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inMiddlebury Magazine P.O. Box 68 Middlebury, IN 46540

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Celebrating Life in Middlebury, Indiana

MARCH 2017

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Table of Contents around town 04 Community Calendar 05 Middlebury Milestones




Boys & Girls Club: Local Youth of the Year


Outdoor Living: Out on a limb

09 Middlebury Parks Department 22 Chamber of Commerce 28

Business Directory

feature stories 10

Goldenrod Passion Play

14 Middlebury Lions Club 18 Distinguished Young Woman

20 What’s Happening Online

inMiddlebury? Pinterest

26 Website


EDITOR Guy Thompson

Contributing writers Dr. Carla Gull, Gloria Salavarria


Using a boat to build relationships

schools 07

NMS & NHS Plays


Northridge Motor Sports


NHS Athletics

On the cover: Middlebury’s

CONTRIBUTORS Publisher William Connelly

American Legion Spotlight

29 Deals in Middlebury





Advertising Scott Faust

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Russ Draper, Kris Mueller & Gloria Salavarria

Distinguished Young Woman Alyssa Hochstetler won the state competition on February 18 in Kokomo.

(Photo contributed by Indiana Distinguished Young Women) inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 3

March Community Calendar March

2 12 17 20


Middlebury Tree Board Meeting at 7 p.m. Daylight Saving Time Begins Happy St. Patrick’s Day First Day of Spring

1St & 3rd Mondays: Town Council meetings at Town Hall – 6 p.m. 1St & 3rd Wednesdays: Middlebury Men’s Club meets at the American Legion – 7 p.m. 2ND & 4th Mondays: Middlebury Lions Club meets at the American Legion – 7 p.m.

Weekly Mon–Fri: REAL Services Lunch, Ages 60+, Greencroft Tues: Euchre and Table Games, Greencroft – 6:30 p.m. WED: Middlebury Exchange Club, Essenhaus – 6:30 a.m. Fri: Optimist Club Breakfast, Essenhaus – 6:30 a.m.

Editor’s Note A lot of good things come out of Middlebury, and that certainly includes a lot of good people who carry the name of their hometown with them and with class. Gracing our cover this month is the 2017 Indiana Distinguished Young Woman, Alyssa Hochstetler. She won the state contest on February 18 and will go onto the national showcase in Mobile, Ala., June 29-July 1. We featured this amazing young lady in our January issue, and are not surprised she came out on top in the state program. Also check out photographer Russ Draper’s shots of the Northridge High School Girls Basketball Regional Champion team. The Raiders brought home the school’s first girls regional title in February. Meanwhile, the Northridge Motorsports team is a little under two months from their competition in Detroit. Guy Thompson, Editor

MONTHLY American Legion Dinners, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Public welcome 1st Friday: All-You-Can-Eat Fish by the Legion 2nd Friday: 3rd Friday:

Varied menu by Legion Riders All-You-Can-Eat Broasted Chicken by Auxiliary

4th Friday:

Sandwich Baskets by Sons of American Legion

5th Friday:

Lasagna dinner by Boy Scout Troop 7

Last Saturday: Steak Grill - Call 825-5121 for more information.

Advertise with us Share your message with every home and business within the Middlebury School Corporation. We mail the magazine to over 10,000 addresses and publish it online. Your ad can reach each home for as low as 1.5¢ per address. Design is free with purchase of your ad. Our Account Managers are here to help, just give us a call at 574-825-9112.

Advertising deadline for the April issue is March 10 Interested in being a volunteer writer or photographer? Have an idea for a story? We’d love to hear from you! Need a logo or design project? Give us a call at 574-825-9112 or email

4 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

Milestones Birthday Wishes 3/1 Kadrian Willis, 6 3/1 Carol Bickel, 95 3/1 Mackenzie Martin, 14 3/8 Justyce Bryan 3/10 Ashlynne Weesner, 18 3/11 Shelby Brown, 18 3/14 Payton Hemminger, 6 3/17 Keyara Willis, 8 3/17 Cole Brown, 12 3/22 Kamarion Willis, 9 3/24 Bruce White 3/27 EllyAnna Hensell, 8 3/28 Kaimani Lehman 3/30 Jerry Lehman 3/31 Eileen Clemmer, 70

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Happy Birth day Payton Aly se! We lov e yo Your Famil u, y

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Happy Anniversary

with Love, Your Family

Mark & Paula Dill March 25

Have a Celebration in April? Let us know my March 10

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Please include a phone number or email address in case we have a question.

4. Call us at: 1-800-552-2404 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 5

around TOWN | Boys & Girls Club

Boys & Girls Club of Middlebury announces Local Youth of the Year – Congratulations, Jacob Schaaf! The Boys & Girls Club of Middlebury is excited to announce the winner of its 2016 Youth of the Year Contest, Northridge High School sophomore Jacob Schaaf. Youth of the Year is the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program for its members. Local competitions are held at clubs nationwide and competitors advance through local, county, state, and regional contests, hoping for a chance to compete on the national stage in Washington, D.C. As winner of the Boys & Girls Club of Middlebury’s local contest, Schaaf represented the Middlebury Club at the Elkhart County Youth of the Year competition in Goshen on February 8. Although he did not advance past the county level, he will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Boys & Girls Club of Middlebury for post-secondary education. Youth of the Year award recipients complete a rigorous application process and interview, and are evaluated in the areas of academics, character and leadership, and service to the community.

Jacob volunteers with other Keystone Club members at the Middlebury Food Pantry.

Jacob and other Boys and Girls Club members help combat hunger in Elkhart County by volunteering with the annual Seed to Feed Potato Harvest.

