CHESTERTON | The tableau of men and women in neon-bright shirts raking leaves, repairing a front porch and replacing a furnace might have been one of the tapestries of Marian Sykes, a little-known artist living just south of the Indiana Dunes State Park.
Instead, it was a life performance involving 30 volunteers from Rebuilding Together Duneland helping Sykes remain in her home of nine years.
Sykes' house was one of a dozen locations at which more than 450 volunteers labored on homes and community centers, said Nancy Veselica of Rebuilding Together Duneland.
"I didn't realize I needed this much help," Sykes said as she surveyed the activity around her. The 89-year-old mother of five said she appreciates it because she wants to continue to live independently in her home as long as she can.
She showed one of the team members, on break, how she made wall hangings from scenes from her memories of life in Chicago and visits to the homes of her children and grandchildren.
"Every year, on the last Saturday in April, we help homeowners unable to afford to maintain their homes. All of our money is from private and corporate donations," Veselica said. That includes a $10,000 grant from the Porter County Community Corp.
Other sponsors are: Chesterton Worthington Industries, Harbor Praxair, Porter State Bank, Above Board Construct/ PCCF, Franciscan Alliance Chesterton, Northern Indiana Public Service Co., Chesterton Duneland Resale Shop, the family of Nick Manuzzi, Chesterton Lu De Wulf, Chesterton Lions Club, La Porte Savings Bank, Chesterton-Porter Rotary and Kiwanis and Hopkins Ace Hardware.
Other Rebuilding Together affiliates are in: Valparaiso, Portage, Hobart/Lake Station, south Lake County one in Crown Point, Hebron.