Forever Footlight - The Beacher

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Weekly Newspaper

911 Franklin Street Michigan City, IN 46360

Volume 29, Number 49 Thursday, December 12, 2013

Forever Footlight

Robert “Bobby” Komendera Remains Devoted to Theater Group Amid Health Scare by Andrew Tallackson

if that’s because of my age or because of my kidneys. I guess right now, I can’t push myself like I used to.” But for Komendera, 59, slowing down doesn’t mean life comes to standstill. He’s as active with Footlight as ever. It’s been a passion of his for about 28 years, while his love of performing stems back to his childhood. Komendera was born in the fishing village of Gdynia, Poland. Soon after, he arrived in United States through an adoption agency, ending up at Gary’s Mercy Hospital. He was adopted by a family living in Gary’s Glen Park neighborhood. Continued on Page 2 Bobby Komendera (right) appears with Mike McCalment in “Greater Tuna.”

He is one of the most beloved figures in local community theater, cherished for his generosity as a performer and admired as a director who stages acclaimed, award-winning shows. Now, Footlight Players veteran Robert “Bobby” Komendera is facing an all-too real health scare — renal failure — but with grace-underfire resilience. He’s on dialysis three days a week and meeting with doctors at Northwestern University on Dec. 16 to discuss the possibility of a kidney transplant. “I feel fine,” he admits in his Michigan City home, then adding with a laugh, “I’m doing 80 to 85 percent of what I always did, but I don’t know

Robert Komendera appears with Mary Kay Steele in “I Do, I Do.”


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December 12, 2013 911 Franklin Street • Michigan City, IN 46360 219/879-0088 • FAX 219/879-8070 e-mail: News/Articles - [email protected] email: Classifieds - [email protected]


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“I wanted to be on stage,” he said. “I wanted it bad enough, so by next year, I was in “Hello, Dolly!’” In kindergarten, his mother enrolled him and his Komendera subsequently appeared in every sister, Maryann, in a Polish folk-dancing group. For school production possible. During his senior year, years, he adds with a chuckle, his claim to fame was he became active in a group outside of school that appearing with the group on WGN-TV’s “The Bozo featured about 20 to 30 members and presented Show.” shows anywhere it could. With few theater options “No one in my family could understand why I available outside of school, it was the perfect outlet loved theater, why I loved performing,” Komendera for Komendera to build up his resume of shows. said. “I guess it was the sound of applause. I was His first community theater production was “Bye short. I was fat. I had thick glasses. But when I was Bye Birdie” through Marian Theater Guild in Whiton stage, everyone, I guess, thought I looked great.” ing, Ind. Initially cast in the chorus, he scored the The dance troupe also afforded him the chance to role of Hugo Peabody after the guy initially cast was get in touch with his Polish heritage. As a child, he kicked out after the second rehearsal. loved spending time with his grandmother, speakKomendera also was beginning his journey as an ing as much Polish with her as possible. optician as he started working for Dr. Richard JackBy the time he attended Merrillville’s Andrean son in Gary. High School, he auditioned for a school production His first introduction to La Porte County’s comof “Funny Girl.” The cast list was posted, he saw his munity theater scene arrived when Sally Montgomname included, then the list was taken down and ery, Dunes Summer Theatre’s manager, called a his named removed. He was told he could help out friend of his to audition for the role of Enoch Snow backstage, but that he couldn’t appear in the chorus in “Carousel.” Komendera tagged along. Auditions because “Zigfield’s Follies wouldn’t have fat boys.” were at the old brewery near Michigan Boulevard. Undaunted, Komendera set out to lose weight. He scored the role of Jigger Craigin. Komendera’s affection for Michigan City — he was living in Hammond at the time — sprang from there. “It was so much more laid-back here,” he said. “The lakeside atmosphere — it was so beautiful here.” He first auditioned for a Footlight Players show, “Butterflies Are Free,” in 1983. Interested in the role of Don Baker, blind since birth and wanting a break from his overprotective mother. He participated in all three days of auditions, then learned from the director the role had been pre-cast. “I told myself,” Komendera said with tongue planted in cheek, “that I Robert “Bobby” Komendera stands beside his Christmas tree in his Michigan City home.


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would never darken Footlight’s door again.” Two years later, the same director asked him to audition for the role of Fagin in “Oliver!” Komendera was more interested in Bill Sikes, but ultimately took on the part of Fagin. Since then, he’s played that role three times. “I still have full grown adults with their own children who come up to me and say, “Do you remember me? I was one of the orphans in ‘Oliver!’” Over the years, Komendera has appeared in 40 Footlight shows and directed 32 Footlight productions. He has served 14 terms as board president, as well as in other board capacities. He’s also seen Footlight develop a strong relationship with La Porte Little Theatre Club, with performers, directors and technical talent being involved in shows for both groups. “I think Footlight, and the same applies to La Porte (Little Theatre Club), is different than any other theater group,” he said. “We’re not stuck on the fact that we have to be the best. We take chances with people and shows, and people learn from these experiences.

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Your Good Clothes Deserve POSH! [email protected] Bobby Komendera holds the cast photo for “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” in which he appeared in November 2012.

“Some people who got their start with Footlight are now heading shows all over Northwest Indiana, and in their program bios they always praise Footlight. It’s the most congenial group, and I think that’s very important.” For the past 29 years, Komendera also has suffered from adult-onset diabetes. When he was first diagnosed, he says the emphasis was on controlling sugar intake. Now, it’s about watching carbs, which he says has been more effective in stabilizing his levels. Earlier this spring, however, Komendera says he began experiencing what he thought was abdominal troubles. He couldn’t keep any food down, losing upwards of 30 pounds. He still had an appetite, but Continued on Page 4

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December 12, 2013

Forever Footlight Continued from Page 3 the more he ate, the sicker he became. The Friday after Halloween, his legs and ankles swelled to abnormal sizes. He also was short of breath. He eventually went to the emergency room, where over the course of 11 days he underwent a series of tests. By the time he went home on Nov. 12, doctors discovered his kidneys were no longer functioning. Now on dialysis and awaiting his appointment with Northwestern University, Komendera has taken a 90-day leave of absence from his job as an optician at Vision Point in La Porte. He has three friends who’ve contacted him about wanting to be kidney donors. “That makes me very hopeful,” he says. And, he’s still involved with Footlight. He remains the director of The Footnotes, the theater group’s seasonal singing group, and he wrote and will direct the group’s February 2014 show, “The Dream Continues,” a revue of musical selections from shows presented at Footlight Theatre since it opened in 1998 at the former Subway shop at 1705 Franklin St.

Robert Komendera (left) appears with the cast of “Proof.”

Robert Komendera (right) appears with the cast of “On Golden Pond.”

Bill Wild and Bobby Komendera look over photos from past Footlight Players productions.

His source of strength through his health scare has been Bill Wild. Another Footlight veteran — he’s served as Footlight’s treasurer for the past 17 years — he and Komendera have known each other for 37 years. “I thank God for Bill,” Komendera says, “because he’s been my rock.”

Robert Komendera directed “Fiddler on the Roof” last June.

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Blazing a Trail

Marquette Catholic High School’s boys basketball team traveled to Washington, Ill., during its Thanksgiving break to participate in The State Farm Classic Tournament nine days after the area was devastated by recent tornadoes. The Blazers brought cold weather gear they collected during their recent scrimmage event. Wearing orange — Washington High School’s color — Marquette T-shirts with “WE GOT YOUR BACK WASHINGTON” plastered on the back, the team presented their gift to the community prior to the start of their contest.


