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Dozens gather at Indiana Beach to rally

(Provided Photo/WLFI)

MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI) — Dozens of people gathered at Indiana Beach on Saturday in hopes of saving a staple in their community. It’s still hard for people to fathom the closing of a place many called home.

“Indiana Beach is closing for good and there’s nothing I can do about it,” said Dustin Sprunger. “But I was wrong, there was something I could do about it.”

Monticello native Sprunger had no idea that his online petition to save Indiana Beach would get over 40,000 signatures and create a powerful noise of heart heavy community members. More than 200 people traveled miles to create a voice as big as their passion.

“We have so many memories and to see it go is probably one of the saddest things I’ve dealt with in a long time,” said Carry Degraff Shirley, who traveled from Michigan.

“I’ve been coming here since the 70s,” said Raquel Watson, who traveled from Chicago. “It’s just been a childhood thing that we do every single year.”

Indiana Beach was also a place for community outreach. For 26 years, Cindy Holt and other seasonal campers would hold a haunted house, donating all of the proceeds to the White County food pantry. After raising over $4,000 dollars last year, she’s especially sad to see Indiana Beach close.

“We spend all of our summer here,” said Holt. “We want to give back to a community that welcomes us so much. You know, it is the right thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.”

Jodella Overman, from Indianapolis, was especially passionate. She said families who didn’t have a lot of money could visit Indiana Beach with no worries.

“We know it’s not like Six Flags or Kings Island,” said Overman. “But you can’t go to those places with little means. You can come here and bring all your kids, your grandkids, the whole family.”

“There’s more than corn in Indiana,” said Overman. “And it is Indiana Beach, Lake Shafer.”