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September 28, 2016

Celebrating June & Jacie: Local women recognized for service to the community during annual Day of Caring breakfast


(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
Jacie Worrick, at left, and June Keiser, right, of J&J Insurance Solutions accept the 2016 Acts of Service Award from Whitley County United Way executive director Cindy Baker. As J&J Insurance Solutions, Worrick and Keiser were lauded for their decades-long support of the community with their time and treasure. Worrick and Keiser have been long-time volunteers, serving many local non-profit organizations and making Whitley County a better place. The surprise award was presented during the annual Whitley County United Way Day of Caring breakfast held Tuesday morning in Columbia City.

Bobbie Alexander's commitment to animals in need recognized with United Way award


(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
A tradition of the annual Whitley County United Way Day of Caring, the Volunteer of the Year award was presented on Tuesday morning, celebrating the selfless acts of a local woman in support of the community's fuzzy friends.DofCAlexander2916.jpg
Whitley County United Way recognized Bobbie Alexander for her ongoing, devoted efforts to support the Humane Society of Whitley County, from cleaning cages to coordinating volunteers. The award came as a complete surprise to Alexander, at center above, who was overcome with emotion at learning she had been named as the award's recipient.
At right, Alexander pauses for a photo with the United Way Volunteer of the Year award following the awards ceremony at the Day of Caring Breakfast held Tuesday at the Whitley County 4-H Center in Columbia City.

ISMS volleyball player Emily Johnson serves 24 consecutive scoring balls

(Talk of the Town photo provided)ISMSVolleyball916.jpg
Indian Springs Middle School student and volleyball team member Emily Johnson of Whitley County had an incredible experience on the volleyball court recently.
Johnson, the daughter of Jeff and Denise Johnson, managed to serve 24 consecutive balls, scoring a win for her team against East Noble. The final score was 25-2 for their first game.

Community Foundation of Whitley County: Nominations now being accepted for 'Heart of Gold' awards

Article provided

Do you know someone who deserves more than a simple "thanks" or pat on the back? The Community Foundation invites you to join us in celebrating and recognizing Whitley County's unsung heroes as we present the Heart of Gold Awards. Our goal is to identify and provide recognition to those "everyday" citizens in our community who give of themselves to make life better for others.
This will be the 21st year for this annual event. Past Heart of Gold recipients have varied in age from 9 to 90; some have been honored for shoveling walks, another for donating a kidney! The common thread is that they all give of themselves unselfishly to serve others, collectively or individually, with acts of service and kindness. Any Whitley County resident is eligible to be nominated.
Each person nominated for a Heart of Gold Award will receive a heart-shaped medallion inscribed with their name. Three special finalists will be chosen and awarded with the opportunity to direct a $1,000 grant to the Whitley County charity of their choice. A reception highlighting all nominees will take place at the Eagles Nest Event Center the evening of Thursday, November 17th. At that time, the honorees will learn who nominated them for the honor. It's a fun-filled night, packed with appreciation that always leaves guests feeling fortunate to call Whitley County home.
If you know someone with a heart of gold, please take a moment to tell us about this special person. This isn't an essay contest; no points will be given for style; nominations should be limited to no more than 400 words. If you are unsure about how to fill out a nomination form or are unable to do so for any reason, please call the Foundation at 244-5224. Our staff will be happy to assist you.​
The deadline for receiving nominations is Friday, October 28, 2016.  Nomination forms can be found and submitted on line by visiting the Community Foundation's website at  under the "Program" heading. You may also submit a nomination form by mail. Be sure to include the name and address of the Heart of Gold Nominee as well as your name and address. Send your nominations to: CFWC, Attn: Heart of Gold Awards, 400 N. Whitley Street, Columbia City, IN 46725.

Local Christian school to benefit from McDonald's fundraiser

From report
Faith Christian Academy will receive a portion of the proceeds from all purchases made at the Columbia City McDonald's during the upcoming McTeacher's Night. The fundraiser is scheduled for Monday, October 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. Drive up and dine-in purchases will benefit the county's only interdenominational Christian school.

