In 2008, as the community of New Albany and the local school district of New Albany-Plain prepared to dedicate the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Arts Center, preview tours have been offered for the new location.

Among the participants were members of the New Albany Women’s Network.

By this time, the women’s group had become a force for good, supporting a number of charitable causes and providing a way for neighbors to connect.

After the visit, members of the NAWN offered to volunteer for weeklong events that would introduce the McCoy Center to the community.

Fast forward to 2021, and history repeats itself.

NAWN executives recently visited the Charleen & Charles Hinson Amphitheater, which is scheduled to open on August 31. And like their predecessors, they offered to volunteer for the dedication and benefit of the amphitheater.

This is just another chapter in the long, impactful relationship between NAWN and the foundation.

Over the years, they’ve teamed up to erect a playground, started the Safety Town of New Albany program, helped establish a homework help center in the library, supported the author residency program of New Albany Scholars in Schools and have helped renovate the kitchen of the Plain Township Fire Department, just to name a few.

Tens of thousands of New Albany children are safer because they participated in Safety Town, and the author’s residency program, now in its tenth year, has inspired tens of thousands of students to love read and write.

As a former board member and founding mother of NAWN, I am especially proud of how these organizations continue to invest in our community, with their time, talent and treasure.

Both organizations have gone through many leadership transitions over the years, but a common thread throughout their existence has been a commitment to bringing people together in a spirit of community stewardship.

We look forward to the grand opening of the magnificent amphitheater in August. It promises to serve as a unique and intimate place for the community to come together and grow rich.

As we celebrate the families, businesses and public partners who have made this possible, please take a moment to thank the members of NAWN who will be working on the events as volunteers.

They are yet another demonstration of how the residents of New Albany join hands in building our amazing community.

Cherie Nelson is a former board member of the New Albany Community Foundation, a founding member of the New Albany Women’s Network and executive director of the New Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.