Smalltown Heroes Honored by Church in Creative Fashion
By Hannah Rady
Jack Tapy was a man who had a passion for serving others and using his gifts as a tool to impact Eaton Church of God in Eaton, Indiana. He may not have liked attention, but his work didn’t go unnoticed. Tapy was full of wisdom, always willing to offer his gift of handiwork to the church and was a leader that many generations looked up to. After Tapy passed, Eaton Church of God wanted to honor the light that he was for the church by being a light for the community of Eaton. This is how the Jack Tapy Community Day and 5K came to be.
This past August, Eaton Church of God was able to put on their 3rd annual Jack Tapy Community Day and 5K. The event entails a 5K where anyone can walk or run, take part in community activities, and use a free dumpster to clean up their homes or yards. Both events may seem odd to be joined on the same day, but there is a purpose behind it. The 5K and Community Day were combined because the church felt that they would help reach more facets of Eaton; not to mention that the 5K is named after Jim Schwarzkopf, another prominent member of the community who, like Tapy, made an impact on the town.
With the help of local businesses, sponsors, and support from the community, the church has been able to successfully grow this event each year. This year the Eaton Police Department and Medical Services stepped up in a huge way. Whether it was bringing a positive energy to the events, helping with the roads, or offering free blood pressure checks, these two pillars of the community helped make the day a true community experience.
Although the Eaton Church of God looks to impact their community throughout the year, this event is special. Roger Spitler, lead pastor of the church, said, “Sometimes, it doesn’t seem like good things can happen in small towns, so we hope this is a light to the town. We hope that by doing it we can remember Jack’s influence on our lives, church, and community. We hope we are sharing the love of Jesus with others so that, if the opportunity presents itself to us, we will be a church that people will look to for help.”
As this event continues to grow, the church is looking to add more elements and rebrand the event. Spitler explained, “In true Jack Tapy fashion, we’ll rebrand and rename the events, per the family’s request. It isn’t about Jack. It’s about doing good for others to share the love of Jesus with them.”
The changes or additions to the event won’t take away from the main purpose of it. The church hopes to annually use this special day to fulfill the mission of the church and learn from a beloved member of their community, Jack Tapy.
Hannah Rady is a junior from Cloverdale, Indiana, majoring in public relations and minoring in sport marketing and journalism. Hannah is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.
Photos courtesy Victoria’s View Photography of Hartford City, Indiana.