Greek life returns to IPFW with news of another national fraternity's plans to launch new chapter

From reports

After the July announcement that saw the return of Greek life, another national fraternity, Kappa Delta Rho, has announced a new chapter at IPFW.
Beginning at New Student Orientation on August 18 and 19, members of the Kappa Delta Rho recruitment team have been on campus looking for young men who are passionate about service, education and leadership.
 "After researching and learning of IPFW's commitment to creating environments that enhance learning by recognizing the inherent worth of all individuals, we saw a perfect fit for the location of our newest chapter in Indiana," said Joseph Rosenberg, KDR's national executive director. "We are excited to join the IPFW community and collaborating with the students and administration in creating a fraternal community that is focused on students' success and providing them with educational leadership opportunities and the opportunity to access more than $100,000 in annual scholarships."
Kappa Delta Rho was founded on May 17, 1905, at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. Since then, they have grown to over 25,000 initiated members and 37 active chapters across the country. The IPFW chapter will be the third active collegiate chapter in Indiana, joining its parent institutions, Indiana University-Bloomington and Purdue University-West Lafayette.
 "We are excited that Kappa Delta Rho has joined our growing list of Greek organizations at IPFW," said Kasey Price, assistant vice chancellor for student life and leadership. "We believe that they will provide a great opportunity for our students to continue to engage in leadership, service, and philanthropy activities at IPFW and throughout northeast Indiana."
Kappa Delta Rho is collaborating with new sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha to continue to provide a foundation for Greek life at IPFW.
For more information about Kappa Delta Rho at IPFW, contact Kasey Price, assistant vice chancellor for student life and leadership, at (260) 481-6883 or

About Kappa Delta Rho
Kappa Delta Rho is an American college social fraternity spread throughout the United States. It has more than 29,000 living alumni and more than 1,700 undergraduate members. Annually, undergraduate members are provided more than $100,000 in scholarships through the Kappa Delta Rho Foundation. KDR places emphasis on Fellowship, Leadership, Scholarship, Service, and Tradition. Kappa Delta Rho's open motto is "Honor Super Omnia", or "Honor Above All Things". More information about Kappa Delta Rho can be found online at

September 27, 2016

Area eighth graders invited to compete in annual Canterbury Scholar Competition

From reports

The annual Canterbury Scholar Competition will be held this Saturday, October 1, 2016, from 8:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Canterbury High School in Fort Wayne.
This testing is open to all area eighth graders. Sign up online at

Southwest Allen County first responders partner with IPFW on theatrical performance

Article provided

For the first time, representatives from the Southwest Allen County Fire Department will join students and faculty from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) for the 8th annual IPFW Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) Theatre Camp.
The camp takes place October 7-9 and will be held over IPFW's fall break, which allows CSD students and faculty to work with young people who use AAC devices to communicate, and with their families.
The camp will conclude with a public performance of the play Don't Wait--Check the Date, on Sunday, October 9, at 5 p.m. in Neff Hall, Room 101. The local community is invited to attend the play.
In keeping with the camp's new connection with the fire department, Sharon Mankey, CSD alumna and continuing lecturer, wrote this year's play about fire prevention and what to do in an emergency for those who may have different abilities.
"The AAC camp illustrates one of the many ways IPFW positively impacts the northeast Indiana region," said Stacy Betz,chair and associate professor of communication sciences and disorders.
Attendees are the actors in the camp's play, learning their lines during the first two days and performing the play on the closing day. Their families often paint scenery and help with costumes.
Campers also participate in social activities throughout the weekend. This year that will include communicating with a group of Southwest Allen County first responders. Firefighters will demonstrate their equipment and talk with the students about safety in an emergency.
Mankey and Mariesa Rang, CSD alumna, volunteer, and limited term lecturer, advocate regionally to increase public awareness of how to communicate with individuals who cannot verbally speak. They targeted first responders because of the need for good communication during emergencies.
"Southwest [Allen County Fire Department] welcomed us twice to do in-service training for their volunteers and employees," said Mankey, "but the crew wanted more opportunities to practice communicating with AAC users. This is how we came up with the idea to involve them in the camp."
"People who use AAC devices to communicate often do not have opportunities to perform," said Betz. "As campers, they have this experience on the IPFW campus. At the same time, our CSD undergraduate students gain valuable experience applying the knowledge they've learned in the classroom when working with the campers during rehearsals and the final stage production."
For more information on the camp or for media inquiries, contact Sharon Mankey, continuing lecturer and director of the Communication Disorders Clinic, at or 260-481-6952.