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December 12, 2013

“One City, One Sound” Set for Dec. 12

Festive holiday music will fill the air as close to 1,500 vocalists and instrumentalists perform together at Michigan City Area Schools’ “One City, One Sound” concert. The concert, which is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, in Michigan City High School’s gymnasium, 8466 Pahs Road, will feature: • 428 voices in a chorus of fifth-graders from all nine Michigan City elementary schools. • 360 voices in a chorus of students from all three middle schools. • 147 voices in a chorus of high school students. • 52 voices in the MCHS Treble Chorale and “City Singers.” • 56 voices in the MCHS Concert Choir. • Six handbell players in the MCHS “City Ringers.” • 120 instrumentalists in a fifth- and sixth-grade beginning band. • 169 instrumentalists in a seventh- and eighthgrade band. • 126 instrumentalists from the MCHS cadet, concert and symphonic bands. Each group will perform individually, and the closing number will involve all bands and choruses in the selection “When You Believe.” Other numbers include “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” MCAS music teachers will lead their groups. The combined numbers will be directed by MCHS choral

director Michelle Howisen and band director Quincy Ford. The concert will be broadcast live on Channel 98 educational TV and stream live on the MCAS website It also will air live on Michigan City radio stations WEFM (95.9 FM) and WIMS (AM 1420). Admission is free; however, those attending are encouraged to bring new soap products (either for personal hygiene or household cleaning) to assist Sand Castle Shelter in a “This Season of Hope ... Give a Little Soap!” campaign. Monetary donations to the shelter will be accepted as well. Pahs Road in the area of MCHS will be closed to westbound traffic prior to the concert from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. During this time, all traffic departing the high school will be routed east on Pahs Road to Johnson Road.


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December 12, 2013

Keslings Donate $1 million to PNC Student Services and Activities Complex Purdue University-North Central has received a historic donation to its Student Services and Activities Complex fundraising effort from Dr. Peter Kesling and his wife, Charlene. The $1 million donation is the largest cash gift PNC has received. The Keslings now have the naming rights to the “H.D. Kesling Gymnasium” in honor of Peter Kesling’s father. “He, among other things, had the foresight in 1959 to develop the orthodontic center in a cornfield at the interchange of the Indiana Toll Road and U.S. 421,” Peter Kesling said in a press release. “PNC has been our good neighbor across U.S. 421 since 1967. It has been a great pleasure watching it grow during the past 46 years.” Kesling said his father was an outstanding high school basketball player in Logansport, Ind., and a member of a team that made it to the 1918-1919 state quarterfinals. “When recounting those days, he always added the fact that he was not a good student, and the only reason he buckled down and raised his grades was so that he could be eligible to play,” Peter Kesling recalled. “Therefore, if it wasn’t for basketball, he

might have stayed down on the farm and never had the opportunity to attend college. However, he continued his excellent study habits, graduated from Loyola Dental School and in 1924 began practicing dentistry in La Porte. This is why all of the Kesling family will be proud to have his name associated with the new gymnasium.” The Student Services and Activities Complex carries a $34.7 million cost. The state will provide $24.7 million, or about 70 percent of the debt service. Student activities fees will generate $6.3 million and cover another 20 percent of the project. PNC fundraising will bring in the remaining $3.7 million PNC Chancellor Jim Dworkin said the local fundraising effort has achieved more than 80 percent of its goal, and donations of all amounts are welcome. Many building naming rights remain available as well. Groundbreaking is expected to occur in October 2014, with the tentative completion date being October 2016. Anyone who would like to make a donation may contact Dworkin at [email protected] or Melissa Westphal-Benefiel, PNC director of development, at [email protected]

A rendering of Purdue University-North Central’s new Student Services & Activities Complex.

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Making a Difference

Edgewood Elementary School student council members raised $300 to buy toys for Toys for Tots. They also conducted a drive for canned goods and other nonperishable items, collecting more than 150 items for The Salvation Army.

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December 12, 2013

Great American Photographer Focus of “Masterworks” by Barbara Stodola

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” Ansel Adams

“Portrait of Ansel Adams” by James Alinder.

resorted to using a pack animal. Still later, he mounted a platform on top of a station wagon and took his photos from there. Adams devoted his life to seeking out the country’s most dramatic vistas and sharing their beauty with fellow Americans. “I knew my destiny when I first experienced Yosemite,” he said. He was 14, a native Californian, an only child, hyperactive and vacationing in the national park with his indulgent family. The year was 1916. Ansel was trying out his Kodak Brownie box camera, a gift from his father. At the time, it would have cost about $1. At 17, he joined the preservationist Sierra Club, later becoming a board member, a position he held for 37 years. This commitment demonstrates “the genuineness of

Like all his pronouncements on photography, the truth is simple ... which is not to say, easy. To find the best place to stand, Ansel Adams sometimes climbed a perilous mountain, hauling 30 pounds of camera equipment. In later years, he

his passion,” says Curator Robyn Peterson of Turtle Bay Exploration Park, which in association with Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, is lending its Adams collection to The South Bend Museum of Art for “Ansel Adams: Masterworks,” which continues through Jan. 12, 2014. “He convinces us,” Peterson says, “that life and art can be one.” Adams’ talent was acknowledged early. His prints of the High Sierra were featured in a solo exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in 1931, by which time his first portfolio was selling well — $3,900 profit — to a clientele of wealthy patrons. However, Adams wanted the best of his photos disseminated to the widest possible audience, not just the privileged few, and subsequently created a special Museum

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Aspens, Northern New Mexico, 1958, by Ansel Adams, ©2013 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.

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Set of prints, from which the present exhibit is drawn. Of the 48 prints shown in South Bend, most are the spectacular mountain-and-valley scenes for which Adams is justly famous: the steep cliffs and billowing clouds, the sharp details in foreground and distance, the heightened contrasts between black and white, the winding rivers and deepening reflections that show just how well this photographer knew “where to stand.” A few portraits are included: one of his friend Alfred Stieglitz, who gave Adams a show at his New York City gallery, in 1936; another of the famous Mexican muralist Jose Clemente Orozco; and one of an unnamed woman — an aged and wrinkled Hispanic — in New Mexico. Some images show Adams’ talent for capturing the tiny details: wildflowers beside a mountain path or a special moment, when ice particles are still clinging to a tree or a rainbow arches across a graveyard. To photograph a single, satiny rose, he set it against a contrasting sheet of grainy, weathered plywood. But mostly, Adams set his sights on the majestic vistas of the American West. He received three Guggenheim fellowships to document the national parks, and in 1941 the U.S. Department of the Interior commissioned mural-sized prints for its new building. Continued on Page 12

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Ansel Adams

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Making his way cross-country, Adams photographed Mount McKinley, The Grand Tetons and the Snake River, Death Valley, White Sands National Monument (New Mexico) and the Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee.) He printed his most popular photo, “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico,” more than 1,300 times for a total value estimated at $25 million. All of these images are presented in the South Bend show. Although Adams experimented with color photography, he preferred black and white, partly because of the control it made possible. He often used a large, 8-by-10 inch view camera, and darkened his skies with a red filter to sharpen the contrast. He developed a technique of envisioning the final print in advance and became a master technician in the darkroom. Adams was one of those fortunate few who achieved success and fame during his lifetime. He is credited with being a major force in the national parks’ expansion, both through his photos and his advocacy. President Jimmy Carter commissioned a portrait, the first official presidential portrait to be done by a photographer. After Adams died at 82 in 1984, a mountain was named after him. A prolific author and popular teacher, Adams effectively communicated his methods and attitudes toward his Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927, by Ansel Adams ©2013 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. art and his public. Immensely quotable, he once said: “A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed  and is, thereby, a true manifestation of what one  feels about life in its entirety.” “Ansel Adams: Masterworks” continues through Jan. 12, 2014, in the Warner Gallery at The South Bend Museum of Art, which is in The Century Center, 120 S. St. Joseph St. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. EST Wednesday through Sunday and closed Monday, Tuesday and major holidays. Admission is free to members, with a suggested $5 donation from non-members. Call (574) 235-9102 or visit for more information.

