Archive for February, 2010

Whether helping with homework, coaching a sport or just listening, a mentor provides crucial support and guidance in the life of a young person.

Find out more about creating and participating in mentoring opportunities at Northwest Indiana’s first Mentoring Summit, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, at the Library Conference Center at Indiana University Northwest. Registration is $25 per person.

The Mentoring Summit, sponsored by Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation, will feature a keynote presentation by Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute and catalyst for the development of the Indiana Mentoring Partnership. The statewide initiative being rolled out this month aims to recruit mentors for children.

“Research shows that quality youth mentoring improves high-school graduation rates, reduces drug and alcohol use by youth, decreases bullying and incidents of fighting and involvement in crime among youth, and helps kids feel more confident and positive about their futures,” said Eddie Melton, community initiative officer for Legacy Foundation. “Our business and non-profit communities have an opportunity to create and support a rich variety of mentoring programs.”

Breakout sessions during the summit will include one directed at businesses and other entities interested in supporting mentoring, and one directed at individuals and organizations that are currently engaged in mentoring programs. Round-table discussions and lunch also are included.

The summit supports Legacy Foundation’s recently announced strategic focus on educational attainment. Project 100% focuses resources on increasing the number of Lake County students who graduate with a quality high-school degree and are college- or career-bound.

Legacy Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana and Geminus Corporation also have launched the Center for Mentors, which aims to improve educational achievement among at-risk groups.

For more information and registration for the Mentoring Summit, contact Tiffany White at (219) 757-1835 or Tiffany.White@geminus.org.

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Middle-school students in the East Chicago school system who are at risk for failing or retention find help and hope in a four-year-old after school program started by Pastor Darnell L. Johnson of Mt. Hermon Missionary Baptist Church, founder of the Holistic Community Coalition NFP.

Tri-City Alternative Actions Program (T.C.A.A.P.), offered since 2005 at both West Side Junior High and Block Junior High and funded by the Holistic Community Coalition, offers a holistic approach. Its work with youth participants includes, but is not limited to: academic achievement; character education; preparation for a successful future such as college bound, money management, needs versus wants and career choices; repairing the broken family; and holistic homework help.

“This program is designed to rebuild the entire student, which encompasses the reestablishment of the family,” said Jennifer West, program director. “We cannot obtain sustainable success in the lives of these youth without the inclusion of the family. We have been able to reach this milestone by reinvigorating the relationships between parents, educators and the service provider.”

The program currently serves 50 to 60 students at the junior high schools and plans to expand to an academy for fifth- and sixth-graders. Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation, aims to help with that need. Legacy recently awarded a $15,000 grant to the Holistic Community Coalition NFP to support the expansion of T.C.A.A.P.

The grant exemplifies Legacy Foundation’s recently announced strategic focus on educational attainment, noted Nancy Johnson, president of the foundation. Project 100% focuses resources on increasing the number of Lake County students who graduate with a quality high-school degree and are college- or career-bound.

The grant to the Holistic Community Coalition is among nearly $71,000 awarded by Legacy Foundation during the fourth quarter of 2009 to Lake County nonprofit groups providing a wide range of services. Since 1992, Legacy Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants and scholarships.

Other awards made in December included:

From the Lake County Community Fund

Arc BRIDGES – $20,000 to support the purchase of a lift van to replace a fleet vehicle that has mileage of more than 300,000 miles.

South Shore Arts Association – $15,000 to expand the highly successful “Polar Express” art-based first grade literacy program into the second grade curriculum in the Hammond, East Chicago, Gary, Lake Station and Merrillville communities using the book, “The Skin You Live In.”

Ivy Tech Community College Northwest – $4,744 to promote interest in science and health career programs through a three-tier youth outreach program.

Purdue University Calumet – $1,000 to help provide emergency preparedness and first aid training to 200 Lake County high school students and 150 volunteers participating in the Discover Nursing Camp. The goal is to expose campers to nursing and other health care practices as career options.

From the College Readiness Fund

Geminus Corporation – $15,000
to sponsor Northwest Indiana’s first Mentoring Summit, scheduled for Jan. 22 at Indiana University Northwest. The conference aims to teach businesses and non-profit organizations to support mentoring opportunities for youth. For more information, contact Tiffany White at (219) 757-1835 or Tiffany.White@geminus.org.