September 26, 2016

200 years in the making, excitement builds for local observance of Indiana's Bicentennial

BicentennialProclamation916.jpg(Talk of the Town file photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
Last December, the local celebration of Indiana's Bicentennial officially began with the reading of proclamations and a great deal of planning. On Thursday, the milestone year will be celebrated in a big way locally with the passing of a torch and events in Morsches Park. Above, Troy Gawthrop of the City of Columbia City hangs the city's Bicentennial flag at City Hall while City Councilman Dan Weigold reads a proclamation.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

How do you mark the monumental birth of a state in a way that is memorable?
A group of local volunteers have been pondering that very question for the better part of the past year, looking for ways to celebrate and honor Indiana's 200th year of statehood in a way that is...well...stately.
Locally, the celebrations will be held on Thursday, September 29 from 4 to 8 p.m. in Morsches Park in Columbia City.
The torch, which is traveling throughout the state, will arrive in Whitley County at 4:30 p.m. from Noble County at the Whitley-Noble County Line at SR 9, heading south to the Whitley County Courthouse. The travelcade will take the torch via Van Buren Street to Morsches Park to the Bicentennial Experience Unit in Morsches Park. The torch is anticipated to arrive in the city at 5:15 p.m.
Several events will be going on in Morches Park.
Food will be available in the park for purchase from Jill Daniel Catering as well as apples and water from the DAR. The Bicentennial Experience Mobile Unit and Whitley County Museum will have tours as well.
The schedule of events is as follows:
4:30 transfer of the torch from Noble to Whitley County
5:15  approximate arrival time
5:45 Prelude by combined choirs
5:55 Historic music by the Chain O Lakes Chorus
6:15  Ceremonies begin at the Bicentennial History Mobile Unit
        Welcome and introduction of state officials
        Prayer - Whitley County Ministerial Association
        Mayor Daniel
        County Commissioner - Don Amber
        President Abraham Lincoln
        President Theodore Roosevelt
        Vice President Thomas Marshall
        National Anthem - The Star Spangled Banner  Columbia City HS Band
        State song- On the Banks of the Wabash  combined choirs
                           Backhome again in Indiana
        Gun Salute 30th Indiana Volunteer Infantry
                            5th Indiana Light Artillery
end of formal ceremonies
The events will conclude at 8 p.m.
There is no cost to attend. The events have been coordinated by the Whitley County Historical Society and community volunteers.

Kosciusko County plans poignant celebration of Bicentennial

From reports

Kosciusko County will celebrate the Indiana Bicentennial with a Hoosier-themed concert on Thursday, September 29 at 7 p.m. in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center (MOCC), 610 Wooster Road, Winona Lake. The event is free, however, general admission tickets are required and seating will be limited. Tickets are available at Kosciusko County high schools, the Grace College Campus Store (located in the Gordon Recreation Center), the Grace College Athletic Office (located in the MOCC), and at Latte Lounge, 108 North Buffalo Street, Warsaw.BicentennialLogo916.jpg
The Indiana musical event is coordinated by Martin Becker with Grace College President Dr. Bill Katip, Warsaw Community Schools Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert, and Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer participating.  The Warsaw High School JROTC will present the colors and county bicentennial torchbearers will be introduced.  Local photographer Al Disbro will present a photographic slide show of Kosciusko County.
More than 1,000 student and adult musicians will perform in the Bicentennial Concert.  Participating schools include Warsaw High School, Wawasee High School, Whitko High School, Triton High School, Tippecanoe Valley High School, Lakeview Middle School, Edgewood Middle School and Lakeland Christian Academy.  Joining the student musicians will be the Lakeland Community Choir, Lakeland Youth Chorale, Warsaw Optimist Singers, Kosciusko County Extension Chorus, Lake Area Community Band, Grace College Wind Ensemble and area church choirs.
"The event has been eight months in the making," said Martin Becker, Bicentennial Celebration Concert coordinator.  "I'm not aware of another county in the state that has an event of this magnitude planned.  It's been a joy to work with the diverse school and community groups to make the Kosciusko County celebration a memorable event and great tribute to our state," he said.
Martin Becker, Dr. Ardis Faber and Thomas Stirling will share the conductor's podium.  Walter Brath, assistant professor of worship arts at Grace College, will perform "The Old Rugged Cross." Other musical selections will include "Beyond the Sunset" by Winona Lake natives Virgil and Blanche Brock, "Lake Land March" by Nilo Hovey, a medley by Hoagy Carmichael and Cole Porter, "I Love Indiana" arranged by Dale Mock, "Back Home Again in Indiana" by James Hanley and "America the Beautiful."
For more information, contact event coordinator Martin Becker at 574-551-3550.

