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Conner Prairie Alliance

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Mission

The Alliance is a women's volunteer organization that supports the programs and projects of Conner Prairie Interactive History Park through creative fundraising.  In furtherance of this purpose, the Alliance shall raise funds to support the mission of the Conner Prairie Museum. The Alliance will function as a partner of the Conner Prairie Museum in all of its endeavors.

The Alliance is a dynamic women’s organization that supports the programs and projects of Conner Prairie Interactive History Park through creative fundraising. The Conner Prairie Alliance has a rich history dating from 1982 when it began as a small offshoot of the Junior League of Indianapolis. Since then, the Alliance has worked to raise funds totaling $900,000 to support Conner Prairie.

Proceeds from various fundraising efforts have supported such projects as the children's playground, Featherston Barn, Animal Encounters, Discovery Station, Craft Corner and the 1859 Balloon Voyage. At their 2011 holiday luncheon, the Conner Prairie Alliance presented a check for $85,000 to Conner Prairie President and CEO Ellen Rosenthal designated to the River Crossing Play Area in the 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana experience. More recently, in 2013, the Alliance gave $75,000 to Conner Prairie in support of our mission.

Their primary fundraiser is the Apple Store, a seasonal food and gifts shop managed by the women of the Alliance from September through October. Tasty treats include apples, cider slushies, caramel-dipped apples, popcorn, pies and many other food items and gifts.

This passionate group is recognized at Conner Prairie for their hard work and valued funds generated for the museum. Alliance members are engaged throughout the year with Apple Store planning, as well as with educational and social events.

Featured Member: Peggy Neal

The Alliance began as a Jr. League project, The Apple Stand.  Jenny Hacker, the first Alliance President, sponsored Peggy Neal, but Peggy’s volunteerism began with Indiana’s Bicentennial Commission in 1976. The Elegant Country Luncheon was a favorite fundraising project that kept Peggy very busy for 12 years.  This wonderful fund raiser featured Martha Stewart as the first speaker and ended after 12 years with Willard Scott speaking. The tremendous amount of work and volunteers needed for the luncheon eventually gave way to the continued growth of the Apple Store.

Peggy Neal is our longest active member in the Alliance, joining in 1990. She is a breath of fresh air reminding one of a garden of colors, always dressing for the season and every holiday.  Peggy and her husband have been married for 39 years. They have one son and three lovely grandchildren, two of which have brilliant red hair.

Peggy was born and raised in Indianapolis.  “I spent my life defending Indianapolis, but now Indianapolis defends itself.  Indianapolis’ spirit of volunteerism sets us apart beginning with the Pan American Games all the way through the Super Bowl.”  Peggy lives this spirit of volunteerism through her work with Conner Prairie and numerous organizations. Recently Peggy received recognition for her many years of volunteer service to Indianapolis from Mayor Greg Ballard.

She sold real estate for many years and still has her license today.  She is a long distance walker and swimmer. Peggy has been an avid photographer for many years and continues to work on a photo journal of Conner Prairie, documenting its history and the Alliance activities as our Photo Historian.
Peggy encourages others to participate in the Alliance because “It has a comfort zone for everyone.”  Wonderful friendships and The Baker’s Dozen, are Peggy’s favorite part of the Alliance. She says the members are so passionate, but friendly and welcoming.

The Apple Store

Open every fall since 1984, The Apple Store offers traditional tasty treats throughout the months of September and October including: Hand-dipped caramel apples
Cider slushies
Apple and pumpkin donuts
Popcorn
Pasteurized apple cider
Multiple variety of apples from local orchards
Jams and jellies
Apple pies
Amish goods
Gourmet dog treats
Special gift items
Special order gourmet caramel apples, upon request

Join the Alliance

Join these creative, energetic, fun women in supporting Conner Prairie! Membership is open to all women who support the mission of the Alliance and Conner Prairie.

My children grew up learning at Conner Prairie and I always knew I would repay that someday by joining the Alliance. I had no idea I would still be getting more than I could ever give back: friendships, fun, and the joy of watching other families with young children follow in our footsteps!
Ellen Smith, member since 2007

"The wonderful, fun women in the Alliance keep you coming back -- I have found many kindred souls in the group. And I just love Conner Prairie and our Apple Store!"
Karen C., Alliance Member since 1992

Ready to Learn More?

Request more information about the Conner Prairie Alliance. Please submit your contact information here.   A member will contact you and answer any questions you have.

Or, for more information about the Conner Prairie Alliance, please contact Deb Waldkoetter. You can also visit us on Facebook.