Center fulfilling a local’s legacy

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Family members of Connie Haimbaugh at the dedication on Sept. 6. From left, John Demaree (son in-law), Elizabeth Haimbaugh Demaree (daughter), Ben Harper (family friend), Andrew Demaree (grandson). (Submitted photo)

Family members of Connie Haimbaugh at the dedication on Sept. 6. From left, John Demaree (son in-law), Elizabeth Haimbaugh Demaree (daughter), Ben Harper (family friend), Andrew Demaree (grandson). (Submitted photo)

By Abby Walton

When visiting a new city, most people want to know what there is to see and do, and the Welcome Center in downtown Zionsville makes that possible.

“As we were creating the Zionsville Cultural District, we found that people said they would like some type of welcome center to greet people coming into the city,” said Candace Ulmer of the ZCD. Through the help of funding from the town’s Food and Beverage fund, the Zionsville Welcome Center officially opened in December at 365 S. Main St.

Since opening, Ulmer said many people have passed through the Welcome Center, which is staffed entirely by volunteers and kept running through donations.

“During this time, we were thinking of ways to help with funding and that’s when we learned about Constance “Connie” Haimbaugh,” Ulmer said. Haimbaugh died in 2012, but during her lifetime the Zionsville resident lived the values that the ZCD wants to instill in the Welcome Center.

“She was an accomplished pianist, artist and businesswoman. She owned The Cedar Chest antique shop in the village for many years,” Ulmer said.

With the support of Haimbaugh’s family, in early September the center was re-named “The Connie Haimbaugh Welcome Center.”

“Words cannot express our family’s joy when we heard the citizens of this community wanted to dedicate the Welcome Center of Zionsville to our mother. Our mother exemplified all the characteristics that the Welcome Center embraces; welcoming visitors and residents with a loving smile, encouraging others to embrace their talents of art and music, and volunteering her time to promote Zionsville,” stated Connie’s daughter, Elizabeth Haimbaugh Demaree.

Ulmer said the ZCD wants to make the welcome center a place that will feature local artists and musicians, provide guidance to visitors looking for things to do, or just be a place where people can hang out and have a cup of coffee.

“Our mission is to really make Zionsville a destination for people,” Ulmer said. While promoting the arts, another goal of the ZCD is to showcase the city as an area for economic development. “We want this center to be the starting point for people entering our city,” Ulmer said.

Since the center runs on financial gifts, donations are greatly appreciated.

“Our mother left a legacy of joy. To insure this legacy continues, donations are welcomed,” Haimbaugh Demaree stated. Checks can be made out to the Community Foundation of Boone County referencing The Connie Haimbaugh Welcome Center. Donations can then be mailed to Elizabeth Demaree at 615 Starkey Rd., Zionsville, IN 46077.

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