Volunteer Spotlight: Missy Ellis

Volunteer Spotlight will be a recurring feature in the Woodruff Place Post section of the Urban Times and will shine a spotlight on Woodruffians who endeavor to make the neighborhood better in countless ways.
How long have you lived in Woodruff Place & what made you choose to buy a home in this neighborhood?
My husband, Greg Staab, and I were married in 1983. A tip from a friend led us to our first apartment in a rambling three story place on West Drive. Our first house was in Broad Ripple, then in 1994 we returned to Woodruff to buy our own “forever” Victorian, the renovation/remodel we had long dreamed to undertake. The current total is roughly twenty-four and a half years.
What is your favorite neighborhood event and why?
I love the progressive dinner. It’s a chance to see lovely homes, usually decked out for the winter holidays, at their finest. Sharing excellent cuisine and conversations with numerous neighbors is a warm and celebratory experience.
Favorite locally-owned Eastside business(es):
We find ourselves at La Parada frequently, and the east end of Mass Ave is a go-to for many reasons. I’m thankful for the FACE clinic which is so often a solution to the needs of hurting animals found in the area.
Which fellow Woodruffian inspires you and why?
So many! I’m not sure where the neighborhood would be without the Lloyd-Joneses and the Tatnalls and the Neills. Tom Abeel has been my role model for leadership. Not only has he participated in virtually everything that happens in Woodruff, he is always highly educated about every operation that goes into making a project work. I always learn from him, and he and wife Linda Gilkerson are great friends.
Blood runs cream and crimson in the Ellis and Staab families; my bachelor’s and master’s degrees are both from Indiana University. I’m a retired English (and journalism and film studies and creative writing) teacher. I taught at Bishop Chatard High School for twenty-seven years.
Running and reading and gardening vie for equal rank at the top of my list; yoga is my newest near-obsession. Also, Greg and I love to travel as much as possible.
Volunteerism (both in WP and beyond):
I was able to retire earlier than most, largely for the purpose of turning my attention to volunteer work. Outside of Woodruff, I volunteer at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, on the House Corporation Board of the Alpha Phi chapter at Indiana University, and at Indy Reads Bookstore. Currently within Woodruff, I am the vice-president of the Foundation board, a member of the Town Hall committee, the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Adopt-a-Block chair for my block, and the co-chair (with Greg) of the Flea Market Trash Troopers. Our garden will be on the 2017 home and garden tour. Past WP volunteerism includes a stint on the Civic League board, two years as its president, organizing and participating in about half a dozen homes tours, hosting the progressive dinner, participating in every clean-up possible, and more I can’t recall. I’d do almost anything for Woodruff. Almost.
What do you hope the future holds for WP?
I deeply hope that the new influxes of money from the EID designation and matching grants will serve to stabilize our historic infrastructure. Once it is solid and needs only routine maintenance, our generation of homeowners will have made a wonderful gift to the future. I also hope our renowned joie de vivre and community spirit continue to grace all our neighborhood interactions.