Living Large in Little Homes
Oct11

Living Large in Little Homes

If you’ve been wanting to live bigger while taking up less space, you may want to hop aboard the small house movement. This weekend provides the perfect opportunity, as local nonprofit organization Brightpoint will hold it’s inaugural Tiny House Showcase. Join them October 13-15 at Parkview Field to get a first-hand look at a variety of tiny homes. Also, take time to explore multiple local and national vendors that can help all of your downsizing dreams come true. Brightpoint’s mission is to help people remove the causes and conditions of poverty. By hosting this event, they hope to bring awareness to what they do with quality, affordable housing. Jennie Renner, Development Manager, says they are also looking to start the conversation of a possible tiny house community in the area, something that isn’t possible now due to residential building restrictions. “If that’s what we wanted to do, we would have to make some changes, so we wanted to see how people felt about that. So far, it’s been positive,” said Renner. Four tiny homes are currently scheduled to be on display, along with vendors who weren’t able to bring a home, but will have plenty of information on hand. What else can people expect to see? “Probably the most unusual one is Nature’s Earthly Way. They do composting toilets,” said Renner. Other participants include Fort Wayne Outfitters, North Coast Organics, and Clean Craft Soapworks, just to name a few. Come and get a sneak peak Friday night at the VIP Preview Party, where you can view some tiny homes, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Also, keynote speaker Michael Anthony will be talking about Lomax, a tiny house community in his home of San Pierre, Indiana. If you attend Friday, you will also get a ticket to return later in the weekend. VIP Preview Party:  $40 Friday, October 13, 2017 – 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM General Admission:  $12 Saturday, October 14, 2017 – 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Sunday, October 15, 2017 – 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM Children 12 and under get in free with an adult. Tickets and more information can be...

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Let Your Inner pARTY Animal Out for the Allen County SPCA
Sep06

Let Your Inner pARTY Animal Out for the Allen County SPCA

If you’re the person who makes friends with the host’s dog during social gatherings, snap on your party hats. Fort Wayne HeART of the City and the Allen County SPCA present pARTY Animal, an art social event to benefit the Allen County SPCA. pARTY Animal (you gotta love that play on words) will take place on September 22 at 4pm–10pm at 125 W. Main Street, just two doors down from Coney Island. I spoke with Executive Director of the SPCA, Jessica Henry, to find out more unique fundraiser.   pARTY Animal is the first art-related event for the Allen County SPCA, and there’s plenty to look forward to at this inaugural happening. An art gallery by local artists will displayed and available for purchase; part of the proceeds from each purchase will benefit the Allen County SPCA. Live painters will create animal-themed paintings (available for auction), local musicians will be performing, and raffles will be held throughout the night. Plus, you can meet cats and dogs that are adoptable at a later date. Emcee Amber Stone of SUNNY 103.9 will host this fun night, and delicious pizza and beverages will be available for purchase by 816 Pint & Slice.   For $5 donation at the door, you can help support the Allen County SPCA and their mission to find animals’ fur-ever homes. A $20 VIP package can be purchased online and includes admission for one, one drink ticket, and exclusive rooftop access throughout the evening. Availability is limited. If you’re unfamiliar with the location, that’s because it’s a privately owned building that has been completely renovated. “It’s a unique opportunity for a sneak peek inside a place that’s not open to the public,” said Jessica.   The Allen County SPCA is the only nonprofit animal shelter in the area, and they’ve been working hard to save as many animals as they can. Jessica said, “In 2016, we homed over 2,700 animals. As a nonprofit, we rely on donations. Without the community, we couldn’t do it.” Thanks to the connection within the HeART of the City, this event will make even more possible for the organization. “This event is special in that it’s supporting local artists and animals. It serves a dual purpose. We are extremely grateful for all of the artists and their dedication to the event.”   Let your inner party animal out and support the local art and animals on September 22nd at pARTY Animal! VIP packages are available for purchase here. Check out the Facebook event page for updates on the event as it...

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“Night Moves” Lets Runners Explore the City After Sundown
Jun25

“Night Moves” Lets Runners Explore the City After Sundown

Imagine this: You’re running through the streets, alleys and sidewalks of downtown Fort Wayne. It’s after 10 p.m. on a warm summer night. In the darkness, only streetlights and moonbeams guide your path. Around you, several dozen people are running, walking and riding bikes in the same direction. Is it all a dream? Is it a zombie apocalypse? Nope. It’s the “Night Moves” Running Series presented by Team NeighborLink! The “Night Moves” Running Series is a four-part series of run/walk events – all held at 10 p.m. on Friday evenings through mid-July. Each event takes a different three to four mile course through downtown Fort Wayne, letting runners explore new parts of the city along well-lit streets, sidewalks and alleys. The exact course is kept secret until the night of the event. For safety, each event is limited to 40-50 runners. Headlamps are optional and Three Rivers Running Company provides casual race timing. “‘Night Moves’ is our attempt to connect to Fort Wayne’s grassroots running community members who are up for something different,” says Andrew Hoffman, Executive Director of NeighborLink Fort Wayne. “I wanted to create a running experience unlike anything else in Fort Wayne. ‘Night Moves’ provides a recreational alternative to the typical Friday night. Plus, it’s at a time of night when few things get in the way, other than your fear of the unknown.” NeighborLink Fort Wayne connects volunteers with local residents and organizations that need help with repair, construction and maintenance projects. Living Fort Wayne has even stepped in to volunteer our time. You can find a recap on our experience here. Team NeighborLink was established as an avenue for local athletes to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization. “Team NeighborLink was created as a tool to empower our volunteers and supporters, as well as those looking to incorporate something bigger than themselves into their athletic pursuits,” says Hoffman. “We’ve found that the type of folks who choose to participate in our athletic events are a lot like those who choose to volunteer at NeighborLink Fort Wayne.” The first “Night Moves” event was held on June 12th, beginning and ending at 816 Pint & Slice. The event was a sold-out success and participants buzzed about the laid-back atmosphere and positive camaraderie along the moonlit course. After hearing so much word-of-mouth praise, Team NeighborLink expanded the registration for the June 26th event to accommodate a few more participants. “Night Moves” is just one of several unique athletic events presented by Team NeighborLink. In mid-June, the group hosted the Great 80 cycling event in Roanoke, Ind. Future running and cycling events are planned for the fall...