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Northwest Indiana Green Drinks

Santa Collection at CAC

“Tragedy Beneath the Waves: Explore Indiana’s First Underwater Preserve” marks the next Northwest Indiana Green Drinks in Michigan City program at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, in the reserved room at Shoreline Brewery, 208 Wabash St., Michigan City. Brad Bumgardner, Indiana Dunes State Park interpretive naturalist, will lead an interactive evening with images and storytelling about the J.D. Marshall and other maritime stories. He’ll also bring props and artifacts from the ship. The J.D. Marshall site was dedicated in September as Indiana’s first underwater preserve. Northwest Indiana Green Drinks, sponsored by 219 GreenConnect and Save the Dunes, meets the third Thursday of the month at Shoreline Brewery. The suggested donation is $5, or $2 for students. Call (219) 874-6809 for more information.

A Chesterton Art Center member has loaned her collection of Thom Mitchell hand-carved Santas to the center for the holiday season. Mitchell was involved in art as far back as high school. Later in life, he learned the basics of carving from his father-in-law. He has been carving primitive Santas for 24 years. Many reflect a major event or theme for the year, while others are not so specific. As a collection, they show the journey of a family changing over two decades. The Santas will be at the center, 115 S. Fourth St., through the end of December. Call (219) 926-4711 for more information.

Santa Arriving at Harmony House Santa Claus will appear from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Harmony House, 1005 Michigan Ave., La Porte. No reservations are required. Call (219) 324-3385 for more information.

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December 12, 2013

Sinai Temple Aids Local Groups

Westchester Public Library

Sinai Temple made donations to 4 local community groups as part of its 100th anniversary celebration. Donations were presented during Friday night services on Nov. 22 by Rabbi Reni Dickman to Brandi Lewis, Dunebrook early childhood-services director, Una Gooden, Stepping Stone shelter operations manager, DeNita Ton, Salvation Army community services director, and Jennifer Heath, Barker Woods Enrichment Center administrator. “Sinai Temple has been an active and proud member of this community for 100 years,” Dickman said, “and we wanted to recognize four important not-forprofit groups as part of our centennial observance.” More than 200 temple members, former members and former rabbis from 17 states, Canada and the District of Columbia participated in a recent weekend celebration of the temple’s 100th anniversary.

The following programs are through Westchester Public Library: • The annual visit from Mrs. Claus at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Hageman Library, 100 Francis St., Porter. Mrs. Claus will read a story, invite everyone to join her in song, answer questions from children and have her pictures taken with those present. Refreshments will be served. • The History Discussion Group meets from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Bertha Wood meeting room at Thomas Library, 200 W. Indiana Ave., Chesterton. Registration is not required. Chris Light leads a discussion on Tassinong, the first European outpost and the oldest village in northern Indiana. It was near Indiana 49 in present-day southern Porter County and was the northern boundary of the Great Kankakee Marsh. The settlement would have traded with the Potawatomi and other tribes living in the area at the time. • Leigh Westergren from Anton Insurance leads a free repeat program on the Affordable Care Act from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, in the Bertha Wood meeting room at Thomas Library. No registration is necessary. Westergren will share basic information about the Affordable Care Act, what to expect and how it will affect them. The comprehensive national health-care reform starts Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment runs through March 31, 2014. • The annual holiday sale through Dec. 22. Toys, books, mugs and ornaments related to the Duneland area are some of the museum store products available, and all with a 10 percent discount. The museum accepts only cash or checks. Profits from the museum store support the Westchester Township History Museum, the library’s educational and cultural service. • The free Poetry Appreciation Group meets from 6 to 8 p.m. the second Monday of each month starting Jan. 13, 2014, in the Bertha Wood meeting room at Thomas Library. Registration is not required. The group will serve as a forum for learning and discussion of the various forms and techniques of writing poems. Attendees read and listen to poetry read aloud by people in the group, including published authors’ works and/ or original works by local aspiring amateur poets who may want an audience or constructive critique.

Rabbi Reni Dickman (center) presents donations to (from left) Brandi Lewis, DeNita Ton, Una Gooden and Jennifer Heath.

Annual Cookie Walk and Bazaar St. Luke United Lutheran Church, 2000 E. Coolspring Ave., will have its ninth annual cookie walk and bazaar from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Cookies cost $7 per pound.


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Indiana Dunes State Park

“The Revels at Barker Hall”

The following events are planned at Indiana Dunes State Park: Thursdays, Dec. 12 and 19 • 10 a.m. — “Nature Storytelling Hour.” The hour-long program of nature storytelling and songs is in the Nature Center Auditorium. Parents with children from infants to 4-year-olds can register by calling (219) 926-1390. Saturday, Dec. 14 • Indiana Dunes Christmas Bird Count. The annual all-day event for serious birders starts before 7 a.m. Feeder counters are needed if living in the duneland area. Calling the Nature Center at (219) 926-1390 for more information. • 10 a.m. — “Winter Hike into Beaver Bayou.” Meet at the campground gate for a short stroll to the newly created beaver damn, lodge and flooded area that beavers have created. • 2 p.m. — “Snakes Alive!” Visit the Nature Center and learn how snakes cope with the layer of snow. • 5 p.m. — “Owl Moon!” Meet outside the Nature Center for a stroll into the winter woods in search of owls. Sunday, Dec. 15 • 10 a.m. — “Feed the Birds.” Join a naturalist outside the Nature Center for the daily feeding. Get close views of chickadees, cardinals and woodpeckers. • 2 p.m. — “100 Years of Indiana State Parks.” Meet at the Nature Center auditorium for the 50-minute documentary, produced in 2009 by PBS, that captures 100 years of Indiana’s state parks. Indiana Dunes State Park is located at 1600 N. County Road 25 East (the north end of Indiana 49), Chesterton. Call (219) 926-1390 for more information.

Metamorphis Traveling Theatre will present an evening of dinner-theater with “The Revels at Barker Hall” on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20-21, at the hall, Sixth Street at Franklin and Pine streets. The performance arrives after the Victorian-style meal. Saint Winter (Doug Moon) is holding a solstice celebration with his sisters: Falling (Tiffany Bowen), Springsale (Jeanoma Babcock) and Summerhigher (Kim Riley). Other characters include The Duchess of Dancing (Helen Williams), Icethistle (Judith Joseph), The Laird of November (Don Peiffer), Mistletoes (Tabatha Kintzele), Branch McEvergreen (Dana Chartier), Father Danish O’Danish (Hershal Miller), Frost the Lost Child (Maggie Evans), Christmas Carol (Janet Lustick) and the Advent child (Sophia Barczak).

