Column: Bell of the volunteer ball

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Commentary by Cindy Benedict

Smiles and Jackie Bell just go together. She has a wonderful smile and it generates her greatest pleasure at work – watching parents smile as they pick up their children at Primrose School of Noblesville. Jackie, her husband Tom, and business partner Randy Brown, began Primrose in 2008, and today operate a thriving childcare and preschool program with 33 staff and about 175 students.

“It is so gratifying to see parents smile in our halls,” Bell said. “It means they know their children are happy, and safe, and they can go to work worry free.”

Bell also helps hundreds of Noblesville residents smile with her tireless volunteering for Noblesville Main Street where she organizes all the First Friday events, the Street Dance’s “Kids Zone,” the Back to School Bash and the White River Celebration’s Duck Race. She plans a big event once a month so everyone can enjoy it on the historic Square. Her passion for downtown Noblesville comes from being raised in Hartford City, another county seat. It was major reason they settled in Noblesville.

“I absolutely love downtown and want to see it thrive,” Bell said.

So she donates a significant amount of time to ensure that our downtown is active and engaging for everyone.

Her spirit of generosity is evident in all she does – something she credits to her parents who were great role models. The Primrose character development programs include partnering with Good Samaritan Network on their annual Thanksgiving/Christmas activities, collecting for the Humane Society and hosting an annual Spring Fling charity event for their families. Each year the collection goes to a different agency and last year they raised $2,500 for the Noblesville Trustee’s office.

She and Tom are passing on the spirit of volunteerism to their children. Madison, a student at Indiana University, is an active Dance Marathon volunteer for Riley’s Children Hospital. Baylee, a Ball State freshman, has taken on extra team building duties as part of her gymnastics team. Brett, their Noblesville High School sophomore, is starting the first “Walk for Water” with Water Missions International to bring safe drinking water to all areas of the world. The walk is at 3 p.m. April 30 beginning at NHS.

Next time you see Bell on the Square be sure to smile – it will light up her day.

Cindy Benedict is the community engagement manager for the City of Noblesville. She may be reached at 770-2007 or cbenedict@noblesville.in.us.

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