Page 1

24/7/365 ER + URGENT CARE Whether you need the most highly skilled emergency team for major life threatening situations or treatment for life’s little interruptions such as colds, flu, bumps and bruises,


770 Indian Boundary Road • Chesterton (219) 921-2000

2 STORY 2 INSIDE Ark of the Dunes A DOG'S 4 IT'S (OR CAT'S) LIFE


HELPING HANDS A Tail of Two Rescues


ON THE COVER Humane Society of Northwest Indiana

WAVES 15 MAKING Duneland Chamber Events PAD 24 LAUNCH Welcoming New Members



Chamber of Commerce

DUNELAND TODAY IS PUBLISHED BY Duneland Chamber of Commerce 220 Broadway • Chesterton, Indiana 46304 219.926.5513 COMMITTEE Publisher/ Duneland Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board/ Maura Durham, Duneland Chamber of Commerce Contributing Editor/ Heather Augustyn Marketing Director/ Beth Luncsford, Duneland Chamber of Commerce Copy Editor/ Janice Custer Photographer/ Kyle Telechan TO ADVERTISE: Contact Michelle at 219.926.5513 or

Heather Augustyn / Contributing Editor

Heather Augustyn is a Chesterton native. She is a continuing lecturer of composition at Purdue Northwest and was a newpaper jounalist for 12 years. She has published five books on ska music and lives in Chesterton with her husband and their two sons, Sid and Frank.

Kyle Telechan / Photographer

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 nonphotojournalistic work. Kyle currently lives in Portage with his wife Elise.

Beth Luncsford / Graphic Designer

Beth has over six years of experience in the design and publishing industry. After obtaining her degree, 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 children, Jacob and Everly.




Ark of the Dunes







rk of the Dunes Animal Hospital opened in Chesterton in 2001 as a single doctor practice owned by Dr. James T. Read, DVM. Read built the hospital to provide quality canine and feline medicine, daily care, boarding, dentistry, laser surgery, radiology, laser therapy, and in-house bloodwork. With the addition of Dr. Julie Hyslop in 2010, and Dr. Annie Van Proyen in 2017, Ark of the Dunes has a team dedicated to providing Duneland pets with the best care. “We opened the practice in July of 2001. With the exception of four years of veterinary school, I have been a lifelong resident of Chesterton, and while I was in school, I was given the opportunity to build and open a new veterinary practice,” says Read who adds that he has seen a number of changes over the years in terms of veterinary care. “We have certainly seen significant advances in the way we see and treat diseases. The increase and strengthening of the human/animal bond, the advent and increase in the number of internet phar-

says. Dr. Annie Van Proyen, DVM concurs. “I’m from the area and was at Ark at the Dunes working at the kennel for the past eight years before I became a veterinarian here last June. I love the family aspect here and it has been wonderful coming from the area to come back and serve the area that served me so well,” she says. Both Hyslop and Van Proyen say that there are increases in health disorders affecting pets in the region. Hyslop says, “Pet obesity is always an issue. It has become the norm to have an overweight pet. Nutrition is important and it’s hard with all of the information on the internet to know which way to go, so I do a lot of advising on that. We see a lot of positive Lyme tests, especially in Chesterton, so there’s a problem. The tick population is expanding dramatically through deer populations and we’re in a hot spot here. Symptoms that owners report include limping, maybe one leg one day and one the next day, and also increased drinking, increased urination, and lethargy." Van Proyen says that they have seen an increase

“ WE TREAT OUR CLIENTS THE SAME AS WE WOULD TREAT OUR OWN PETS.” macies and other non-veterinary outlets for purchasing veterinary products, and the continued increase in cost of preventative medications, such as heartworm, flea and tick products have also changed over the years.” Dr. Julie Hyslop, DVM says that helping families take care of their four-legged friends has been a privilege for her. “I like the fact that we work as a family here at Ark of the Dunes. We all get along and make a good atmosphere for our clients. We treat our clients the same as we would treat our own pets. We have a unified vision and we’re all on the same page. We have a really wonderful support staff and great clients,” she

in older pets. “One of the big issues we deal with is our geriatric patients. We’ve expanded preventative care and our dogs are living longer, so we see arthritis and cancer have increased. As a result, quality of life is the big issue and how to specialize each treatment to give to dogs,” she says. As for where Dr. Read thinks that veterinary care will grow in the future. He says a focus on quality of life will affect many pets. He says. “I think there is going to be continued advancement and improvement in preventative care. I think we will have the ability to more accurately diagnose some of the more uncommon diseases earlier and hopefully at a lesser cost than we see today.”