About Jacob Schaaf Years as a Boys & Girls Club Member: 9 Personal Motto: “If a problem knocks you down, you can always pick back up.” Extracurricular Activities: Keystone Club, Science Olympiad, Marching Band Community Service Projects: Seed to Feed Potato Harvest, Loveway Horse Stables volunteer, Middlebury Food Pantry volunteer Club Experience: “The Boys & Girls Club has taught me to be more of a leader. I am now able to talk more confidently and in front of large groups of people. Even though they probably don’t know it, the Boys & Girls Club has helped me move past my hard times.” Vision for America’s Youth: “I want to help other teens understand that going to college and putting in the hard work will pay off and help them reach their dream goals.”

This article is brought to you by:

CARDINAL BUSES a Middlebury family-owned business since 1923

574-825-9405 6 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

Northridge Theater program growing…at both ends For many years, Northridge High School has been entertaining the community with theater productions of dramas, comedies, and musicals and providing students with opportunities to learn acting skills and public performance. Fifteen years ago an elementary program began, offering students in grades K-6 a chance to experience stage performance through a one-week summer camp. In addition, this is the 9th year Northridge Middle School will present a full musical production in May. Now it’s time to grow again. In March the high school will add another play to its schedule and the summer “Kids Take the Stage” program will extend its offerings beyond a week of regular theater to a second week of musical theater for grades 4-6. More information will be sent home with students later this spring.


The spring production is “Leaving Iowa” and


will be presented Saturday, March 11, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 12, at 2 p.m. in the middle school auditorium. Anyone who has taken a family vacation, whether as an adult with children or as a child with parents, will relate to this hilarious story. Although the plan was to finally bury his father’s ashes, Don finds himself reminiscing about the numerous family vacations his father planned – all of which were the most “fascinating” to the kids. Throughout his journey he encounters places that would be appropriate for leaving his father’s remains, but they never quite measure up to Dad’s expectations. At the center of it all Don finds the importance of family relationships – even if vacation time is unbearable. Come meet the Browning family and the colorful characters from their vacations – characters you may have met on your own family trips. Tickets go on sale March 1 in the high school front office for $5 each.

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Outdoor LIVING

Do you remember the feelings of accomplishment, freedom, and varied perspective from climbing a tree as a child? I do! I had a perfect tree for climbing right along CR 8 as a child. Beyond the shade, it provided an appropriate challenge, a problem to solve, and a different view of the world below. According to the Indiana Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, tree climbing is a basic right for all Indiana children. In recent research with Dr. Suzanne Levenson Goldstein and Dr. Tricia Rosengarten, we found many benefits of tree climbing: 1. Tree climbing promotes critical thinking, as decisions must be made with each move. 2. Imagination and creativity abound as new worlds are explored high off the ground. 3. Children work on problem solving skills as they climb up and down the tree. 4. Self-confidence soars as a child accomplishes a goal to climb the tree. 5. Social interaction can improve as children work together to encourage others to climb a tree and/or use Above: Tree climbing can be a great social activity. Children encourage each other while climbing. 8 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

tree climbing as part of nature play. 6. Children work on dexterity and physical strength as they scale the branches of a tree. 7. Cognitive and emotional strength are fortified as children deal with setbacks and continue working toward a goal. 8. Grit is developed as children build upon resiliency while tree climbing. 9. Children learn to negotiate risk as they make safety call judgments while in trees. 10. Spatial awareness intensifies as children can take on different perspectives and see the world from a different angle while climbing. To safely climb trees, many parents suggest that children must be able to climb the tree independently, check the tree for safety, and/or use a three-point system for increased safety. Additionally, watch for power lines and other potential hazards. As we enter spring, tree climbing can be a great way to connect to nature. While there are potential risks, the benefits allow children to develop needed skills such as problem solving, resiliency, and risk negotiation. Plus, it’s fun! Enjoy your time out on a limb! Dr. Carla Gull blogs at She is often seen with her four tag-along explorers in the greater Michiana area.

Upcoming Parks Events

Making Life Better



by the Middlebury Park Board

Old trees make a new connection

There’s a new boardwalk trail in Riverbend Park. While walking on the 400 ft. long boardwalk, it’s easy to see this is no ordinary boardwalk. As you walk on this wood, you are walking on lumber from trees that grew in Riverbend Park. Yes, the very same mature ash trees that provided shade on hot days now provide a new connection from the park to the Villas of Riverbend. Hundreds of mature ash trees grew in Riverbend Park until the exotic, invasive Emerald Ash Borer killed them. Most of them were cut down to ensure safety in the park, but many of the trunks were taken to local Amish sawmills to be milled into lumber, which was then used to construct sections of boardwalk. The Middlebury Parks Department and the Friends of the Middlebury Parks (FOMP) are very excited about this project, which was jointly funded by the parks department and FOMP. The 10 ft., 300-pound sections were built in the park shop by park staff and FOMP volunteers. Check out the new boardwalk on your next visit. New trail signs are coming soon.