Timeline for INDOT project near Churubusco has changed

From reports

The timeline for an Indiana Department of Transportation project near Churubusco has changed.
INDOT announced that US 33 will be closed over the Eel River, between Carroll and Giesking roads in Allen County, on or after Monday, October 3, weather permitting.
The closure will allow INDOT contractors to work on the bridge joints. The official state detour is U.S. 30 to S.R. 205 to U.S. 33.
Work on the U.S. 33 bridge is expected to last two weeks, weather permitting. The work is being done in combination with repairs on several structures across the Fort Wayne District. The $617,000 combined contract was awarded to Northern Indiana Construction.

Citywide cleanup days set for October in Columbia City

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

For the second time this year, Columbia City residents have the opportunity to clean the garage, declutter the house and tidy up the yard -- and put all unwanted items at the curb for an extra trash pickup.
The city is divided by Main Street. This year, all items placed at the curbside or alley will be picked up on a resident's normal trash day. The west side of the city will be picked up the week of October 3. The east side of the city will be picked up the week of October 10. Residents are asked to put items out no earlier than two weeks before their pickup week.
Certain items need special handling, so tires (a maximumo of 15), stoves, washers, dryers, hot water heaters, dish washers, refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers, batteries and other appliances will be picked up the week of October 17. To have these items picked up, residents will need to call 248-5100 and have their name added to a list.
The city will not pick up large piles of construction materials, no shingles, bricks, concrete or carpet or items over 6 foot in length or cans of wet paint.
Additionally this year, any computers, VCRs, televisions or monitors will need to be taken to the recycling center at 701 South Line Street in Columbia City. For more information about recycling these items, call 248-3132.

Area Republicans invited to attend Huntington County GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner on October 3

From reports

State Senator Jim Banks will be a featured speaker at the Huntington County Republicans' Lincoln Day Dinner on October 3, 2016, at Forks of the Wabash in Huntington.
Guests will gather at 6 p.m. and dinner will begin at 7 p.m.
Tony Katz, a radio host of Tony Katz and the Morning News in Indianapolis, will be the main speaker of the evening. Several statewide and local candidates are also expeced to attend.
Tickets are $40 per person or $280 for a table of 8.
For more information or to make reservations, call (260) 356-1588 or email

Community Foundation of Whitley County to host 'Look Good...Feel Better' session for women facing cancer

From reports

Cancer can rob a woman of her energy, appetite and strenth, but it doesn't have to take away her self-confidence. Look Good...Feel Better is a free program of the American Cancer Society. The session teaches beauty techniques to female cancer patients in active treatment as a means to help them combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer.
Look Good...Feel Better will be offered by the Whitley County Giving Circle for Women's Health at the Community Foundation of Whitley County on October 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A volunteer cosmetologist will teach women how to cope with skin changes and hair loss using cosmetics and skin care products donated by the cosmetics industry. The free cosmetic kits are available in light, medium and extra dark shades to enhance all complexion types. Participants will also learn how to disguise hair loss with wigs, scarves and hats.
The program is free, but space is limited and reservations are required. If you or someone you care about is interested in attending, please contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 to register. Participants are welcome to bring a guest for support.

September 23, 2016

Parkview Whitley Hospital makes healthy choices fun at free children's fair Saturday

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Parkview Whitley Hospital will host a free children's fair this Saturday, September 24 from 9 a.m. to noon at the hospital.
Designed for elementary school aged children and younger, the event will feature fun, educational booths for parents and children, healthy snacks and more. Bicycle helmets can be purchased for $5 each. The Samaritan helicopter is expected to be there for a closer look, too.
The first 500 guests can enjoy a free will offering lunch.

