Senior Award honorees: The Chesterton Duneland Chamber
of Commerce honored Joan and Loren Knibbs with the Senior Award at Friday
evening’s banquet. Pictured, left to right, are Loren Knibbs, Joan Knibbs
and Chamber executive director Bonnie Trout. The Knibbs, since retiring to
the Duneland area, have become active volunteers in a variety of community
service activities, including the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry, the
Duneland Resale Shop and the Medical Closet, a free medical equipment loan
project they organized. (Tribune photo by Margaret L. Willis)
Athena Award: The Athena Award, given to a woman who
exemplifies the best of her profession combined with community activism, was
presented to Jean Phelps at the Duneland Chamber of Commerce winter banquet.
Pictured here are Sue Edds, 2002 Athena Award winner, and the 2005 award
winner Jean Phelps. (Tribune photo by Margaret L. Willis)
By MARGARET L. WILLIS
The threat of winter weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the Chesterton
Duneland Chamber members Friday evening, as they gathered to honor members
and community activists.
The annual Senior Award was presented to a senior couple who are “most
deserving,” said chamber executive director Bonnie Trout.
Joan and Loren Knibbs, since moving from Chicago to the Duneland community
in their retirement, have been involved in Friends of the Indiana Dunes, the
Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry and the Duneland Harvest Festival.
They’ve worked with Habitat for Humanity and have helped staff events at the
Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center and volunteered at the Duneland
United Churches Resale Shop.
The Knibbs also have organized donations of medical equipment, such as
crutches and walkers, canes, etc. and offer these for use free of charge
through the Medical Closet.
“When others retire, thoughts of travel, golf and family often become
priorities; but for Joan and Loren it has been volunteer service. Through
their affiliation with the Porter United Methodist Church, the Westchester
Neighbors Food Pantry, Friends of the Dunes, the Dunes State Park and the
National Lakeshore, they have provided hours of community service,” said
“The contributions that Joan and Loren have made since moving to the
Duneland community are truly significant.”
The Senior Award is underwritten by Ashley’s Jewelry by Design, designed by
The Athena Award, underwritten by the Arnell Auto Group, honors women who
attain the highest level of personal and professional accomplishments;
celebrating the contributions of all women as members and leaders of the
This year’s recipient, Jean Phelps, “personifies the definition of Athena,”
said presenter Sue Edds.
In her business, Express Personnel Services, she uses her bubbly personality
to encourage other to do their best toward future success.
Phelps’ business provides service in Porter County and outside the county as
well, and Phelps is active in other community efforts, but since she’s a
local resident, “we claim her as our own,” said Edds.
Phelps has served on the Chamber board of directors, the golf outing
committee and awards committee. She is also active in the Duneland Exchange
Club, where she has served on the board of directors, as president and
originator and chairperson of the Talent Show and Neighborhood Watch
Program. She is also active musically in her church.
“Excellence is her goal and she dedicates herself to giving her professional
best and her personal best,” added Edds.