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meet the team

DUNELAND TODAY IS PUBLISHED BY Duneland Chamber of Commerce 220 Broadway • Chesterton, Indiana 46304 219.926.5513

Beth Luncsford / Marketing Director

Beth has over six years of experience in the design and publishing industry. After obtaining her degree in Graphic Design, she worked as a graphic artist for Lake Magazine in LaPorte. She later worked at Schofield Media in Chicago, where she was responsible for the design and layout of four industry publications. A lifelong resident of northwest Indiana, Beth currently lives in Michigan City with her husband, Aaron, and their young son Jacob.

COMMITTEE Publisher/ Duneland Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board/ Maura Durham, Duneland Chamber of Commerce; Jane Delligatti, Duneland Family YMCA Managing Editor/ Heather Augustyn, Community Member Marketing Director/ Beth Luncsford, Duneland Chamber of Commerce Copy Editor/ Janice Custer, Community Member Member Engagement Director/ Jennifer Marinangeli Layout & Design/ Cassandra Vereb, Graphic Designer Photographer/ Kyle Telechan

meet the team

Heather Augustyn / Managing Editor

Heather Augustyn is a Chesterton native. She has been a correspondent for the Times of Northwest Indiana since 2004 and she teaches English composition at Purdue University North Central and writing at Chesterton Montessori School. She has published four books on ska music and lives in Chesterton with her husband and their two sons, Sid and Frank.

Cassandra Vereb / Graphic Designer

Cassandra, freelance designer, has been designing Duneland Today since 2007. With 14 years of design experience, she is an accomplished creative thinker, has a keen eye for detail, a strong technical ability and a love for all things design. Cassandra is in love with ideas; building them, cultivating them, and watching them come to life.

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Kyle Telechan / Photographer

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Kyle Telechan, photographer, has done freelance work for the Times of Northwest Indiana since graduating from Indiana University in 2007 and has over eleven years of experience in photojournalism. His interest in nature, architecture, and urban decay drives much of his non-photojournalistic work. Kyle currently lives in Portage with his wife Elise.


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DUNELAND Work, Live and Play



Chester, Inc.


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ON THE COVER Tyler and Olivia Vereb at Fireflies Chesterton, IN





Chester Inc.

Chester Inc. architects, from left, Pete Brannen, Laura Small, and Steve DeBold look over a plan in the company's Valparaiso headquarters.

Chester, Inc. began in 1936 as a seed company founded by George and Marie Chester and their son, Jack, and although there have been countless changes to the company over the years, still the Valparaiso company stays close to their origins, rooted firmly in the farming industry. The Chester family began as the George F. Chester & Son Seed Company as an extension of their large farm operation located in Morgan Township. The company became one of the early producers of hybrid seed corn in Indiana. In 1947, Charles Bowman and Orville Redenbacher purchased and incorporated the company. Bowman was manager of the Purdue Ag Alumni Seed Improvement Association and was also former manager of the Indiana Crop Improvement Association Seed Certification Service. Orville Redenbacher was Manager of Princeton Farms in Princeton, Indiana, a large farm operation which among other major projects produced hybrid seed corn, certified seeds and, of course, commercial popping corn. The company officially changed to Chester, Inc. in 1967 and their popcorn hybrid seed varieties were produced under the name of RedBow Popcorn Hybrids (Red for Redenbacher and Bow for Bowman). The Orville Redenbacher brand of popcorn was later sold to Hunt-Wesson Foods which is now an operating division of ConAgra.

A display of photos depicting Chester Inc. history hangs on the wall in the conference room at the company's Valparaiso headquarters.

Consumer Products dealers in the country before selling their assets to A&M Farm Equipment of Valparaiso in 2003. Today, Chester, Inc. still is involved in the farming industry, though they also have branched out into other areas of need in the region. Chester’s Inc.'s Director of Marketing and Business Development Rich Shields explains, “We do architectural construction and information technologies in our Valparaiso office, and agricultural systems which is located in north Judson. These parts of the business all have evolved from the farming. For example, farmers needed a place to store the corn, so we store it and water it, and that’s how the agricultural systems evolved. Farmers needed storage areas for their tractors so that’s how the agricultural construction component evolved in the late 1950s. In the early 1980s the farmers needed a way to track their inventories, so that’s how information technology evolved. We were training farmers how to use computers but now it’s full-fledged network implementation. We’ve also added a fourth component. We have a manufacturing facility for El Popular chorizo. We bought the facility as a food processing plant and we connected with a partner about 15 years ago to produce chorizo at this plant.”

Chester, Inc. building at night

Each of the industrial divisions of Chester, Inc. are autonomous, says Shields, but they do all dovetail. “We also work collectively. We have in-house architects that can do all of the preliminary drawings and designs, we have general contractors to do the building, we also have a financing component, and then our informational technology area can come in and integrate that technology piece. We have 40 employees at our corporate division in Valparaiso, and in North Judson we have another 15 employees. Each division is different but they serve at least 200 clients per division,” he says.

Chester Inc. architect Pete Brannen works on plans in the company's Valparaiso headquarters.

