting a babysitter for the evening.”

The annual event, which featured a beer and wine bar, a meal catered by The Carriage House, and Republican Senatorial candidates Mike Braun, Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, was hosted at Top Flite Athletics on Vandalia Road in Greensburg.

Commenting on the size of the crowd and the scarcity of appropriate large event venues in Greensburg, Rust said” We looked at several venues locally, and none of them fit our dream of a space large enough to comfortably house 400 people and provide childcare as well. So, we looked at Top Flight Athletics, and it did the trick.”

The emcee for the evening was Decatur County Prosecuting Attorney Nate W. Harter IV. After the meal was finished, Harter introduced Decatur County Republican Party Vice Chairman Deanna Burkhart. She then introduced select members of the attending gallery of incumbents and office hopefuls before handing the microphone to Murray Clark to give the honorary presentation of the evening.

 

Beginning his presentation, Clark said, “We are all involved in politics here, and we do it for a reason. It’s to improve the lives of those around us. Well, there’s a lot of leaders in this room who have done that, but there is one person who’s not here that did a lot of that, too, and her name was Jackie Blasdel.”

“We all lost a great leader from this county a few months ago, and she was a very good friend of mine,” Clark continued. “A great Republican leader, Jackie was for many, many years, the vice-chairwoman for the Republican party here in Decatur County. She was very strong in the business world, great connections with the local Chamber, but what she did for this county with respect to the Honda plant here, not many people know about. And she truly, through all of her experience in politics, made a major transformational difference in the lives of her community.”

Clark continued with, “When we (Honda LLC) wanted to come to Decatur County and purchase 2,000 acres of land that wasn’t for sale, we had to win the trust of all the involved landowners and dignitaries in Greensburg without revealing our name, and Jackie Blasdel made that happen.”

Murray continued explaining Honda’s formational history here in Decatur County and finished with, “Jackie Blasdel was my dear friend. She was a dear friend to many in this room. We miss her, but we appreciate what she did and the difference she made in our lives through her contact and her experience in politics.”

Clark continued by presenting The Circle of Corydon to Bill Blasdel in Jackie’s name.

 Having accepted the Distinguished Hoosiers Award previously from Governor Daniels, Jackie Blasdel is now the only Hoosier to receive both the Circle of Corydon and the Distinguished Hoosiers award.

The evening’s events continued with Luke Messer announcing that Blasdel’s name has been entered into the Congressional Record, making her work and legacy part of Indiana history for all eternity.

                                            

The evening continued with keynote speeches from candidates Braun, Rokita and Messer.

Christian Rust offered thanks to several organizations for their help in making the 2018 Lincoln Day Dinner a success, and city councilman Darell Poling offered the closing benediction.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext. 7011 or email at bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com.