Franciscan St. Margaret Health in Dyer and Hammond, and Franciscan St. Anthony Health Crown Point, will share a $52,500 grant provided through a BP Cleaner Air through Diesel Emission Reductions program to help reduce ambulance emissions outside of their hospital emergency departments.
The funds, in conjunction with a consortium of area environmental groups and South Shore Clean Cities Inc., will be used to purchase seven Medidok Idle Reduction Kiosks that plug into ambulances and keep vital systems operating, in lieu of running an engine and emitting potentially harmful fumes while the vehicle is parked. The funds will be matched by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Dieselwise program, to complete the installation process.
The hospitals’ emergency departments combined receive some 21,000 ambulance drop-offs annually. The devices are expected to save 1,700 gallons of fuel per year.
Beginning at midnight Feb. 12 and continuing until 11:59 p.m., citizens throughout Northwest Indiana will be able to go online to NWIgives.razoo.com and make tax-deductible donations to support the important work of local charities.
"An online day of giving has proven to be a successful model for fundraising across the country and in parts of our region," said Lou Martinez, president of Lake Area United Way.
"We are thrilled to partner with Legacy Foundation, the United Ways of Porter and La Porte counties, Foundations of East Chicago, Unity Foundation of La Porte County, corporate leaders, and nonprofit organizations from throughout the three-county area to host an event that showcases the collective power of philanthropy in Northwest Indiana. NWIgives also highlights the important role nonprofits have in enhancing the quality of life in our communities."
For more information about NWIgives, visit www.nwigives.razoo.com.
Challenger Learning Center marks 15 years
Since opening its doors in 1999, the nonprofit Challenger Learning Center, on the campus of Purdue University Calumet, 2300 173rd St. in Hammond, has "flown" more than 215,000 students on simulated programs designed to engage interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) fields and plant the seeds for career paths in these fields.
The center’s official anniversary is Saturday, just four days following the 28th anniversary of the loss of the Challenger Shuttle astronauts, to which the center is a living memorial.
Celebrating with events all year, the center will host Fly Your Sweetie to the Moon, an adult date night Feb. 14, Valentine's Day, for couples who will be challenged to engage their problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills to complete a mission to the Moon. The mission will be followed by a Laser Light Show in the center’s planetarium.
Cost is $40 per couple and required reservations can be made by calling (219) 989-3250.