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.

March 13 Civic Association gathering

On Monday March 13, the Woodruff Place Civic Association hosted their annual spring pitch in dinner in advance of the meeting. A variety of salads, pasta dishes, desserts and beverages were available to those in attendance. The meeting featured a preliminary update on the earnings from the Casino Woodruff fundraiser, updates on the EID budget and resulting work on fountains, lights and other common area features, as well as general business and brief presentation from several local organizations including IMPD, Stopover, Lyn House, and the interim Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocate.

Meet Your Block Captains

Meet Your Block Captains

Have you ever wondered how the Urban Times and Woodruff neighborhood flyers magically appear on your doorstep? These information sources are delivered to you via a group of wonderful Woodruff volunteers who take the time to make this happen. This is an easy task during favorable weather, but these ladies deliver the news in all kinds of conditions throughout the year.  The next time you see them, be sure to thank them.

Street NW NE SW SE
East Drive Jan Bass Sher Burgin Julie Green (and family) Missy Ellis
Middle Drive Vickie Gross Jeanne Rogow Vanessa Lowry Margaret Arena
West Drive Tessie Lloyd-Jones Kristen Abbott (and family) Katie Neill Doreen Tatnall

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Adopt- A- Block Captains

Woodruff Place also has Keep Indianapolis Beautiful volunteer block captains who help keep the Woodruff Drives and sidewalks free of litter. Because of these volunteers, Woodruff has received free trees (most recently for Town Hall Backyard project), perennials, and annuals that are planted in Woodruff public areas.

Street North South
East Drive Julie and Kurt Tornquist Missy Ellis
Middle Drive  (Available) Meredith Brickell
West Drive Tessie Lloyd-Jones Doreen Tatnall


If you have any questions or would like to volunteer fill the vacant KIB spot contact Tessie Lloyd Jones at tesskim.lj@gmail.com

2017 Casino Woodruff Donors and Sponsors

Woodruff Place would like to sincerely thank the following businesses and individuals for their donations to our 2017 Casino Woodruff silent auction. We are extremely grateful for your generosity and support!

Ash & Elm Cider Co.
B’s Po Boy
Be the Boutique
Bier Brewery
Black Acre Brewing
Cosmic Chrome Café
Darala White-Barnett
Footlite Musicals
Gabe Von Letscher
Get Dirty Ceramics
Guy Holbert
Hoagies & Hops
Hubbard & Cravens
Indiana Grand Casino
Indiana Historical Society
Indianapolis Cultural Trail
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indy Brew Bus
Indy Reads Books
Invoke Studio
Jake Miller
Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza
Julie Tornquist
Landmark Theatres
Mass Ave Pub
Monica Deal
Neil Hoerstman
Nestle Inn
Pickled Pedaler
Pogue’s Run Grocer
Rabble Coffee
Ram Brewery
Rob Dickinson
Rooster’s Kitchen
Saffron Café
Salt on Mass
Sarah Leverton
Silver in the City
Steve Downs
Sub Zero Ice Cream
Sun King Brewing
Teacher’s Treasures
Tessie Lloyd-Jones
Tick Tock Lounge
Tim & Julie’s Another Fine Mess
Vanessa Jave-Lowry

Viva Casino Woodruff

Like Las Vegas, Casino Woodruff was filled with bright lights, loud music, adult beverages, and happy people gambling the night away on March 11th.  The Woodruff Place Town Hall was packed with Woodruffians and friends helping to raise money for the Woodruff Place Foundation.  The Foundation funds help with the upkeep and improvement of the neighborhoods historic infrastructure.

The Casino Committee was led by James Ryan and included Jennifer Vines, Katie Neill, Cliff Bradley, Eric Muelhausen, Kurtis Bowerstock, and Emily Scott. Cliff and Terri Bradley and the Cosmic Chrome Café provided the food and Stuart and Traci Robertson donated the beer and wine. Ted Tatnell served as the evening’s MC.  Many other volunteers bartended and served food, sold Jello shots and 50/50 tickets, sold chips, decorated, and helped with many other needed functions.

The Committee solicited a wide range of Silent Auction from area businesses, restaurants, bars, and neighbors.  The contributors are recognized in a separate article.  Bidding was fast and furious as neighbors competed to take home these prizes.

Thanks to all those involved for a wonderful evening.