September 22, 2016

Mad for Maroon & Gold: Columbia City High School fans await 2016 Homecoming Parade

CCHSHomecomingImage.jpg(Talk of the Town images provided)
Columbia City High School fans are anxiously awaiting the culmination of Homecoming this Friday evening, including the parade which begins at 4:15 p.m. A map of the parade route is shown below.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

The rumble of school spirit in Columbia City is steadily growing to a roar as students, staff, alumni and families grab their gear and prepare for the excitement that is always Homecoming. CCHSHomecomingMap16.jpg
In downtown Columbia City, retailer Running Around Screenprinting & Embroidery is helping fans gear up with racks and rows of maroon and gold clothing. Students are adding to the excitement with daily theme events all leading up to the main event: the Columbia City High School Homecoming Parade this Friday, September 23 beginning at 4:15 p.m.
The parade will depart from the high school parking lot at 4:15 p.m., traveling south on Whitley Street to Van Buren and west toward Chauncey and south around the courthouse, where the floats will be judged. The parade will then return to the high school, turning eastbound on Market Street to Whitley Street and north to the high school's main parking lot.
This year, the parade floats will have a television or movie theme as interpreted by each participating team or club.
The parade lineup is as follows:
CCHS Marching Band
CCHS Administration
Freshman Football Team
Sophomore Football Team
Junior Football Team
Senior Football Team
CCHS Cheerleaders
Senior Homecoming Court Couples
Junior Homecoming Court Couple
Sophomore Homecoming Court Couple
Freshman Homecoming Court Couple
Mayor Ryan Daniel
CC Buggy Golf Cart Club
CCHS Fire Academy
Show Choir
Volleyball Team
Girls Golf Team
Parade watchers are encouraged to line up, cheer and enjoy this annual event -- and join fans at the Max Gandy Athletic Field for the Homecoming football game!

Whitley County plans to develop a Regional Sewer District in 2017

From reports

Many residents of Whitley County will soon benefit from a new sanitary sewer utility. The County will have a Regional Sewer District that will facilitate economic development and septic system relief through the provision of sanitary sewers in unincorporated areas of the county that are not otherwise served by another municipality or utility provider.
The County has long searched for ways to offer affordable solutions to homeowners struggling to afford replacement of their failed, failing and often outdated septic systems.  This common situation has left many homeowners unable to sell their homes or the anxiety of citations or 'pump and haul' orders from the Department of Health.  Furthermore, as communities continue to grow, businesses and home developers look to Whitley County for development opportunities. Often, in this scenario, especially along major corridors such as US 30 and US 33, sanitary sewer service is a necessary item that can otherwise prohibit a development project from becoming a reality.
A Whitley County Sewer District, much like the nearby Allen County Regional Water and Sewer District, will be able to formally apply to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for grants and low interest loans for these projects.  The District will also be able to create TIF Districts as appropriate, partner with the USDA and other avenues in order to make projects more affordable for home and business owners and the municipalities who will serve them.
It is important to note that the County leaders are specifying that the Whitley County Sewer District will not build its own wastewater treatment plants but will operate as a partner to existing municipalities and service providers such as Columbia City, Churubusco, South Whitley, Aqua Indiana and the Tri-Lakes Regional Sewer District.
"We need to make this move as a component of our comprehensive economic development plan for the future of the County," said Jon Myers, president of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation. "With construction of the new Columbia City High School and other development plans underway in all of our communities, more families and businesses are going to want to make Whitley County their home. It is important that we plan ahead for that growth and make certain we have the infrastructure necessary to support residential developers and growing businesses with cost effective public utility services."
Don Amber, Whitley County Commissioner for District III said, "We are in an exciting time for the county and the new Regional Sewer District is only going to add to that excitement. I, personally, am relieved to be bringing a feasible option to homeowners in need of a solution to their dated septic systems."
County Commissioner George Schrumpf, also a member of the Tri-Lakes Sewer District Board added that, "We as a county are excited to bring these options and partner to the county.  This will allow us to provide service to areas that we otherwise would not have the ability to through a partnership with the County Sewer District."
The County Sewer District is currently in planning mode and will assign a board of trustees and begin community outreach and initial project prioritization in early 2017.
The Whitley County Commissioners have partnered with BCS Management, Inc. of Fort Wayne to organize the development, deployment and community outreach of this new municipality.  BCS Management, Inc., currently manages the new projects development process for the Allen County Regional Water and Sewer District.  Project goals include the utilization of local engineering and legal resources to operate the District in the future. BCS Management, Inc. is a professional services organization providing project management, business requirements analysis, professional writing and marketing services to clients around the United States.

