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Gallery: Trolley tour highlights Vincent Village initiatives

Posted by on June 28, 2019 | Comments Off on Gallery: Trolley tour highlights Vincent Village initiatives

Gallery: Trolley tour highlights Vincent Village initiatives

A few members of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana joined Vincent Village‘s neighborhood trolley tour on Thursday night. This tour highlighted Vincent Village projects and initiatives and gave an overview of additional investments in the Oxford Community and Renaissance Pointe neighborhoods in Fort Wayne. According to its mission, Vincent Village Inc. serves homeless families with children. It is the only transitional shelter in Allen County serving two-parent families and single-male headed families. Tour participants enter the Vincent House Transitional Center, which provides shelter and supportive services for homeless families with children. Denise Andorfer, the executive director of Vincent Village, gives an overview of neighborhood projects and initiatives in and around Vincent Village. Vinnie’s Empowerment Store where clients can acquire clothing and other goods to help them during their transitions. Children’s art dries on the rack after an early evening painting activity for kids at the transitional shelter. Tour participants also visited the former fire station number 9. This community asset outside of Vincent Village was renovated into the Johnnie Mae Farm. Inside of the renovated former fire station at the Johnnie Mae Farm. City residents can participate in healthy cooking class in Our HEALing Kitchen, which is sponsored by the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and Parkview Health. The Johnnie Mae Farm is a partnership between the City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services and the Purdue Extension – Allen County Office. For more information on Vincent Village, visit their website at vincentvillage.org. For more information on the Johnnie Mae Farm, visit...

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Good Neighbors – Olivia Lehman

Posted by on March 5, 2019 | Comments Off on Good Neighbors – Olivia Lehman

Good Neighbors – Olivia Lehman

Fort Wayne is continually being described as “the city that saved itself”, and a place with exciting growth. The growth we see in Fort Wayne is because of the great people that live here, call it home, and want to see Fort Wayne embrace itself as a city worth loving. People like Olivia Lehman. A new event called CreativeMornings has been brought to the community thanks to Olivia and she, along with the CreativeMornings Fort Wayne team, want to see people connect and embrace the creative nature that is within all of us. Olivia is the associate director of development for the nonprofit Water for Good, and is the host of CreativeMornings Fort Wayne. I spoke with Olivia about what inspired her and her team to take on this event, and how it’s making an impact in our community. What is CreativeMornings (CM)? CreativeMornings (CM) is literally a breakfast lecture series for the creative community where people can come together with no agenda or boundaries, share ideas, and be inspired. The goal is for it to be a safe, sacred place for people to just be together. How did you get started with CM? I lived in Indianapolis for six years and volunteered at the CM events in Indianapolis. When I moved back to Fort Wayne I saw the potential. I had experience with event planning, and bringing people together so it felt natural. When I moved back to Fort Wayne, I had to jump out of my comfort zone and start meeting new people. I went out for drinks, started having conversations, and when I asked people to join me, a lot of people were interested. A big influencer for me was Matt Kelley, the owner of One Lucky Guitar. When he heard about what I was planning to do, he was all in and asked how he could help me make it happen. What has inspired you throughout this process? I was actually inspired by the book “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. To sum it up, she describes that if you have a dream, it may pass you by and someone else will pick it up instead. You could miss out, but if you take it and run with it, great things could come of it. What type of people attend CM? All kinds of people! People from ad agencies, banks, schools, people who are creative but you may not expect them to be. The CreativeMornings manifesto starts out with “everyone is creative” and I think that sums it up. All are welcome. Talk to me about the guest speakers. How do you find them? We have themes given to us by CreativeMornings, so when we are given a theme the team goes to the drawing board and we draw from our contacts or people we know. We want to keep the speakers as local to the area as possible. There are so many great people right here in Fort Wayne, and we want to showcase their talents but also to inspire others. We want it to be less of a Ted Talk and more of a conversation. What drew you back to Fort Wayne after living in Indianapolis? Originally I moved back because I was in a serious relationship, but Fort Wayne has always been my...