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore The following programs are offered through Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: • The Junior Ranger Program runs every day through Dec. 31 at Indiana Dunes Visitor Center and Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education. Children 6-12 can learn about the national lakeshore while enjoying self-guided activities. There are a variety of Junior Ranger programs, from a short Beachcombers Activity Page to an extensive Junior Rangers Booklet. Complete a program and earn a prize. • “Kids Rule!” is every Sunday through Dec. 29 at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center. A ranger tells stories and leads children’s activities. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call (219) 395-1882 or visit for more information, including specific sites and directions.

The evening starts at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $30. Call (219) 874-4355 or visit for reservations.

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December 12, 2013

Chamber Festival Recital

Balcony Tickets Remain for Concert

The Michigan City Chamber Music Festival will present violinist Zofia Glashauser and violist Aleksandra Holowka in recital at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at First Presbyterian Church, 121 W. Ninth St., Michigan City. Glashauser and Holowka are sisters born in Krakow, Poland, whose musical careers brought them to the United States. Glashauser is concertmaster of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and Lira Orchestra of Chicago. She also is a Michigan City Chamber Music Festival member. She lives in Elkhart with her husband, Jason, and three children, Simon, Gabriela and Susannah. Holowka began studying violin at 7 and viola at 16. In 1990, she entered the Chopin Performing Arts High School in Krakow. After graduating, she came to the U.S. to study at Western Michigan University. She earned her master’s degree at Rice University. In 2008, she won a position with the Forth Worth (Texas) Symphony Orchestra, with whom she still performs. She lives there with her husband, Don, and daughter, Elizabeth. Glashauser and Holowka will be assisted on piano by Jennifer Muniz, Indiana University-South Bend professor of piano. The program will feature works by Fuchs and Wieniawski, along with Handel-Halvorsen’s “Passacaglia” and Mozart’s “Sinfonie Concertante.” Admission is free; however, a free-will offering will be accepted. A meet the artists reception follows the performance. Call (219) 561-1939 or email [email protected] for more information.

Balcony tickets for the 19th Annual La Porte Hospital Foundation Holiday at the POPS are still available. The philanthropic concert kicks off the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 14, at La Porte Civic Auditorium, 1001 Ridge St. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the concert at 7 p.m. Main floor tickets are sold out. Balcony tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Group sales are available. Buy 10 tickets and get the 11th free, as well as reserved groupseating options. Those interested are encouraged to buy tickets online at as soon as possible. The concert features a variety of local talent, including La Porte County Symphony Orchestra directed by Philip Bauman and Illumination, LCSO’s choir directed by Becky Osborne. Entertainment also will be provided by guest artists, including: • Vocalist Shania Povlock, a Hoosier Star 2013 youth runner-up and Rising Star Award winner. She is an eighth-grader at La Porte’s Kesling Middle School, where she is in her second year of show choir. • Vocalist Sarah Gartshore – Selected as one of Symphony Magazine’s emerging artists, she also is heard performing with guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad on “Merry a Holiday Journey,” a recently released CD of selections for Christmas by violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and friends. • Vocal ensemble Cripple Creek, which features Mitch Marhanka, Lou Voelker, David Applegarth and John Langford. All proceeds benefit the foundation’s VNA Fund, which supports IU Health La Porte VNA Services and other philanthropic health-care needs in the community. VNA Services offers support within the comfort of one’s home and by highly trained individuals. Through hospice, VNA Services provides endof-life care to people at home or in a nursing home. Nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Jasper, La Porte, Marshall, Porter, Pulaski, Starke and St. Joseph counties. Call (219) 326-2471, toll free at (877) 265-4539 or email [email protected] for more information.

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Museum to Celebrate Christmas Classic’s 30th Anniversary La Porte County Historical Society Museum, 2405 Indiana Ave., La Porte, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the holiday classic “A Christmas Story” with programs and displays. The 1983 film was based on humorist Jean Shepherd’s memories of growing up in northern Indiana in the 1930s. The movie’s infamous Leg Lamp will be on display in the lower level showcase, Mom will coax Randy to eat in the kitchen and Higbee’s Department Store is on Main Street. Visitors also can see what they look like in Ralphie’s pink bunny suit. Events include: • 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 — “The Original Jean Shepherd Story.” Professional storyteller Grant Fitch will present the original Shepherd story, “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash,” from which Ralphie’s exploits were taken. • Noon and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21: “Mrs. Parker’s Piggie Lunch.” Ralphie remembers every meal at his house as being meatloaf, mashed potatoes and red cabbage. Creative Catering, Westville, will recreate the meal, along with a salad, dessert and a few surprises. Reservations are required. The $15 perperson cost covers the meal and museum admission. Other holiday traditions at the museum include the Giese Chapel now in its Visitors can see what they 66th year. New this year, look like in Ralphie’s the tree in the lobby will pink bunny suit. feature intricate handmade ornaments by local resident Wilbur Dieters. Trees handcrafted using his mother’s jewelry will be displayed on the Victorian Dining Room table. The museum’s period rooms also will be decorated using original ornaments of the decade. Recently, the Historical Society acquired a keyboard in memory of former curator and organist Jim Rodgers. Several area church choirs have agreed to sing Christmas songs during the holiday season and using the keyboard. The St. Paul’s Episcopal Church choir performs at 11 a.m. and the First United Methodist Church choir of La Porte at 1 p.m., both on Saturday, Dec. 14. Any choir wishing to perform may call (219) 324-6767. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call ahead for admission prices at (219) 324-6767 or visit

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Michigan City Public Library The following programs are through Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. Fourth St.: • Duneland Stamp Club at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. The stamp-collecting club meets the second Thursday of each month. New members are invited. • “Understanding Your Dreams” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Dream therapist Terese Fabbri reveals techniques to remember and understand dreams. • “Muslim Journeys: Islamic Art Spots” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at The Islamic Center, 1606 N. County Road 500E, Michigan City. The free showing of “Islamic Art Spots” is part of the library’s grant from the American Library Association and National Endowment for the Humanities. It features essays developed by Professor D. Fairchild Ruggles as part of the “Muslim Journeys” project that promotes understanding of, and mutual respect for, people with diverse histories, cultures and perspectives within the United States and abroad. • “Monday Musicale: The Sounds of the Holidays” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Monday Musicale members will perform traditional Christmas music. Donations to The Salvation Army food pantry will be accepted. • “Christmas Angels Among Us” at 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16. Ange Benz will help attendees connect with angels that surround us and are an important part of the Christmas story. Donations to The Salvation Army will be accepted. Call Robin Kohn at (219) 873-3049 for more information.

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December 12, 2013

Sons of Norway Christmas Celebration

Holiday Events at Fernwood

A Christmas celebration by Scandiana Lodge, Sons of Norway, is Saturday, Dec. 14, at Westchester Public Library, 100 W. Indiana Ave., Chesterton. Social hour is at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. Members are asked to bring table service and a side dish to share. Meat dishes, coffee and punch will be provided. The evening will include singing around the Christmas tree and sharing stories. Donated gifts will be collected to distribute to needy children in the community. Call (219) 221-6641 or (219) 324-2327 for more information.

Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve, 13988 Range Line Road, Niles, Mich., has events planned to help celebrate the holidays. Breakfast with Santa is from 9:30 to 11 a.m. EST Saturdays, Dec. 14 and 21. Fernwood Chef Tim Carrigan prepares French toast sticks, eggs and sausage, fruit, pastries, juice and milk. Children can bring their wish list to Santa, sign his naughty or nice list and make a craft with one of Santa’s helpers. Adults cost $12, children 6 to 12 cost $8 and youth 5 and younger are free. Limited spaces remain. Make reservations as soon as possible.