Showing our True Colors in 2017

“Fiesta!” is the theme for the 2017 Krider Windmill Garden. Watch for tropical annuals in the hot salsa colors of chartreuses and burgundies swirling around bright blue skirts. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Quilt Tour will be the original “Krider Star Point” pattern in bold colors of green, red, blue and white. This planting highlights Krider World’s Fair Garden as Middlebury’s own shining star that adds vibrancy to our community. Remembering beloved individuals and their families battling Lymphoma will be symbolized by a ribbon of lime green coleus in the “Garden with a Cause.” Once again pink and white petunias will cascade down Main Street – thanks to your donations to the “Town Flower Fund.” Information to add your support is available at Thanks to the dedicated folks on the parks department’s landscape committee for the beauty they bring to Middlebury. iring We’re H rs! Drive


Parks Page Sponsored By:

Star Fleet Trucking is a proud member & supporter of the Middlebury community for 25 years and counting. inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 9

Project Promise brings the Easter Story to the stage

By Guy Thompson

What began as a way to do presentations at area churches about a MDC Goldenrod program has become a unique, annual event to celebrate and tell the Easter story. On March 25 at the Clinton Frame Church, around 40 participants will recreate the Easter story on stage, beginning at the Lord’s Supper, through the resurrection, and concluding with Jesus’ appearance in the house with his disciples. The program will be at 3 and 6 p.m., and people are encouraged to get there early to get a seat due to how popular the event has become over the years. This will be the third year at Clinton Frame Mennonite Church, MDC Goldenrod Executive Assistant Danae Miller said. Prior to that it was held at Bethany Christian. “It started out doing presentations at area churches and turned into a fundraiser for Project Promise. At first, it was the creation story and then changed to the Easter story,” Miller said. The script itself was written in 2005 by Donald C. Yost and tells the story through a narrator, along with other speaking roles. “They do an incredible job memorizing their lines and blocking,” Miller said. “Some have played these roles over the years and have continually improved them over the years.” Some of the performers have been in it since the beginning. MDC Goldenrod and Project Promise, one of several programs offered through the organization,

10 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

work with adults and children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Project Promise is one of the longest-running programs and meets twice a month for worship time, fellowship, crafts and other activities throughout the year. This includes an annual retreat at the Brethren Retreat Center near Shipshewana, something the group has done for 42 years. They also hold a chicken barbecue fundraiser. Money raised through the Easter story presentation with a freewill donation, along with the chicken barbecue, go to cover costs of supplies for Project Promise as well as help with the cost of the retreat. The Easter story program also gives the participants the opportunity to perform for the public. “They love being up there performing, saying their lines and getting into character,” Miller stated. “They are passionate about the story and in sharing it.” The excitement really lasts the whole year, she added, with participants talking about it even when they aren’t preparing for it. “It’s a highlight for everyone involved and it’s always on their minds,” Miller said. And they spend a lot of time preparing, with rehearsals already started back in January in anticipation of the show in March. “The audience is overwhelmingly surprised by how moving it is,” Miller continued. “Everyone has heard

Project Promise the story. But they are surprised by the interpretation the actors bring.” The actors, all participants in Project Promise, have various developmental and intellectual disabilities. “The actor playing Jesus, for example, has Down Syndrome,” Miller noted. Most have some level of developmental disability. There is no doubt for anyone who has seen similar programs that the actors bring an unmistakable joy to the programs they perform. “It’s amazing to see what they do and how they make the characters their own,” Miller said. The program runs approximately one hour and is performed on stage in the sanctuary, with some moments being performed in the aisles. Clinton Frame Mennonite Church is located south of Middlebury at 63846 CR 35 in Goshen. For more on MDC Goldenrod, see the article on page 12.

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inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 11

About MDC Goldenrod

From MDC Goldenrod

MDC Goldenrod is a faith-based ministry that works to create community with people of all abilities. It provides services to adults and children with developmental and intellectual disabilities with in-home care, respite care, and community-based habilitation in both 24- and non-24-hour settings. The goal of MDC Goldenrod’s services is to enhance the self-esteem and self-worth of each of those they serve through increasing daily living skills. Services are truly individualized to meet the needs of each person they serve and their family. MDC Goldenrod does all of this with faith at the forefront of service provision.

Project Promise Project Promise is a program to meet the spiritual and social needs of adults with disabilities. Project Promise meets two times a month for worship and craft activities. In addition, Project Promise hosts an annual Easter play, a field day, a retreat, a chicken BBQ, and various other activities. Project Promise is available for little to no cost to the participants for most activities. Volunteers are responsible for the success of Project Promise with the guidance of a committee and one part-time employee. Project Promise is blessed with generous community and congregational support.

12 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

Goldenrod Gardens Goldenrod Gardens is currently going through a transition from program funding to a completely volunteer-run greenhouse. Goldenrod Gardens works with the community to provide a limited selection of produce. In addition, Goldenrod Gardens hosts “hosta digs” to support the greenhouse. The greenhouse is located on the Middlebury campus of MDC Goldenrod Community (corner of CR 16 and CR 43, 1.5 miles east of Middlebury). Goldenrod Gardens provides meaningful and valuable learning opportunities for people with disabilities to work side by side with community members. They are always looking for volunteers. Their mission is to provide meaningful work for residents and friends as well as quality organicallygrown products.

History of MDC Goldenrod In Northern Indiana during the 1960s, there was a concern growing in the Mennonite Church that congregations were not welcoming and supportive of people with disabilities and their families. In December 1974, this concern finally took shape in the creation of Project Promise, a program run by volunteers specifically oriented to the spiritual needs of people with disabilities. This new ministry met at Clinton Frame Mennonite Church east of Goshen and included regular meeting and worship times. In October 1976 the 1st Annual Project Promise Spiritual Retreat weekend began.