But over the years, Chester, Inc. identified and responded to needs in the regional market. They became involved in a number of industries related to farming, albeit some of them in a tangential way. For example, Chester, Inc. was once Indiana’s first Arctic Cat Snowmobile dealer, but due to the seasonality of snowmobiles they also became a John Deere dealer, selling and servicing lawn mowers, lawn tractors and handheld power equipment. They grew to become one of the top four John Deere

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Work Duneland is developing opportunities for the workforce of today and tomorrow!

Staff at a number of organizations in Duneland work in order to help others work. They are devoted to establishing opportunities for jobs and careers, and building a strong local economy to establish and maintain businesses. These organizations provide training for jobs, as well as support and connection to employers. One of these groups, the Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI), has a mission to stimulate and sustain economic growth and global competitiveness through the optimal utilization of talent. Vice President

Ribbon cutting for the Northwest Indiana Retail Training Lab in Southlake Mall on September 8, 2016, a program through CWI.

of Workforce Initiatives Robyn Minton says that they have a number of programs designed to listen to employers and prepare the workforce. “Through our work as staff to the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board (NWIWB) and our role with other groups including READY NWI, Works Council, NWI Adult




Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters' apprentices perform work in interior systems, concrete forming, and general carpentry.

Education Consortium, just to name a few, we continuously monitor the needs of our regional employers,” said Minton. “Taking a look at the skill gaps that employers are faced with when trying to fill jobs and compete in today’s economy, we can better pull together the right groups and initiatives that can address their needs and contribute to creating a strong and skilled workforce,” she added. Minton said CWI supports the preparation of students as well as adults. “We have several initiatives that help students learn about work ethics and understand employer expectations. We work with a variety of schools around the region. Through our Work Ethic Certificate program, students have to demonstrate specific skills related to employer expectations and as result and if successfully completing the program, the school, the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board, and the Governor stamp them as a work ethics completer. To work on technical skills we coordinate a group call Ready NWI comprised of K-12 educators and administrators, post-secondary education folks, and area employers. READY NWI examines the skill sets employers seek, finds ways to measure those skill sets, as well as ways to identify them in students as early as possible,” says Minton. Minton said that when it comes to the adult population in Northwest Indiana, they work on technical skills as well. As a result of a contract with NWIWB, CWI manages the WorkOne system in the region. They have career advisors to help people assess their technical skills. Its Business Service Team helps employers with their workforce needs. “Our career advisors are focused on the skills that make a good employee, giving them feedback on whether or not

they’re able to demonstrate those skills to employers. Depending on funding, we can pay for training for some in-demand jobs,” Minton added. CWI also studies the regional climate for jobs. “Every couple of years we put together a state of the workforce report and we’re working on a new one right now— looking at economic, workforce, and education data. This report provides an understanding of where our region is at and where it needs to be in order to stay competitive. It tells the story of what our assets are in the community and gives us all something to work toward,” Minton says. Another organization, the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC), also works to help prepare residents of Duneland with in-demand jobs. John Carr, business representative for IKORCC, says, “We have approximately 4,000 members in Northwest Indiana and 32,000 within the council. We work with hundreds of our signatory contractors to provide them with the best professional tradesmen

in the industry. We have an apprenticeship program and work with local schools. We have a Career Connect program that schools can adopt and our international training center in Las Vegas provides all of the training materials for the building trades programs in schools. We work with professionals in the industry to come up with the latest technology in the building industry and offer an apprenticeship program. This is a fouryear apprenticeship program with training in all aspects of carpentry. There is classroom time and jobsite time and apprentices must complete 1,200 hours of work-hour experience and four weeks of classroom time each year to move on to the next year. The apprenticeship has been around for many years and in the State of Indiana alone, the carpenters spend around $10 million in training each year.”

Dr. Ranjan Kini walks small business owners through phone app creation and distribution for their businesses.

Carr says that the council joins with other postsecondary schools as well as high schools to provide opportunities for students. “We are partnered with Ivy Tech as well so throughout the four-year apprenticeship, students take several Ivy Tech courses and they earn an associate’s degree from Ivy Tech at the same time as their apprenticeship. Each year we have about 150 students enrolled in our apprenticeship in this region and we are in the middle of breaking ground for a new training center in Merrillville. Education and training is the hallmark of our organization,” he says.

Center is an asset. Regional Director Lorri Feldt explains, “We work in seven counties in Northwest Indiana, but mostly in Porter and Lake Counties. We have two main types of clients we serve—people considering starting up a business, and small business owners. It’s not easy to start or run a business these days, so we provide help in the areas of finding sources of financing, writing or working on business plans for startups or existing strategy, and marketing. We provide one-on-one business counseling and we host a lot of events for starts ups and new business owners. We offer our services, resources, and counseling, at no charge because we receive funding from Purdue Northwest and Indiana University Northwest, as well as the Small Business Administration, a federal agency.”

For those looking to start their own business, or support one they have with resources and services, the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development

Feldt says that she has seen many changes in the region that affect small business owners. “Overall we’re seeing the seeds of a more diverse economy.

