posttrib
CRISP 
Weather Updates

Think spring by prepping for YMCA’s annual 5K

storyidforme: 61556414
tmspicid: 833338
fileheaderid: 613644

Updated: March 7, 2014 12:05PM



It’s got to get warmer sometime, doesn’t it? Surely the cold and snow will be gone by April.

The Valpo YMCA is counting on it — it’s their 20th year of hosting the largest springtime run/walk in Northwest Indiana, and probably the earliest, as well. April 5 is the date to circle on your calendar to get those legs going.

The race will offer 5k and 10k runs and a 5k walk. All registration will be online only by going to www.ringinginspring.com. Registration is $22, and includes a runner’s shirt as well as other perks.

Teams and families will enjoy a discount, as will runners who register before March 22, so get going. If you are a runner, and your children are too little to care, by registering before the deadline of April 3 child care will be included.

The race begins and ends at the Valpo Y. This race boasts hundreds and hundreds of participants, and seems to get bigger every year. It’s the place to be on April 5.

One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit the wellness program at the Y. Awards will be given to the top three runners in each division.

Just imagine, you might be competing without snow or freezing temperatures, and go home with a healthy feeling too.

Many of us often think of the Visiting Nurse Association as the hospice program, but it is so much more. The staff involved with this agency are some of the most compassionate and caring people who are there when we need them.

Whether a patient is at the Hospice Center or at home, the nurses are like “family.” But that’s only part of their kind services.

The VNA Phoenix Center staff brings a comforting place to be for children who are grieving the loss of a loved one. The center has programs for every age child to help them through their sadness, especially by listening and hugging.

That’s still not all. The VNA provides Meals on Wheels to homebound neighbors, provides Companion Homemakers, and also offers Lifeline. I tell you all of this so that you might consider a donation to the VNA in conjunction with the NWI Gives day next week on Feb. 12.

Please think about it, and put that on your “to do” list. Thanks.

What a delight to see the seriousness on the faces of youngsters who brought their ideas to the administration on what they want to see in the “new” Valplayso.

Wow! Some of those kids could already be construction engineers with their thoughts for how to build and what to include.

But they’re not the only ones bringing suggestions to the Park Department. Next week, parents and concerned citizens will give ideas for having the park be all-inclusive, meaning that there will be fun things for children with disabilities to enjoy, and be a part of the entire park.

Then, if you have any Big Ideas, you will have three different opportunities to voice them, no matter what part of the county you reside in. The future of Valpo is in the hands of those of us who reside here.

There are three different meetings planned to give everyone a chance to attend: 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, 1600 Roosevelt Road; 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Grace Chapel, 157 Lafayette St.; and 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 26 at Valparaiso High School, 2727 Campbell St.

If you are interested in knowing more about this venture, please log on to www.valponext.org., or call Tyler Kent at 462-1161, Ext. 3331.

This is kind of like “voting” — if you don’t vote, you have no voice in what happens. So try and attend if you have some thoughts to share. The workshops will be led by a diverse group of citizens who volunteered or were asked to facilitate this unique format.

Whoops! Last week I told you about the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, but then I got a call asking me when and where. The plunge will be held in front of the ARC at Valparaiso University on Feb. 22. Registration will be from noon to 1 p.m., and the plunge will take place at 1:15 p.m. with yummies afterward in Boucher Gym.

Nick Havrilla, our Special Olympics athlete who was chosen to compete in the Special Olympics Nationals this summer, was riding high on Monday night at Chesterton High School pool.

No, he didn’t break any records in the DAC swim meet, nor did he even swim. But, thanks to Erin Socha, who is a member of the girl’s swim team, and who has endeared herself to all of us, Nick was a guest at the meet, and Erin took him on the pool deck with the “guys.”

It was so cool to watch him getting high fives from the top swimmers in our conference, and see those young men taking time to make him feel welcome. One thing for sure, it definitely made him feel special, and is something that will stay with him for a very long time (and with his mom and me too).

What’s wrong with teenagers nowadays? Not much of anything! Thanks Erin and all the many high school swimmers who made a very special young man feel very special. You are my pet person of the week.

Now I hope you all have a great day because you deserve it. Thanks for reading. Fly your flag.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.