Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Woycik: Oh, babies! Popcorn Fest is all about the people ]]> Lead story image

Who would have guessed that, with the horrendous wind and rain Friday night, Saturday would bring perfect weather for the 36th annual Popcorn Festival? (I’m not sure who was more scared, Cookie (the dog) or me, especially when we both tried to hide under the same desk!) Mother Nature can be nice once in a while, and she sure proved it Saturday. One of my favorites during that week each year is the cutest baby contest, and I’d sure never want to be a judge for it. Every precious boy and girl was as cute as a button. Come to … ]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 02:04:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woycik: Combined ABATE and music fest a great success ]]> Lead story image

American Bikers Aimed Toward Education. That is what the acronym ABATE stands for, according to the ABATE of Indiana, Inc., website. To me, it means guys and gals who love motorcycle riding but love children even more. The ABATE members in our area have held so many great fundraisers to aid children, and we are blessed that they are friends of our Porter County Special Olympics, thanks to John King, one of our dads who knows several of the riders. It was a match made in heaven when their Ultimate Bike Fest joined together with Special Olympics’ Livin’ It Up … ]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 02:08:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woycik: Prepare for Pack-A-Thon and Popcorn Fest ]]> Lead story image

It’s almost time to pack it up. Opportunity Enterprises is hoping you will give your family and friends a call and sign up to help with the annual Pack-A-Thon. There is a need for 800 volunteers for this one-day event, which goes from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 20 or until the last bag is packed and ready for delivery. OE has had this job for many years, and it is a fundraiser that is pure fun. Would you believe that 45,000 bags are needed to give to the Chicago Marathon runners? There are long tables set up in … ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 02:06:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woycik: Lorie’s ride is a lasting tribute to a caring nurse ]]> Lead story image

The story of Lorie Kirkley is sad and tragic, but her legacy has become a gift for others. This beautiful, caring cardiac rehabilitation nurse was abducted from her home in 1999. Her body was found years later in a grave. (Her killer was caught.) Lorie was an avid cyclist, and to honor her memory and have her life continue to make a positive impact on others, her family and friends organize Lorie’s Lakeside Century ride each year. It begins at ride headquarters, Liberty Bible Church at 804 N. Calumet Ave., Chesterton (a quarter mile north of Route 6). This year’s … ]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:15:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woycik: Memorial Opera House concert a can’t-miss ]]> Lead story image

Concerts are wrapping up for the summer in our county, but there is one more to put on your calendar this month. Brad Koeppen and Rob Harkel are producing a benefit for the Porter County Museum Foundation on Aug. 22. Their group, Imagine Music, will feature Alice Peacock, a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter; and Valparaiso native Kate Myers. The concert will be held at Memorial Opera House, so weather won’t be a problem. All proceeds for the evening’s fantastic music will be donated to the museum foundation to help the past and present be preserved for the future. Tickets ($25 and … ]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:07:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woycik: This weekend’s concerts beneficial in more ways than one ]]> Lead story image

If you love listening to beautiful music, the Porter County Community Foundation’s “Sparking the Arts” gift to all is a free concert Thursday at the Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso. At 7 p.m., the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra will play something for everyone, from pop to patriotic music. Just bring your chair or blanket and be wafted away to the clouds listening to their beautiful renditions of so many pieces that you’ll go home humming a tune or two. If the weather genie decides to bring summer rains, the concert will be moved to Chesterton High School (Meridian Road south … ]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 10:50:39 -0500 <![CDATA[ ValPLAYso set to move on to next generation ]]> Lead story image

The end is in sight. As of Saturday, ValPLAYso will be a thing of the past. But don’t be sad, because come October, a new playground will appear that will be even better than the one to be dismantled. There won’t be bulldozers tearing up the place Saturday, but rather volunteers who will gently remove some of the original art. Wood will be stacked for your use, the bricks with names will be stored for replacement, and there will even be elements that will be on eBay for auction, with all profits being used for the new park. If you … ]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:50:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Golf outing planned for burn victims ]]> Lead story image

Even little burns from grease spattering have me whining. They always hurt right away, and the pain doesn’t go away quickly either. I have always had a fear of being severely burned, so every year when James Tudor initiates the Hoosier Burn Camp Golf Outing, I want to give him a hug. This year is the 10th annual outing he has initiated to help support children who have been severely burned as victims of horrific fires, and give them the chance to enjoy camp experiences while they increase their self-confidence, find their potential, and create lifetime memories to lift their … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:40:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ There’s no couching it: Spirit of giving is alive and well ]]> Lead story image

Wouldn’t you love to get a phone call and have the person at the other end say, “I have a check for you for $900. When would you like to pick it up?” That’s just what happened to me last Friday when Matt, a manager at Indiana Furniture, called with those wonderful words. The donation for Porter County Special Olympics is from their recent furniture tent sale, when all customers could save some big bucks on quality furniture and then the staff gives away the big bucks from those sales. When two of our athletes from nationals — Nick Havrilla … ]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:50:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ A moving experience: Train station gets new home ]]> Lead story image

