The inaugural edition of the Hooked on Art festival—held on Saturday, Sept.
29, in Downtown Chesterton, to benefit Frontline Foundations—was by all
accounts a huge success.
And at Monday night’s Town Council meeting, Frontline Executive Director
Amber Hensell took a few moments from the floor to thank members, department
heads, and town employees for the help.
“We want to say thank-you for supporting us,” she said. “It was an amazing
turnout. It was great to see the community come together. So many different
players in the community stepped up. There were hundreds of people, lots of
positive feedback. We’re so thrilled and so grateful and so happy.”
Total net proceeds: around $14,000, Hensell said, enough to pay the way for
27 or 28 clients.
A principal Hooked on Art organizer, Brandi Raffin, noted that “real
excitement had been built for the event” and that all 26 of the vendors who
reserved space did in fact attend and stayed for the entire festival. One of
them, so happy about the results, has asked to sell her product on the
Frontline Foundations website, with the understanding that she would donate
half of her proceeds back to Frontline.
Raffin did make a couple of requests for next year’s edition of Hooked on
Art, scheduled again for the last weekend in September. First, Raffin asked
the council to consider making the festival a day-and-a-half in length,
essentially by allowing the live artists to set up shop on the Friday before
the Saturday and to begin working on their creations. “We’re confident that
we can get the artists,” she said.
Raffin also asked the council to consider waiving the vendor fee. “We’re
unlike any other festival,” she said. “This isn’t a money maker. We’re
trying to build recognition in the community of a national problem, drug
Members agreed to take Raffin’s requests under advisement.
Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd, did take note of the great work which Frontline
does, providing substance-abuse treatment for young adults. “This is an
invisible organization that helps young people with addiction issues,” he
said. “They’re under the radar but they do a tremendous job helping other
Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, remarked for his part that Sept. 29 was
“hopping” in the Downtown: with the European Market, Hooked on Art, and the
season’s final edition of Chesterton Cruise Night all converging to close
out the summer.
Flying the Flag
In other business, Pam Sanders, on behalf of American Legion Post 1701 in
Chesterton, asked members to consider a partnership under which the Legion
would provide U.S. flags and the appropriate mountings for flying the flag
from town lampposts.
Sanders plans to raise money for the project by selling memory combat boots
to local businesses.
Sanders added that the flags would go a long way to supporting this
community’s Armed Services members. “The one thing that bothers veterans the
most,” she said: “We don’t display the flag on lampposts and other cities
“I think it’s a worthy cause,” said Member Jim Ton, R-1st.
Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, promised Sanders that the matter would be
discussed at the next department head meeting.
Meanwhile, Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski read into the record a letter of
gratitude from Ruth Antrim, addressed to all officials, department heads,
“In today’s world rarely do you find anyone to return a phone call or
actually listen to a concern,” she wrote. “In my 20 years of being a
Chesterton resident I have found that (town officials and staffers), at one
time or another, have listened to my concerns and worked to resolve them. I
have composed this note of appreciation to be read publicly at a Town
Council meeting to recognize the kindness and consideration extended to me
over these 20 years.”
DeLaney took a moment at the end of the meeting to express his condolences
to the family of Loraine Bell, who died Friday, Oct. 19, at the age of 76.
“I would have liked to have gotten to know him better,” DeLaney said. “He’s
been an outstanding member in our community.”