Top 10 community articles on Valpo.Life in 2022

Top 10 community articles on Valpo.Life in 2022
By: Ashley Spargo, Aubrey Thomson, Autum Meyers, Courtney Hamrick, Curtis Hankins, Damon Modglin, Josh Daniels, Lauren Grasham, Madison Dinga, Nick Poulos Last Updated: December 22, 2022

If there’s one word that could be used to describe the people, places, feelings, experiences, things, and overall vibe of the Region, it’d be community. Our individual, collective, and shared communities are what make our Region so special, and in 2022, we published a lot of content surrounding communities.

Whether it was making kids smile, bringing awards to the most deserving, hard-working people, volunteering for a cause we care about, celebrating what it means to be together, or anything in between, we all felt a sense of community this year in one way or another.

In no particular order, here are the top 10 community articles on Valpo.Life to recap the good news in 2022!

McAfee partners with Make-A-Wish to make a little girl’s dream come true

You’re given the chance to make one wish for anything in the world. With so many options out there, what would your one wish be?

For seven-year-old East Chicago Make-A-Wish kid Amelia, the answer was simple: a puppy.

VNA Hospice NWI helps families remember loved ones at Stroll for Hospice Event

On Sunday, May 1st, Central Park Plaza, Home to the Northwest Health Amphitheater in downtown Valparaiso was packed with families who came to remember their loved ones at the annual VNA Hospice of Northwest Indiana Stroll for Hospice event. Held every year on the first Sunday in May, families of all sizes from around the area gather for the fun, activity-filled event with raffles, a bounce house, food, and much more. Even with the drizzling rain and frigid winds, the turnout was fantastic for VNA Hospice.

“People are here today that are walking in memory of somebody, and it’s just a fun way for people to remember loved ones," said VNA Hospice CEO Bob Franko.

Valpo Parks announces huge plans for the City’s parks

On February 23, community members of Valparaiso, the Valparaiso Parks Department, and city officials gathered in Valparaiso City Hall to share their plan to enhance parks all across the city. Valpo Parks conducted over 30 focus groups with over 200 participants and sent out surveys with over 2000 responses from residents of Valparaiso in order to see what people wanted most from the city’s parks. After going through all of the data, Valpo Parks came up with the Valpo For All Generations initiative. 

Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy kicked off the presentation by explaining why a project like this is necessary for the city.

Tails were wagging everywhere for Lakeshore Paws Pup Crawl 2022

On June 18, Lakeshore Paws partnered with Century 21 Alliance Group to host their 2022 Pup Crawl in Downtown Valparaiso. The Pup Crawl is a massive fundraiser for the nonprofit organization, and it's their largest one of the year. Lakeshore Paws is mainly volunteer-run and the event would not have been possible without their contributions.

Eric Liss is currently one of the board members for Lakeshore Paws, initially having been a volunteer for the organization alongside his daughter 11 years ago before coming onto the board. Liss already knew he loved what he was doing at Lakeshore Paws and took on more responsibilities through the years which led him up to the point he is now.

Valparaiso Culver’s New Kids’ Nights are a great way to have some family fun

Valparaiso Culver’s has officially started another exciting event series for the Valparaiso community: Kids’ Nights. On Tuesday, August 9, kids and their families got to come out and enjoy all kinds of games and prizes at Valpo Culver’s first official Kids’ Night. Along with the games, there was face painting, balloon animals, sidewalk chalk drawing, and a photo booth for everyone to get silly with. Not to mention, the price of kids' meals was lowered to $3.99 for kids 12 and under dining in.

 Lizz Remington, the owner of Valparaiso Culver’s, was thrilled to hold a Kids’ Night for her customers. The Valpo Culver’s team has done a few other small events in the past, but this is the first one they were able to spread the word for and make into a larger event. 

NIPSCO teams up with Opportunity Enterprises for Charity of Choice Campaign

NIPSCO employees stopped by Opportunity Enterprises (OE) in Valpo on Wednesday, August 31 to volunteer their time and help clean the inside and outside of OE’s vehicles.

OE is a nonprofit organization that serves those with developmental disabilities to help them live life to their best potential. Community integration is a major part of helping these individuals have fulfilling lives, which is made possible through OE’s bus and vehicle transportation system. 

Downtown, development, parks, and community engagement make City of Valpo a “Star of Northwest Indiana”

Growing up in downtown Valparaiso, Mayor Matt Murphy would ride bikes downtown with his friends to catch the latest movies and sip milkshakes from Harvey’s. He has seen the downtown grow immensely since then and, as Mayor, he is leading the charge toward future improvements downtown and throughout the City of Valparaiso.

Murphy aims to build upon the character and history of Valparaiso’s downtown, expanding opportunities for the things people enjoy – places to shop, dine, and live. He wants to make sure Valparaiso is sending signals that it is the City where people want to invest and raise a family, and he believes that starts with the downtown.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana opens the doors of its new Valparaiso facility

Boys & Girls Club is a national organization that gives children of all ages a safe place to develop and continue their learning, even through the summer. There are 10 club locations in Northwest Indiana that have all helped form the children of the Region into outstanding citizens. That is why its new and improved Valparaiso location is such an important accomplishment for the area.

On Wednesday, June 29, the Valparaiso Club held its official ribbon cutting ceremony, marking the official opening of the location. Friends, family, donors, and stakeholders all gathered to celebrate their huge accomplishment.

Over 1000 volunteers spread across the Region for United Way of Northwest Indiana’s Annual Day of Caring

Over 1000 volunteers spread out across the Region on Friday, August 5 to help complete projects for dozens of nonprofits as part of United Way of Northwest Indiana’s Annual Day of Caring.

Public parks, animal rescue services, education centers, women’s shelters, and many, many, more organizations all received helping hands in what United Way calls Northwest Indiana’s single largest day of volunteerism.

Indiana Beverage celebrates 30 years of fundraising with St. Jude

Every year since 1992, Indiana Beverage has partnered with its local distributors and Coors Light to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Each year, the fellowship of fundraisers has managed to raise over $60k annually for the treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

“Every person knows someone impacted by cancer or a life-threatening disease,” said Indiana Beverage Brand Manager Liza Hilliard. “In addition to providing top-notch care, St. Jude also shares the most up-to-date science with other doctors to help improve outcomes for everyone that is impacted.”