Porter-Starke and Jaws; Odd Combination but Really Good

By: Ryan McCormick Last Updated: July 15, 2010

1975. It seems like it was just yesterday when Glen Campbell sang the “Rhinestone Cowboy”, Saturday Night Live debuted for the first time on NBC, and President Gerald Ford led our nation out from under the Watergate affair. Times have changed but they really haven’t. That’s why Porter-Starke Services has strived to be such a constant in the Valparaiso and Porter County community by offering mental health and addictions services for 35 years as of this year, 2010. "Nineteen seventy-five was the year when a bunch of concerned citizens from Valparaiso came together and thought opening a community mental heath center would be a really good idea," explained Bob Franko, Vice President of Porter-Starke Services. "And 35 years later, here we are at Porter-Starke Services."

And that’s why Porter-Starke is celebrating by participating along with many other sponsors* in the showing of the movie, Jaws, which frightened numerous audiences across the county back with its inception in 1975. Many other movies will be showing throughout the summer on every Tuesday evening starting roughly at dusk located in Central Park in downtown Valparaiso. Here is a list of them for the rest of the summer:

July 20 – Monsters vs. Aliens
July 27 – Back to the Future
August 3 – Imagine That
August 10 – Star Trek

With many successful movie nights so far, the showing of Jaws was no exception. Kids and families came early to socialize and play catch as the sun was setting to make for a breathtaking sunset. Many people also brought their dinners with them, and Valpo Velvet was there to help people finish out their meals with some delicious ice cream. “I definitely think the downtown is getting hipper,” said Kathy Brown, owner of Valpo Velvet, as if the thought had just struck her. “With what the Parks [Valparaiso Parks Department] and the VCFE [Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events] are doing, it’s definitely a cool, free event.”

Although there are many sponsors, someone has to do the work of setting up the approximately 15-foot screen and sound system and that was left for the Valparaiso Parks Department. Fleetwood Young of the Parks said, “[The event] is really awesome especially since it’s free and entertaining.” Drew Zromkoski, co-worker with Young, said, “It’s a great event that builds up the community.” And Rachel Hurley, who works primarily outdoors for the Parks Department, said, “It’s really good for the vendor [Valpo Velvet] to get business, and I’m sure it gets downtown restaurants more exposure as well.”

There’s only four more Movies in the Park for the summer so be sure to catch one, two, or all four at Central Park, located at the corner of Indiana and Lafayette!

Porter-Starke Services currently employ over 200 staff and serve over 9,000 people on a yearly basis. If you would like to learn more about Porter-Starke, please go to www.porterstarke.org or give them a call at (219) 531-3500.

* Other sponsors for Movies in the Park are the city of Valparaiso, Comcast, Duffy's Place, Sandberg's Service Center, Town and Country Market, and Valpo Velvet.

To see some fun photos from the night at Movies in the Park where Jaws was shown, click here.

To see a video from the event, click here.