#1StudentNWI: Chesterton celebrates July and honor student’s passing

#1StudentNWI: Chesterton celebrates July and honor student’s passing
By: Claire Bailey Last Updated: July 23, 2019

What has happened?

On July 1st, at sunset 13,000 community members gathered at the Indiana State Park’s beachfront to see the annual fireworks show. 

“The firework show is really just a celebration of our country that not only brings families closer seeing the fireworks but also gives them a day to have fun at the beach,” said President of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, Maura Durham.

The event is one of the biggest events of the year for the entire Duneland community.

“This event was a combination effort on many fronts,” Durham said. “The event did cost the fee that it takes to get into the state park, but the event was a multi-town effort from Chesterton, Porter, and Burns Harbor. We worked with our chamber members to invite some of our food vendors to the area.”

One of the main goals of this event is to have fun and view some very pretty fireworks, but the biggest goal of the night is to make sure all community members and wildlife remain safe. 

“We work with the fire departments and police departments, as well as the parks service, state park service, and the conservation officers to make sure everything and everyone is safe,” Durham said.

Devon James Allen Siewen - November 24, 1999-July 14, 2019

Devon was a bright shining star of the Chesterton community and was on his way to becoming an even brighter star at Purdue University. Devon loved to snowboard and wakeboard, both of which he was very good at. His favorite place, was at Cotter Arkansas, where he would enjoy some of his other favorite activities such as fishing and camping.

Devin passed away on his way to a camping trip at the hot springs in Colorado with his friends.  He will be known as the type of person who cherished his friends and family.

Devin will be greatly missed by his friends, his community, and mostly by his family. His beautiful soul shined so bright that it touched so many people’s lives in the 19 years that the Earth was so very lucky to have him.

The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 25  and visitation will be on Wednesday, July 24 from 2:00-8:00 p.m. at the Valparaiso Nazarene Church.

There is a Gofundme being held in order to raise money for the memorial services and the family is currently working on setting up a scholarship fund in Devon Siewin’s name through his Psi Kappa Psi Fraternity at Purdue University.

Community Member Spotlight:

Cynthia Shelhart performed her annual solo harp concert at the Baugher Center on July 19th. 

“I started it in 2000,” Shelhart said. “The library has been kind to let me come back and perform every year.”

The event was free to all listeners and has been an annual event for nearly two decades.

Her concert brought many community members together to hear beautiful music and support one of their many talented local musicians.

“I love connecting with my hometown audience,” Shelhart said. “I moved here in 2000 and this has been my hometown ever since.”

Music is one way that people connect. Connecting by playing music, listening to music, or even just enjoying music. Music also forms a connection between the audience and the performer. 

“The big thing is connection. An easy was to connect with your community is to connect with your neighbors, there’s no better way to start,” Shelhart said. “Doing things like this and connecting with the people in your hometown is not only important it is necessary.”

The concert is a hit within the Chesterton community and will be sure to continue on for many years. If you missed Cynthia’s performance, be sure to check out the next year’s annual harp performance.

What is happening?

On August 3-4, 2019, the Chesterton Art Center is hosting the annual Art Fair for the Duneland community. The event is taking place at Dogwood park. Admission is 5$ per day or 7$ for both days. Art Fair T-Shirts will be on sale at the Chesterton Art Center prior to the art fair itself.

“We are selling T-Shirts that have this square in the back that people can paint on,” Marie Englehart, Administrative Assistant at Duneland School Corporation said. “The T-Shirt itself is $20 but if you wear it to the event you get free admission and an entry in the raffle if you stop by the hospitality booth.”

This event is not only offering an opportunity to experience new art and culture, but is also giving people the opportunity to bring those same pieces home with them. 

“We are having a raffle at the hospitality booth for local artists’ artwork,” said Englehart. “We are also offering a children’s art experience stand.” 

This event isn’t just a few artists, the art fair is welcoming more than 80 street artists to the Chesterton community. 

“Our artists come from all over the country and we have a great media experience here,” Englehart said. “You can find anything from paintings to crafts, or from photography to jewelry.”