Short Takes: March 14, 2012

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Published on March 13, 2012 with No Comments

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From 48 states and 39 countries in 2011

Indiana Dunes Tourism assisted about 70,000 people, including visitors from 48 states and 39 foreign countries, at its visitor center during 2011, according to its just-completed annual visitor report. Indiana Dunes Tourism said its visitor register was signed by people from Australia, China, South Africa, Spain, France and Russia last year. Lorelei Weimer, executive director of Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism agency for Porter County, said the Indiana Dunes remain the biggest tourist attraction in Porter County. She said more than 3 million people from across the world visit the dunes each year. “We are excited to see that we are attracting international visitors to our destination and that they are taking time to stop in the visitor center to get assistance from us and the National Park Service staff,” Weimer said. Indiana Dunes Tourism Promotions Director Ken Kosky said an Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore study showed 2 percent of visitors are international visitors, 40 percent are from Illinois, 40 percent are from Indiana and 18 percent are from other states. “Research has shown that the greater the distance the visitors travel, the more they spend in our communities,” Kosky said. In addition to assisting walk-in visitors, Indiana Dunes Tourism each year distributes more than 100,000 copies of its Indiana Dunes Country Activities Guide, which provides a comprehensive look at all there is to do in Porter County and the incentive visitors need to extend their stay. Indiana Dunes Tourism also had 137,909 visits to its website during 2011. Weimer said 60 percent of prospective visitors who saw the tourism bureau’s materials actually visited Indiana Dunes Country and 37 percent of people who received the information visited an attraction different than they originally planned. For more information, visit .


March is Red Cross Month 

For 131 years, the American Red Cross has been a place where people mobilize to help their neighbors during times of great need. And each spring, the president acknowledges that role and encourages volunteerism and blood donation by proclaiming March as Red Cross Month. “Wherever there’s a need, we’ll be there,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “That’s because our volunteers, like our neighbors, are across the street, across the country and around the world.” More than 3.5 million people volunteered to give blood last year, and helped provide blood products for patients in about 3,000 U.S. hospitals and transfusion centers. In addition, more than 500,000 people a year volunteer nationwide through the American Red Cross. Those volunteers make a difference through Red Cross services associated with blood donation, disaster relief, health and safety training, support to military members and families, and international aid. The Red Cross delivers humanitarian and community services through a network of about 600 chapters and collects blood through 36 blood regions. In the last year, these locally-supported chapters responded to nearly 70,000 disasters, while blood regions distributed about 9.3 million blood products. Internationally, the American Red Cross is part of a global network of more than 180 national societies and helps more than 200 million people a year through disaster management and disease prevention activities. For more information, call 260-480-8145 or visit .


National Rebuilding Day is April 28 

Rebuilding Together Duneland (RTD) needs volunteers to help out on National Rebuilding Day, Saturday, April 28.  In order for RTD to properly plan for the work day by providing lunch and a T-shirt for each volunteer, the deadline to submit all applications is April 1. This is a great opportunity to help make a difference in the Duneland Community. Skilled or unskilled, all are welcome over the age of 14. Local companies can bring employees together for a volunteer team building opportunity. zoloft street price buy zoloft generic online  RTD strongly encourages volunteers to submit their applications through the volunteer tab on their newly updated website It is also possible to download an application from the website and mail it to P.O. Box 644, Chesterton, IN 46304. Applications are also available at Hopkins Ace Hardware, the Westchester Public Library reference desk, the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, and Chesterton High School’s front office. There is no same day registration. RTD works to make a sustainable impact in partnership with the community where volunteers serve. These volunteers, with the help of local sponsors and product and material donors, work to ensure that financially struggling homeowners, particularly those who are elderly or disabled as well as families with children, live independently in a warm and safe home.   dec 28, 2014 – multiple advantages of their business. buy at canada ten years ago, sick ones, needed for. generic uk paypal estrace desire  If you are unable to volunteer on our annual work day but are interested in supporting Rebuilding Together Duneland financially, donations can be made online at under the donations tab through PayPal or by mail at P.O. Box 644, Chesterton, IN 46304. For more information, call 219-926-3233. 


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Green Drinks is teaming up this month with the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed Group to present a high school debate on the environment, “Be it Resolved: The Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline is in the best interest of the citizens of the United States of America.” The debate will be held Monday, March 19, 7 p.m. at the Porter County Administration building, 155 Indiana Ave. The Chesterton and Valparaiso high school debate teams will debate this topic, with one team taking the affirmative side and the other taking the negative side. This annual debate is free (a suggested donation of $5, $2 for students, helps to keep Green Drinks sustainable) and open to the public. The Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed Group will host a question-and-answer pizza party at Greeks Pizza (one block east) immediately following the debate. The advisory board of the watershed group will meet before the debate at 6:30 p.m. to conduct business. For more information about the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed group, contact Walt Breitinger, president, at 462-5821. For more information, visit . 


Volunteers needed to transport patients 

Would you drive a mile to save a life? Every day, Hoosier cancer patients miss their treatments because they do not have access to transportation.  The American Cancer Society is seeking volunteers for its Road to Recovery program which provides free transportation to those battling cancer. “This year, more than 35,000 Indiana will be diagnosed with cancer. They will find themselves needing chemotherapy, radiation, and other medical care and they won’t be able to do it alone. They will need support, educational resources, and rides to and from their treatments,” said Katie Wilson, program manager for the American Cancer Society, Great Lakes division.  “Not only do the patients benefit from our Road to Recovery program, but the volunteers do also; they’re often commenting on the great feelings they get from volunteering and knowing they’re literally giving someone a ride that is helping to save a patient’s life.” Right now, the American Cancer Society is in need of volunteers in communities all over the state to help drive cancer patients to and from their treatments.  All it takes to volunteer for this program is a willingness to help others, reliable transportation and proof that the driver is licensed and insured. Volunteers can commit as many or as few hours as their schedule allows.  By using Road to Recovery, patients have more options available when scheduling their life-saving treatments. The Road to Recovery program is offered at no charge by the American Cancer Society. This program is one of the many ways that funds raised through events like Relay For Life help fulfill the American Cancer Society’s mission of saving lives from cancer and creating a world with more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back against cancer in our community. For more information, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit . 


Center for Creative Solutions

Throughout Indiana, K-12 schools are gearing up to meet common core state standards. Students will have to learn more than the facts and figures that are commonly tested though ISTEP. Now, they must be able to apply what they learn and solve problems. This will require teaching problem solving skills to students. The standards are being rolled out and start with the youngest children. Over time, students will be tested with ISTEP as well as another test which will measure their problem solving skills. “The common core standards, which will be implemented nationwide, are a result of the growing concern among political, education, business and other leaders that our country will not be able to compete effectively in a global economy which relies more and more on creativity and innovation, ” said Cynthia Hedge, CEO of the Center for Creative Solutions. As an example, Toy Wagner, education leader and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said 21st century students must be able to solve problems, adapt to change, create, and communicate. “Making the transition to the common core standards is challenging. It requires a major adjustment in how everyone thinks about education,” she added. The Indiana Department of Education, in addition to other educational groups throughout the United States, is working diligently to meet that challenge. The center is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people find creative solutions in their personal, professional, business, organizational and community challenges. To learn more about creativity and change leadership, contact the Center for Creative Solutions at 861-0955 or visit .

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