Ark of the Dunes veterinarians, from left, Julie Hyslop, James T. Read, and Annie Van Proyen









e all know the benefits of pets—they provide companionship and love, and they even help improve our health by decreas-

ing stress and blood pressure. So why leave them at home when they can provide those benefits at work, to employees and to customers? A number of Duneland businesses have chosen to bring their pets into the workplace, so keep your eye out for these four-legged friends.





Jacqueline Ruge-Perkins, executive vice president at First State Bank of Porter, says their office pet is a 9-year-old cat named Interest, because, well, it is a bank! “She’s a long-haired tabby and she came to us by fate. We didn’t plan on having a business pet, but one of our tellers found her abandoned in a ditch by her house and was afraid to leave her at home all day. The cat was too little, probably only a few weeks old, to be left alone, so she brought her to work in the hopes of finding her a new home—we just didn’t expect it to be Porter Bank! Most of our customers love her. Many bring her treats and ask about her when she isn’t greeting them. Kids like to pet her, when she lets them—I mean, she is a typical cat! We have a lot of outsiders that come into the bank, such as auditors, examiners, and vendors, and we have to 'warn' them that we have a cat because of allergies and it seems there are people who are actually afraid of cats! We had an examiner that was afraid of cats, so we had to put out fans and balloons in the office she was working in to keep Interest out. She was startled by the cat whenever she left the office and peeked around corners and walked cautiously to avoid coming face to face with her,” Ruge-Perkins says.

First State Bank of Porter Vice President Jackie Ruge-Perkins kneels down to pet the bank's resident cat, Interest.

At Riley’s Railhouse, two dogs are part of the welcome wagon, or more appropriately, welcome waggin’. Annmarie Riley calls her dogs “animal employees.” She says, “We have two dogs—a labradoodle and goldendoodle who live here at the Riley’s Railhouse Bed and Breakfast. They are a big fan favorite here. Chloe and Jackson are 8 years old and are both rescue doodles. Our clients like the home-like feel the dogs add to the B&B, especially when they have pets at home that they are missing. The doodles do funny things all the time!”

Riley's Railhouse owners Richard and Annmarie Riley with resident dogs Chloe and Jackson.




Mark Hopkins, owner of Hopkins Ace Hardware, says that their 16-year-old tabby mix named Scooter is quite popular around the store--even more popular than the employees. "Kids really love her and it is always a 100% positive experience," Hopkins says. Sometimes people are surprised to see Scooter walking around the store. "People will ask if we know there's a cat in here!" he says, noting that they got Scooter specifically to hang out in the store. "We used to be located across the street and one day we had a little kitten at our back door and so we took him in. We ended up finding the owner, but we loved having a cat so much that we decided to get one of our own from the cat shelter, and that's how we got Scooter." Hopkins says that though he has had cats his entire life, Scooter is different. "Unless she is sleeping, she never shuts up. She is the Mark Hopkins, owner of Hopkins' Ace Hardware, pets store cat Scooter.

most talkative cat," he says.

Workplace Solutions Interactive Display System

Much more than your typical electronic white board.

• IT Manage Services • Computers • Furniture & Design • Print Management • Office Supplies • Promo/ Apparel 6




CURRENTS Simko Signs Graphic Designer Myles Popjevach, on left, and President Mike Moreth pose for a photo with shop dogs Milo and Lily.

Michael Moreth at Simko Signs says their

have some form of entertainment. Also, on late

bring their dogs in and either my dogs freak out

5-year-old pug/chihuahua named Milo, 9-year-

nights I can take them out to use the restroom

or get along with them. Kids like to play with

old chihuahua/Jack Russell terrier named Lily,

more easily. It also brings joy to customers

them and walk them around on leashes when

and 3-year-old deer-headed chihuahua named

and children that stop in. Kids love them and

they stop in to visit. I keep mine in a custom

Evvie make wonderful office pets. “It keeps the

I haven't had anyone ever be upset, so it only

doghouse we built for them in the shop so they

pets less bored as they get to stay with us and

has been a positive thing. I've had customers

don't get into as much trouble,” he says.