Free Monday Musicale Concert Monday Musicale members will present the free concert “The Music of the Holidays” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, in the meeting room at Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. Fourth St. Ange Benz will host the program featuring sacred and secular music and performed by Howard Brenneman, Noel Carlson, Frank Casorio, Sue Cassler, Carol Garrett, Lee Meyer, Karol Valek and others. Refreshments will be served afterward. Donations to The Salvation Army food pantry will be accepted.

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Visits from Santa remain a popular attraction at Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve.

Additional opportunities to see Santa are from 1 to 4 p.m. EST Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 21-22. Listen to stories told by Miss Cindy, see the holiday train in the Fern Conservatory and hear music performed by John Tolhuizen (Saturday) and Joe Foster (Sunday) in Fernwood’s Gallery. The events are free with paid Fernwood admission. View entries in Fernwood’s gingerbread house contest through December 22. Ice carvers will create sculptures along Fernwood’s garden trail, demonstrating their talents on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15. Visit or call (269) 695-6491 for a list of carvers. Children can attend a holiday workshop to make decorations and gifts — free with paid Fernwood admission — from 1 to 4 p.m. EST Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15 and 21-22. For adults, a candlelight holiday dinner prepared by Carrigan is at 6 p.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 18, Afterwards is dessert, a hot adult beverage and music in the gallery by the Baker Street Quartet, a Fischoff-mentored group of young performers: Liam Maher and Ylana Padgett on violin, Abigail Alwine on viola and Ethan Setiawan on cello. The cost is $25 per person. Make reservations by Tuesday, Dec. 17. Those who can’t attend dinner but would like to be present for the concert can arrive at 7 p.m. EST. The cost is $10, or $8 for members. Reservations also are due by Dec. 17. Call Fernwood at (269) 695.6491 or visit www. for reservations.


December 12, 2013

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La Porte County Parks All registrations and questions go through the Red Mill County Park Administrative Office, 0185 S. Holmesville Road, La Porte. Call (219) 325-8315 or visit www. for more information. Stroller, Baby and You Aimed at toddlers and preschoolers, programs include music, dance, storytelling and a hike (weather permitting). The free program is from 10 to 11 a.m. at Luhr County Park, 3178 S. County Road 150 West, La Porte., on Dec. 16. Dates in 2014 are: Jan. 6, 13 and 27, Feb. 3 and 10, March 10 and 24 and April 7 and 28. Call at least one week in advance to sign up. Senior Lifestyles Join the free 55+ Club, a social club designed for adults 55 and older to learn and explore various types of nature. Free coffee is served to participants. The group meets from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Luhr County Park Nature Center. Dates in 2014 are: March 5, April 2 and May 7. Parent & Child Discovery Days The program includes arts and crafts, games and snacks. All activities are related to the program topic. Programs are appropriate for children 3 to 8, with an adult required to participate. Programs are from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at Luhr County Park. The cost is $5 per child/per program. Preregistration and payment are required at least one week in advance or until full, whichever comes first. The next program is: Dec. 18 — “Dreaming of a White Christmas.” The early 2014 lineup is: • Jan. 29 — “Woody the Woodpecker.” • Feb. 12 — “Where Did They Go?” • Feb. 26 — “Wild Wind.” • March 12 — “Bat Basics.” • March 26 — “Star Theater.” • April 9 — “Flower Power.” Make a Mandala Participants can apply what they love about the season, nature or favorite animals to a 3-inch mandala from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at Luhr County Park. Local artist Heather Banas will lead the project. Everything will be supplied, but participants can bring a favorite feather, bead or other item. The program targets youth 8 and older, and children must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $8 per person.

“Jingle Bells Forever” Concert Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra and Citadel Symphony Chorus will unite for the holiday concert “Jingle Bells Forever” at 7:30 p.m. EST Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Mendel Center Mainstage at Lake Michigan College, 2755 E. Napier, Benton Harbor, Mich. Music Director Robin Fountain will host a preconcert conversation at 6:30 p.m. EST in the Mendel Center north training room. The Citadel Symphony Chorus is a partnership between the SMSO and Citadel Dance & Music Center, serving as the SMSO’s primary chorus. David Carew, Southwest Michigan College director of choral activities, serves as the group’s choral director. The artistic directors are Paul Mow, Citadel Dance & Music Center voice instructor, and Jim Kraus, First United Methodist Church ordained deacon and minister of music and Lake Michigan College faculty member. The evening’s program will include many holiday favorites, including: “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” “Hava Nagila” and “Sleigh Ride.” A post-concert reception is planned in the lobby. Tickets cost: • Zone A: $37 for adults, $32 for seniors and $5 for students. • Zone B: $20 for adults and $5 for students. • Both zones: Children 12 and younger are free. Call the symphony office at (269) 982-4030 or visit for reservations or more information.

Community Center Christmas Long Beach Community Center, 2501 Oriole Trail, will present its first Community Center Christmas at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17. As part of the evening, Nic Orbovich and Sunny Gardner-Orbovich of Michigan City Chamber Music Festival will present a free hour of Christmas music starting at 7 p.m. Those attending are invited to visit the donation tree and buy raffle tickets for decorations to be placed on the stage. The evening will come to a close with a community sing-along, punch and cookies and raffle winners.





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December 12, 2013

December 12, 2013

Photos by Oleg Semkoff

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December 12, 2013

Habitat ReStore Seeks Volunteers

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Since opening in July, the La Porte County Habitat for Humanity ReStore has been offering new and gently used building materials, home goods, furnishings and hardware to a growing customer base from Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan. As awareness heightens, donations and store traffic have increased. To meet the demand, La Porte County Habitat needs volunteers to work in a variety of roles. These include, but are not limited to: • Customer service and sales. • Stocking. • Inventory control. • Assisting with pickup of larger donated items. Volunteer hours are flexible, and adult and young adult volunteers are welcome. Of particular need are in-store volunteers during ReStore hours on Thursdays through Saturdays, and people to assist with pickups on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If interested, contact Kevin or Bob at (219) 8144985 during normal business hours Monday through Saturday. The La Porte County Habitat for Humanity ReStore is at 10th and Huron streets (the Alpha Storage Complex) in Michigan City. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Candy Cane Express at Hesston Santa’s Candy Cane Express will run Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15, at Hesston Steam Museum, 1201 E. County Road 1000N, La Porte. Visitors can ride Santa’s Candy Cane Express in enclosed or open railroad coaches on a 2 1/2-mile railway line through the woods and past lakes and farm fields. Meanwhile, Santa waits for children in a caboose from the vintage 1900s. The newly restored soda fountain and new restaurant will be open for breakfast at 8 a.m. Children can greet Santa when he arrives in a vintage Ford Model T at 11:30 a.m., then stays to hear what youngsters want for Christmas. Trains run from noon to 5 p.m. Hesston also will support the U.S. Marine Corps.’ Toys for Tots toy drive. Visitors who bring a new unwrapped toy as a donation receive a free train ride. Admission is free. Train tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children 3-12. Children 3 and younger are free. Call (219) 778-2783 or visit www.hesston. org for more information.


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Stained Glass Tour Michigan City’s Uptown Arts District is home to several of the area’s finest pieces of stained glass, many within the district’s churches. Self-guided tours are from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Participating churches include: Trinity Episcopal Church, 600 Franklin St.; First United Methodist Church, 121 E. Seventh St.; St. Paul Lutheran Church/School, 818 Franklin St.; and St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, 411 W. 11th St. Each church will have a resident tour guide, as well as the Stained Glass Tour Brochure that lists the other locations. Visit for more information.

