Chesterton Tribune


Town Council told Frontline Hooked on Art festival a huge success

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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 addiction.”

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 people.”

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 do.”

“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.

In Gratitude

Meanwhile, Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski read into the record a letter of gratitude from Ruth Antrim, addressed to all officials, department heads, and employees.

“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.”


Posted 10/24/2012