Local woman gives back to her community
By Nancy Edwards
Rhonda Wright is one busy lady. She considers every client at the hairstyling salon she owns as family. When she’s not working she goes to their weddings, their grandchildren’s baby showers or, if a loved one dies, to the funeral to offer support.
If a dedicated client misses an appointment, she drops by the person’s home to make sure her client is OK. For her homebound clients who are unable to drive, she picks them up, takes them to the salon for their appointment and then drives them back home.
That’s just for starters.
The 57-year-old lifelong resident of Fishers owns Wright Touch Styling Salon on North Allisonville and 116th Street, is very active in her sorority, Kappa Delta Phi; pioneered the Fishers Freedom Festival 25 years ago (where she still volunteers), helps with Saxony’s annual Oktoberfest, raises money for the Delaware Township food pantry, collects coupons for soldiers and pop tabs for Riley Children’s Hospital, and donates shoes for needy children.
“I’m just giving back to the community,” Wright said with an unassuming shrug. “My dad is the same type, he was a workaholic; I guess I have Dad’s trait. I can’t sit down and watch TV or read a magazine. I’m either doing paperwork or calling someone.”
Though humble herself, her friends give plenty of praise for her efforts.
“She’s just one of those people in our community that gives a lot,” said Rachelle Byerly, one of Wright’s sorority sisters, and a friend from high school. “Our sorority would not have the money that we have to help out the community had it not been for Rhonda.”
The Fishers Freedom Festival would not be what it is today had Wright not been involved.
When Wright was growing up, Fishers was a smaller place – the kind of town where everyone seemed to know each other and where families would join their friends at the local fish fry.
“Everybody pitched in with desserts and pies. We’d have a street dance and fry fish,” she said.
Years later, as Fishers expanded and Wright’s own children grew, she said she wanted her own kids to have something to remember with their kids too.
Wright and two of her friends, Dawn Dargoo and Darcy Bryant, created Fishers Freedom Festival 25 years ago on Holland Drive. Then the area was nothing but fields. The stage for entertainment was on the back of a trailer. Gradually the event grew from a one-day event to two days.
Wright is still in charge of the entertainment. She also serves as division leader for the parade.
“This is my version of the traditional fish fry,” she said.
In her spare time, Wright enjoys time with her husband, Jack, two daughters, Laura and Leslie, and four grandchildren: Landon, Logan, Holden and Hallie. Jack, her high school sweetheart, works night security for Conner Prairie; Laura is a director for The Goddard School at 116th and Brooks School Road, and Leslie works alongside her sister in the infant care room.
Caring seems to run in the family.
“Rhonda’s the first person to get to the building for our sorority luncheon and the last one to leave,” Byerly said. “She makes sure the ‘i’s’ are dotted and the ‘t’s’ are crossed, that all the details are taken care of.”