YLNI Member Spotlight: Sarah (Pine) Verpooten
Aug18

YLNI Member Spotlight: Sarah (Pine) Verpooten

The beginning of this month marked the four-year anniversary of Fort Wayne becoming my home! I grew up in Elwood, a small town about an hour south of Fort Wayne. Even though I grew up an hour away from Northeast Indiana’s big city, we didn’t come here that often. For some reason, Indianapolis is where we always went for shopping, sporting events and nice family dinners. As I mentioned, I moved up to Fort Wayne four years ago this month. I didn’t really know what to think when I accepted my job from Strahm and then realized that I would be moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana, a city that I was not familiar with and a city where I knew one person out of 250,000. Yes, I realized I would only be an hour away from my hometown, but still,anxious and overwhelmed were understatements. I arrived in Fort Wayne, got settled in and starting my very first “big girl job” out of college. My friends from college went off on their own paths and it was time for me to create my own. Luckily, one of my best friends was finishing up her senior year at IPFW so I quickly became her roommate. Having my best friend as my roommate in this new city was very comforting for me, but she was busy with school and I wasn’t exactly open to the thought of going out and meeting new people. I just went through that in college and I didn’t want to have to do it all over again. My boss at Strahm is the previous President of YLNI, Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. He tried several times to get me to attend YLNI events, not only because they were fun events but because it would be a great way for me to meet new people. Playing the role as the new kid in town at YLNI events? No thanks. I wasn’t interested. After a couple months, I realized that I am actually going to have to put forth some effort if I wanted to meet new people, get more involved in the community and make Fort Wayne feel like my home. I finally caved and attended my first YLNI event, the YLNI General Membership Meeting. It was a lot to take in, but after a while I was in my “Let’s Meet New People Mode”. Joining the YLNI Block Party Committee was truly when my love and appreciation for this organization started. In my opinion, you can attend as many networking events or masquerade balls as you want, but joining a committee is the difference maker. Serving on...

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KickStart Your Summer: 4th Annual Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle
May07

KickStart Your Summer: 4th Annual Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle

The 4th Annual Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle is coming up, and we can’t think of any better way to kick off your summer in Fort Wayne! As part of Parkview Health’s KickStart Festival, a month long community celebration of bikes, art, music and theater, this is an event for all ages. We have all the details for you below, so go ahead and grab a pen to write it down on your calendar!   Event Info When: Saturday, May 16th Where: Arts United Campus in Downtown Fort Wayne (300 E. Main Street) Cost: $20 (14 & under: $10) Online Registration: March 1 – midnight on May 13 Late Registration (small additional fee): Friday, May 15th from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. & Saturday, May 16th from 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.   Ride Info Mass Ride: Begins at 9:00 a.m. KickStart4Kids: Runs from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.   Various activities, such as vendor areas, arts and crafts, musical performances, food trucks and much more will be taking place on Main Street throughout the day! For additional information about the event, take a look at the brochure below or visit www.fort4fitness.org....

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Living Fort Wayne Film Series
Apr09

Living Fort Wayne Film Series

  Mark your calendars! The Living Fort Wayne Film Series is back, and we’re excited to announce that we’ve extended it to six films this year! On the last Saturday of the month, April through September, catch a film at various Fort Wayne locations, for FREE. Each event will have kid-friendly activities, food available for purchase and music before the film! The Living Fort Wayne Film Series was an idea that developed from the 2014 My City Summit. After the Summit, a group of volunteers came together who were passionate about creating a free film series that not only offered free entertainment for all ages, but also introduced individuals to different areas of Fort Wayne that they may not have visited otherwise.  The excitement and support for this series has grown tremendously, and we’re so excited that we were able to bring it back for a second year!     Saturday, April 25th – Lutheran Hospital’s Kachmann Auditorium (Indoor) – Shrek We’re so excited to kickoff this year’s series with a “Dinner and a Movie” themed event, supported by the Lutheran Children’s Hospital! They are partnering with Moe’s Southwest Grill’s Southwest Fort Wayne location to have food for purchase available at the event. Part of the proceeds from food purchased at April’s film will go to March for Babies. 5:30PM – Free Family-Friendly Activities, Food for Purchase from Moe’s Southwest Grill and Live Music from Mike Conley 7:00PM – Start of Featured Film: Shrek **You can park in the South Parking Garage at Lutheran Hospital and enter through the Lutheran MOB2 Entrance.   Saturday, May 30th – AEP Plaza (Downtown) – The Sandlot 7:00PM – Family-Friendly Activities, Local Food Trucks and DJ Josh Elias 8:00PM – Start of Featured Film: The Sandlot   Saturday, June 27th – Indiana Tech Campus – The Princess Bride 7:00PM – Family-Friendly Activities, Local Food Trucks and DJ Josh Elias 8:00PM – Start of Featured Film: The Princess Bride   Saturday, July 25th – IPFW Alumni Center – The Goonies 8:00PM – Family-Friendly Activities, Local Food Trucks and DJ Josh Elias 9:00PM – Start of Featured Film: The Goonies   Saturday, August 29th – Partnering with the Cinema Center for Taste of the Arts Film – Arts United Plaza (Downtown) Details to come.   Saturday, September 26th – AEP Plaza (Downtown) – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 7:00PM – Family-Friendly Activities, Local Food Trucks and DJ Josh Elias 8:00PM – Start of Featured Film: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off   For specific details on each film, please visit www.facebook.com/LivingFortWayne. We hope to see you at this year’s Living Fort Wayne Film Series!    ...