To apply for funding
The next deadline date for submitting grant applications is March 1, 2010.  Download a grant application and guidelines at www.legacyfoundationlakeco.org.

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Legacy Foundation offers seminar for professional advisors
National consultant to address developments in charitable gift planning

Professional advisors including attorneys, accountants and financial planners are invited to attend a seminar on the “Latest Developments in Charitable Gift Planning,” presented by The Stelter Company and sponsored by Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation.

The seminar will be offered from 7:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Dec. 3, at Avalon Manor, 3550 E. U.S. 30 in Merrillville. Registration is required by Nov. 30 by contacting Legacy Foundation at (219) 736-1880 or info@legacyfoundationlakeco.org. The fee is $20 per attendee.

The seminar will be presented by Johni Hays, J.D., the senior planned giving consultant for The Stelter Company, a leader in planned giving marketing communications for nonprofit organizations across the United States. Hays is an experienced consultant, published author, attorney and member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning.

Hays will be accompanied by a panel of local practitioners, including: Calvin Bellamy of Krieg DeVault, LLP; Jack O’Drobinak of John M. O’Drobinak, PC; and Tory Prasco of Burke, Costanza & Cuppy, LLP.

This seminar has been approved for attorneys, certified public accountants and financial planners to earn 3.5 hours of continuing education units, including one hour of ethics.

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Lake County’s community foundation announces initiative to increase educational attainment

Project 100%

Lincoln Ellis has had many discussions about the challenges facing African-American males with the staff and board of the Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s community foundation.

As the executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana, Ellis sees firsthand the need to help transition young men from boyhood into manhood and to be good fathers. Over the last several years, the Boys & Girls Clubs’ partnership with Legacy Foundation has led to a gathering of more than 30 organizations for families and youth in Gary, generating $1.2 million in additional resources for the city; developed $750,000 in new funds for mentoring programs; and recently sent 40 young men on a tour of historically black colleges.

“I call them my partners in exceptional good works,” Ellis said.

Ellis shared his story during Legacy Foundation’s annual reception for donors, held Nov. 4 at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza. The audience included approximately 200 people, many of them donors representing business, nonprofit organizations, and the community at large. The organization also distributed its annual report to donors, featuring stories about the impact of grants into the community.

During the 2008-2009 fiscal year, despite the challenges of the local and national economic downturn, Legacy Foundation awarded more than $2 million in grants and scholarships that enhance the quality of life throughout Lake County.

“Legacy Foundation responds to community need,” President Nancy Johnson said. “This year we have responded to the increased threat of hunger by stepping up our grant making to the Northwest Indiana Food Bank and community food pantries. We funded the Indiana Reinvestment Alliance to help counsel families who are threatened with foreclosure on their homes and helped get a new home built in the ‘Field of Dreams,’ a project of Northwest Indiana Habitat for Humanity which is located in Gary. We provided the seed money to initiate the Hobart Parents as Teachers chapter, which has proven wildly successful. In just a few short months, 135 children and their families have become active in the program.”

During the reception Legacy Foundation announced an important initiative to increase educational attainment in Lake County.

Project 100% is an initiative that grew out of a yearlong strategic visioning process conducted by Legacy’s board of directors.

“Education is a critical issue to our county, whether you live in Cedar Lake or Hammond, Lowell or Lake Station,” board member Nancy Clifford said. “If we can increase the number of our students graduating with a quality high-school degree who are college- or career-bound, this will have a positive impact for Lake County.”

Key components of the effort include:

  • Helping to connect every eligible student with Indiana’s 21st Century Scholarship program, which offers college tuition to first generation low-income students;
  • Increasing the number of youth served with programs outside of school;
  • Strengthening these programs to meet the challenges of providing quality services; and
  • Helping to connect youth with caring, qualified mentors.

Legacy Foundation has begun the effort by initiating the South Shore Connection, a collaboration with Lake Area United Way and Foundations of East Chicago. This is a partnership with school districts and nonprofit agencies to share data to improve educational outcomes. At this time school systems in Gary, Hammond, Lake Station and Merrillville have agreed to participate in the project.

Legacy Foundation will be seeking additional partnerships and community commitment to develop and implement Project 100%.

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Legacy Foundation sponsors presentation by national expert on college admission and financial aid

Families in Lake County have a unique opportunity to learn ways to pay for college by attending a free workshop on Saturday, Oct. 17.