We have, as a region, tended to be heavy industry and that will always be important but we’re seeing other types of business develop and grow, such as mediumsized manufacturing. We see a lot of people in the middle of their careers and either by choice or because their situation has changed, they package their skills into a new business. They become the employer instead of the employee,” she says. Additionally, she says there are national trends that affect the workforce locally. Feldt says, “The generational changes in the workforce create differences in the workforce, as well as cultural expectations, and everyone is trying to get their arms around that. In general, the way work is done is changing. The impact of technology and how people look at work and the work/life balance is evolving. I hear every day that small business owners have difficulty finding employees with the right skills and willingness to show up and work hard. We have an issue in the region with that—whether it is particular skills such as operating machinery on a factory floor, or being able to pass a drug test—it is difficult. Many businesses partner with schools to catch employees in their youth to establish pathways to aim toward occupations and obtain skills and certifications that are in demand.”

Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters hosts an open house geared towards high school students.




Live Developing more ways to call Duneland home!

Top and Bottom: Easton Park development in Chesterton.

Apartments at the Preserve Grande Oaks, Valparaiso

Above and Below: Steiner Home, Portage

Inside at the Preserve Grande Oaks

nesters, millennials, and people who are right sizing. They are all single family,” says Harris.

Duneland is sprouting new activity this spring and residential developers continue to plant roots so that more families can call Duneland home. For those who have driven east of State Road 49 on Porter Avenue, they may have wondered what the road cuts, lots, and ponds will transition to in the near future, and Kathy Harris, vice president of development for ATG Real Estate Development, promises that the homes at Easton Park will change the landscape of Chesterton. “In total there are 346 lots in the subdivision, 74 of which are for villa homes. These are houses on slabs and they are a bit smaller, geared toward empty




She continues, “There are six phases in the development and we are currently in phase one. We anticipate home building to start in February and individuals can come in and purchase a lot, or builders can purchase one or multiple lots. Right now we have VP Homes as one of our preferred builders, as is Ennis Builders. There will be a total of three ponds on the property, all on the north side. It will be heavily landscaped and the earth and berm run the entire length of the north of the property with a six-foot property fence all along 250 East. There are a lot of natural areas within the development, and we are looking at landscaping plans that promote indigenous plants. The walking path will run the entirety of the

north side of the property for about one third of a mile, so residents will be able to take walks all along the berm, and it will be just beautiful.” Easton Park offers the location of Chesterton, which Harris says is a real draw. “What is particularly attractive is that this location gives you an out-of-town feel but you’re close to all of the town’s amenities such as grocery stores, shopping, and schools. This development provides options for many different types of homebuyers. It will be great for families but also will provide something for everyone with the villa homes. We haven’t had a development like this in many years and nothing that really has the nature and quiet setting. People are really excited about this project,” she says.

We build homes that are energy efficient. We don’t do bait and switch. When people come in with a price to stick to, we don’t try to upsell. We put a lot of luxuries in people’s homes because we want people to have them. We do really beautiful kitchens and baths, and we are also a little smaller than other builders in the area. My entire staff knows all of our clients, and we focus on Porter County. We have built in over ten subdivisions including some of the lakefront properties. We are picky about the subdivisions we build in,” she says

A kitchen from VP Homes, located in Chesterton.

One of VP Homes' constructions in Chesterton.

To help home buyers make a complicated process simple, Piotrowski says they have a one-stop shop. She says, “We just moved our design center in Chesterton to 108 N. Calumet Road. From this storefront we sell cabinets wholesale, and this is also a showroom for homeowners to make their customization selections. We try to take the stress out of going to many different places to choose items for their homes. People can make over 50 different selections to customize their homes and over 90 upgrades, so they can come here to look at the material and colors and make the selections in one place. Because we build cabinets we can put beautiful cabinets in people’s homes.”

Chesterton, Hammond, Michigan City, Gary, and many other great communities in our region. Owner Dan Steiner says they are currently breaking ground at many locations in Duneland. “We are just releasing The Preserve at 1050 North which is a beautiful subdivision. Most of the homes are built with conservation in mind so the lots have plenty of woods. There will be a walking trail and lots will range from high $50,000s to high $70,000s. Stone Meadows is down the road and we’ve built several in this subdivision, as well as on the south end of the Sand Creek in the gated area. We are now working on twostory condo units just north of Sand Creek on Porter Avenue,” Steiner says.

Builders with Steiner Homes have over 30 years of custom home design to offer the perfect home for families in Duneland. They have built homes in Valparaiso, Crown Point, Schererville, Dyer, St. John,

He says that there are many clients who purchase property in the unincorporated county and Steiner Homes can help with that challenging building process. “We build in subdivisions all over Northwest

Valerie Piotrowski, co-owner of VP Homes, says that building in Easton Park will further highlight the strengths of their product. “We will be building single family homes in Easton Park, and currently we are building in Stone Meadows in Chesterton. We have been in the construction industry for over 40 years. We started in Illinois and we have been building in Indiana since 2005. Our homes start at $242,000, not including land, and go up to a $1 million. Square footage ranges from 2250 to 3100. We have one-story floor plans, two-story floor plans, and custom homes.




construction on this beautiful apartment facility that offers one, two, and three bedroom apartments. Our clubhouse, which is located on the property, is a great reflection of our hospitality. It’s warm and inviting with amenities such as a gorgeous pool and fitness center,” he says. Traditions at The Village at Burns Harbor apartment homes are also luxury rental units and Hicks says they are in the third phase of construction. “This will bring that community to 181 apartment homes. Additionally, we will be breaking ground this spring for Eagle Crossing, an apartment community in Chesterton at the intersection of Kelle Drive and Sidewalk Road. This will offer Frank Lloyd Wright/Prairie architectural style apartments with exceptional amenities. Though this will be a couple of years’ construction, we look to begin occupancy in late 2017 for phase one.”