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Living Fort Wayne Film Series
Aug13

Living Fort Wayne Film Series

The Living Fort Wayne Concert Series has a sister and her name is the Living Fort Wayne Film Series! If you enjoyed the Living Fort Wayne Concert Series this summer then you won’t want to miss the Living Fort Wayne Film Series in August and September at the Arts United Plaza. This upcoming film series is a product of two groups that came together to create an outdoor movie event that would not only bring our community together, but would also showcase what our city has to offer. For one evening in August and one evening in September, you, your family and your friends can enjoy a night of food trucks, live music, popcorn, fresh air and a “fan favorite” movie. The information for each night of the Living Fort Wayne Film Series is listed below. August 30th: Live Music (Sugargliders) 7:30 – 8:30, Outdoor Movie (Rudy) 8:45 September 27th: Live Music (Fort Wayne Funk Orchestra) 7:30 – 8:30, Outdoor Movie (ET) 8:45   Food trucks will be on location, Main Street Bistro will be providing a Grab-N-Go menu, live local music will fill the air and the popcorn will be popping! All you need to do is bring your friends, your family and your seat!    Story Behind The Idea: In April, YLNI held their My City Summit: Connect & Thrive event where over 200 young and present leaders in the community came together and were encouraged to discuss what Fort Wayne is doing right and what could improve our city. Every table was given individual idea cards, and one card from the Summit expressed the idea of creating a “Movies in the Parks” event that would draw the community to different parks around the city by doing outdoor movie screenings. After discussion about this idea took place at a My City Summit: Connect & Thrive Committee meeting, there was a group of individuals who were interested in carrying this idea out. Going into it, we knew there were already outdoor movie screenings taking place around the city that were very popular amongst the community, but we felt like we could take our outdoor screenings in another direction and offer an event that wasn’t being done. After talking to some individuals and sending out some emails, we discovered that there was already a group of young people working towards bringing this same idea to Downtown Fort Wayne locations, and it only made sense to combine forces. In connection with the Downtown Improvement District’s Last Saturdays, it was decided to create a “sister series” to the newly successful Living Fort Wayne Concert Series. So the Living Fort Wayne Film Series...

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One Billion Rising Fort Wayne: Will You Rise?
Jan31

One Billion Rising Fort Wayne: Will You Rise?

Fort Wayne is often described as a big city with a small town feel. It’s a community that stands behind those residents who are pushing to make a difference. Whether it is starting your own business, taking part in a cause you believe in or putting on a local event, it’s a city that encourages individuals to try new things and make their dreams a reality. This is exactly what Lori Rose, Executive Director of Fort Wayne Trails, kept in mind when she decided to bring One Billion Rising, a worldwide campaign, to our city. One Billion Rising is a global movement to end violence against girls and women. It speaks to the statistical number of girls and women who will be impacted by violence or abuse in their lifetimes – one in three, which translates to one billion. The 2014 One Billion Rising campaign is described as: “a global call to women, survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice – courthouses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often, do not. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right.”   At the end of 2012, Lori Rose began researching the spectrum of violence and abuse. She was astounded that as a college graduate, coming from a healthy home environment, she had received so little education on these issues and on what healthy relationships and interactions really entailed. “I knew it was bad if a monstrous man, swinging a baseball bat, were to jump out of the bushes,” she said “but I had to Google terms like ‘sexual assault’ to realize that it wasn’t my fault when someone violated me while I was sleeping, for instance.” After realizing that she had been a victim herself, and deciding to heal, Lori wondered what stories everyone else was hiding and not healing from. As she began to talk with others, she realized that violence and abuse had no borders, affecting men and women of all ages and backgrounds. She also realized that that violence and abuse can take many forms, including emotional and verbal, and can happen to anyone, by anyone and at any time. During this time of becoming more informed and wanting to educate others, Lori ran across the One Billion Rising campaign and...

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