Down by the station, early in the morning ... the whole station was being moved! It was amazing and almost unbelievable to see how the brains of the operation knew exactly what to do to keep the Grand Trunk Railroad station in one piece to move it to the Porter County Career and Technical Center, its permanent new home. It was a slow process, moving tiny steps at a time, but it worked. It actually became a community project, with volunteer engineer John Blosky coordinating the whole move with everyone involved, including the Canadian National Railway, NIPSCO, businesses along the … ]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:50:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Everyone wins at this golf game ]]> Lead story image

Every year when James Tudor initiates the Hoosier Burn Camp Golf Outing, I want to give him a hug. This year is the 10th annual outing he has initiated to help support children who have been severely burned in horrific fires, and give them the chance to enjoy camp experiences while they increase their self-confidence, find their potential, and create lifetime memories to lift their spirits. The golf outing will be held at Lakes of the Four Seasons Golf Course, located in Winfield (near Crown Point) on Monday, Aug. 11. James gets is so excited about the 10th birthday celebration, … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 22:12:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carrol Vertrees was one of a kind ]]> Lead story image

I wasn’t in town when Carrol Vertrees left this Earth for Heaven, and just recently learned that he had died. I missed seeing his delightful columns in the Post-Tribune, and now I know why. It will be a very long time before another journalist with his expertise for bringing his readers into a past lifestyle is found. Every one of his columns brought out nostalgia or resulted in some pretty deep thinking. I had the pleasure of having lunch with him and his “bride” last year, thanks to Jerry Hager, and was amazed at his memory and knowledge. His column … ]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 08:02:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ These travelers are beautiful sights themselves ]]> Lead story image

There have been some hurry-up-and-wait moments, some walks that seem like a mile to the buses, and melting in the sweltering sun. But it is the greatest trip. Our Special Olympics team arrived Saturday in New Jersey for the nationals, along with those from 49 other states. The cheers and high-fives began the moment we stepped off the plane and continue every day for every athlete. With more than 100 plush buses taking a contingent of 3,500 athletes, plus coaches and chaperones, to the Prudential Center with a bevy of state police cars paving the way, our athletes felt like … ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:11:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Special Olympians move on to national stage ]]> Lead story image

Ready, set, go! That’s what 19 athletes and coaches from Porter County will be doing Saturday as they pack up and leave for the National Special Olympics at Princeton University in New Jersey. It’s been practice, practice, practice, along with training camps and lots of information, and now the time has come. Our athletes and coaches are ready to show off their abilities in swimming, track, bowling, golf and flag football and be the best they can be. Whether or not they win medals, they are all winners for having been chosen by our state staff to represent Indiana at … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 16:59:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Valuable volunteers all worthy of recognition ]]> Lead story image

There is no doubt that if it were not for volunteers, many — probably most — places or agencies who serve others would not be able to offer the programs and assistance that they do. Think of those needing help: the disabled, nursing home residents, families in need, people with drug or alcohol problems, children, the homeless, and the list goes on and on. Oftentimes, the volunteer base far outnumbers paid staff members. That was the main reason the Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club chose in 2002 to begin accepting nominations from groups to recognize volunteers who go above and beyond … ]]> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 09:47:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Student concert helps chip away at poverty ]]> Lead story image

I’ve got an acronym in mind today — ASAP. This time, it’s not for “as soon as possible” nor “always say a prayer.” (Although that’s a good one.) It is for Alliance of Students Against Poverty. This small group of committed students formed several years ago when Peter Fink, a 2013 Valparaiso High School graduate and now a student at Notre Dame, wanted to do something to help others in need in our community. With several other interested students ready and willing to join him in this new endeavor, ASAP, was born. Their first fundraiser, a concert featuring student talent, … ]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 12:29:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Prom for Special Olympians hits all the highest notes ]]> Lead story image

What a phenomenal evening of entertainment — not just for the young ladies decked out in their gorgeous dresses, or the handsome young men who were almost unrecognizable all spiffed up, but for all of us who were there to serve dinner and nonalcoholic drinks as well. The Porter County Special Olympics prom — hosted by Special Sports Boosters (consisting mostly of parents), who surprised all of the attendees by having professional impersonators and singers Quentin Flagg and Billy Downing as the disc jockeys — was a blast. It was an evening of nonstop dancing, singing and even a performance … ]]> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 07:16:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ A special day, a special woman, and dunes to climb ]]> Lead story image

It was the type of day that seemed to be heaven-sent. Last Saturday, the track, pool, softball field and fieldhouse at Valparaiso High School were filled with determined athletes, and cheering coaches and parents excited about their athletes’ performances. The Area 1 Special Olympics Spring Games were in full swing, with participants from ages 8 to over 60 taking part in swim races, track and field events, bocce and volleyball. Almost 400 athletes from seven counties were smiled upon by Mother Nature (with a note from God) with an absolutely perfect day for perfect athletes. Add to that the yummy, … ]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:42:06 -0500