Another cat can be found at Butler Winery. Joe Butler says their cat, named Miss Kitty, is a 9-year-old manx cat with bobcat heritage who was born without a tail. Butler says, “It’s nice to have her around and she has free range of the place. She roams about outside as much as inside when the weather is nice, and the customers seem to enjoy her and take pictures with her. Reactions are pretty positive, and we had only one lady that was scared of cats, so we put Miss Kitty in another room when she was here and that was it. But everyone else seems to really like her. The funniest thing is when kids realize she is a real cat. She’ll sit there real still and then move and the kids will be surprised Store cat Miss Kitty relaxes in the lounge of Butler Winery in Chesterton

that she’s a real cat!”




Same Mission. Greater Impact. 10,000 Kids Strong.

Lake & Porter Co.


Explore a path to GREAT Futures at Duneland Boys & Girls Club with our STEM Lab, Teen Lounge, Rock Wall, Exergaming, full size gym, art room & more! Take a tour today! 521 W 1100 N • Chesterton, IN 46304 • 219.926.9770 •





Sarah Fisher, employee at the Harley Davidson store in Michigan City, with shop dogs Chopper and Harley.

At the Harley-Davidson Shop of Michigan

see them. They are still puppies and need train-

back!’ He also jumped the back fence before we

City, Office/Finance Manager Katlyn Slater

ing, so we tend to keep them behind a gate for

extended it. He is the tricky one. They are sweet

says their two German shepherds, Harley and

safety. The funniest thing that has happened is

boys but a lot of work too. Sarah Fisher, our

Chopper, 9 month-old brothers, are fun to have

we left the office they were in for a moment and

motor clothes manager, is their mommy. She

around. “They’re guard dogs and mascots. Our

came back to them on top of the desk! We saw

goes above and beyond to take care of them.

owner loves animals and rescued them and now

Chopper jumping off the top of the desk and

She is a major dog lover and she calls them her

our customers love them too and are excited to

when he saw us, he was like, ‘Oh no they are

boys!” says Slater.

Jim Kristoff, of Jim Kristoff State Farm in Chesterton, with store dog Stella.

Dogs are also part of the office at State Farm in Chesterton where owner Jim Kristoff says, “I bring both of my dogs with me to work. They are miniature schnauzers—Zoe is three and Stella is two and a half. I figure, why not? I first brought them to potty train them when I first got them, and my customers reacted well to them, so I kept bringing them. The girls in the office work well with them, and now this is just what we’ve come to expect here. The dogs stay in my actual office, so anytime a customer comes in they will bark a bit and if the customer is okay with dogs I’ll let them out and people love them. People will ask where the dogs are if they’re not here! They don’t really do many hijinks or get into anything, and they’re pretty well behaved. It’s just nice to have them here. Dogs have a short enough life already and to have them alone for a third of their life wouldn’t be right.” DUNELAND TODAY



Associate Broker / Transaction Manager We're thrilled to announce that Brett Halon has joined the Gaff & Huerta team! His skillset provides us with more versatility to get you into your dream home with ease, so contact us today! Welcome aboard, Brett! 

Lisa Gaff Broker / Realtor 219-921-3899

Christopher Huerta Broker / Realtor 312-513-8858

Do you know what your home is worth? Contact Lisa at 219-921-3899 or Chris at 312-513-8858 for your FREE home valuation! 






PETS Keeping Tails Wagging


ets are members of the family. They welcome us when we come home, they curl up on our laps on the couch, and they love us unconditionally. So Duneland makes it easy to show our furry friends that we love them back. Pamper your pet to give them back just a fraction of what they give to us. At Chesterton Feed & Garden Center, Owner Chuck Roth, Jr. says that they have an entire department devoted to pets, including dogs, cats, small animals like guinea pigs and rabbits, and birds. “For pampering pets we have treats and pet colognes, and we have boots and coats for the winter. Boots have become more of a necessity for keeping the salt from the feet so they don’t dry out and crack, and we have balms to keep the feet soft. We have heating pads for the pets to lay on in the winter, but sometimes cats will like those all year, and we have heating pads that are self-heating and require no electricity. They take the heat of the pet and enhance it so they keep warm,” he says. For everyday pampering, Roth says that their selection of pet food and treats are given special attention and care. “We look for healthy and safe products for pets. With our lines of pet foods, we watch that real closely,

so we have good quality. So many pet foods and treats get recalled because of the ingredients and rarely is one of ours affected by it. We make sure that the toys don’t have squeakers in them so they won’t break down and hurt the pet,” says Roth. Kitty Neuliep, owner of Bark of the Town, says that new clients for their grooming services are on a waitlist basis since they opened in February 2015, but soon they will offer a line of special products that all pet owners can enjoy. She explains, “We will be open one afternoon each week to sell a line of essential oils for animals that