Traditions Apartments, Burns Harbor

Indiana and we specialize in septic fields because we are used to it. It’s a process but we can build in these lots. We can get it done. When buying a lot out in the country, you really need to know the regulations and we can do that,” says Steiner. They specialize in homes that are unique and special. “We originally set out to build homes that weren’t cookie cutter and so we have a number of ways we distinguish our homes; we put headers over our doors and windows, we have wood flooring throughout, and tile fireplaces with a raised hearth and a mantel up above, as well as special range hoods. We keep up with the current colors and styles and our homes have really changed the landscape of Northwest Indiana. We build a good product and stand behind our homes,” he says. Jon Hicks, co-owner of In Good Company, says they are developing residential apartment buildings to fill a need in the community. “There has been little multifamily construction at the higher-rent scale in Porter County, and we have seen first-hand a real demand for those who are downsizing from home ownership to young professionals who appreciate mobility and put focus less on home ownership and more on their careers. In Good Company focuses carefully on

delivering real resident hospitality. It’s our uniqueness in the multi-family business. We manage in a real heart-felt manner. Consequently, we treat our residents according to the Golden Rule. We care for them, just like we would want someone to care for us. Our day-to-day service to our residents is always polite, prompt and close-to-perfect. Perhaps this is why we are 95% occupied in The Preserve at Grande

Service Excellence Oaks and Traditions which indicates statistically that a well-designed, well-run multi-family luxury facility is in demand,” Hicks says. “At our 26 communities around Indiana, we are privileged to serve all Residents of many different income levels.”

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Play Duneland develops fun and recreation!

our own municipalities to ensure that opportunities for fun continue to grow.

Connor Durham in the ball pit at Fireflies Family Fun Zone.

When it comes to kicking off our shoes and having a good time, Duneland really knows how to do it right! The region is certainly known for its natural resources that make playing at Duneland a cinch. There are also a number of developments undertaken by local businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and even




One of the businesses that opened in Duneland in fall 2016 provides playtime for families all year round. Fireflies Fun Zone at 1505 S. Calumet in Chesterton is an indoor recreational center for all ages. Manager Bill Nolan says, “We have a playground for the younger kids, an arcade, and laser tag which takes care of older kids and parents. It’s over 20,000 square feet, upstairs and downstairs. We do tons and tons of birthday parties. The playground is 1,800 square feet on two levels with slides and climbing features and ball pits, and we have a larger area with soft mats on the floor and features such as spinning tea cups and tables with kinetic sand which are very popular. There’s a trampoline and lots of little toys to play with in the middle such as bouncing toys and a toddler area.” Nolan says there is one admission price for the playground area, $8 a day from open to close. The arcade and laser tag are priced according to the amount of participation, and there is no admission for adults to come in with their children. “We have

Kinetic sand area at Fireflies Fun Zone.

Olivia Vereb playing at Fireflies

pinball, a couple of video games, some ticket games with a redemption center, and over 4,000 square feet of laser tag that takes place in a large arena—larger than most around. We are planning on starting laser tag leagues. We also have three different birthday rooms that are all hand painted with themes, and because demand is so high we are starting a fourth room. Also, there is a food section run by Tiger Lily next door, but we have our own menu with items such as chicken nuggets, pizza, nachos, and ice cream,” says Nolan, who notes that he hears customers make the same comment to him at least 20 times a week. “They tell me that Chesterton really needed something like this. Lots of grandparents with their grandkids come in and it’s definitely a unique place. We draw people from all around Indiana,” he says.

feet large and it will have such features as a tipping bucket, misting towers, an umbrella that constantly feeds and splashes down on the sides, 25 nozzles that come out of the ground and spray constantly up and down, and a misting arch. The equipment has arrived and right now we are working on getting it installed. It will be up by June 1st,” says Mathias. The splash pad was many years in the making. He explains, “We

The Chesterton Parks & Recreation Department has also been developing new ways for families to have fun. Parks Superintendent Bruce Mathias says that one of those new ways is a splash pad that will be exciting in the warmer months. “The splash pad will be located at Chesterton Park. It will be 85 feet by 85

Bruce Mathias points out water tanks and machinery that will make up Chesterton's new splash pad.