Events celebrate arts in downtown Columbia City Saturday


(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
Artist Jennifer Beezley's tedious work continues as she repaints a century-old advertising mural on the Central Block building in downtown Columbia City, preparing for the painting's unveiling on Saturday, September 24 during the Block Party & Art Walk.
Numerous downtown businesses are participating in the events which will be ongoing throughout the day, with most events happening from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Twelve local businesses have agreed to display artwork featuring various local artists, in addition to offering sales that day.
Art in the Alley will provide a venue for local artists to sell their wares from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the alley just east of the Whitley County Government Center.
Live music will be presented in Thomas R. Marshall Park in downtown Columbia City from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Performers include Ethan Birch (Six Eight) and Unlikely Alibi.
Lemonade & Canvas will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the county government building parking lot. Participation is $10 per person which includes painting supplies and lemonade.
Running Around Screenprinting & Embroidery will present chalk walk t-shirt designing from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the store, located on the corner of Van Buren and Line Street.
A cornhole tournament will be held on Chauncey Street from 2 to 7 p.m. Pre-registration is required by contacting Fees are $20 per team with proceeds supporting the Columbia City Aquatics facility project. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams.

Five congregations gather to present annual Lord's Acre Festival to benefit Boomerang Backpack project

From reports

Final preparations are being made for the second annual Lord's Acre Festival in Whitley County on Saturday.
The congregations of five local churches have been working on the various details of the festival slated for this Saturday, September 24, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Etna United Methodist Church, 4255 West 750 North.
Proceeds from the event will support Boomerang Backpacks, a program that targets elementary school children at Northern Heights and Little Turtle elementary schools who are at risk of being without nutritious foods when school is not in session.  The backpacks contain protein, cereal, juice, fresh fruit and other snacks that total at least 12 items.  The cost averages $3.50 per bag each week.  Funding comes from donations and fundraisers like the Lord's Acre Festival and 100% of the money goes for purchasing the food.  To support this project, organizers are asking for monetary donations, or gifts of goods or services to be auctioned off in a community auction.

Events for the festival include:
11:30 a.m. :  Food Booths open
                  Ham & Beans and cornbread
                  Hot Dogs
                  Pulled Pork Sandwiches
                  Kettle Corn
                  Baked Goods
12 p.m. :  Parade ending at Etna United Methodist Church
12:30 p.m. : Opening Ceremony & Community Prayer
1-3 p.m. :  Community Auction
3-5 p.m.: Entertainment
                      Captain Bob The Singing Skipper
                      Jason, Jerry and the Boys
                      Steve Adair
                      Melissa Geiger
All Day Activities :  Children's Games
                               Good News Caboose
                               Military Exhibit
                               Hay Rides
                               Fun and Fellowship

Participating churches include Etna UMC, West Point Trinity UMC, West Etna Community Church, Salem Community Church and  Thorncreek Bethel.

