With the recent completion of ValPlayso Park in Valparaiso, many people have taken to it. Adults who remember the first ValPlayso build when they were kids, young children who got to be part of the process, families, community leaders, and more took a step up to help make a city landmark remarkable.
Of the many who lent a hand, Peggy Hood, owner of Kelsey’s Steak House in Valparaiso, made has a special interest in the park. She recently donated $25,000 to help with its completion and upkeep. She was prompted to help out when she saw the newly completed park.
“I’ve always loved ValPlayso and I felt like it was something that that good for the community and what Valpo is all about,” Hood said. “My husband and I would take our grandchildren there and I wanted to do it in his memory.”
Hood’s late husband, Jack Hood, was a loving father and grandfather. He and Peggy raised their family in Valparaiso and Peggy felt that giving back to the city was the right thing to do.
“Valpo has been good to us and our restaurant,” she said. “The loyalty of the community members is amazing and I felt so strongly that this donation will be used in the community in the right ways.”
She was very impresses with the new and modern offerings that ValPlayso has. It’s handicap accessible and safer for play with special rubber floors.
“I really love that more kids are able to play there,” she said. “I was very impressed with how it looked and how safe it was.”
Other events that Kelsey’s holds is the annual Tip a Cop fundraiser that helps out the Valparaiso Police Department. Hood makes sure that with whatever philanthropic work that Kelsey’s does, she knows exactly where the money is going.
“I like to work with local businesses and organizations. This way, you know that everything stays local and the right people are getting the assistance they need,” she said. “There is so much here for families in Valpo. You feel safe and you can get to Chicago in 45 minutes and still be in a rural place. It’s a college town; a small town with the amenities of a great big city. I want so see the city continue to thrive.”