The workshop, offered at either 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. at the Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Drive in Hammond, will be presented by Dave Murray, president of the National Center for College Costs. Murray is a nationally recognized expert on college admission and financial aid.

Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s community foundation, is sponsoring these workshops to make this important program available free of charge to all Lake County students and their families. High-school sophomores, juniors and seniors are encouraged to attend.

Each 75-minute workshop will answer questions about preparing for the college admissions and financial aid processes. Every family participating will receive a College Costs Estimator, a program that analyzes each family financial situation to provide strategies and advice that take the fear out of the college cost issue.

“Parents need to understand what’s there, what’s available and how to get it,” said Kathy Hayden, a guidance counselor at Hammond High School, where students were counseled by Murray over a three-year period. “This is a good program for explaining options you might not know about otherwise.”

Students from throughout Lake County have benefitted from these workshops over the last six years.

“(The program) can be of great benefit, especially to students who are first generation going to college, and their parents have not been through this process before,” said Jason Quigg, a guidance counselor at River Forest High School in Hobart. “It can help people understand that college is an attainable goal.”

For more information about the college costs workshops, call Legacy Foundation at (219) 736-1880 or e-mail legacy@legacyfoundationlakeco.org. No registration is required.

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Howard Cohen, Bill Nangle, Dave Ryan add expertise to Lake County’s community foundation

Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s community foundation, recently elected three experienced community and business leaders as the newest members of its board of directors.

Purdue University Calumet Chancellor Howard Cohen, The Times of Northwest Indiana Executive Editor Bill Nangle and Dave Ryan, executive director of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, each were elected to three-year terms.

They join a volunteer board comprised of local community leaders, representing the diverse interests of the people of Lake County. The board governs Legacy Foundation’s administration and distribution of funds and provides leadership in guiding the work of the organization.

“We are fortunate to have three individuals with a high level of commitment to and knowledge of the Northwest Indiana community join our board,” said Margot Clark, chairperson of the board of Legacy Foundation. “Howard, Bill and Dave bring significant insights to the organization. Their contributions will help the foundation continually seek ways to improve the quality of life in Lake County.”

Cohen joined Purdue University Calumet as chancellor in July 2001. He also holds an appointment as professor of philosophy. Cohen is an appointed member to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, a board member of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, the Northwest Indiana Forum, the Advisory Committee for the Shirley Heinze Land Trust, and past chair of the Quality of Life Council. Cohen and his wife, Patti, live in Hammond.

Nangle’s journalism career spans nearly five decades. He joined The Times in 1970 and oversees content for the newspaper, several specialty publications and the company’s Web site, nwi.com. Nangle serves as a director of the Crisis Center, the Northwest Indiana Forum, and as an honorary board member of the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana. Nangle and his wife, Rita, reside in Crown Point.

Ryan joined the Lakeshore Chamber in 2005 following 11 years as a manager of communications and community relations for Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). Ryan serves on the boards of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Regional Development Company, the Carnegie Performing Arts Center (East Chicago), Hammond Development Corporation, and the Hammond Urban Academy of Science and Technology. Ryan and his wife, Mary, are natives of Kentland, Ind., and live in Munster.

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Grant helps community foundation advance its mission

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) recently awarded $10,000 to Legacy Foundation to support the nonprofit organization’s operations.

The grant will enhance the capacity of Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s community foundation, to identify opportunities to improve the quality of life for local residents.

“NIPSCO’s generous support will help us continue our work to benefit the people of Lake County,” said Nancy Johnson, president of Legacy Foundation. “Especially as the economy continues to challenge local families and local charities, Legacy Foundation aims to partner with agencies that provide needed assistance. The support of strong corporate leaders such as NIPSCO enables us to move forward in these efforts.”

This summer, Legacy Foundation awarded grants to local organizations that will provide food, shelter, transportation and improved educational opportunities to people of all ages throughout Lake County.

NIPSCO, with headquarters in Merrillville, Ind., is one of the 10 energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI). With over 712,000 natural gas customers and 445,000 electric customers across the northern third of Indiana, NIPSCO is the largest natural gas distribution company, and the second largest electric distribution company, in the state. NiSource distribution companies serve 3.8 million natural gas and electric customers primarily in nine states. More information about NIPSCO is available at www.nipsco.com.

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