Pet toys hang on display at Chesterton Feed & Garden.

were developed by veterinarians. You really have to be careful with essential oils and animals, but these, a line called Animal E.O., are developed by a veterinarian, Dr. Melissa Shelton. I am the only one in Indiana selling it. I was contacted by the vet, and so I have had to attend seminars to know what I’m dealing with before I’ve made it available. It’s good for animals.” Pamper your pet with a fun run through the Dunes. Indiana Dunes Tourism has made it easy by identifying pet friendly places in the Indiana Dunes, for visitors and residents. Dogs are allowed on a six foot leash at Kemil, Dunbar, Lake View, and Central beaches in the national lakeshore (everything east of the state park). In the state park, dogs must be on a leash and are welcome east of the swimming beach. Leashed pets can hike any trail in both the state park and national lakeshore except the Great Marsh Trail, Pinhook Bog and Glenwood Dunes trail. Don’t forget the local parks. Places such as Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve, Taltree Arboretum, and the Porter County Parks are pet-friendly. According to Indiana Dunes Tourism, named the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore the #1 pet-friendly attraction in the state of Indiana. DUNELAND TODAY



You’ve just had an accident! Don’t have a second, let us repair your vehicle.

Chesterton Location 219.926.8203

Valparaiso Location 219.462.0405




Proud member of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce


A Tail of Two Rescues

The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana and Petite Tr`esor Rescue and Sanctuary Bring Love, and Homes, to Pets


he Northwest Indiana region is fortunate to benefit from a variety of organizations devoted to pets and animals. One of them, the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana at 6100 Melton Road in Gary, has made it their mission to match animals in need with loving forever homes. Board member Viktoria Voller says many of their adoptions take place right here in Duneland. “We are a regional Humane Society, so we serve all of Northwest Indiana but most of our adoptions, relative to population, are in Chesterton, Beverly Shores, Dune Acres, and Ogden Dunes,” Voller says. The mission of the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana is to “balance the health, safety and welfare needs of the people and animals within Northwest Indiana. We do so by providing shelter and care for unwanted pets and strays until a quality home is found; promoting, motivating and enforcing responsible pet ownership; ensuring the legal protection of animals from mistreatment; providing animal-related services to local citizens, responding to citizens' questions regarding animals and referring them to a correct party, educating the public through presentations and public relations and providing a lost and found service for lost pets.” Voller says that they conduct a number of events in the community, both to find permanent homes for the pets and also simply to provide the loving companionship that only pets can provide. She explains, “We are doing a project at the St. Agnes

Adult Day Service Center, bringing animals in to residents who can enjoy them, pet them, and play with them. It’s so good for the seniors because it brings back memories and opens conversation. We’re doing that with the activities director there. We also do a lot of adoption events throughout Porter and Lake Counties. We are 100% supported by donations and there is a great need for volunteers,” she says, and she encourages those who are interested to contact the shelter at (219) 938-3339. Petite Tre`sor Rescue & Sanctuary is also a non-profit in the Duneland area that is dedicated to the rescue and wellbeing of pets. Owned by Mary and Richard Dacey, this farm at 1116 N. 350 E. in Chesterton has become a rescue and sanctuary. Mary Dacey explains, “We bought a farm that had been empty for three years but had been in the same family for 50 years, and we decided to turn it into a nonprofit sanctuary for abused, handicapped, and senior dogs. These are animals that could not be socialized enough or were returned to shelters over and over, so I take the dogs that have had issues and I care for them. These are the unadoptables. All dogs that we rescue can live with us as a family. We renovated the farm so we could be together forever. Dacey says that they have also renovated the farm to rent out the upstairs of the home on Air BnB and they also rent out the property for weddings with proceeds going to fund her dogs’ care. More information can be found on Facebook, or at (219) 242-1036 or

Top row: Puppy Hersey, resident cat Dolly, and an adoptiable cat at Humane Society of Northwest Indiana. Bottom row: Zorro, pomeranian Rocky, and Mary Dacey, owner of Petite Trésor Rescue & Sanctuary, holding one of many rescue dogs living at the sanctuary.










