Superior Court II, Judge Dean Colvin served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Speakers for the evening included John Oliver, President of U.S. Granules. John told those gathered the honor he had attending the Senator’s swearing in ceremony in Washington D.C. on January 3rd. He talked about the friendship they have and took a minute to personally thank Joe for honoring him nearly a year ago by reading into the Congressional Record a statement on Mr. Oliver’s 50th Anniversary of immigrating to this country.
Mark Gidley went to the podium, opened up a bag and pulled out a red and a blue tie and said, “In America we have been reduced to blue ties and red ties, blue states and red states, blue counties and red counties and blue cities and red cities.” He continued by saying, “We are a combination of it now that the election is over.” Gidley said, “Our congressman, and now Senator has recognized that very fact.”
Also speaking was Marshall County Commissioner Kevin Overmyer. He spoke about the work Joe has done to help Marshall County on a variety of project. The new 7th Road received $665,000 while the Garden Court Apartments in Culver, Plymouth and LaPaz have a combined over $4.75 million in HUD grants from 2010 to 2012. Letters of support from Donnelly also brought $832,000 in FEMA and DOJ funding for rural fire and police departments in Marshall, Fulton and Starke Counties. Overmyer said, “Joe, you have been a tireless advocate for veterans of the country and it’s been an honor to call you a friend over the years.” He encouraged Joe to bring his wisdom to the senate.
Following a sit-down dinner Senator Donnelly spoke to the nearly 175 invited guests. He started by saying, “This is a labor of love. I thank you for giving me a chance to serve this community I love, this state I love, and this country I love.” Joe continued, “Before we were democrats or republicans we were Americans.” He spoke about the challenges we face as a nation and how democrats and republicans are working together to solve these problems. Donnelly told those gathered, “I believe if you work hard, put your head down and plow away you can accomplish what you want.” He said, “The dreams of this country are there for you to achieve.”