Michelle Pfeifer, a longtime participant in Rauch services, has been selected as a torchbearer for the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay. Torchbearers are Hoosiers who demonstrate exceptional public service, excellence in their profession, acts of heroism or volunteer service to their neighborhood, community, region, or state.
Michelle has lived in Greenville, Indiana, all her life. Born with intellectual and developmental disabilities, she was embraced by a large family of siblings who empowered and encouraged her to have a full life. After completing her studies at New Albany Senior High School, Michelle enrolled in services at Rauch, Inc. Michelle works at Rauch Industries and participates in Rauch’s ACCESS program.
Through ACCESS as well as her family and friends in the community, Michelle has developed a broad range of connections with people in the Floyd County community and beyond. An enthusiastic athlete, she is a regular at the YMCA of Southern Indiana- New Albany and was formerly a Meals on Wheels volunteer, where the recipients of the meals always looked forward to her delivery day because of her cheerful demeanor. Michelle’s mother, Margaret “Peg” Pfeifer, marvels at the people who know and greet Michelle when they are out in the community – she never knows who might be a friend of Michelle.
Michelle also has a special talent for completing jigsaw puzzles, and was featured in the Courier-Journal newspaper several years ago for this talent. With Peg’s help, the puzzles are mounted and adorn the walls throughout the basement of their Greenville home. Completed puzzles have also been donated to charity auctions and given as gifts.
Michelle is a wonderful example of a person with a disability who is an ambassador for our whole Floyd County community, bringing awareness and building bridges with her smile, handshake, and excited "Hey! I know you!"
An exclusive group of just over 2,200 Hoosiers will pass the torch along a 3,200-mile route through each of Indiana's 92 counties. The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is an initiative of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development and is one of the premiere celebrations of Indiana's Bicentennial. The relay begins on September 9 in Corydon and culminates October 15 at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.
Special thanks to Indiana State Representative Ed Clere, who had the wonderful idea for us to nominate some of the people we work with at Rauch for this great honor.