On a warm Wednesday afternoon, a medley of tantalizing smells welcomed guests at the entrance of the Duneland YMCA. StoryPoint, a new independent senior living community in Chesterton, hosted one of their popular “give back” events to support their partnership with the Y. This time, tacos were on the menu.
“The two things at StoryPoint that we’re really known for is our culinary and life enrichment programs,” said Judy Kukelka, Business Development Specialist at StoryPoint. “A year or two ago they thought, ‘You know what, since we’re known for our culinary, let’s bring it on the road.’ So they started with the Friendly Fork.”
The Friendly Fork is a food truck that StoryPoint uses to reach out to the public. Offering great food and friendly conversation, the Friendly Fork is quickly becoming a community favorite.
“We utilize the food truck in a couple ways. We do give backs to local organizations that we partner with, like we’re doing today with the Y. So people are coming in, purchasing their lunch, and then a percentage of the proceeds go back to the Y, but then we also offer lunches to our partners,” Kukelka said.
Unfortunately, the food truck was out of service for repairs, but this didn’t stop the Friendly Fork from setting up shop inside the Y! The fun music and irresistible smells paired well with the excellent food, creating the ideal environment to bolster the mutual commitment between the YMCA, StoryPoint, and the Duneland community.
“[Events like this] help us tremendously on programs for children, actually for all ages, but it definitely helps the children and our senior group,” said Carla Patino-Davis, Membership Director at the Duneland YMCA.
“The Y is available for all,” added Jane Delligatti, Marketing Director for the Y, “and if we want to help more people, fundraising is very important because that’s how we are able to give scholarships for the people that need it.”
The YMCA has seen an expansion in recent years, and greater demand indicates the need for greater supply.
“One of our fastest growing segments of the community we serve are senior citizens,” said Dave Kasarda, CEO of the Duneland YMCA. “So we’re glad that Story Point’s in town. We will continue to partner with them to make sure the seniors that we serve have accessibility to great programs and services.”
The event was open to the public and welcomed people from all backgrounds to try the food and learn about StoryPoint. The gathering reflected a special bond that exists within the Duneland community.
“When my kids were younger, we were members of the YMCA and we used to come here a lot and we got to know a few of the employees,” explained Kirk Futrell, a board member from the Duneland Chamber of Commerce. "Because of what the YMCA does for my family and the community as a whole, I think that it is important that the community support the YMCA in return.”
“Anytime an organization or a business in the community reaches out to not only partner with us but to help us through funds, it’s a very strong statement on behalf of their commitment to the Duneland Community,” said Kasarda.
To get your own taste of what the StoryPoint and the Friendly Fork have to offer, visit their website.