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Event: Lions, Tigers & Beer Black Pine!
Sep30

Event: Lions, Tigers & Beer Black Pine!

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion provides a home for nearly 100 displaced exotic animals who, since captive-raised, cannot be released into the wild. Therefore, the sanctuary provides a place for these animals for the rest of the animals’ lives. On Saturday, Oct. 4, the sanctuary is putting on their 8th annual Lions, Tigers and Beer, Black Pine! event from 6 – 9 p.m. The event will feature a beer tasting, dinner, sanctuary tours, music, silent auction and fall fun among the animals. Souvenirs and Park Pal memberships will also be for sale at the main attendance gate. Registration is $25 in advanced and $30 at the door. Advanced tickets can be purchased here. Check, Visa and Mastercard are all acceptable forms of payment for the silent auction. Senior animal keepers, members of the Board of Directors, paid staff and other supporters of the sanctuary will also be on hand to meet with guests. Black Pine provides a home for animals such as big and small cats, canines, bears, primates, birds, reptiles and many others. Over 50 species are represented in the park’s animal population. Their mission is “to provide permanent refuge to these animals and to educate people about responsible pet ownership.” Sanctuary founder Karen Hoag and her husband and daughter basically started the roots of the sanctuary in the late 1980s by utilizing their vacant farm land to take in and care for exotic animals. At first, that started with ostriches, potbelly pigs, llamas and black Welsh mountain sheep. They adopted a pair of mountain lions and two Siberian tigers who were retired from the circus. In 1995, Karen sold her hair salon to work with her animals full-time and by 2003, Black Pine grew with educational programs, volunteer programs and more animals. In 2004, Karen turned the sanctuary into a non-profit organization. Since then, a Board of Directors has taken steps to ensure the best possible care of the animals that come to the sanctuary. The sanctuary is primarily funded by visitor fees and merchandise and membership sales.  This weekend’s event raises money to offset the care of the animals throughout the winter months. Habitat sponsorships, individual, business and in-kind donations are also ways Black Pine offsets the costs of caring for the animals they take in. No taxpayer dollars are received and in addition to the small paid staff, Black Pine is also supported by many volunteers. For more information about the events and the sanctuary, visit their website....

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FW Women’s Bureau- Saving lives through programs and education
Sep29

FW Women’s Bureau- Saving lives through programs and education

Since 1981, the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau has helped over 350,000 people in Northeast Indiana. Their mission is to ‘Advance women through advocacy, education and economic empowerment’. Led by the new (as of July 2013) Executive Director, Kathleen Alter, the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau achieves their mission through three different programs. Transitions is a residential program which has 24/7 supervision for women who are pregnant or have young children to help them maintain a life free from drugs and alcohol. Transitions is the only program in the area that has intensive inpatient substance abuse services and allows women to bring their children. In 2013 the program earned a 3-year accreditation (highest score possible) from CARF (Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). REACT (Respond, Empower, Advocate, Collaborate, Treat) is there to help victims of rape and help to prevent rape through education and awareness. This program began in 1981 as the Rape Awareness Program. This program is the only one in the state that has a staff educator and education curriculum for people with disabilities. They offer individual and group therapy.  REACT staff are members of Mayor’s Commission Task Force on Sexual Assault, Indiana Sexual Primary Prevention Council, FWPD Victim Assistance Committee and others.   Dress for Success Fort Wayne is a new program for the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau as of May 2013.  As part of the global organization, it is the only affiliate in NE Indiana. The goal of this program is to not only provide professional attire for disadvantaged women, but to offer a network of support and career development. The Career Center (second phase) opened in February 2014 and offers assistance with resumes, cover letters, and job searches.   One of the biggest events to help sponsor the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau is ‘Walk a Mile In Her Shoes’ which took place this year on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at Headwaters Park West.  This walk not only helps raise funds but raises awareness to the very ugly topic of sexual assault and violence. One in six American women are victims of sexual assault which means someone you know and care about has likely been a victim.  Be sure to check out this local event. The next upcoming event is still quite some time away but will be so much fun and help with your holiday shopping.  It’s a shopping trip to Chicago on Thursday, December 11, 2014.  The cost is $50.  You will need to call the Women’s Bureau for more information.   You can always volunteer.  Dress for Success is looking for volunteers for any amount of time you can donate. They do require all volunteers...

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