Brass nozzle that will be part of Chesterton's splash pad.

wanted kids to come outside more than they stay inside. Vincent Emanuele, president of the Chesterton Parks & Recreation board, had traveled to Michigan and saw these splash pads, so we began planning three years ago. The splash pad was put into the bond, so we’ve been doing drawings, bought the equipment, and now we are installing it. We’re going to see a multitude of kids just running out and having fun. It’s the location, the center of town, and that’s where many of our parks programs are held so kids can be a part of the splash pad there too.”

to the one for five to twelve year olds. It will be a similar structure but geared toward younger kids. The biggest improvement is taking place at Dogwood Park. This park is being overhauled. Everything over there will be removed and redone. The equipment is at least 40 years old. There will be all new equipment, a 41-foot tower with four slides, swing sets, jump on pods, climbing walls, and hanging features. At Waskom Park at Duneland Cove we are adding sidewalks, a new playground, the tennis and basketball courts are being redesigned, and the grounds are being worked on due to drainage issues. We are also doing some work at Kipper Park, a small neighborhood park in Westchester South, to make it more of a passive park,” Mathias says.

Mathias says that there are also developments and improvements with other parks in the department. “We have a new playground going in at Chesterton Park for two to five year olds that will be right next

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Illustrations of the new playground at Dogwood Park.

Old Town Playground

focus for us in coming years—to develop our mission and focus in those counties in a high caliber and professional way,” Krouse says, noting that their many community partners also help to further their reach.

Fireflies Family Fun Zone.

Tyler Vereb playing laser tag at Fireflies Family Fun Zone.

Maintaining the region’s park and wild lands is essential to the quality of life for residents and visitors, and perhaps no one knows that better than Kristopher Krouse, executive director of the Shirley Heinze Land Trust. This organization has a long history of purchasing properties in Northwest Indiana to restore and steward these natural lands for the enjoyment of current and future generations. “We’ve come a long way since we began in 1981. One of our big goals is to permanently protect a total of 3,000 acres and today we are at 2,221 acres, but the focus is on protecting areas within existing project areas. That’s not to say that new project areas might arise, but our interest is in adding strategically to existing areas. We expect to add to our Meadowbrook Preserve near Valparaiso where we have 154 acres and expect to protect several more acres. Our Ambler Flatwoods Preserve includes over 500 acres that are protected on the east side of Michigan City and we look to protect more here. The Little Calumet Corridor was designated by the state of Indiana as a Bicentennial Nature Trust Conservation Corridor and so we are working with

willing landowners to acquire and restore lands in this area. Most recently we have announced that we are expanding into St. Joe, Marshall, and Stark Counties. In May, 2016 we acquired and protected a high quality bog called Lydick Bog, and so we are looking to expand that area,” says Krouse. Shirley Heinze Land Trust also recently acquired 42 acres in Westchester Township on the east bank of Sand Creek, south of Indian Boundary Road which feature forest, wetlands, and habitat for wildlife. The acquisition and expansion of these lands comes through the hard work of employees and volunteers at Shirley Heinze Land Trust, as well as generous donations, including $4.6 million through their capital campaign. “The reason why Shirley Heinze has been as successful as it has over the years is because we have been so strategic and careful about our acquisitions. We find sites that meet our land acquisition criteria. When you think of development, we essentially took our graphic area from three counties to six counties last year. That will be a big

Rendering of playground at Chesterton Park, for 2 to 5 year olds

Play area at Fireflies Fun Zone.

Superhero room at Fireflies Fun Zone.

Woodlands/Fairy room at Fireflies Fun Zone.


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Arcade games at Fireflies Family Fun Zone.

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A cutting-edge 3D mammography machine located in the new Women's Center at Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Chesterton.

Below: The line outside the Franciscan Emergency Center Chesterton at its public open house in 2012.

Franciscan Emergency Center — Chesterton —

We are adding a Women’s Center that is exclusive for women’s health including screenings for bone density and mammography. We also have added an Infusion Center that will treat patients here who need blood transfusions, chemotherapy, antibiotic infusions, and other medications so they can receive treatments here as an outpatient rather than being admitted to the hospital. We are opening these

A private infusion room, complete with television, ready to accept patients at Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Chesterton.

facilities on our second floor and will be opening an additional 10,000 square feet of space for medical services and additional physician space,” ThatcherCurtis says.

more accessible for people in Porter County because there is some hesitation for people from Chesterton to come to the current location in Michigan City, but with the new location right off the exit of I-94, it is a bit closer.”

Additionally, the new hospital in Michigan City will provide more options for the community. Thatcher-Curtis says, “Our new hospital will be

Celebrating Five Years in Duneland Grand Opening of the Franciscan Emergency Center

Anthony J. D’Angelo once said, “Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.” Perhaps no organization knows this better than Franciscan Health who has been caring for the community of Duneland and this year they celebrate their fifth anniversary of the Franciscan Emergency Center in Chesterton. Over the past five years they have cared for and saved countless lives through their services, and administrators say they have plans to increase that level of care.

Scott Mundell, director of business development for Northern Indiana at Franciscan Health, says that the decision to build a medical facility in Chesterton was designed around fitting the needs of the community. “We looked at the market and we saw a need for care in the area,” Mundell says. “We already had a presence with physician offices in the area, and we have our hospital close by in Michigan City, so we thought Chesterton was a great location. We were the first freestanding emergency room in the area and, at the time, we were one of the only ones in

the state. From the minute we opened our doors we were well received, and even before that we had a lot of cooperation from the town in assisting us with getting the building up and running.” Over the past five years the need for quality medical care has only grown and Travis ThatcherCurtis, director of critical care and emergency services at the Franciscan Emergency, says they are responding. “In 2016 we added the urgent care service to the facility since there was a need.