Clockwise: LaPorte County Draft Horse Association providing free carriage rides in Downtown Chesterton, patrons enjoying the Hometown Holiday Market, the Vidimos family staniding in front of the town tree which they donated, Brian Sheely of Epic Limo transporting the Grinch in the Twilight Parade, Santa riding in his sleigh for the parade finale, Jim Anton of Anton Insurance as the conductor for thier Polar Express themed float, a patron and his furry friend enjoying the market










January 10 :: Portage Working Well Express Care Ribbon Cutting










Left to right standing: Amy Costello of HealthLinc, Reginald Blouin of Pa's Work Shop, Jane Szymczak of Laciak Accountancy Group, Todd Collins, Vince Kisala of Auction Bay Online, Therese Haller of Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction District, Magnolia Kisala of Auction Bay Online, Patti Boyer of Computer Education Institute, Michelle Hunsley of Duneland Chmaber of Commerce, Marta Schumacher, Karyn Witt, and Rhonda Mullin of Westchester Public Library, Katie Rizer of Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve, Kristin Scheub of Boys & Girls Club of Greater Northwest Indiana, Tricia Layhey of 1st Source Bank, Alex Ferriera of Modern Woodmen of America, Jose Moreno of Hogan Consulting Group, Christine Lovitz of Homewood Disposal, Lisa Misch and Jim Magera of 1st Source Bank, Jim Brastkis of MCSI Left to right seated: Maura Durham of Duneland Chamber of Commerce, Pia Parrott of Centier Bank, Judy Kukelka of Story Point of Chesterton, Jenilee Haynes of Duneland Chamber of Commerce, and Becky Vaughan






Connect To Higher Savings Today!

Member FDIC







Left to right: Bart Bretsch, Jim Tonn of The Town of Chesterton, Tom Long of NITCO, Jeff Trout of Trout Glass & Mirror, Chuck Lukmann of Harris, Welsh, and Lukmann, and Ed Evans

Left to right: Ahna Dunn, Tom Carroll, and Tom Long of NITCO, Jeff Trout of Trout Glass & Mirror, Jim Tonn of The Town of Chesterton, and Maura Durham of Duneland Chamber of Commerce DUNELAND TODAY









Left to right: 2018 Board of Directors - Albert Miller of Raymond James & Associates, Bob Kollar of Riverstone Financial Advisors, Kyle Lundy of Sand Creek Country Club, Leroy Flores of Leroy's "Hot Stuff", Tracy Bergstrom of Teachers Credit Union, Joe Grossbauer of GGNet Technologies, Laura Zaranski of East Wind Acupuncture, Jackie Ruge-Perkins of First State Bank of Porter, Kirk Futrell of Lakeside Wealth Management Group, Christy Jarka of Duneland School Corporation, Katie Rizer of Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve, Dr. Nicky Ali Jackson of Purdue Northwest, Ryan Smiley of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, Julie Paulson of Harris, Welsh & Lukmann, Rose Charo of Centier Bank, Nicole Caylor of Running Vines Winery, Paul Boyter of McColly Real Estate, Craig O'Brien of Ashley's Jewelry by Design, Jared Smith of Porter Regional Hospital, and David Hiestand of Hiestand Law Office




LAUNCHPAD Help us welcome the newest members of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce community. We look forward to a prosperous and profitable future.




St. Mary Medical Center is Northwest Indiana’s

FIRST BABY-FRIENDLY HOSPITAL!* What does it mean to be a designated Baby-Friendly Hospital? optimal care for moms • Delivers and babies support and education • Provides based on established best practices for all feeding choices a sensitive care • Furnishes environment that promotes informed healthcare decision-making

The Family Birthing Center at St. Mary Medical Center is a special place to start your family. For more information about birthing options at St. Mary Medical Center, call 219-836-3477.

*As designated by Baby-Friendly USA, the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). DUNELAND TODAY




I’M YOUNG AT HEART. Find out if you’re young at heart with our 5-minute Heart Risk Assessment. It will calculate your Heart Age and offer advice on how to maintain or improve your heart health.

Visit to take the assessment.


DUNELAND TODAY SPRING 2018 Porter Regional Hospital is owned in part by physicians.

Duneland Today - Spring 2018  
Duneland Today - Spring 2018