MDC Goldenrod Once Project Promise had been established, there grew an increasing interest in taking care of not just the spiritual but also the daily living needs of adults with disabilities. In February 1977, a group began to consider providing residential services (i.e. homes). The decision to proceed was made and Mennonite Disabilities Committee (MDC) was formed. By the summer of 1978 staff had been hired, and in February 1980 the first house was purchased, located east of Goshen on CR 34, and was named “Mennoheim” (Mennonite Home). Originally envisioned as a year-round residential home, Mennoheim evolved in a short period into a respite care house. There was still a vision for providing permanent yearround housing to developmentally disabled adults. In the summer of 1985 MDC formed a Long-Term Residential Needs Committee to assess the ability of MDC to work with congregations to provide long-term housing and decided to proceed with long-term housing plans. The program was named Merimna Homes, based on a Greek word “merimna” meaning “to care.” In the fall of 1988 a property in Goshen was purchased, remodeled and named Pleasant Place. The first caregiving staff for the long-term homes was hired in August 1989 and the first residents moved into Pleasant Place in September 1989. Over the years, MDC Goldenrod continued to add residences to serve those in need. In 1996 several acres of land one mile east of Middlebury were donated to MDC with the intent that residential services begin there, with part of the population served being autistic. The initial plans for Goldenrod Community began. In 1997 a task force was organized and committees formed. The first duplex was built in 1999. A timber-frame barn was constructed by volunteers in 2000, and the second duplex was built in 2001. Goldenrod Gardens, a greenhouse connected to the Goldenrod Community Barn, was opened in 2002. For more information on MDC Goldenrod: MDC Goldenrod 1514 College Ave. Goshen, IN 46526

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Middlebury Lions to host

Variety Night The Middlebury Lions Club will be hosting a fundraising event on Saturday, March 25, at the Meadow Valley Golf Club. This event is for adults age 21 and over since there is a cash bar. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the event will go on until 11 p.m.

the proceeds from this event will help to support the club’s sight saving and restorative efforts, such as providing eyeglasses for children, preschool vision testing, help to individuals in obtaining additional eye assistance, and other related programs.

• There will be live music by The Great White Buffalo.

Lions Club International is a worldwide service organization that assist those in need around the world as well as in the local community. Lions International assists those in need in a variety of ways, such as the Indiana School for the Blind, speech and hearing therapy, leader dog training, IU Cancer Center, and helping to control diabetes.

• There will be a Silent Auction with an array of great items. • There will be a Wine Pull. • There will be Dine-n-Dash. • There will be numerous raffles throughout the evening. • Ticket price includes all-you-can-eat hot dog and nacho buffet. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 up to a day before the event. Tickets will be $12 at the door. The Lions Club is still asking local businesses and independent crafters for much needed donations, whether in the form of cash or items for use in the raffles and silent auction. As a vital part of the Lions Club service projects, all

14 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

The support of the Middlebury Lions Club will be used to provide assistance in these areas as no fundraising dollars are used to subsidize any general expenses of the organization. For more information on how donations are helping to make a difference in the lives of so many, visit or follow the club on Facebook @ MiddleburyLionsClub100 where you can find information on the club’s upcoming events for this year and volunteer opportunities. The Middlebury Lions Club is the new club in town and wants to let everyone know they are here to help the community.

It’s Official

by Tresa Erickson

You’re engaged! Congratulations. Now it’s time to let everyone else in the news. It’s time to plan an engagement party and show off that rock on your finger. Traditionally, it is the bride’s parents that host the event, but anyone can host an engagement party, including the bride and groom. Engagement parties can be as formal or informal as you like. You can book a banquet hall and hire a caterer or you can host the party at the local bowling alley and serve everyone pizza and soda. You can have a clambake on the beach or a barbeque in your backyard. Once you have a setting, you can get to work on the guest list. It isn’t necessary for you to invite everyone you know. Immediate family members on both sides are a must. After all, the point of an engagement party is to bring the two families together and give them an opportunity to get to know one and another. If you have already selected the wedding party, you should invite them too, as the party will give them a chance to mingle. Keep in mind that an invitation to the engagement party almost always warrants an invitation to the wedding, so make sure you invite close friends as well. Don’t invite anyone who may not make the guest list for your wedding. That could result in hurt feelings down the road.

If you have a rather large family or circle of friends, you might want to have more than one engagement party. Just don’t expect a lot of gifts. Gifts are not necessary, especially if you are having more than one engagement party. You may register, however, for guests who insist on bringing a gift. Just remember to set aside whatever gifts you do receive, open them in private and send out thank-you cards as soon as possible. Engagement parties can be great fun. They give brides and grooms and their families and friends the chance to get to know one another and relax a little before the real planning begins. If you have the budget to throw an engagement party or someone offers to throw you one, consider it. You’ll get a good taste of what’s to come.

Flowers Say it with

While an invitation to the engagement party necessitates an invitation to the wedding in most cases, it does not necessitate acceptance. Some people may not have the time or money to attend both your engagement party and your wedding. Be prepared for some declines, especially from people living out of town, and be understanding and gracious.

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825-7673 (ROSE) inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 15

Honeymoons on a dime W

hile some newlyweds can still afford to cap off their big day in grand style with a trip for two to someplace exotic, there are many that can’t. Once they’ve paid for the wedding, there is little left for a honeymoon. Fortunately, you can still have a great honeymoon on a shoestring budget. Here’s how.

Leave at a later date

Who says you must leave for your honeymoon immediately following your wedding reception? Enjoy your big day and postpone the honeymoon of your dreams until you can afford it. Wait six months or a year to book the trip. You’ll have more cash to spare and more time to find the best deals.

Go during the off-season

Off-season prices are far cheaper than peak season prices. Schedule your honeymoon during the off-season and to save more cash, consider going to a less popular destination. The rates will be cheaper, and there will be less people to contend with.

