#1StudentNWI: Cooking corn with Kiwanis in Valparaiso

#1StudentNWI: Cooking corn with Kiwanis in Valparaiso

What’s recently happened?

Valparaiso just recently had its annual Corn Roast Fest on August 6.

This event is very popular and for good reason. With live music, corn as well as other snacks, and games for the little kids, there’s something for everyone.

Noon Kiwanis, the Valparaiso non-profit service club, hosted this event. Tickets were sold for $30, and because it was a fundraiser, the money went toward a good cause.

"All profits go to the Valparaiso Kiwanis Club’s service fund and are donated back to the community," said a volunteer from the Kiwanis Indiana District.

Volunteers were just as vital to the success of the event as the people attending. Several Key Club members from different high schools like Boone Grove, Washington Township, and Valparaiso were there.

These volunteers helped out all throughout the Corn Roast, trying to make things run as smoothly as possible.

Some helped with setting up, some with corn chucking, and others with face painting and tattoos for children. In addition to this, there were a couple of games and a 50/50 raffle at the end.

"It was definitely a fun experience. I was on tattoo duty, so I got to talk to some very interesting kids. I also really enjoyed getting to meet Key Club members from other schools," said Keaira Murphy, a Key Club member at Boone Grove.

Overall, the event ended up being extremely successful. Memories were made, not only for the people who attended but for everyone involved.

What’s coming up?

As August rolls in, the new school year gets closer and closer every day. Boone Grove High School is starting its 2023-2024 school year on Wednesday, August 16.

Starting school again after a whole summer of being away can be scary, but Boone Grove is constantly striving for an environment that welcomes everyone.

On August 8, there was a new student/freshman orientation that gave students and their parents needed information and advice on the upcoming school year. There was an all-student orientation the next day that allowed past students to see their new classes, walk through their schedules, or find their lockers.

"We have 109 students in the freshman class," said James Rosinia, Associate Principal.

Along with students, there are a couple of additions to the school that everyone can look forward to, the main one being a new football field. Seeing as they previously had to have home games at Valparaiso High School and track practices at the middle school, many are excited about this change.

A number of people have been working on building the field since the beginning of summer, and the first football home game is set for September.

Along with the field come two other groups: the marching band and the color guard. Spots in these groups are already filling up with eager students.

"Originally, I was nervous to join the color guard because I'd never done something like it before, but my coach and teammates made me feel really comfortable. I’m excited to see how this year goes," said Juliana Dominguez, a senior and color guard member.

Even the drama department had work done over the summer to ensure that the productions this year were better than last.

"The Arts & Drama construction project on the stage, lighting, and sound was completed in the Aux gym over the summer," said Rosinia.

All in all, whether it be new things or old traditions, this 2023–2024 school year is sure to be full of great memories.

Community member spotlight:

Tim and Luisa Koedyker are the founders of Alpha Family Resale, a unique store that is dedicated to providing affordable items as well as giving back to the community. The store is located at 10763 Randolph St., Winfield, IN.

Tim Koedyker grew up in Cedar Lake, IN while Louisa Koedyker grew up in Mexico. 

"Even though there was a lot of distance between us, both of our parents raised us to think about others that were not as fortunate and to find ways to make a difference for those people," said Tim Koedyker.

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This shared value eventually led to the opening of Alpha. But before this store came into being, Tim Koedyker engaged in other activities that helped his community.

"I am currently a co-owner of NWI Print Pro, and we have always worked with local non-profit organizations to assist in their fundraising efforts by either donating services or money," said Tim Koedyker.

This sparked an interest in nonprofit organizations, which got Tim and Luisa Koedyker thinking. They both wanted to do something together that would help people in need.

"We decided to create a 501(c)3 resale store that was different from other stores in the area. A place where everyone feels welcome and where the store is clean and organized," said Tim Koedyker.

They wanted a place where people could find affordable items while also knowing that their purchases directly and positively impacted their community.

Tim and Luisa Koedyker continue to put hard work, dedication, and compassion into their store. Together, their small idea of helping others grew into something amazing.

"Through Alpha Family, my wife and I hope to inspire others to think about how their actions can positively impact those in need. Together, we believe that small acts of kindness can create a ripple effect, transforming lives and fostering a stronger, more connected society," said Tim Koedyker.