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Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities

Posted by on October 25, 2018 | Comments Off on Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities

Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities

Local food and green collar industries have seen renewed interest in recent years. Living Fort Wayne recently caught up with Heartland Communities’ Jain Young and Rowan Greene to discuss the mission of Heartland Communities and their vision for the future. LFW – How does Heartland Communities plan to help facilitate the emergence of “green collar industries”? Heartland Communities – We hear about a “triple bottom line” these days – people – planet – profit or the 3 p’s of sustainability. At Heartland Communities, we have held those values as our mission since before the phrase was coined and we called it economic, environmental and cultural sustainability. As a community economic development organization, we are focused on creating opportunities to put those values into action in business, jobs, and entrepreneurship. To take it a step further, Heartland is organized to help create cooperative and worker-owned enterprises. Heartland’s current focus is bringing green infrastructure to the food industry with Plowshares Local Food System Project, which began in 2014 with a USDA grant through the Local Food Promotion Program for research and planning. Plowshares works with intention and organizing to re-establish local food system infrastructure, which changed over the last 50+ years from local to global. Now, four years into the project, we are launching a local food distribution business called Plowshares Food Hub. It will create efficiencies for local farms and business while making locally grown and processed food more accessible. The Sustainable Indiana 2016 initiative gave Heartland a “Green Light Award” for Plowshares. As we create a local food system, food production is a green collar industry when farmers use regenerative methods that require less water and fuel, build our soil, and protect pollinators. As food moves from farms through the value chain to the consumer, food jobs become “green” when the transportation miles are reduced, so locally produced food is more green than the same food that rides in a truck from California or Brazil. In Indiana, the average meal travels 1,500 miles while we import 90 percent of our food from out of state. So you might think of a green collar industry as a solar panel manufacturing plant but sometimes it is doing the things we have always done but finding a way to be good to the planet and value your people with good jobs, while being successful financially. Another Green Light Award was given to an organization Heartland incubated as fiscal agent and through organizational development over a period of seven years. The nonprofit Save Maumee Grassroots Organization has become a green collar industry in watershed management and jobs have been created with nearly $200,000 in grants from US Forest Service since 2014. Save Maumee is now in its third Riparian Buffer Initiative project, stabilizing degraded stream banks along the Maumee River and its tributary streams by planting thousands of trees and plants. This work will help stop those awful algal blooms that shut down the drinking water plant in Toledo in the last few years, and cause dead zones in Lake Erie. Green jobs are created and supported not only directly through implementation of watershed management practices, but also for nursery workers growing the trees, site plans created by landscape engineers, sign makers, equipment rentals and so on. Going forward, Heartland will continue to...

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Bring It Push It Own It: inspiring, uplifting and guiding Fort Wayne’s young women

Posted by on August 28, 2018 | Comments Off on Bring It Push It Own It: inspiring, uplifting and guiding Fort Wayne’s young women

Bring It Push It Own It: inspiring, uplifting and guiding Fort Wayne’s young women

It’s difficult to be a young woman in modern society. Today’s generation is inundated with mixed messages from the media, along with a lack of community engagement, peer conflict, family problems and other issues that can leave girls feeling alienated and inadequate. Bring It Push It Own It, a local female-run nonprofit organization for girls from ages 9-18, seeks to overcome these negative influences by empowering young women through physical activity, mentorship and teamwork. Bring It Push It Own It began in 2013 when founder Tisha Stotlar noticed a lack of self-esteem, positive values, inner strength, coping skills and leadership traits being instilled in young women within their home, school and extracurricular lives. Stotlar started the organization with the important goal of helping girls learn to “push themselves outside of their comfort zones to grow to their fullest potential.” Today, Bring It Push It Own It is run by a full board and advisory committee of predominantly women, offering group fitness and enrichment programming for girls in the Fort Wayne area. “We create an environment that is different than sports yet active—an environment to become a leader as a mentor to other girls, an opportunity to learn how to have friendships outside of your normal circles. Taking you out of your comfort zones is the best way to heighten ourselves and become our best selves, and we provide that in our program and our obstacle run,” Stotlar said. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Donate With Link In Bio (@bringit_pushit_ownit) Bring It Push It Own It offers 10 to 12 week seasonal rotations consisting of weekly meet-ups and additional monthly meet-ups for its young members. Typically meeting at Spiece Fitness, sessions rotate a variety of a group exercise classes including yoga, barre, step aerobics, martial arts and more. Additionally, meetings include an educational discussion on pertinent topics such as identifying toxic relationships and embracing your natural beauty. Girls will also participate in an obstacle course that takes their teamwork, courage and leadership skills to new heights. The variety and challenge offered by Bring It Push It Own It allows its participants to constantly try new things and achieve their goals along the way. As the leader of Bring It Push It Own It, Stotlar is especially interested in addressing the confidence issues that arise around ages 11-14 as young women enter adolescence and transition from elementary to middle school. Noting the often lackluster messages targeted at girls in today’s society, Stotlar feels that, “we really don’t focus on self love and value, inner strength, staying true to yourself, toxic relationships and unique leadership traits in the schools, or give opportunities for diversity outside of their cliques, neighborhoods and family dynamics.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Donate With Link In Bio (@bringit_pushit_ownit) Girls who participate in Bring It Push It Own It are free to become more secure in who they are while reaching their full potential with the close support of their peers. In the tight-knit group environment of Bring It Push It Own It, young women are able to receive guidance from older girls and set an example for younger girls. Those over 16 are even encouraged to serve as mentors for younger members after completing an initial rotation. The organization’s...