Book way in advance

Generally, the earlier you book your honeymoon the cheaper the rates will be. Start looking for a destination long before your expected departure date and shop around for the best deals.

Cut costs where you can

You don’t have to go all out to have a good time on your honeymoon. Think about your plans and find ways to save. Choose less expensive accommodations, especially if you intend to be out and about much of the day. Pack lunches instead of eating out. Take advantage of all free or low-cost activities.

Stay close to home

If you are really short on cash and can’t afford to go away, stay in. Check out the deals in your area and arrange for a ministaycation. Book a room at an inexpensive hotel and spend the day checking out attractions and activities you’ve never had time for. If you can’t afford a hotel room, stay at home and have a candlelit dinner. It doesn’t really matter where you are as long as you are together. Honeymoons don’t have to break the bank. You can still have fun and celebrate the beginning of your life together on a shoestring budget. It just takes some advance planning and creative thinking.

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16 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

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Hochstetler took top spot in the talent, scholastic and interview on her way to winning a spot in the national program, to be held in Mobile, Ala., June 30-July 1. “I think they were looking for someone well-rounded,” she said. Her marks in scholastic and interview were key for that. While there, Hochstetler and the other competitors worked with the Kokomo Rescue Mission and toured a local glass factory.

Alyssa Hochstetler wins Indiana Distinguished Young Women program Northridge High School senior Alyssa Hochstetler saw a long-time dream come true February 18 as she was named the 2017 Indiana Distinguished Young Woman at the event in Kokomo. Still, it came as a surprise to Middlebury’s representative. “I thought I would be in the top 10,” she said Monday. “Everyone there is so polished and talented.”

Looking ahead to the national event, Hochstetler said she plans to continue to get stronger in the fitness area of the program, the only portion she felt she didn’t do as well as she could during the state finals. “And at national, we go to Camp Grace, which is a time for all of us to get to know each other and bond,” Hochstetler stated. “I’m really looking forward to meeting them and getting to know the others away from the competition.”

Good luck, Alyssa! Above: Four state winners! Alexandra Hochstetler, DYW of Indiana 2013, Hannah Fluhler, DYW of Indiana 2015, Alyssa Hochstetler, DYW of Indiana 2017, and Sarah Sipe, DYW of Indiana 2016.

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18 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

American Legion

Veteran Spotlight

by Guy Thompson

Gary O’Dell Branch: U.S. Marine Corps, 1953-1956; Sgt. Mike Battery, 4th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division; 155mm Howitzer Company. Places served: San Diego, Calif., for Basic Training Camp Pendleton, Calif. Served in Korea for 11 months and 14 days. Returned to Camp Pendleton. Medals: United Defense, Pacific Theatre, Korean Theatre, Good Conduct Medal, Korean Presidential Citation, Expert Marksman, United Nations Service Medal. Memories of Service: At Bristol High School, his basketball coach was a former Marine. Of his graduating class of 29, six decided to go into the U.S. Marine Corps. “It was the hardest of them all,” O’Dell said as to why they chose the Marines. “There were so many things we did,” O’Dell continued. “We became so close-knit. We were so far from home, and you’re off by yourself, and that creates a real comradeship.” O’Dell recalled an elderly Korean man who would come to their camp each week to cut the Marines’ hair. “We had to have a weekly haircut. And we had to pay for it ourselves,” he said. “One week, he said he would be there the next week. He had to go into Seoul for the national election.” There was only one candidate to vote for and the man would have to get to Seoul, 30 miles away, by foot. “With only one person to vote for, we asked him why he was bothering to go,” O’Dell said. The answer was, he had to go vote – or else it could mean death. No one received any promotions while in Korea, O’Dell said. Upon returning, the officers realized that no one had been promoted. “I came back and got married and then returned to camp in California,” O’Dell stated. Upon his return, he was called in before the battalion officers. “I was a Private First Class at the time. And this group of officers around a table asked if I had gotten married. I told them I had and they asked to see her photo,” O’Dell said. He produced a

photo of his wife, Janell, and they informed him he was being promoted to Corporal. Six months later, he was promoted to Sergeant. After Service: The list of committees and organizations that O’Dell has served on since returning to Middlebury is a lengthy one. He is best known for serving on the Middlebury Town Council since 1996, and has been council president for 15 years. He served on the Middlebury American Legion Post 210 Executive Committee. Currently, he is part of the Post 210 Color Guard. He has been a Mason for 60 years, and was a Past Master of the Masonic Lodge in Bristol. He served on the Middlebury Library Board prior to joining the town council. He was an Elkhart County Councilman and served on the Elkhart County United Way Board. Return to Korea: In 2003, O’Dell was one of 400 servicemen who were invited back to Korea for the 50th anniversary of the cease fire agreement. He took another veteran, Ernie Miller, with him. The trip was organized by the merchants of South Korea as a way to thank the U.S. servicepersonnel for what they did. “We drove through the little village I had been stationed at. It was just a few huts back then,” O’Dell said. “Now, it’s larger than South Bend.” Seoul has become one of the largest cities in the world. One evening, O’Dell and Miller went into Seoul to look around. “We had college students coming up to us to talk to us and to thank us for what we did,” O’Dell said. inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 19

