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AGENCY HISTORY - Lampion Center celebrates their 125th Anniversary this year 


125th Anniversary LogoThe history of Lampion Center began on August 6, 1885 when a group of concerned women formed a small organization to aid the needs of Civil War veterans and their families in Evansville. The organization, known as the Women's Relief Corps, was composed solely of volunteers whose chief activities were dispensing food and clothing. The Women's Relief Corps and other community volunteer groups were combined in 1897 to form one organization called Associated Charities which located at 412 Upper Third Street in Evansville.

In 1920, after two decades of successful service to the community, Associated Charities was reorganized to act as an umbrella funding organization for benevolent organizations and was renamed Community Welfare. The stock market crash and resulting economic chaos in the early 1930's prompted attention to unemployment relief.

New offices were purchased at 517 Bond Street with financial aid from the Community Fund in 1937. Later that year, the flood of 1937 destroyed much of the city, leaving thousands homeless. The Agency was at the forefront as families attempted to rebuild all that had been washed away.

The Agency obtained its current identity in 1940 when the Child Welfare League and the Family Welfare Association merged to become Family and Children's Service became the new emphasis of the agency. In 1942, the agency was licensed for child placement by the Indiana Department of Public Welfare, and in 1943, the agency initiated adoptive placement, which was to become a strong area of service over the next four decades.

In 1961 Family and Children Services weathered a financial crisis and hired Mr. Ed "Turk" Ebert as Executive Director. Several years later, after stabilizing, the agency moved to 217 S.E. 8th Street. In 1965, an innovative program for school age unwed mothers was begun. The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation took over the administration of this successful program and later moved the classes to the North High School Annex.

Fran Dice served as Director from 1986 thru 1994. Under her leadership the agency became less dependent on United Way funding and initiated several new programs. These included mediation services, an informational seminar for divorcing parents and additional family life education programs. Also during this time, adoptive placement services were discontinued due to declining numbers.

Lynn D. Kyle is the current Executive Director of the agency. Since her arrival in 1995, creative growth in programs, staff and funding sources has taken place. New community centered program initiatives have led to a dramatic increase in the level of outreach into the community and the addition of several new staff positions. Dynamic collaborative partnerships have been formed with many agencies and entities in the community, which are furthering the success of current programs.

Past Board Presidents

Women's Relief Corporation:1885-1897 Miss Mary Wilson,Mrs. Marie Schwaner,Mrs. Charles Meyerhoff

Associated Charites: 1897 - 1920 Dr. Edwin Walker, Mr. Abe Strouse, Mr. George Clifford

Community Welfare: 1920-1925 Mr. Sam May, Rve. Wm Dresel, Mr. A. L. Holland

Family Welfare Association: 1925-1940 Mrs. Thomas Ross, Mrs. Wm Newman, Mr. Norman Shane, Rev. T.A Wigginton, Mrs. F.L. Erlbacher, Mrs. Carl Fischer, Mr. Milford Miller

Family and Children's Service: 1940 -2003

1940- Mrs. Charles Bills

1942- Mr. William Craig

1943 - Mrs. Pearl Rose

1946 - Mr. William Craig

1947 - Mr. Fred Atkinson

1949 - Mr. Martin Leich

1953 - Mr. Robert Schlundt

1954 - Mr. Max DeJong

1955 - Mr. William Gumberts

1957 - Mr. William Baugh

1959 - Mr. Charles Roberts

1960 - Mr. Samuel G. Clifford

1963 - Mr. J. B. Davis

1964 - Dr. Eugene Austin

1966 - Mr. Gaylon Clark

1967 - Mr. Jack VanStone

1969 - Mr. Allen Siebers

1972 - Mr. William Powell

1974 - Dr. Robert Garnett

1975- Mr. Alan Shovers

1979 - Dr. Bob Morgan

1981 - Mr. Scott Fenneman

1983- Mr. Randall Shepard

1984- Mrs. Ruth Klassy

1987 - Dr. Bob Morgan

1988 - Mr. Ed Frederking

1990- Mr. Ed Honore

1991- Mr. Steve Barber

1992- Dr. Alan Solomon

1993- Mr. Eric Mann

1995- Mrs. Virginia Combs

1996 - Ms. Teri Albin

1998- Mr. Terry Huber

2001- Ms. Lisa Tanner

2003- Mr. Frank McManus

2007- Mrs. Jane Wittmer Kuhn

2008- Nancy Johnson

2010- Chris Rutledge

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