Chesterton Tribune

Photos: Goldak honored for tsunami relief Kroeger is Citizen of the Year

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Citizen of Year/Renovation Award: The Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce presented special awards on Wednesday afternoon at the Library Service Center. Pictured left to right, Linda Ramsey of Horizon Bank receives a plaque for renovation of their newly purchased and renovated building for Horizon Bank on Hwy 49 and Porter Ave. Pictured in center Chamber Director Bonnie Trout is shown presenting awards. Eric Kroeger received the Citizen of the Year award by the Chamber for all his hard work including developing and establishing CHIP (Chesterton Home Improvement Program) as well as much more.

(Tribune photo by Dana Gilbertson)

Humanitarian Award: Kim Goldak, community member received the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce Humanitarian Award for her efforts in raising money throughout the community and forming a committee to help restore lives and livelihoods to the devastated town of Chennai, destroyed by the tsunami. Presenting Kim with this Humanitarian award is Jim Anton. (Tribune photo by Dana Gilbertson)



Local resident Kim Goldak was honored Wednesday at the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce Luncheon with a Humanitarian of the Year Award, highlighting her commitment to raise funds for tsunami relief.

This disastrous event touched the life of Goldak in a particular way. She is mother to two daughters. One biological and one sponsored through the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) in India.

During Christmas break from college, Goldak’s biological daughter was on her way to Phuket, but, due to delays was spared from the tsunami in Southern Thailand by less than an hour.

Her sponsored daughter lives in Southern India in a town called Chennai, which was heavily impacted by the tsunami.

At the time Goldak only knew that 6,000 people had been killed. The people of Chennai have little to begin with, no electricity or indoor plumbing and most cook on wood burning stoves.

In January Goldak went to the Chamber office with an idea for Chesterton to adopt the city of Chennai and raise funds to help restore lives and livelihoods to the devastated areas.

A committee was formed by Goldak along with Joe Ennis, of Ennis Builders, Jim Anton and Bonnie Trout, representing the Chamber.

A total of $18,169.75 was collected and sent to the CFCA. The majority of the monies raised were through Kim’s efforts, with $11,000 given by the company her husband works for, Mann Financial Group and a donation of $2,934.75 from several of the Duneland Schools.

Many were moved by the horrific disaster, but Goldak took it one step further by doing something constructive about it.

Citizen of the Year Award

Eric Kroeger’s enthusiasm and organizational skills as he has applied them to the Main Street Committee of the Chamber of Commerce have led to positive changes for the community.

Kroeger developed a strategic plan and then established the Chesterton Home Improvement Program known as CHIP.

He recruited others interested in improving the community, created various committees and CHIP organized the first annual town clean-up day in May of last year, with over 125 volunteers and donations of more than $4,500.

Volunteers painted the bridge on Porter Avenue and the bandstand in Thomas Park, cleaned up the park and added new landscaping around the bandstand.

The CHIP committee also replaced the planter in front of the Chamber office. During the second annual cleanup day this past May, major changes were accomplished. Landscaping was added beside Indian Boundary Road, along with banners and a directional sign with funds provided by the Chesterton Rotary Club.

Landscaping was also installed at the Chesterton Town Hall and plantings throughout the Downtown area. More than $14,000 in fundraising and over 135 volunteers helped achieve these accomplishments.

Future plans include an additional welcome sign and signage at Porter Avenue & SR49, the addition of a fountain in Thomas Park and an engineering study for the Calumet Triangle.

Kroeger has been able to accomplish all of these achievements along with many volunteers and his wife Lauren, who was very instrumental in talking to the railroad people and getting their okay to landscape on their property at Calumet and Indian Boundary Road.

Kroeger is the owner of Waretech, Inc. in Chesterton. For the past three years he has also worked on the Brummitt Improvement Committee and helped organize the ALS Driving for Life Fundraiser.

The Duneland Community is very fortunate to have Kroeger, who has helped to make the area a better and more attractive place to live and work.

New Construction

Cliff Fleming’s The Villages of Burns Harbor was created to recapture the feeling of a neighborhood where kids grow up together, can go the park, play ball or ride their bikes; where neighbors knew one another.

The Villages of Burns Harbor has modern, well-constructed homes designed with practicality, built in a neighborhood that it is hoped will inspire the same neighborliness Fleming remembers.

Developer Fleming and his partner Joel Carney, along with builder Vic Roberts, are creating the Villages of Burns Harbor, a community of about 240 homes, located off Highway 20 just west of 149.

The new WiseWay store was also awarded a New Construction Award. At 65,000 square feet, the new facility includes expanded Meat, Seafood and Produce Sections. Also, a Floral Section to handle special occasions, as well as FTD orders. The Organic Department handles over 3,600 items. They also have a Bakery and Deli, Wine & Beer section and a Gourmet section.

The award was presented to Don Weiss, Owner and Rick Green Store Manager.

Another New Construction Award winner was First National Bank for its Express Office, to compliment their full service office, located at 1500 South Calumet Road.

Customers who utilize the new office will have the convenience of extended banking hours in the lobby and drive-in which opens at 6:30 a.m.

First National Bank has been a family owned Bank since 1889. They currently have 23 offices and employ approximately 246 employees. Accepting the award was David Perry, Vice President and Regional Manager.

Renovation Awards

The Red Cup Café & Deli, run by Kelly BruBaker, won a Renovation Award. BruBaker opened the Red Cup Café & Deli, located in one half of Duneland Pizza in March of this year.

BruBaker had the original concept and her partner Tony Klassen did all the woodworking, designed the logo and built the new outside deck. Red Cup Café specializes in Kelly’s coffee cakes and offers soups, sandwiches, salads, cookies, scones, and brownies along with organic teas and a full range of coffee drinks.

The second Renovation Award went to Horizon Bank, which purchased the former Century 21 Estates building on July 15, 2002. The building was built in 1973 and had been several different businesses over the years prior to Horizon Bank’s purchase.

Horizon worked through the zoning board to receive a variance allowing a drive up to be built.

Renovations included interior renewal, new stucco siding, windows, HVAC, metal roof, parking lot paving, landscaping and fence along US Highway 49 and Porter Avenue. The renovations took into consideration the residential neighborhood in which the building is located.

Premier lighting and signage was designed to minimize disruption to the neighbors that in and around the community.


Posted 7/28/2005