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Emerging Leaders Alliance expanding their membership

Posted by on May 8, 2018 | Comments Off on Emerging Leaders Alliance expanding their membership

Emerging Leaders Alliance expanding their membership

What is the Emerging Leaders Alliance (ELA)? The ELA is a small group of emerging leaders making a big regional impact. With the mission to create opportunities for action, growth and regional pride, the ELA is full of visionary and proactive young professionals working together to advance northeast Indiana. What are the benefits of being a member? Have a voice – Established leaders recognize the unique perspective and input of young professionals as critical to the development of the region. The ELA serves as an advisory council to the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and has two votes on the Regional Opportunities Council. Vision 2030 involvement – Spearheaded by the Regional Partnership, Vision 2030 works to accomplish three regional goals by the year 2030:  Increase PCPI annually against the national average Increase the population to 1 million residents Increase post-secondary educational attainment to more than 60%      To move the needle on these goals, three committees were formed to focus and take action on business attraction, talent attraction and talent development initiatives. ELA members have the opportunity to serve on these committees alongside influential business and community leaders. Professional development – Primary focuses of the the group include personal and professional growth. The ELA understands building up the region also means building themselves up as leaders. For this reason, books clubs, Gallup strengths training and networking events are all on the agenda. How can you get involved? The ELA is currently accepting applications for diverse, eager and engaged young individuals. If you or someone you know would enjoy being a part of this vibrant and forward thinking group, check out the ELA webpage and send in your application. To keep updated on the ELA’s involvement, follow them on the facebook and...

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AIDS Walk 2018 – Be a Hero!

Posted by on April 6, 2018 | Comments Off on AIDS Walk 2018 – Be a Hero!

AIDS Walk 2018 – Be a Hero!

Why Walk? Saturday, May 5th marks the 22nd year of the Northeast Indiana AIDS Walk and is one of the Positive Resource Connection‘s biggest fundraisers each year bringing in over $40,000 annually to support their non-profit business. The mission of the Northeast Indiana Positive Resource Connection is to prevent new cases of HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis, and STDs and advance a compassionate and stigma-free community response. The organization reaches over 10,000 individuals every year through a variety of programs including free HIV and Hepatitis testing; HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and STD education; and linkage to care. Clients of Positive Resource Connection receive HIV/AIDS support consisting of access to doctors, labs, and medications, encompassing complete wrap-around services to keep people and communities as healthy as possible! Calling All Superheroes! Put on your walking shoes and join the Positive Resource Connection at Parkview Field for our registration party followed by a quick walk around downtown Fort Wayne. The route is just over one mile – enough to get the heart pumping, but doesn’t leave you spent the rest of the day. Registration Party The fun starts before the walk with the registration party. Sign-in begins at 10am and guests arriving early can enjoy a variety of fun activities including… Affine Food Truck – breakfast available! Johnny TinCap from 10-11am AIDS Walk 2018 t-shirts for the first 200 participants Onsite superheroes from Summit City Cause-Players Professional caricaturist Balloon artists Costume contest for the best-dressed superheroes (kids and adults) 50/50 cash raffle – raffle tickets on sale now for a chance to win the grand prize of up to $1,000! Proclamation by Mayor Henry More prizes and giveaways The Details When: Saturday, May 5th; 10am-12pm Where: Parkview Field, 1301 Ewing St., Fort Wayne – Main Entrance Who: Everyone is welcome! (Per Parkview’s policy, please leave your pets at home.) RSVP on Facebook to stay up to date on all the details. Register now as an individual or team to start gathering donations from your friends, family and co-workers and receive your official AIDS Walk 2018 packet. Have questions? Call the Positive Resource Connection, (260) 744-1144, or send us an email,...

