On August 22, 2011, hundreds of golfers and community supporters came together for an event that would not only be fun, but would help a great cause in raising money for the United Way of LaPorte County.
Chairman of the Board of United Way of LaPorte County, Fred McNulty, was in attendance along with Rich Mrozinski, President of the LaPorte County Council. McNulty referred to the United Way as "one of those connector agencies that we are blessed to serve with."
McNulty continued, "Where does the money go? It stays here in LaPorte County to serve the people of LaPorte County. Meals On Wheels alone serves 70,000 meals a year, now that's a lot of meals. When we have an 8%,9%,10%,12% unemployment rate, it can be difficult. It's easy to see suffering when a tsunami comes ashore, but we have suffering right here in LaPorte County."
Mrozinski got involved after seeing how the Red Cross, a member agency of United Way, operated. Mrozinski spent two tours in Vietnam and saw personally the Red Cross in action. He said "There is a need for agencies like United Way and the people connected to United Way. They do a good job, somebody's got to do it. It's a thing that is easy to ignore. We hear every day companies laying off, there are people that don't know if they are going to eat, or pay their NIPSCO bill, or can even pay $3.85 for a gallon of gas. If we don't help them, who will?"
Mrozinski stressed the need for volunteers. If you would like to volunteer or you need to contact the United Way of LaPorte County, visit www.unitedwaylpc.org
Blue Chip Casino and Hotel is a community sponsor of United Way. Ted Bogich, Vice President and General Manager of Blue Chip Casino and Hotel, said they got involved because they "believed in the mission".
"We at Blue Chip wanted to get involved to be able to channel resources to different agencies that do good work through United Way. We feel it is an efficient and effective way of having an impact on the community," explained Bogich. Blue Chip Casino and Hotel will be hosting a fundraiser in the fall in support of United Way called "Old Las Vegas". To find out more visit BlueChipCasino.com.
Bill Hanna, Executive Director of United Way LaPorte County, said "United Way funds 34 health and human services that cover from the cradle to the grave- everything including early childhood development to Meals On Wheels for seniors and everything in between."
A new program special to Hanna's heart is a program called "Success by 6".
"In 2010 United Way LaPorte County collaborated with it's sister counties Lake and Porter counties to establish a brand new childhood development initiative." stated Hanna. "We have come to learn social issues that manifest such as teen pregnancy, low graduation rates, chemical dependency, and homelessness have roots very early in formative years from birth to six. So the purpose of "Success by 6" is to better prepare our little people to have success in school."
It was a perfect day to be out on the golf course. There were great chances to win prizes too. Jeff Neilsen of Neilsen Kia and Subaru was on hand with General Manager Scott Pharr to show off two cars awarded to anyone who could hit a hole-in-one on holes #3 and #15. Jack Elia, Food and Beverage Manager from Blue Chip, first approached Nielsen Kia and Subaru with the idea. Pharr said "It was a no-brainer, this is a great cause and I wanted to help out."
One of the first teams out on the course was Mayor of the City of LaPorte, Kathy Chroback, Tom Fletcher, Jim Thorne and Andy Neal
Another foursome was Chairman of the Committee from Sullair, Mike O'Hanlon, Griffin O'Hanlon, Todd Schultz and Ryan Loeffler.
Special thanks to event sponsor Sullair, title sponsor Tonn And Blank Construction, and major sponsors Al's Supermarket, IU Health LaPorte Hospital, Franciscan St. Anthony Health Michigan City, Miller Lite, and Woodland Management Group, LLC, along with sponsors Blue Chip Casino and Hotel, Alcoa Howmet, LaPorte Castings, and many more hole sponsors for helping support a great local organization!