HAMMOND — Joshua Barnes, of Schererville, signed up for the Summer on the Shore passport app program to give his friends, family and himself something to do.

“The biggest thing was there was no effort. I like getting out of the house in the summer. Plus I needed a car,” Barnes said at Wednesday’s celebration at the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority Welcome Center where he received the keys to his new blue Subaru Forester provided by Castle Subaru, of Portage.

Barnes, who works as a sales lead at Best Buy near Southlake Mall, said he’s been driving a 2004 Honda Accord “with 240,000 miles and no air conditioning. The windows were down everywhere I went.”

The Summer on the Shore program grew from an idea proposed last winter that brought together the SSCVA, The Times Media Co. and Castle Subaru and included 62 restaurants, shops, parks, festivals and other locations throughout Northwest Indiana, said Joe Battistoni, vice president of sales & marketing for The Times Media Co.

“We wanted to build Region pride,” said Speros A. Batistatos, SSCVA president/CEO.

Participants signed up for their passport by downloading an app. They then visited any of the 62 locations where they scanned a QR code for their stamps. By collecting six stamps they were automatically entered in the contest.

Munster resident Gary Kozlowski won the third prize — a set of four framed South Shore Line posters depicting the four seasons.

Kozlowski said he and his wife, Carole, visited a number of places including Growlers, Albanese Candy, Chicagoland Popcorn, Valparaiso Market Days and the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso.

“This is a really pleasant surprise,” Carole Kozlowski said.

Whiting resident Amy Bucher wasn’t able to attend the celebration, but will receive a “Staycation” basket with items valued at more than $1,000.

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