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Lotus Reach

anyone who needs help. We are in seven schools and have others who are coming on board. Businesses have been involved in our wishing tree program during the holidays, and we have received grants from a few other businesses.”

Clothing Kids in the Community

To fundraise, Lotus Reach organizers are hosting an Earth Day 5K on April 22nd. Rau says, “The event will take place at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, and we are hoping for a good turnout.” Positive response has been the engine behind the good work Lotus Reach offers to children in Duneland. “We have had wonderful support from our community, and the organization has grown so fast to meet the needs of our children. It has been wonderful to have the community behind us,” she says. In December, 2016, the Indiana Department of Education recognized these efforts as Liberty Elementary received an Indiana Promising Practices Award for their implementation of the School Closet. For more information on how you can help, visit Lotus Reach on facebook or

Lotus Reach volunteers Tricia Roper, on left, and Danielle Goad pose for a photo near a coatrack of donated clothes in Liberty Elementary.

Anyone who has their own children or has worked around children for any period of time can attest to the fact that kids grow quickly, and so it can sometimes be a challenge for parents with a small income to afford new clothes every few months. “My eyes were opened wide when I saw how much need there was for clothing for kids. I saw a kid who had on swim trunks because he didn’t have underwear at home, and others who had pants that were too large, tied with a shoelace. Another had shoes with duct tape because the holes in his soles were so large.

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I would go in my car and cry,” says Rau. She knew she had to do something to help. Rau says that after consulting with administration at Liberty Elementary she felt compelled to start a clothing program. “I went to the counselor to ask how I could help and I bought some items for these children, but I knew there were so many more kids out there, families who need help with necessary clothing items. We started a program at the school called School Closet where we took gently-used clothing that we gave to families in need. Donations came in left and right and we organized distribution to protect the children’s and the family’s privacy. In a three month span we provided clothes for 25 children,” she says.

There are some items that cannot be used and donated, such as socks and underwear, so Rau bought these items from her own pocket until she could organize an effort to raise money. “When school ended I decided to create a non-profit and apply for 501-c-3 status to have another way to acquire funding. On June 30, 2016 we were approved and the group has been growing on its own,” says Rau of the organization she has officially named Lotus Reach. “We want to benefit the largest number of people possible, and no matter where people live, what their situation, we want them to have what they need and we want to help. The schools still have their program and it’s called School Closet by Lotus Reach, but we are also getting involved in homeless shelters, orphanages, and providing assistance for

Lotus Reach volunteers Danielle Goad, on right, and Tricia Roper fold and organize clothes in the closet at Liberty Elementary.

When Zel Rau began volunteering at her children’s school, she says she was surprised to see that there were some students who were in need of proper clothing.

We want to benefit the largest number of people possible, and no matter where people live, what their situation, we want them to have what they need and we want to help.













ribbon cuttings

1/ October 26: Revitalize Massage Studio 2/ November 7: Modern Woodmen of America 3/ November 7: Pure Beauty Boutique 4/ November 7: Tan & Lash 5/ November 15: Di la Bella Salon & Spa 6/ November 22: Chesterton Toys 7/ December 1: Smith Donovan Marketing & Communications



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October 28, 2016 — Trick or Treat Downtown 8/ Trick or Treaters in Downtown Chesterton

Friends of the Library SPRING 2017 BOOK Sale


Sat. 29 & Sun. 30

9 am - 4 pm




“friends only” preview on friday, APRIL 28, from 4- 8 pm

THOMAS LIBRARY 200 W. INDIANA AVE. Chesterton, IN 219-926-7696

Join the Friends of the Westchester Public Library for their semi-annual book sale. Thousands of books of all genres are graciously donated and made available on the second floor of Thomas Library for book lovers to sift through and purchase at low rates. Membership to Friends of the Library may be purchased at the Thomas Circulation desk, or at the door the first night of the sale.

Proceeds from the sale are donated to WPL and help fund many supplemental and special programming efforts such as film series, children’s programs, book discussions, and staff recognition events.




©2016 Blue Chip Casino. Must be 21 years of age or older with a valid state or government issued photo ID to enter casino. Don’t let the game get out of hand. For assistance call 800-994-8448.







We Cater All Events!