Using a to

boat Build Relationships

On Saturday mornings, teenagers get out of bed early to help Jay Burt. The volunteer is building a boat with some of the young people at Bashor Children’s Home, a facility for troubled kids. Since October, he’s spent at least three or four hours nearly every Saturday with whomever comes to build a 15 ft. wooden sailing skiff. Their goal is to have it on the water this spring or summer. He may be the first shop teacher at Bashor. He’ll be the first sailing instructor, too. Burt retired from the U.S. Navy after six years on active duty and 16 as a reserve. He built a successful electrical contracting business. His children are grown. He’s a Christian and feels compelled to give back. “I think I’m very blessed,” he said. “There’s more to something like this than making the extra buck. Something’s expected of you.” Writing checks to support causes is important, but easier than giving time. He had a growing sense that he needed to show up and give time at Bashor. He lives several miles away and for about two years felt the tug when he drove past. One Sunday morning on his way to church, he saw staff pursuing a resident and thought, “I’m supposed to be there.” He made the commitment in October to start building a boat with the young people staying at Bashor. He’s donated materials and Bashor raised some of the $3,500 needed. The 53-year-old didn’t know how it would go teaching woodworking and the principles of sailing. “I like to show them tools, the handling of tools, help them get their hands on some stuff,” he said. As they work together, the young people share with Burt and assistant Collin Eicher. “They open up. They know Jay is giving back and that he cares,”

Jay Burt goes over some tool instructions with one of the teens at Bashor Children’s Home as they work on building a sailboat. 20 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

by Marshal King

Jay Burt, center, and John Albright, Bashor staff, work with a student at Bashor Children’s Home on how to build a boat. said Sean McCrindle, vice president of program operations. One young man who’s worked on the project said it means a lot that Burt and Eicher give time. “They just act like they are hanging out and building a boat, but I know they are here because they want us to know that we are cared about,” he said. Another young man has latched onto a notion that Burt taught about a sail needing to be strong and flexible. “I remember Jay talking about the types of trees they get the masts from and that they have to be trees that are both strong and flexible because if they are just strong they break and if they are just flexible they can’t stand up to the wind. I realized that I have to learn to be both if I am going to be good at what I do and be a dad who my daughter can be proud of. Strong but flexible to stand up to the world and learn from difficult times,” the teen said. When he started, it was about building a boat. Burt has liked to tinker with them, but as he worked with the young people, the process tinkered with his heart. The project is now more about building relationships. The boat is just another tool now, he said. Don Phillips, president/CEO of Bashor, said nearly all the young people Bashor serves are missing at least one of their parents as an active force in their lives. For them to get out of the valley, a mentor can make a huge difference. “If they get there, there was probably a significant adult who took an interest and played a role,” he stated. Others in the community can step up as Burt did to share a hobby and show they care. “It’s not going to drain you. It’s going to fulfill you,” he noted. “Guys have to be willing to try.” Marshall V. King is a freelance journalist based in Goshen, Ind. He wrote this article for the Community Foundation of Elkhart County.

Bringing awareness to the

‘Fatherless Epidemic’

by Marshal King

Rodney Dale remembers scanning the crowd gathered around the athletic fields where he was playing, looking for his father. The man was not there. “That feeling of not having anybody there to support you is hard to explain and takes a long time to get over,” he said. Dale’s mother died when he was nine years old and his grandmother began raising him on Oakland Avenue. His father, who had alcohol issues, lived around the corner but didn’t take a role in raising his son. “My father, plain and simple, was not a participant in any of it,” he said. Other men, mostly athletic coaches, became mentors for Dale. Now he takes on that role as much as possible. He’s mentoring at least seven young people. “It could easily be 70” if he had the time, he said. There’s that much need. A number of agencies in Elkhart County are working to find mentors for all the children who need them and a national expert on the issue is coming in March to rally people to get involved. John Sowers, author of Fatherless Generation: Redeeming the Story and The Heroic Path: In Search of the Masculine Heart and president/co-founder of The Mentoring Project, will speak twice in Elkhart County and train others on the front lines of the issue on Tuesday, March 21. Sowers will be presenting at Sugar Grove Church in Goshen from 7:30-9 a.m. and again from 6-7:30 p.m. These identical sessions are open and free to the public. This event is sponsored by DJ Construction and the Community Foundation of Elkhart County. The general public, non-profit leaders and staff, board members, community leaders, school workers, counselors and those interested in helping redeem the story right here in this community are encouraged to attend. More information can be found at In Indiana, more than a third of children live in single-parent families and three-fourths of those are being raised in singlemother families, according to Indiana Youth Institute. In Elkhart County, 11.7 percent of the households are single-parent families, above the state average of 9.9 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Those who work with young people see a massive need for mentors. Don Phillips, president/CEO of Bashor Children’s Home, said the issue of children who are fatherless is more significant than race or poverty. “Whether a child grows up in a fatherless situation is the biggest predictor of the success of a child,” Phillips said. Like Dale, Phillips grew up without a father and struggled to understand why that man would choose to be absent. As someone who entered social work and now oversees an agency that helps troubled young people, Phillips champions both fatherhood and mentorship.