Lighthouse Museum Holiday Hours The Old Lighthouse Museum and its gift shop in Washington Park will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays before Christmas. There is no cost to visit the gift shop. The fee to tour the museum is $5 for visitors 14 and older, $2 for children younger than 14 and free for Michigan City Historical Society members and passholders. The museum shop contains T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, cards, 2014 Michigan City lakefront calendars and photography.


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Winter Wonderland Schedule Events in Michigan City include: Saturday, Dec. 14 • Noon to 2 p.m. — Free Santa visits and pictures at dh2w Inc., 813 Franklin St., and free horse wagon rides downtown sponsored by Horizon Bank. • 1 to 3 p.m. — Stained glass tours. • Downtown Charity Day — Businesses choose a Michigan City charity to donate some portion of the day’s sales. Saturday, Dec. 21 • Noon to 2 p.m. — Free Santa visits and pictures at dh2w Inc., 813 Franklin St., and free horse wagon rides downtown sponsored by Horizon Bank.



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December 12, 2013

Michigan City High School’s JROTC Earns Awards at Elston Event

Michigan City High School’s Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps hosted a military skills competition Nov. 23 at Elston Middle School. Eleven schools competed in military drill, academics, physical fitness, personnel inspection and marksmanship.

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Michigan City earned awards in eight of the 13 events. The Wolves placed first in “B” Color Guard, second in Armed Platoon, Armed Squad, “A” Color Guard, Academics and Marksmanship, and third in Armed Exhibition and First Year Squad. The over-all winner was East Aurora, Ill., a school of 4,000 students and 950 cadets in its JROTC. The competing schools, who came from Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland, praised Michigan City for the efficient organization of the competition.

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The Drill Team with trophies earned at the competition.

The local chapter of the Marine Corps League — a veterans group of former Marines — sponsored the meet. The Booster Club ran two concession stands and provided a hospitality room for judges, who came from three different military sources, and instructors of the competing schools. The cadets also participated in a drill competition on Dec. 7 at Purdue University-West Lafayette, as well as Cyber Patriot, a national computer security competition, the night prior to the drill meet.


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“Fired Up!” Exhibit Twenty eight teens in the “Fired Up!” after-school glass program will present their semester-end winter exhibit, along with live artmaking demonstrations, from 6 to 8 p.m. EST Saturday, Dec. 14, at Water Street Glassworks, 140 Water St., Benton Harbor, Mich. “Fired Up!” classes began in September in five of the school’s studios: glassblowing, bead and jewelry making, kiln-fired (fused) glass and stained glass. Six instructors worked with the teen artists, who come from eight different schools from in and around Benton Harbor. The program is tuition-free, and May Schultz-Reed is the coordinator. The exhibit also will feature pieces made by parents who participated in the program’s annual Parents’ Night. The student-generated concept was added in 2011 so parents could experience what their student does through the program. It also gives students a chance to showcase their knowledge as they teach their parents for one night. The exhibit runs through Dec. 21. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. EST Saturday. Call (269) 9255555 for more information.


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ICS Holiday Open House Independent Cat Society, 4061 S. County Line Road, Westville, will have its annual Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15. The event will include raffles, cat toys, catnip, baked goods for sale and gift items. Also, the shelter in December is offering a special where anyone who adopts a cat 5 or older will have the fee waived. The fee includes spay or neuter, current vaccines, flea treatment, nail trim and a free initial vet visit within two weeks of the adoption. Another special is, anyone who buys a cat 5 and younger for $75 receives a companion cat for free. The shelter also needs donations of Friskies pate and Fancy Feast classic cat food, scoopable cat litter, laundry detergent, fabric softener sheets, paper towels and small cat toys. All donations are tax deductible. Call (219) 7854936 for additional information.

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December 12, 2013

Museum Releases November Figures

La Porte County Library

La Porte County Historical Society Museum, 2405 Indiana Ave., La Porte, has released its November figures. Visitors came from 13 counties, eight states, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Tours included one Cub Scout group, two Boy Scout groups, a home-schooled field trip and the Hoosier Hikers, who used the museum as their “starting” and “ending” place. Three La Porte High School groups presented their history projects at the museum. Volunteers spent two days decorating the museum for the holidays. Donations were: • A framed diploma from Wanatah Elementary Schools, 1929, Sandra Nixon. • A World War II framed photo of La Porte Corp., Sandra Glen. • An electric steam vaporizer from 1949, Phyllis Doloway Nichols. • Eyeglasses in a case, George Krieger, Michigan City. • 1920s Michigan City Rogers High School sweater worn by Mike Bass, Barbara and Arnold Bass. • Sale table items — June Reeves, Dave Mann, Jean Chlupacek, Karen Piper, Dr. Peter Kesling, Susie Richter and Janet Sikorski. • Archival information — Michele Barber, Larry Myers, Richard H. Pierce Jr., microwave oven, Katie Timm, Leg Lamp for “A Christmas Story” display, Jim Lampl.

The following programs are offered through La Porte County Library: • “Read! Build! Play!” at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at the main library, 904 Indiana Ave., La Porte. Designed for children 3 to 5 who are accompanied by caregivers, the hands-on program focuses on children’s creativity, fine motor skills, recognition of shapes/colors and early literacy skills. • “Storytime Stew” at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Coolspring branch, 7089 W. County Road 400N. The program for young children and their caregivers features stories, songs and activities. • “Storybook Christmas” at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at the main library, 904 Indiana Ave., La Porte. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies as storytellers share tales of the holiday season. • “The Panel” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, at the main library, 904 Indiana Ave., La Porte. La Porte County Public Library’s graphic novel club meets each month to discuss comics, their authors and illustrators. Check out the online events calendar for chosen titles.

Free Marketplace 101 Session Kim Eldridge from MDwise will lead a free Marketplace 101 education-and-enrollment session from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, at La Porte County Public Library’s Union Mills branch, 3727 W. County Road 800S. Eldridge will answer questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace and guide participants through the enrollment process. Call (219) 362-6156 or visit for more information. • COMPLETE REMODELING









Handel’s “Messiah” Handel’s “Messiah” will be performed at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, at First Presbyterian Church, 121 W. Ninth St. Dan McNabb conducts the performance that features area singers and musicians, along with four soloists: Soprano Kimberly Jones, Mezzo-Soprano Kristin Gornstein, Tenor Matthew Daniel and Bass Howard Baetzhold. A preview performance/dress rehearsal is from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 21, at the church. Free tickets are available at the church office. A free-will offering will be taken at both performances to help defray costs. A full preview, complete with photos from rehearsals, will appear in the Dec. 19 edition of The Beacher.

Duneland Weavers Guild The Duneland Weavers Guild meets at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Westchester Public Library Annex, 100 W. Indiana Ave., Chesterton. The annual fundraiser Christmas auction is planned. Members will celebrate afterwards with a potluck lunch. Guests are welcome. Visit for more information.


