Last month, the City of La Porte held its 28th annual Mayor’s Ball, a night of music, food, and fun that was created as an opportunity for members of the community to come together and raise money for local projects as well as charities around the country.
Past projects funded by the Mayor’s Ball donations have included D.A.R.E, Worthy Women Recovery Home, Champions For Today, YMCA Youth scholarships, and One Town One Book as well as many others.
This year, a donation of $2,500 was made to six area organizations; Family Advocates, Frontline Foundation, The Pax Center, Paladin Care, United Way, and First Step of La Porte. These organizations received the donations at a ceremony held in Mayor Mark Krentz’s office this morning.
“This is one of my favorite parts of the job,” said Krentz as he handed each organization's representative a check. “I am pleased to be able to give back to the community. The [Mayor’s] Ball was a great success, and it just confirms my belief that La Porte is a warm and giving community.”
Some of the organizations saw the money as a chance to finalize some of their long running projects. Nate Loucks of the Pax Center says the group plans on finishing their current building project.
“We are going to invest this donation money into an area of downtown called the Brighton Street Green Space that we’ve been building,” explained Loucks. “We’re taking an old, dilapidated area and we’re going to put urban gardens and green spaces there with a 1,700 square foot education resource center for STEM-related education opportunities.”
Kris Pate, director of the United Way of La Porte County, plans on using the money to further education resources for the youngest of students.
“Every year, we do Kindergarten Countdown Camps in Michigan City and La Porte,” says Pate. “It’s for children who haven’t had a preschool experience and may have a little trouble with kindergarten because they haven’t been exposed to the routine. The camps help give them a little jump start and get on a level playing field so they can go into school ready to learn.”
Karen Biernacki of Family Advocates wanted to use the money to recruit volunteers to their CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program.
“Right now, we have about 100 kids who do not have access to a CASA volunteer,” says Biernacki. “So we will be using this money to recruit and train to get those kids more advocates.”
No matter their plans, each organization was grateful for the contributions made to them by the Mayor and people of La Porte. For more information on the Mayor’s Ball, as well links to donate to some of the organizations mentioned, check out the City of La Porte official site.