In addition to celebrating Jasper’s 2022 Strongest Town recognition, this year’s Strassenfest theme, “Strong Roots Grow Strong Towns” honors a group that has been integral in showcasing our history, the Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition. We wanted to share a little more about this organization and the work they have done to preserve the “Strong Roots” of our town.
In 2003, Dave Buehler gathered a group of civic minded individuals at the Riverwalk. At the time, their line of vision included a shelter house on the south side of the Patoka River, a dilapidated factory & kiln building, a gas station and a rock parking lot with a metal warehouse on it. Dave proceeded to share his vision of what the old area of Jasper could look like. And thus, ROJAC or Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition was born – with the main goal of providing economic development through tourism. The transformation began soon after ROJAC’s inception. With broad-based community support – volunteers, private & public donations, grants and local government – we have what you see today.
Because of this beautiful transformation, the goal of increased economic development was realized with the private investment additions of the River Centre and the Fairfield Inn, followed by the grand finale of the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center.
All of this started with a vision from one man, Dave Buehler, along with past and present board members who have met monthly for the past 20 years. The ROJAC board includes current & original members – Dave Buehler, Ken Sendelweck, Jim Siebert, Maureen Braun, Nancy Eckerle, Kim Lottes, Bill Schmitt, & Bill Kaiser, along with current members, Joe Rohleder, Mayor Dean Vonderheide, Tom Moorman, Kevin Manley, Lisa Gehlhausen, Todd Fromme & Whitney Lubbers. Past board members include – Ken Sternberg, Ron Flick, Leon Fleck, Ken Schmidt, Terry Seitz, Mary Mehringer, Jerry Fuhs, Richard Pearson & Kristen Ruhe.
THANK YOU! From the ROJAC board for your continued support and investment in Old Jasper.