I have been preoccupied over the last several months with wonderful projects to rebuild and promote the Region—mainly on behalf of the John Will Anderson Boys and Girls Club to upgrade and refurbish the Tolleston school in Gary into a facility for young people. I’ve been writing about it in the daily paper and at NWI.com, so I won’t rehash it here, but if you’re not familiar with it, I encourage you to go back and read some articles. I am amazed at how the Region has come together for this project.
I have been traveling all over the Lake Michigan area, and while you definitely see the sore spots where help is still needed, we have created some gems. Recently the Marquette Park Pavilion, under construction for the last two years as part of the federally-funded project to restore and beautify the lakefront in Indiana, reopened and it was worth the wait. Down the coast, Whiting is getting an even more intense rehabilitation of its downtown, the public park and new facilities along the shore. Wait until you get to Pierogi Fest this year and see the beautiful homes springing up in the adjacent area. You are probably already seeing weekly updates on these and other environmental and economic development initiatives in our Shore e-newsletters, and we are now providing a new opportunity for event planners and promoters via the Shore Weekender page in our Friday Times’ entertainment and event section (also available on mobile and tablet devices).
I recently took some time out from a busy schedule full of openings and springtime honey-dos like resurfacing the driveway, to spend an excellent weekend in Denver with Julie checking out the Rockies—the team that still has my heart. They are playing worse than my White Sox, and we won’t talk about the scuttled hopes and dreams of my Bulls and Blackhawks this year. We got home just in time to get with the fun stuff like the Senior PGA Tournament at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan; Shore and Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council’s Fashion on the Shore event (and if you didn’t make it to the event this year, you will be able to catch up by checking out the exhibition of the best student designers, opening at the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joe on August 10th). Next up will be the Gary Crisis Center’s annual wine tasting event at Sand Creek mid-month—Julie’s on the committee, so there’s a little competition in our house—and don’t forget the Krasl Art Fair in July and the Concours in August, where Shore presents its own special prize to our favorites. Make sure you check out a copy of our special edition Best of 2012 at your nearest Shore marketing partner, or visit us online at NWI.com/bestof. No doubt you are familiar with and voted for some of the winners, but there are always newbies in the area (or classics that have been renewed), which are what keeps our contest humming along and vote totals growing.
Next month, in case we have a rainy day, you can plan ahead with our annual entertainment issue. Until then, have a terrific summer holiday season around the lake, where America is at its most beautiful.
Bill Masterson Jr.
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