ITRA 40th Anniversary Celebration

Where We Went

ITRA's 40th Anniversary Bash was held at Deam Lake State Recreational Area. The celebration was incorporated into ITRA's traditional fall ride. Deam Lake did not have a facility large enough to accommodate the expected crowd. The solution was renting a large tent! Weather cooperated beautifully and the tent worked out very well. The equipment in the photo is ITRA's skid steer and rock hauler; both had been used to improve Deam Lake trails prior to the event.

Planning Committee Chair Bill Crane with committee members Barb Ferguson and Yvette Rollins. Photo by Kristen Warning,

The Event Planners

The 40th Anniversary Bash was planned by a volunteer committee of ITRA members. Bill Crane was the chair, and members included Amanda Farr, Stephanie Clifton, Barb Ferguson, Yvette Rollins, Erik Leamon, Greg Hersberger, and Larry Sidell. They put together a great celebration for an historic event.

Support From the Deam Lake DNR Staff

The event could not have happened without the cooperation and support of Deam Lake's DNR staff. A lot went into preparing the park and its workers for the 40th Anniversary Bash, including an upgrade to the picnic tables. ITRA volunteers, led by Barb Ferguson, also worked over the horse trails to ensure they were in top condition for the event. Deam Lake managers Kevin Snyder and Matt Darling are shown here, enjoying Saturday morning on horseback.

What We Heard from Special Guest Speakers

Terry Coleman, Director of Indiana State Parks, Department of Natural Resources: “You are the reason why horse trails still exist. You’ve watched our budget for the last four decades. If it weren’t for all of you we wouldn’t have those resources. You are our resources.”

Daniel Elliott, candidate for Indiana State Treasurer: "Politics is something I’ll do for a short period of time. Being a horseman is something I will do till the day I die. Consider me an advocate, a voice. I will stand up for the needs of horsemen and the needs of these trails. I use them; I know how important they are. So any time you need my help, please don’t be afraid to call."

Ron McCoy, former ITRA President and Board Chairman: "We are very lucky here in Indiana to have the outdoor resources that the DNR has provided. ITRA’s relationship to the DNR is a vital factor. My hope is that the DNR will continue to deal with ITRA as a resource and an asset. Keep moving forward, ITRA. You're doing a great job!"

Terry Coleman, Director of Indiana State Parks, Department of Natural Resources

Photo by Kristen Warning,

Ron McCoy, former ITRA President and Board Chairman

Photo by Kristen Warning,

What We Heard from the Governor

Governor Eric Holcomb and the First Lady had planned to attend, but he was called away on an international trip. He sent the letter on the left which was read by Indiana State Parks Director Terry Coleman. Coleman also noted that the Governor and First Lady are outdoor enthusiasts: “Governor Holcomb is truly an outdoors governor. He and the first lady spend a tremendous amount of time outdoors. They routinely get out on trails, they hike, they walk. She’s an avid shooting sports person. Mrs. Holcomb is a trained range shooting instructor. They love outside.”

Governor Eric Holcomb: "You have made a tremendous impact across our state through your work to educate the public on the values of parks and trails, and I know your work will ensure that the natural beauty we enjoy will be available to future generations."

Dinner Time

About 130 ITRA members enjoyed the pitch-in dinner under the Big Top on Saturday. ITRA sponsor Kerlin Trailers provided the fried chicken, pulled pork, and biscuits. Members brought salads, veggies, and lots of desserts. Kerlin also provided the spaghetti dinner on Friday night. Nobody left hungry either night.

Auctions, Silent and Otherwise

A silent auction started Friday afternoon and continued to dinner time on Saturday. Hundreds of horse-related items were contributed by members. Proceeds will support ITRA activities. After dinner some special pieces of craftsmanship were auctioned off by a real auctioneer, ITRA member Bob Brittain. The item being auctioned here is a quilt by new ITRA member Peggy Gugel. This year's auctions raised 21 percent more dollars for ITRA than last year's.

Dancing to the Oldies

After dinner the Willow Branch Band played vintage rock-n-roll that had ITRA members singing along and dancing deep into the evening.

Thanks for Making the 40th Bash a Success

Thanks to the planning committee for this event: Chairman Bill Crane, Amanda Farr, Stephanie Clifton, Barb Ferguson, Yvette Rollins, Erik Leamon, Greg Hersberger, and Larry Sidell.

Thanks to the Deam Lake staff.

Thanks to Kerlin Trailers for their support of the 40th Anniversary Bash and their ongoing support of ITRA as a sponsor.

Thanks to those who led ITRA over the past four decades who honored us with their presence.

Thanks to ITRA members who brought items for auction, food for dinner, and their enthusiasm for ITRA.

See More 40th Anniversary Photos

Click here to see an album of photos of the 40th Anniversary Bash taken by ITRA members.