September 21, 2016

Philanthropic effort of HANDS meets multiple needs in the community

Article provided

During the 2015-16 school year the H.A.N.D.S. Foundation funded a grant to South Whitley Elementary School for a LEGO area, purchased a refrigerator for the Intensive Needs classroom at Churubusco Jr/Sr High School, and purchased robotics kits for Coesse Elementary School, hosted Christmas parties with gifts for children in the Head Start Program, and started the Charitable Champions program at Indian Springs Middle School. These are a few examples of the grants made available last year in Whitley County by the H.A.N.D.S. Foundation.
The H.A.N.D.S. Foundation, made up of sixteen students from the three Whitley County school corporations, is proud to announce they have received a grant of $22,500.00 from The Dekko Foundation for use during the 2016-2017 school year. This is the twenty-second consecutive year The Dekko Foundation has funded H.A.N.D.S.
Over the last twenty-one years, H.A.N.D.S. has invested over $325,000.00 in Whitley County. While the H.A.N.D.S. Foundation receives financial support from The Dekko Foundation, this learning experience for young people also requires the cooperation of the Whitley County Community Foundation, and the three Whitley County school corporations.
H.A.N.D.S. will use the grant to fund unique educational initiatives in all three school corporations as well as assist in funding to improve the quality of life in Whitley County, provide scholarships for three graduating seniors who are non-H.A.N.D.S. members, host Christmas parties for Head Start children, continue the Charitable Champions program and perform service projects throughout the county.
H.A.N.D.S. encourages community members to submit grant requests for the students to review at their monthly meetings. The grant applications are available by calling the Whitley County Community Foundation at (260) 244-5224 or going online to and download a H.A.N.D.S. Foundation grant application.
The H.A.N.D.S. Foundation is brought to the community through the cooperation of The Dekko Foundation, the Whitley County Community Foundation, and the three Whitley County school corporations.

Program will delve into healthful properties of herbs and spices

From reports Join Sue Delagrange, MS, RD for a free program on everyday herbs and spices that do more than enhance the flavor of food. A program entitled "Healing Herbs and Spices" will be presented Saturday, October 1, 2016, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Peabody Public Library, 1160 East SR 205 in Columbia City. Common herbs (basil, parsley and oregano) may protect us from certain chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Learn how to incorporate the healing benefits of herbs and spices into your diet. Reservations are recommended, but not required. For more information or to reserve a seat, call toll free to 1-866-484-9560. The program is presented by Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana.

Manchester Early Learning Center gets RDA funding

Article provided

The Board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) met this week to consider a request for Regional Cities Initiative funding for a project submitted by the Manchester Early Learning Center.
The Board voted to support the Manchester Early Learning Center with a grant of $520,000, which represents 20 percent of the $2.6 million of the project's total cost.
Currently, the Manchester Early Learning Center has a waiting list with more than 100 families looking for early childhood care and education. The new, larger facility will fill a need for early childhood education and care in the community and provide the quality of life assets working families need. The Center also plans on doubling the staff.
"In Northeast Indiana, we know that investing in early childhood education is critical to long-term educational attainment and workforce outcomes as we work to reach the Big Goal. By supporting the Manchester Early Learning Center, we are providing families the quality of life assets we need to attract and retain talent while also investing in the education of our future leaders," said Michael Galbraith, director of the Road to One Million.
The Board's recommendation now goes to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) for review and final approval to receive funding.
The RDA is responsible for disbursement of the $42 million in funding granted to the region through the Regional Cities Initiative established last year.
The purpose of the Regional Cities Initiative funding is to attract and retain talent by providing financial support for game-changing quality of place projects that will increase economic growth, lead to population growth, and enhance the region's national brand identity. Northeast Indiana won the Regional Cities grant last year with its Road to One Million Plan that outlines more than 70 projects and $1.5 billion in investment over the next 10 years.
"Working families need a safe and welcoming place to educate and care for their children. Investing in early childhood education means we are creating an attractive region for working families to live, work and succeed. The Manchester Early Learning Center is an opportunity for empowerment and growth of our region, our families and our children," said RDA board chairman Jeff Turner, senior vice president of Metal Technologies.
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, which helped lead the effort to secure the Regional Cities Initiative funding, also provides staffing support to the RDA.
The board also heard a presentation from Jeremy Skinner about the Buffalo Street Redevelopment Project in Warsaw, which requested $3.5 million, which is 20 percent of the $17.6 million million of the project's total cost.
In addition to the approval of funding, the RDA also reported on the progress of the following Road to One Million projects, which are either approved or under review by the IEDC:
Great Lakes Capital for the Skyline Tower;
Trine University;
University of Saint Francis;
Embassy Theatre;
The DeKalb County YMCA; and
Little River Trail.
To learn more about the Road to One Million, visit the website at