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
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.
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.
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
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
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.