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First Fridays: Experience Networking in a New Way

Posted by on January 30, 2018 | Comments Off on First Fridays: Experience Networking in a New Way

First Fridays: Experience Networking in a New Way

First Fridays is a place where people can network, learn and grow. When Jere Johnson moved to Fort Wayne from Chicago, he was looking for an uplifting and energetic community. Brothers Jere and Jim Johnson launched First Fridays to create a space where people could come together to learn more about our region and about each other. “We want to create a meeting forum where members can grow as individuals and where they can network and really primarily focus on Northeast Indiana,” Jim said, “because that’s where we are and we think there’s a lot of great things that go on here and a lot of great things that people maybe don’t even know about.” First Fridays is hosted at Indiana Wesleyan University on, you guessed it, the first Friday of each month. Different speakers are featured at each gathering to take on a variety of leadership topics like conflict, collaboration, entrepreneurship, etc. Each session, attendees will come away will a better understanding of leadership in Northeast Indiana. How it all started: Jim told Living Fort Wayne that the idea for First Fridays was inspired by the 2017 Global Leadership Summit (GLS). GLS is a leadership conference broadcast world-wide from Willow Creek Church in Chicago, which, much like First Fridays, invites a variety of speakers to discuss what effective leadership looks like. Their first conversation about bringing a regional leadership forum to life transpired on the second day of the GLS. They sat down over some “very expensive Coliseum hamburgers” and at the end of their discussion decided the goal for this programs was to,“have a purpose to come together that’s beyond networking, but networking happens within the context.” Once the idea came to head, the brothers were eager to move their plan into actions. Jim told Living Fort Wayne he and his brother covered his office with large Post-it notes, mapping out their vision for First Fridays. Recalling wisdom he learned from another influential leader, Author Tony Robbins, Jim said, “if you’ve got a great idea when you’re working on something don’t try to make it perfect, get out there and take massive action on it and you’ll see success.” Incidentally, the brothers only planned to host First Fridays for a season and evaluate the need to continue or adjust. “We’ve already had people saying, ‘well you’re going to do this again next year aren’t you?’” Now there is no stopping this momentum, the First Fridays team already has several speakers lined up for 2019 and are continuing to build upon their vision. Why you should go: The First Fridays team has successfully created an environment where talking to people is easy. “I’ll talk to anybody about anything, I’m not shy. Both my brother and I are like that…we’re very comfortable meeting people. There’s a lot of people maybe who hold back on wanting to go to a networking event because they just don’t know what to say. I don’t know what it is about this event, but you’ll talk to people you’ll meet people.” If networking is a scary word for you like it was for me, check out Jim’s blog on how to have an anxiety free and rewarding networking experience. Take it from a 22-year-old who attended First Fridays as an intern, this is a place...

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How to Hygge in Fort Wayne

Posted by on January 26, 2018 | Comments Off on How to Hygge in Fort Wayne

How to Hygge in Fort Wayne

About Hygge What is hygge? Aside from being a little difficult to pronounce (“hoo-guh”), the definition has an extremely easy to understand meaning. It encompasses the overall feeling of contentment, well-being, and being cozy. In our fast paced world, we often ignore these important feelings and practices. Lucky for us, it is very possible to hygge in Fort Wayne.   How to Hygge in Fort Wayne Contentment  Contentment is different for everyone. If you want to feel contentment, you should find something that you really enjoy and act on it. This could be catching a show at Embassy or checking out the latest performance from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Promote Your Personal Well Being  It’s a new year and you have new opportunities to do something for yourself. Help your mind, body, and soul by joining a local gym or taking a yoga class. Coziness  Cozy is in the eye of the beholder. It can be going to an amazing coffee shop like Fortezza, or enjoying time with your friends at a warm and friendly bar like JK O’Donnells.   How to Achieve the Entire Hygge Package Winter Cozy is a hygge themed evening brought to you by Riverfront Fort Wayne. Everything about this speaks hygge. According to Megan Butler, this event will stimulate the senses. She uses Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to create a sense of wonder and connection through the taste, sight, touch, smell, and sound. The goal is to offer an amazing experience while re-defining winter. The event highlights the positives of winter (like a heated tent, cozy furniture, warm cocktails, food for purchase, live music from Ty Causey, sensory games, ice sculptures, and drink luges). The event will feature local ice sculptors and other local vendors like Mutton and Club Soda. Part of promoting your personal well-being and contentment will be highlighted through adult hands-on sensory activities. According to Megan Butler, you should think about sensory activities for autism. You can play with the activities and take them home. Riverfront Fort Wayne is committed to making people more conscious of the rivers. This event is an example of how people can live their lives around the rivers and have fun all year, even in the winter. Event Details Winter Cozy is a part of Winterval Admission is $10 at the door. Event Runs from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This event is 21+ Sponsored by Alt 99.5, Riverfront Fort Wayne, and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation. Winterval is a Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation event. Contact Megan Butler for additional...

