Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County President Announces Retirement at Steak & Burger Dinner

Steak-Burger-Dinner-2012-1Guests of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County 13th Annual Steak & Burger Dinner gathered to celebrate the close of the organization’s 40th anniversary celebration and enjoy a meal with youth members of the Clubs. As they enjoyed the organization’s reflection of the past 40 years, they also learned about a change coming in the Clubs’ future. After 36 years of leading the youth service organization, Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County President Chuck Leer announced that he plans to retire in March of next year.

Chuck’s leadership and vision have impacted countless people in our communities during the last 36 years,” said Nick Arnold, Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County Board of Directors Chair. “He will be greatly missed and we wish him nothing but the best as he turns the page to start a new chapter in his life.”

The 13th Annual Steak & Burger and Silent Auction was held at Valparaiso University’s Harre Union on October 15, 2012 and is one of the biggest annual fundraisers for Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County. This year’s Dinner and Silent Auction raised over $33,000 for the organization which will be used to provide programs and services for nearly 5,000 youth members in Porter County. Steak & Burger Dinners are a unique Boys & Girls Clubs of America tradition designed to bring community and business leaders and Boys & Girls Club members together for a fun filled evening. Each table is shared by adults and Club members to offer the unique opportunity for both to share stories and a meal together. At this unique dinner, the Club members are served steaks and everyone else eats burgers. Club members who attend the dinner were rewarded with boxes of chocolate dipped fruit, courtesy of Edible Arrangements of Valparaiso.

Another long-standing tradition with Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County Steak & Burger Dinner is the Club member bike raffle. Ten lucky Club members won brand new bicycles and helmets at the Dinner, thanks to generous donors. Two Men and A Truck of Valparaiso donated their services to transport the bicycles to and from multiple locations.

Guest speaker, renowned basketball handler Jim “Basketball” Jones, delighted guests and Club members with fantastic and engaging basketball tricks. His message of determination and fortitude left everyone believing “I can and I will!”.

Steak-Burger-Dinner-2012-2Many of the guests remarked that this year’s Steak & Burger Dinner was one of the most enjoyable in the Dinner’s 13-year history. Stephanie Oberlie of Michigan City, a first time guest, remarked “We had a great time with the kids at our table. They were an absolute joy to be with. It was truly an amazing experience.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County is grateful to all of the wonderful volunteers who helped make the event run seamlessly and to the companies and individuals who sponsored the 13th Annual Steak & Burger Dinner, especially Porter Regional Hospital, the event’s Presenting Sponsor.

Serving youth since 1971, Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County provides after school and summer programs for nearly 5,000 boys & girls in grades K-12 in the areas of academic success, good character & citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County has club sites located in Valparaiso, South Haven, Chesterton and Portage. Kidstop, a program provided by Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, delivers high quality before and after school child care delivered in an environment of education, guidance and fun at nine sites located throughout Porter County.

For more information on membership, volunteer opportunities or to make a tax deductible donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, please contact your local Club, call (219) 464-7282 or visit Great Futures Start HERE.


  • Ten Club members won new bicycles and helmets at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County Steak & Burger Dinner thanks to generous donors. Pictured: back row (l-r) Kevin Wissing, Kimberly Wadkins, Fatima Mahmoud, Rebecca Piatek, Dana Nguyen; front row (l-r) Maya Renko, Darius GoShay, Tommy Russell, Tyler Polarnek, Charlie Hofferth
  • Jim “Basketball” Jones performs a basketball trick with the assistance of Club member Josef Ivory