A huge majority of the young people Bashor serves don’t have fathers involved in their lives. Bashor staff members and volunteers try to help by showing care, sharing hobbies and taking an interest in the young people. “Mentors can be a powerful substitute, but don’t replace,” he said. “We have to find a way to say to fathers, at an early age, ‘don’t walk away from your kids.’” “How can grown men not accept the most cherished responsibility they have?” he said, noting that fathers stepping away from a child often has to do with troubled relations with the mother. “Most of what we’ve seen is a dad not present because of stress with mom, not because of the kids.” That wasn’t what happened with Helen Aaron and her two boys, D’Andre and D’Mont Stewart. Their father was involved in much of their lives, but after moving from Gary to Elkhart, he isn’t. “They are lacking that fatherly love,” she said. They found help and hope at Lifeline, the Elkhart agency that now helps 400 young people a year. Both young men have taken on leadership roles overseeing elementary students. “It’s a positive thing. You’re here with your peers. It helps you out,” said D’Mont. Darrell Peterson, Lifeline’s executive director, said he hears from young people how much the power of unconditional love and mentorship helped save their lives. The need for mentors in this community is huge, he said. Dale fears that in the African-American community, growing up without fathers is becoming normal. “You cannot keep raising these boys without any positive men in their lives,” he said. “The little boys know they need a father. They want that attention from the male. A kid wants to feel you’re his.” It doesn’t take experts. It just takes men and women – as parents or mentors – willing to try, Phillips said. Bob Schrock, president of DJ Construction, is bringing Sowers to Elkhart County with the support of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County. Schrock got involved as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Elkhart County following the death of his own father two years ago. He and the company he oversees have taken it on as a mission to grow the number of mentors locally. “If we’re going to make a difference in kids’ lives, we need to build relationships,” he said. Schrock wants Sowers’ visit to bring awareness to the effect of fathers who are “absent, distant or abusive” and give exposure to the agencies working to help young people in that situation who need volunteers. Sowers’ visit could inspire more to step up. Those who share of themselves, their time, will plant seeds with their generosity.

inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 21

Welcome New Members We are delighted to introduce our new members - the lifeblood of out organization. We continually strive to connect you to one another and to the community at large. Please welcome them by visiting their website, sending them e-mail or stopping by to introduce yourself. The personal touch will help our chamber continue to grow and thrive. • Manasses Henry Furniture Company • Middlebury Animal Clinic • Tackle Shack • NRC Modifications • Epco Sales, Inc. • Meijer

Thank you to our renewing members! You’re the reason we exit.

• Nicolas Wyse, RE/MAX • Loveway, Inc. • Supreme Lending


Healthy Pets

• Champagne Metals

Century 21 Landmark

• Maple Leaf Printing

Community Occupational Medicine, LLC

The Market Place of Middlebury

• Legal Shield

• Three Eggs Inc. DBA Copper Creek Café • Ron Gerstbauer / Cressy & Everett Real Estate • A & B Lawn & Landscape Service

Middlebury KOA

East Lake Athletic Club

Middlebury Produce

Edward Jones - Aaron Scholl

Rise n Roll Bakery

Friends of The Pumpkinvine

Ritchie Auto Sales, Inc. Schwartz Law Office

The mission of the Middlebury Chamber of Commerce is to promote economic opportunity through education, business and community leadership and to enhance the social and civic environment of Middlebury.

New executive Director: Sheri howland Contact Information: • 825-4300 •  •

2017 Legacy Members

GOLD MEMBERS: Jayco, Inc.  •  L & W Engineering, Inc.  SILVER MEMBER: Meijer BRONZE MEMBERS:  Edward Jones of Middlebury  •  Forks County Line Stores  •  Hawkins Water Tech  •  Legacy Home Furniture  •  Middlebury Produce

March 2017 22 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  MArch

Noah & Shirley Miller 505 N Morton St. • Shipshewana, IN

Phone: (260) 768-4555 Hours: Mon. - Sat. 9-5 Closed Sun.

Russ Draper Photography

Think Spring!

• Hanging Baskets • Flats and Pots • Perennials • Vegetable Plants

We will be opening

March 24, 2017

• Organic Seeds • HyBrix Fertilizer • Bulk Seeds & Herbs • Flexzilla Water Hoses

CONTACT 574.361.3903

Helmuth’s Lawn Installation New Lawn and Pasture Installation

LIVE Concert

•  Core Aerating •  Lawn Fertilization •  Weed Control •  Grub Control

The Churchmen March 31 • 7 pm

Liquid FertiLizer & Weed KiLLer - Less burn, Faster resuLts

Thomas Helmuth


Licensed & Insured

240 US 20 Middlebury, IN • 800.455.9471•

s Hour w e N at on - S M


Grand OPENING Hrs. Fri., Mar. 3: 7 - 7 Sat., Mar. 4: 7 - 4

s e ’n S hine i R Market Place 2580 N 1150 W Middlebury, IN 46540 #1



For those who want value .. and know where to find it. Fri., Mar. 3 - 4:30 There will be a small, fast, fun Auction. Sat. Mar. 4 - 9:00 will start our weekly Auction.

Grand OPENING March 3 - 4

out our new location and take advantage of some AMAZING SAVINGS and grab a Free MEAL to go: Sandwiches, Chips, & Drink. Food being served on

Fri 10:30 - 6:30 Sat 10:30 - 2:30 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 23

Raider Motor Sports


he Raider Motor Sports team is continuing to work toward the Shell Eco-Marathon competition in Detroit, Mich., at the end of April. The team has finished the design stage and is working to finalize ordering parts and the production of the vehicle. The projected timeline is to finish the car and have it completely functional by Spring Break. Team members would like to be at this point so they can begin testing the car’s functionality and reliability. This will allow team members the time to address any issues with the design before the competition. Team members have completed the 3D printed joints for the carbon fiber frame and have begun to assemble the frame while laying out where all components of the car will go. Once the body arrives, the team will begin final assembly of the entire vehicle to have it running in time for their April 1 deadline. Carbon fiber designs are great for the team, but it does come at a price. The team is so thankful for all the platinum sponsors like Starfleet Trucking and Lippert Components for their support of the program. The team cannot thank their sponsors enough for being so patient and easy to work with. With all the help from sponsors, the team is still looking and reaching out to companies to help with the expense of the trip to Detroit for the upcoming 2017 Shell Eco-Marathon. Anyone willing to sponsor the team this year should contact Crew Chief Kris Lee at 17leekh@ The management team is always willing to help answer any questions about the program or to schedule a visit. Be sure to check the team out on social media. They are posting videos and pictures daily. For more information on sponsoring, visit the team’s website at

24 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

RMS team member Simon Grevengoed working on fitting different components to the cars frame.