757 Indian Boundary Rd.

Chesterton, IN

(219) 395-9890

Visit our other locations in: Valparaiso, Munster, Portage & Merrillville


November 9, 2016 — After Hours: Phillippe Builders

9/ Kristina Borgetti, Joe Grossbauer of GGNet Technologies, Dave Woodson of Prime Real Estate, Karol Siwietz of Horizon Bank 10/ Rachel Randall of Phillippe Builders, Inc. and Maura Durham of Duneland Chamber of Commerce









November 26, 2016 Hometown Holiday Celebration 11/ Crowd enjoying the parade







January 25, 2017 — Annual Meeting

12/ Jim Starin of Starin Properties and the 2017 Board Chair 13/ 2017 Duneland Chamber Board of Directors From left to right: Joe Grossbauer of GGNet Technologies, Albert Miller or Raymond James & Associates, Christina Dujmovich-Jarka of Duneland School Corporation, Kirk Futrell of Lakeside Wealth Management Group, Lisa Mathis of Housing Opportunities, Joanna Paulson of Harris, Welsh & Lukmann, Dr. Nicky Ali Jackson of Purdue University Northwest, Jim Starin of Starin Properties, Paul Boyter of McColly Real Estate, Dave Hiestand of Hiestand Law Office, Craig O’Brien of Ashley’s Jewelry by Design, Jeff Fleming of Trans-United, Inc., Leroy Flores of Leroy’s “Hot Stuff” Homemade Mexican Food, Ryan Smiley of Boys and Girls Club of Porter County, RoseMarie Charo of Centier Bank, Jackie Ruge-Perkins of First State Bank of Porter







Help us welcome the newest members of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce community. We look forward to a prosperous and profitable future. Aflac- Carl L. Scott 215 Lake Vista Dr.• Porter • 219.921.9529 Carl L. Scott is a local Aflac representative. He began selling Aflac after his brother and nephew were hit by a drunk driver and suffered extensive damage to their legs. His brother had three Aflac policies. Carl saw how his brother was able to concentrate on getting well and still maintain household responsibilities. Aflac pays cash benefits fairly, promptly and directly to the insured. Airey Financial Group 200 W 84th Drive Suite B• Merrillville• 219.650.4050 Airey Financial Group was founded with the goal of assisting our clients in every aspect of their financial lives. We’ve provided comprehensive and personal service, thus earning a reputation for excellence in our industry. For each of our clients we strive to create financial stability and security to provide financial independence and peace of mind. American Cancer Society 130 Red Coach Dr. • Mishawaka • 574.274.0792 At the American Cancer Society, we're on a mission to free the world from cancer. Until we do, we'll be funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients, and spreading the word about prevention. All so you can live longer and better. For more information, to volunteer or donate visit our website. BoyConn Print & Copy 803 Glendale Blvd • Valparaiso • 219.462.2665 Since 1963, BoyConn Print & Copy has offered print shop services to the residents and business of Northwest Indiana. BoyConn Print & Copy is a third-generation printing company celebrating over 54 years in business. We are advocates for local businesses and supporting the community. Calumet Communications 890 Sidewalk Rd. Ste. 200 • Chesterton 219.351.0386 Calumet Communications provides fiber-optic Internet connections with the highest quality TV programming and technology directly to your home. We're building one of the fastest networks in Indiana so that users can experience the future of broadband because we know that your Internet connection can never be too fast. Charm Nutrition 436 Sand Creek Drive North Ste 104 • Chesterton 219.250.2447 At Charm, we provide our members with a revitalizing and delicious Herbalife healthy meal alternative. From our super kids to our amazing seniors, we have something for EVERYONE! Whether you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle or are trying to be a better you, the staff here at Charm is here to help! We offer multiple discounts including Student, Law Enforcement, and Military discounts. Edward Jones Investments- Devon Mulligan 850 Marsh St. Ste B, • Valparaiso • 219.465.6390 We are a financial-services firm dedicated to serving the needs of individual investors. With nearly 13,000




financial advisors serving nearly 7 million investors, our firm has been built on the belief that the only way to do business is on a one-on-one, personal basis. We do that by getting to know you, understanding your goals, and developing individualized strategies to help you reach them. Eurozone Day Spa 1050 Broadway Suite 10, • Chesterton 219.771.3266 • Eurozone Day Spa is a personal service business, we focus on pampering customers with relaxing and therapeutic massage. We offer facial treatments that are exhilarating and beautifying. We also offer body waxing to remove unwanted hair to beautify customers skin. Customers need to make appointments. Faith Salon 132 N. Calumet Ave. • Chesterton • 219.510.2036 Faith Salon is a full service salon located in downtown Chesterton with highly qualified stylists. Come in and experience a modern, relaxing environment with natural light and friendly faces. Services from haircuts and colors, manicures and pedicures and eyelash extensions are offered. Farm Wife Coffee 318 E. 1050 N • Chesterton • 219.926.5977 A lifetime Duneland resident and new author, Jan Kaletha Meyers hopes to inspire you to look at things differently. Her book "Life, With Coffee ~ a Farm Wife's Perspective" encourages you to start each day with positive thoughts - and coffee! Girls On the Run of Northwest Indiana 2906 Highway Ave, • Highland • 219.384.8276 Girls on the Run of Northwest Indiana is a non-profit organization that provides a physical activity-based youth development program to over 2,000 third through eighth grade girls each year across Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Starke and Pulaski Counties. The program inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experiencebased curriculum which creatively integrates running. Humane Society of NW Indiana,Inc 6100 Melton Rd, • Gary • 219.938.3339 HSNI Mission Statement Guided by the principles that every life has value and is worthy of respect and protection, and that animals contribute positively to the health, happiness and quality of human life, the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana’s mission is to serve both animals and people by strengthening the human-animal bond as we build a more humane community. Journeyman Distillery: Historic Featherbone Factory 109 Generations Dr. • Three Oaks, MI • 269.820.2050 Everything about Journeyman Distillery is handcrafted. We offer artisan spirits with a focus on whiskey. While whiskey is what we originally fell in love with, we also offer a variety of quality organic spirits such as vodka, gin and rum. We distill, bottle, label and package each spirit at the distillery. In addition to our spirits we have food, tours and events.

