Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Woycik: ValPLAYso shows what a community can achieve ]]> Lead story image

It is so colorful and beautiful! Driving by the brand-new ValPLAYso playground every day has been a joy, watching it grow and glow. In just a few days, it hopefully will be an even bigger joy as children of all ages and abilities happily test out all of the new and brightly colored fun equipment. If you volunteered for anything at any time during the “build week,” give yourself a high-five for helping make the dream of the committees who planned it come true. It was a job well done. We are so blessed to live in a community where … ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:04:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woycik: Involved high schoolers become teachers for special needs kids ]]> Lead story image

They’re at it again. All these teenagers accomplishing and doing good things are going to start changing the way us older people think of them. Wow! Maybe that’s a good thing. When young high school students start caring about their peers with special needs, and give them reasons for being involved, it warms my heart. Chesterton junior Kathryn Ausema loves playing tennis, and she’s brought that love to six lucky athletes she has been teaching. And, not only did she take her talent to them, but she raised the funds needed for insurance, court rental and shirts for her players. … ]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:10:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woycik: Valpo volleyball team supports fight vs. breast cancer ]]> Lead story image

I’m sure most of you are aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, especially if you watch NFL football and see all the pink being worn by players and coaches. It sure is a blessing to wear it. Last weekend, Valparaiso University’s women’s volleyball team invited cancer survivors to its matches, and all of the players were dressed in pink shirts, as were many spectators. Survivors were honored prior to the game and were given shirts that read, “Supporting the Fighters, Admiring the Survivors, and Honoring the Taken, and Never, Ever Giving Up Hope.” That slogan is perfect for … ]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 02:08:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woycik: Your generosity would be a real treat for Tot Shop ]]> Lead story image

What a great opportunity we all have to make sure little ones have clothes to keep them warm and toasty this winter. The Family & Youth Services Bureau is hosting “Pick and Treat for Tots” throughout October, which will benefit its Tot Shop, a place where young parents can choose the supplies they need for their babies and toddlers. But no money is exchanged; nor can they just come in and be given what they need. The Tot Shop is incentive-based, so parents develop good parenting skills by learning necessities. They earn coupons for such things as getting kids their … ]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 02:06:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woycik: Only fools wouldn’t rush in to see 20 Elvises ]]> Lead story image

The majority of festivals are history for another year, but there is one remaining that every Porter County Special Olympian hopes you will visit and enjoy, and their parents, families, coaches and friends hope the same thing. Starting at 5 p.m. Oct. 10, and through Oct. 12, Woodland Park in Portage will be the place to be. That is where the 21st annual Elvis Fantasy Fest will be rocking and rolling with songs from a variety of heartthrobs. And of course Elvis will be in the building all weekend long. There will even be a sock hop on that Friday … ]]> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:05:18 -0500 <![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 … ]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:57:45 -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 … ]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 07:37:08 -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 … ]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 06:48:35 -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