Raider MotorSports would like to thank the following partners: Platinum Level Starfleet Trucking, Inc. Patrick Industries, Inc. Lipert Components Gold Level Heartland RV, LLC. Green Level Max Myers, Inc.

Silver Level Middlebury Produce, Inc. Gemini General Contracting GEFT Outdoor LLC

Follow us on:

Facebook: Raider Motor Sports Twitter and Instagram: @ NHSsmTeam Website:

Accepting New Patients Dr. Dunham received her medical degree from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Medical School for International Health in Israel and completed her residency at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program.

Rachel Dunham, MD Family Medicine

Dr. Dunham provided medical care overseas, including in New Guinea, Nepal, Ethiopia, Paraguay and a medical rotation in Jordan at the Annoor Sanatorium for Chest Diseases where tuberculosis is treated. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Accepting New Patients Including OB

Scott received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Goshen College. A nurse since 1980, Scott has worked at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, Saint Joseph Health System in South Bend and Mishawaka, Goshen Hospital and Elkhart General Hospital.

Scott Eriksen, MSN, NP-C Family Nurse Practitioner

He has vast medical experience in a variety of specialties, including emergency care, intensive care, cardiology, cardiac surgery, interventional cardiology and home health care. A member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Scott was instrumental in enhancing the cardiac care services at Both Goshen Hospital and Elkhart General Hospital. Accepting New Patients

Janet Kercher, RN, MSN, NP-C, IBCLC Family Nurse Practitioner

Janet received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Goshen College and master’s in nursing along with a family nurse practitioner degree from Ball State University. As an international board certified lactation consultant she helped establish the lactation department at Elkhart General and co-founded a communitybased breastfeeding clinic located in the Dunlap area. She has more than 20 years of experience at EGH in motherbaby and NICU. Accepting New Patients

Anna Kragt, MD

Board Certified in Family Medicine

Dr. Kragt earned her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. She completed a Family Practice Residency at the Toledo Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, Toledo, Ohio. Dr. Kragt joined the Elkhart General Hospital Medical Staff in 2013. Not Accepting New Patients

We are going to offer a

Late Night

for our patients to see a provider starting the week of

March 6, 2017.

We are extending our hours on Mondays until 6 p.m. with Janet Kercher. In addition to Wednesdays, we will be accepting walk-in patients 8:30 a.m to 10:00 a.m. with Scott Eriksen.

206 W. Warren St. | Middlebury, IN 46540 574.825.2146 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 25


Photos by Russ Draper

Northridge Raiders celebrate their LaPorte Regional semifinal victory over Gary West 59-44.

In LaPorte Regional semi-final action, Northridge’s Marci Miller (30) looks to make a pass.


Northridge’s Camden Knepp (24) drives to the basket as the Raiders battled with West Noble January 10. Defending on the play is East Noble’s Lucas Platt (33).

Northridge sophomore Morgan Litwiller slips past the Merrillville defense on her way to the basket in second half action at the LaPorte Regional Championship game won by the Raiders 55-45.

First State Bank is pleased to offer our School Spirit Debit Card Program. The School Spirit Debit Card can be used at ATMs or for purchases, just like a regular debit card. By using this card, First State Bank will make a donation to your school each time you swipe, press credit, and sign. There is NO cost to you or your school! Goshen • Elkhart • Middlebury • Mishawaka • South Bend 26 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

Northridge Raiders earn the school’s first ever Regional Championship in basketball.

Lady Raider Senior Leadership Melinda Bontrager (10) Juliane Miller (12) Kelsey Brickner (44) Marci Miller (30)

Northridge Raider Head Coach Doug Springer raises his hands in victory as the Raider bench starts to celebrate the school’s first Regional Basketball Championship.

Raider guard Brooke McKinley makes an in-bounds pass during the LaPorte Regional Championship game. inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 27

Local Business Directory

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Jim Pletcher has 29 years of experience!

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28 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

Sat: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (CST)

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422 South Main, Middlebury • 825-2565

Tuesday: 50% off Build

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Women’s haircut - $15 men’s haircut - $13 Perms starts at - $58 shellac - $25 all over color starts at - $50 Hours: Tues: 11 am-7 pm (by appointment) Wed: 7 am-4 pm (Later by appointment) Thur-Fri: 7 am-4 pm Saturday: 7 am-12:30 pm

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Walk-ins welcome until

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inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 29


Easy cut-out page!


We offer grooming products along with beard and mustache trimming.

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Women’s haircut - $15 men’s haircut - $13 Perms starts at - $58 shellac - $25 all over color starts at - $50

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30 inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017

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Michiana Forty under 40 shines the spotlight on 40 of the area's most talented and dedicated young executives, professionals and leaders who demonstrate career success and community engagement. The 2017 class will represent the 11th Michiana Forty under 40 class with 400 leaders already receiving recognition. This program is an annual collaborative effort between the South Bend Regional Chamber, the Young Professionals Network South Bend and other partners in the Michiana region. Nomination deadline is March 10. Full Criteria & Online Nomination Form #michiana40



inMiddlebury Magazine  |  March 2017 31

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Inmiddlebury Magazine March 2017  

Celebrating Life in Middlebury, Indiana

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