Nitco 205 N Washington St. • Hebron • 219.996.2981 NITCO (Northwestern Indiana Telephone Company, Inc.) is northwest Indiana’s premier provider of broadband, telecommunications, fiber infrastructure and telephone service. Since 1939 NITCO has been serving the residents of Lake, Porter, Jasper and Newton Counties and is currently upgrading its communications infrastructure to meet the needs of residential, commercial and Industrial customers of all sizes. Pines Village Retirement Communities 3303 Pines Village Circle • Valparaiso • 219.465.5191 At Pines Village Retirement Communities, Inc., we celebrate life by enriching the lives of older adults. Residents choose from maintenance-free independent living homes or comfortable apartment living with on-site dining options. Our continuum of service means you may add personalized assistance as you need it, paying only for what you need. Sand Creek Living Magazine 1605 Sand Creek Dr • Chesterton • 312.805.0240 Sand Creek, the Art of Living Magazine is an exclusive monthly magazine for the residents of the Sand Creek Estate Community. It is read cover to cover by the residents and an excellent way to get in front of this select group of residents. Shades Tanning Salon & Spa 371 Indian Boundary Rd. Ste. C • Chesterton 219.728.1608 Shades Tanning Salon & Spa is the #1 hotspot for tanning in NW Indiana! We offer a wide variety of products and services, including level 1-4 beds, Versa spa, hydration station and spray tanning. We also offer massages on Tuesdays and $10 spray tans on Thursdays!, We are located next to Gelsosomo's Pizza. Find us on Facebook @shadestanningsalon for more information and specials. See you soon! Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop LLC 1585 S. Calumet Rd • Chesterton • 219.250.5942 Hello, my name is Joan Crookston and I am the owner of Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop. I have been a quilter for over 25 years now and I am happy to open my new quilt shop here in Chesterton. We carry 100% cotton fabrics, sewing notions, and patterns for quilt making and we provide classes for the beginners to the more advanced quilters. Uptown Café 1400 Lincolnway • Valparaiso • 219.246.2526 We are a specialty coffee, tea, and soda bar with a dynamic food menu. We are an independent, locally owned and operated café. We place the greatest importance on customer service. Serving Fair Trade and Organic coffees and teas. We support our local art community by rotating art from different artists in the area. We have 38 electrical outlets and free WiFi. Visi- Donna Cummings 1853 Byfield Pkwy • Valparaiso • 219.921.4881 Your first step to a healthy you. Make lifestyle changes easy. Innovative weight loss. Healthy products to help you be your best.

���N � Days� | 8 am � 8 pm | �1���8��3�00

��ality, �o�ve�ie�t care...all i� o�e locatio�� It is comforting to know that when you have an illness or injury, quality, compassionate care can be found close to home. The Valparaiso Health Center of St. Mary Medical Center is your one-stop-shop for Immediate Care Services, family medicine, specialty physician practices, laboratory and diagnostic testing for patients of all ages. Open 7 days for your convenience! To experience the best healthcare right in your neighborhood, visit the Valparaiso Health Center of St. Mary Medical Center located at State Road 49 and Burlington Beach Road. For more information about the services we provide, call 219-286-3700.

3800 St. Mary Drive Valparaiso, IN

Find a Physician Information: 219-286-3700

Immediate Care No Appointment Needed 219-286-3707 Hours: Monday - Sunday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Outpatient Testing Diagnostic Appointments: 800-809-9828 Walk-in Laboratory and General X-ray Hours: Monday - Sunday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Scan here to find us with Google Maps DUNELAND TODAY



Workforce Health can help you prevent workplace injuries, avoid lost-time accidents, and lower your healthcare-related expenditures. To achieve these goals, we utilize specialists in occupational medicine, provide comprehensive case management strategies, implement targeted ergonomics initiatives, promote healthy behaviors, work to reduce risk factors and more. To find out why employers throughout Northwest Indiana are choosing Workforce Health, or to schedule a consult, call 844-424-0200 or visit


THAT WORKS AS HARD AS YOU DO. Services include: • Work-related injury care and case management • Physical therapy specializing in treating work-related injuries • Ergonomics consulting and assessments • Pre-employment physicals • DOT/CDL physicals • Drug/alcohol testing

• Annual firefighter surveillance exams • Audiometry, EKGs and other screenings • Health and wellness screenings/programs • On-site/near-site employee clinics and population health management services

Combining the unique strengths of Porter Regional’s Health At Work and La Porte Hospital’s Occupational Health programs.


Duneland Today Spring 2017  

Duneland Today Spring 2017 Developing Duneland

Duneland Today Spring 2017  

Duneland Today Spring 2017 Developing Duneland