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Marquette Questers The Marquette Questers met Nov. 14 at the home of Mrs. Charles Liddell. Thirteen of the 14 members attended, and there was no formal program. Joyce Dalton shared information and stories from her trip to Massachusetts with a chartered tour from the Senior Center. During the business meeting, Julie Manner agreed to research into two old concrete blocks in the ground in front of the bandstand. Anyone with information should forward it to the Questers. The group also agreed to repair the plaque “Battle of Trail Creek” at Memorial Park on Liberty Trail. The Questers look to be involved in some way in the April 2015 re-enactment of the Lincoln Burial Train, as well as the July 2015 statue dedication and self-guided walking tour focused on the S.S. Eastland of 1915, when more than 800 passengers and crew were killed. The Questers will hold its end-of-the-year luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Duneland Beach Inn. Meetings for 2014 will resume in the spring. The group meets the first Wednesday of the month spring through fall. Contact Joyce Dalton at (219) 874-5832 or MaryAnne Garon at (219) 872-3905 for more information or if interested in joining.

ASL Coffeehouse The Purdue University-North Central American Sign Language Club will host an ASL Coffeehouse from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at the Uptown Café, 1400 E. Lincolnway, Valparaiso. An interactive program starts at 6 p.m. The event is open to ASL students, as well as community members and children who arrive with a parent or adult. Participants are asked to use ASL as an ideal opportunity to better communicate with friends, co-workers or family members. Coffee, food and drinks may be ordered throughout the night. Information about the club is at www.aslclub. info. Additional information is available by contacting Joanna Witulski, limited term lecturer in American Sign Language, at [email protected]

The following American Red Cross blood drives are scheduled: • Monday, Dec. 16, 3 to 6 p.m., Curves, 1708 E. U.S. 20, Michigan City. • Friday, Dec. 20, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Michigan City Public Library Conference Room, 100 E. Fourth St., Michigan City. • Monday, Dec. 23, noon to 5 p.m., IU Health La Porte Hospital Auditorium, 1007 W. Lincolnway, La Porte. Donate and receive a $3 lunch coupon courtesy of IU Health La Porte Hospital. • Friday, Dec. 27, 8 a.m. to noon, Franciscan St. Anthony Health St. Francis Hall, 301 W. Homer St., Michigan City. Donate and get a two-ounce brick of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and a coupon for a free pound of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. • Saturday, Dec. 28, 7 a.m. to noon, Sacred Heart Church Hall, 204 N. Ohio St., Wanatah. Donate and get a two-ounce brick of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and a coupon for a free pound of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. To schedule an appointment, call (800) 733-2767 or visit for more information. Anyone who is 17 (16 with parental permission in Indiana and Ohio), meets weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Bring a Red Cross blooddonor card or other form of positive ID. Platelet donors should be aspirin-free for 48 hours.

Wigilia Christmas Meal The Polish Women’s Alliance District 3 will sponsor a Wigilia Christmas Meal on Saturday, Dec. 21, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1104 Knights of Columbus Blvd., East Chicago, Ind. Doors open at noon, with the meal served at 1 p.m. A raffle to benefit the District 3 scholarship fund is planned. Reservations, which are $35 for adults ($17.50 for children 5 to 11), are due by Dec. 16. Call Delphine Huneycutt at (219) 398-9069 for more information or to order tickets.

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December 12, 2013

Put to the Test

Michigan City High School students studying biomedical science and Biology 2 visited Ivy Tech in Michigan City on Dec. 5 to complete a forensics lab. It involved performing tests on human bones to determine age, gender, race and height. It was led by Dr. David Merrill of Ivy Tech, along with MCHS teachers Ashley Kohler, Andy Jasicki and Stephanie Dege. Pictured are sophomore Kalin Dombkowski (from left), senior Allison Ormsby, senior Kaiti Scott and junior Brooke Westphal.

“Christmas Extravaganza” The United Methodist Women will hold its “Christmas Extravaganza,” which combines its annual bazaar and cookie walk, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at First United Methodist Church, 121 E. Seventh St. The church’s ladies circles have made homemade cookies, pickles, pies and crafts, while gift items include ornaments, necklaces, scarves, soup mix in a jar and craft projects for children. Also, men in the congregation have made fishing flies, while pet toys and treats will be available. Chef Didier Durand, a regular with the Michigan City Mainstreet Association Farmers Market, will have holiday cheeses. Soup and sandwiches will be available, including carry-out. Contact the church at (219) 872-7200 for more information.

Festival of Lights Yard Contest Family Activities at The Box Factory Children are invited to wear their favorite pajamas and attend family activities from 1 to 4 p.m. EST Saturday, Dec. 14, at The Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St., St. Joseph, Mich. The event will include “The Jingle Bell Chorus, a Christmas Sing Along” with Mockingbird, a “Hoot Like an Owl” demonstration by Chuck Nelson of Sarett Nature Center and an award for the best pajama outfit. During the “Jingle Bell Chorus,” bells and songbooks will be provided as children are invited on stage to perform with Mockingbird. Parents and grandparents are invited to sing along and photograph their children’s performance. Also, winners of the Owl-i-Days fabric art challenge and owl coloring contest will be announced. The event is free and open to the public. Cookies and punch will be provided. Visit or facebook for more information.

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Village Green Neighborhood Association will sponsor its annual Festival of Lights Yard Contest for Village Green residents, with all yard and light decorations required to be in place by Sunday, Dec. 15, so judging can occur through Dec. 21. Mayor Ron Meer and Robert Graves are the judges for the second year in a row. Graves is maintenance supervisor for the Department of Parks & Recreation, and supervises installation of Washington Park’s holiday lights. A grand prize winner will be chosen, along with first-, second- and third-place winners. Prizes include gift certificates to local vendors, an award certificate and gift bag distributed before Christmas. Jackie Blanchard is the event chairwoman. Call her at (219) 210-1727 for more information.

Credit Union Scholarships Available Members Advantage Credit Union is offering two $1,000 scholarships in 2014 for graduating high school seniors and college freshman and sophomores enrolled in a college, university or trade school. The Gail Walker Memorial Scholarship was created in memory of the former board member who passed away in 2008. The Leona Bruno Scholarship is in memory of the credit union’s first manager. Scholarships go to candidates who demonstrate scholastic achievement, personal integrity and community involvement. Visit to download the application, which also is available at the Michigan City and Portage locations. Applications will not be accepted by email. They must be mailed or dropped off. All walk-in applications must be received by Feb. 28, 2014, while all mail-in applications must be postmarked by the same date.


December 12, 2013

Page 29

Chamber Membership Luncheon

Dec. 3, 2013 TEAM STANDING 1. Lady Strikers 2. Bowling Goddesses 3. Gutter Golfers HIGH INDIVIDUAL GAMES 1. Sue Luegers 2. Mary Lou McFadden 3. Kathy Osborne 4. Ellie Parkerson 5. June Salmon 6. Dottie Brinkman 7. Barb Macudzinski 8. Tammy Vouri 9. Paulette Harnach

WON 34 32 30

LOST 18 16 22 SCORE 225 197 187 186 178 178 172 167 161

Luegers had four strikes in a row and Osborne, Brinkman and McFadden three strikes in a row.

Programs Land Initial Accreditation The Purdue University-North Central College of Business programs have been awarded initial accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs following its recent meeting in Overland Park, Kan. This decision certifies that the PNC baccalaureate degree programs in business, human resources and organizational leadership, as well as the masters in business administration, have met the rigorous educational standards established by ACBSP. Established in 1988, ACBSP is a specialized accreditation organization devoted to promoting excellence in teaching and learning. Based on the Baldridge Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, it reinforces a commitment to continuous improvement, innovation and scholarship. The Certificate of Initial Accreditation will be presented to PNC at the ACBSP Annual Conference on June 29 in Chicago.

