Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce Goes Hawaiian with 10th Annual LuWow

By: Barbara Jo Adkins Last Updated: August 6, 2011

Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce hosted it's 10th Annual "LuWow" at the Porter County Municipal Airport on August 5, 2011.  With the back-drop of small planes setting the mood, it made everyone feel as though they had just landed at a Hawaiian destination.  Guests were greeted as they entered the airport by Christy Lasowski and Lori Cassoday applying a "lay" around everyone's neck. Then, guests enjoyed a traditional LuWow while the sun set in the background.

Danielle Oeding with the Valpo Chamber said "We used to have this event on the rooftop of the government building on Napoleon Street. When we were not able to hold it there any longer, we wanted to find an unusual venue, so the last two years we've hosted the LuWow here at the Valparaiso Airport and it's a nice opportunity to showcase this airport."

Steve Prochaska, Assistant Chief Flight Instructor for the Porter County Municipal Airport, gladly opened the plane doors, allowing the guests to have a look inside the planes. Prochaska said "At the airport, we work with students, we expand and train the next generation of pilots.  We teach the future. We also offer a Discovery Flight, in which you can try your hand at the stick, see if you like it, and fly around Valpo." For more information, visit

Everyone who's who in business in Valpo was in attendance.  Medical Connections was there celebrating "25 years in business" said Elizabeth Stanley. Congratulations Medical Connections!

Kurt Gillins first Events Coordinator, now Program Director for the Valpo Chamber for the last six years, explained why he liked the LuWow event. "Of all the Chamber events, this is the most "layed" back of all.  Everyone gets to come and enjoy good food and good friends."

Rex Richards, President of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce said about the LuWow, "It is a really fun opportunity for people to get together casually and give our members a fun way to network.  We are so glad we had such nice weather for this."

Pikk's Tavern, was there too, offering up delicious Hawaiian delights such as roast pork, mahi-mahi steamed in banana leaves, hula hula chicken, aloha sweet potatoes as well as cold "island" salads. 

Paul Lo Duca, Owner-Proprietor of Pikks Tavern, was on hand as the Head Chef, carving up the succulent roast pork.  He said "don't forget the desert", which included a delicious Haupia (coconut flan), a Hawaiian pineapple upside-down cake with a special sauce and fresh cut pineapple.

Entertaining the crowd was the Max Allen Band, all the way from Indianapolis, IN.  The band is fresh off winning "Best Blues Band in Indianapolis," said Max AllenAllen was on vocals as well as playing guitar.  Also in the band were Shaan France on drums and Dace Robie on bass.

Protecting the public were Officers Tom Henderson and Jeremy Chavez from the Porter County Sheriff's Dept.

Directing the traffic in an orderly fashion was the Civil Air Patrol United States Air Force Auxiliary with Captain David L. Mallonee and First Lieutenant Joseph Coates, along with Jeremy Lunsford, 18 ,Thomas Setser, 14 ,Christian Burns, 13, and Jordan Chadwick, 13, all with the Civil Air Patrol.

There were many sponsors, including: Porter Health, Centier Bank, Tech Credit Union, Frontier Communications, Service Sanitation Inc., 1st Source Bank, Citizens Financial Bank, Comcast Business Services, Computer Services Inc., Harris N.A., Laciak Accountancy Group, NIPSCO, REGIONAL Federal Credit Union, The Times Media Company, and Uzelac and Associates.

It was a beautiful fun filled mini Hawaiian vacation for all in attendance!

To view or purchase photos from the LuWow, Click Here!