2014 is coming to a close, and before we move on to a new year, let's take a moment to look back on all of the highlights that made this year special. So much took place that it was hard to choose, but here are the Top 10 Community Articles that ValpoLife is proud to display. We got to be part of all of these great moments with you, and we can't wait to be part of more in the years to come.
Take a look below to see the best that 2014 had to offer!
1. Groundbreaking Held for Central Park Plaza Expansion
It was an exciting, beautiful Monday afternoon in downtown Valparaiso as the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Central Park Plaza expansion. John Seibert, Valpo Parks Department Director, welcomed everyone to the jubilant occasion. Along with attentive, inquisitively joyful community members and representatives of the Urschel family, many city and county leaders were present.
2. Residents Share Ideas for Future of Valpo
The second of three initial 'Big Idea' workshops as part of the Valpo Next project took place Tuesday at Grace Chapel with several ideas being tossed out by the 100 or so involved residents in attendance.
3. Calvary Church Father's Day Celebration
The sounds of worship filled Central Park Plaza in the heart of downtown Valparaiso Sunday morning for Calvary Church's Father's Day service. Families gathered to praise God through prayer and song on the beautiful sunny morning.
4. Stars Shine Bright at Valpo Parks Foundation's "Party in the Park"
On the shore of beautiful Spectacle Lake in Rogers-Lakewood Park, friends and supporters of the Valpo Parks Foundation gathered at the "Party in the Park," a benefit to support the rebuilding of ValPLAYso Park - Next Generation!
5. At Last, ValPLAYso A Reality for Generations to Come
FINALLY!!!! The day that children in Valparaiso and Porter County have been anxiously awaiting! At 10 a.m. on Monday morning, after 2950 volunteers worked approximately16,350 hours in a 7-day period, ValPLAYso - The Next Generation! was officially opened. Excitement filled the air as jubilant children scampered from one station to the next trying out all the new "really cool and fun" playground equipment. The setting was perfect on a beautiful fall day and the playground was packed as many of the children had the day off, thanks to the Valparaiso Community School's fall break.
6. Making the Memory of Emma Live On and Love On
A little gurgling bundle was cradled in the arms of Amelia Kowalisyn as she sat on the sofa in her Valparaiso home. Her husband, Joe, looked on with pride at his newborn son, Alex, and calmed their dog, Max, as he was excited to have and protect this new little human that just came into his home.
7. Local Fallen Heroes Honored at Sapper Six Memorial Run
Shortly before the race was set to start, the event was threatened by a tornado warning, high winds and a sudden torrential rain. It seemed as though the race would not be happening! As the the storm quickly passed and the clouds opened up to let the sun shine through, the dedicated, vigilant crowd reappeared, and the race would go on!
8. Northview Elementary Celebration
The students of Northview Elementary School in Valparaiso were excited to celebrate their three championships in the Spell Bowl, Math Bowl, and Science Bowl this year at the state competitions. To honor their victories, the teachers and staff at Northview put together an afternoon at Central Park Plaza on Friday. All of the students ate lunch and clapped on their fellow classmates who competing in the three different bowls.
9. VHS Students Honored for Earning College Scholarships from Local Organizations
Applause and congratulations filled the Valparaiso High School Auditorium Wednesday evening as the Class of 2014 and their parents celebrated the school's Scholarship Awards Night. Seniors received scholarships from community and school organizations to help lessen their financial burden as they further their educations at the college level.
10. "The Many Faces of Hilltop" Showcased at Open House
Hilltop Neighborhood House invited the public to an open house on the evening of August 6th to let the community see what it's calling "The Many Faces of Hilltop." The Hilltop Neighborhood House gave tours of the Hilltop facility, provided refreshments, and invited its staff to tell stories about the benefits that Hilltop brings to the children it teaches and to the community.