Polish-American Cultural Society Polish-American Cultural Society of Northwest Indiana will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, at the former St. Mary’s School, 321 W. 11th St., Michigan City. The meeting features a beginners’ Polish language session, followed by informal discussion of Polish-related topics. Call Theresa Child at (219) 464-1369 or email [email protected] for more information.

The Greater La Porte Chamber of Commerce will host a Chamber Membership Luncheon on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Seven, 502 State St., La Porte. The sponsor is Worthy Recovery Inc., a Christian home that provides recently incarcerated women with re-entry programs and the tools to reduce recidivism rates, substance abuse and addictions. It also helps empower them to live as positive role models for their children and in their community. The cost is $15 for chamber members and $20 for non-members. Registration begins at 11 a.m., with lunch at 11:30 a.m. Registration is encouraged by contacting the chamber at (219) 362-3178 or at

VU Advent Christmas Vespers Service Valparaiso University will present its annual Advent Christmas Vespers service, featuring the Kantorei Choir and Handbell Choir of the Chapel of the Resurrection, at 7 and 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at the chapel. The program will feature Scriptural readings and music. This year’s theme is “A Visit” and will feature John August Swanson’s art and a new choral work, “Home,” by composer Libby Larsen. For the 7 p.m. service, the choirs will be joined by the Jubilate Children’s Choir of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Valparaiso. The service is free, but advanced-seating tickets are required by calling (219) 464-5093, Ext. 6.

Save the Dunes Holiday Party Save the Dunes will have its holiday party from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at Barker House, 444 Barker Road, Michigan City. The gathering, designed as a thank you to members, donors and partners, features cider, wine, beer and finger food. Visit to make a reservations. Since 1950

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Page 30

December 12, 2013

Activities to Explore


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In the Local Area: December 12 — Michigan City Area Schools “One City, One Sound” concert, 7 p.m., Michigan City High School gymnasium, 8466 Pahs Road. Free admission. Requested donation of new soap products (personal hygiene/household cleaning) for Sand Castle Shelter. Monetary donations also accepted. December 12-16 — At Vickers Theatre: The 2-D version of “Mariinsky Theatre: The Nutcracker Ballet.” Times: 7 p.m. Thurs. and 3 p.m. Sun. Cost: adults/$15, seniors and students/$12. “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Belgium’s official submission to the Academy Award’s Foreign Language Film category. Not rated. In Flemish and English with English subtitles and American bluegrass music. Times: 6 p.m. Fri.-Mon. “12 Years a Slave,” Steve McQueen’s fact-based story that’s been called “essential cinema.” Rated R. Times: 9 p.m. Fri.-Sun., also 1:30 p.m. Sat. with discussion by Professor Judd Chesler. Exhibiting in December: Wendy Gerick’s acrylic paintings. Vickers Theatre, 6 N. Elm St., Three Oaks, MI. December 12-14 — Two one-act plays, “Babe, The Sheep Pig”/“Redheaded Robin’s Christmas Story,” La Porte Little Theatre Club, 218 A St. Tickets: $12. Times: 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat./2 p.m. Sun. Reservations: (219) 362-5113. December 12-15 — “A Christmas Carol,” Footlight Theatre, 1705 Franklin St. Times: 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Tickets: $12/adults, $10 youth 12 and younger. The event is a fundraiser. No patron cards accepted. Reservations: (219) 8744035. Info: December 13 — Purdue University-North Central American Sign Language Club ASL Coffeehouse, 5-7:30 p.m., Uptown Café, 1400 E. Lincolnway, Valparaiso. Info: December 13 — Storytelling and dance party, 8:30 p.m. EST, The Acorn Theatre, 107 Generations Drive, Three Oaks, Mich. Tickets: $10. Info/reservations: (269) 756-3879/ December 13 — Valparaiso University annual Advent Christmas Vespers service, 7 and 10 p.m., VU Chapel of the Resurrection. Admission: free, but advanced-seating tickets required. Call (219) 4645093, Ext. 6. December 14 — Ninth annual cookie walk, 9-11:30 a.m., St. Luke United Lutheran Church, 2000 E. Coolspring Ave. December 14 — Northwest Indiana Green Drinks in Michigan City meeting, 6:30 p.m., reserved room at Shoreline Brewery, 208 Wabash St., Michigan City. Suggested donation: $5/$2 for students. Info: (219) 874-6809. December 14 — Free stained glass tour, 1-3 p.m., five historic Michigan City sites. Info: 878-1835. December 14 — Michigan City Chamber Mu-


December 12, 2013 sic Festival concert with violinist Zofia Glashauser and violist Aleksandra Holowka, 3 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 121 W. Ninth St., Michigan City. Free-will donations. Info: (219) 561-1939/[email protected] December 14 — United Methodist Women “Christmas Extravaganza,” 9 a.m.-2 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 121 E. Seventh St. Info: (219) 872-7200. December 14 —Showing of “Michigan Beer Film,” 7 p.m. EST, The Acorn Theatre, 107 Generations Drive, Three Oaks, Mich. Tickets: $13. Info/ reservations: (269) 756-3879/ December 14 — Christmas celebration by Scandiana Lodge, Sons of Norway, Westchester Public Library, 100 W. Indiana Ave., Chesterton. Social hour: 5:30 p.m./dinner: 6 p.m. Info: (219) 221-6641/ (219) 324-2327. December 14 — 19th Annual La Porte Hospital Foundation Holiday at the POPS, 7 p.m., La Porte Civic Auditorium, 1001 Ridge St. Balcony tickets: $10/adults, $5/children 12 and younger. Reservations: December 14-15 — Candy Cane Express, Hesston Steam Museum, 1201 E. County Road 1000N, La Porte. Trains: noon-5 p.m. Breakfast: 8 a.m. Santa’s arrival: 11:30 a.m. Admission: free. Train tickets: $5/adults, $3/children 3-12, free/children 3 and younger. Info: (219) 778-2783/ December 14-15 — Annual Holiday Open House, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Independent Cat Society, 4061 S. County Line Road, Westville. Info: (219) 785-4936. December 15 — Monday Musicale free concert, “The Music of the Holidays,” 3 p.m., meeting room at Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. Fourth St. December 16 — Free David Lahm-hosted open mic, 8 p.m. EST, The Acorn Theatre, 107 Generations Drive, Three Oaks, Mich. Signup: 6 p.m., then rehearsal. Info: (269) 756-3879/ December 17 — Community Center Christmas, 6 p.m., Long Beach Community Center, 2501 Oriole Trail. Free hour of Christmas music: 7 p.m. Farther Afield: December 13 — Anne Hills with accompanist David Lahm and special guest, local cellist Greg Ladewski, 7:30 p.m. EST, The Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St., St. Joseph, Mich. Tickets: VIP seats/$20; regular seating: $15/general admission, $10 seniors/students. Reservations: (269) 983-3688. December 14 — “Fired Up!” Exhibit/Demonstrations, 6-8 p.m. EST, Water Street Glassworks, 140 Water St., Benton Harbor, Mich. Info: (269) 925-5555. December 14 — Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra/Citadel Symphony Chorus “Jingle Bells Forever” holiday concert, 7:30 p.m. EST, Mendel Center Mainstage at Lake Michigan College, 2755 E. Napier, Benton Harbor, Mich. Tickets/info: (269) 982-4030/


HolidayHappenings 9,6,76$17$‡Dec 21 & 22, 1–4pm +2/,'$