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The Harry Potter Magic Returns to Fort Wayne

Posted by on January 16, 2018 | Comments Off on The Harry Potter Magic Returns to Fort Wayne

The Harry Potter Magic Returns to Fort Wayne

The magic returns this coming weekend, courtesy of the Salvation Army. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, this is the perfect event for you to attend. Unlike last year’s Yule Ball, this year they are delving into the world of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, so break out your 20s clothing and your wands and get ready to party like you got accepted to Ilvermorny. Not only is the event fit for muggles and wizards alike, 100 percent of proceeds benefiting families in need through The Salvation Army. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Victoria Sarjeant (@sarjve01) The event will be held at The Orchid, so the look and feeling will be a little different than last year. If you are looking for just a small dabble into the wizarding arts, you can choose the Diagon Alley Basic Entrance. which includes the following: potions a class with Professor Snape the TriWizard Tournament Challenge from Escape Fort Wayne detention with Professor Umbridge herbology class from Country Farm & Garden history of magic class care of magical creatures Borgin and Burkes Vanishing Cabinet defense of the dark arts with All Star Martial Arts charms class with Amanda Kessens from Young Living a sorting hat experience boarding room assignments from Ivy Tech Community College Dance Lessons with the Beauxbatons by Fort Wayne Dance Collective Goblet of Fire Entry character interactions a first year wizards room (children’s area) moving hall photo ops a commemorative Marauder’s map and costume/trivia contests. You can get a Platform Ticket which includes a personalized Owl Mail Acceptance Letter and themed dining experience (“Weasley Style” and “Mandrake” (Vegetarian).  The last option is the 1920’s Fantastic Beasts Ball. You can experience dinner, Ilvermorny house sorting and badge ceremony, music, dancing, The Blind Pig lounge singers, character interaction (including the Second Salemers), complimentary photos, silent auction, carriage rides (weather permitting), event keepsake, and of course, specialty dessert from Kowalski’s Bakery.   What you need to know Dress is strictly 1920’s formal nomaj The event will be held at The Orchid, 11508 Lincoln Hwy East New Haven, IN 46774. Tickets can be purchased here Event is sponsored by Escape Fort Wayne and The Orchid To donate to the silent auction, you can click here or drop off monetary donations to The Salvation Army at 2901 N. Clinton...

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Veterans Day at HT2

Posted by on November 10, 2017 | Comments Off on Veterans Day at HT2

Veterans Day at HT2

A post shared by HT2 (@ht2fortwayne) on Oct 20, 2017 at 9:59am PDT What does it mean to support the troops? It’s an old, tired, overused phrase that has become more of a reaction and a political talking point than any true declaration of support. Politicians across the spectrum will constantly argue over which one of them supports the troops more. People will put a sticker on their car, have it on their license plate or a host of other meaningless gestures. None of those are worth anything if there is no action behind them. So what does action look like? What can the average person do to actually show their support for those who volunteered to defend the country they live in? Nick Ladig, owner of HT2, a cocktail bar in southwest Fort Wayne, is taking matters into his own hands this Saturday with a fundraiser for The Shepherd’s House. “Men and women who go off to serve our country are sacrificing all they have and all they know so that we can do things like open businesses, enjoy ourselves and feel safe,” Ladig said. “It’s only right that we take care of them once they come back to the civilian world.” This Saturday, when HT2 has a limited number of drink and food specials, a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit The Shepherd’s House, a transitional living facility that houses veterans with substance abuse issues. Currently going through a capital fundraising campaign, Shepherd’s House is attempting to secure enough funding to ensure operations beyond 2018. Ladig, who used to work for Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery in Indianapolis, knew that Shepherd’s House was a cause worthy of his support when he started to research local charities to support. “Hotel Tango was started by a combat wounded Marine Corps veteran,” he said, “so it made sense to support these veteran-oriented organizations. There are charities like DAV [Disabled American Veterans] or Wounded Warrior Foundation, but I wanted the money to have a much more local impact.” Here is the lineup of events and activities: Tacos Bravas will be serving up items from their menu from 12 to 4 Special cocktail concoctions will be served all day and night There will be a prize raffle and a donation collection. Shepherd’s House is requesting new socks and underwear and hygiene products for the male veterans they serve. It should be a fun and worthwhile cause. For more information about the Veterans Day Shepherd’s House Fundraiser, click here. Location: 10212 Chestnut Plaza Dr. Fort Wayne, IN 46814   Date/Time: Saturday, November 11, 2017 Noon to Midnight...

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