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During the past two years, United Way of Porter County, within a regional effort, held more than 60 community conversations. It involved meeting all walks of life in our community, discussing hopes and aspirations and sharing the key findings.

One of those findings we heard loud and clear was the need for affordable family fun.

That idea struck a chord with Young Leaders United, a group of more than 100 like-minded individuals who support the community through the United Way of Porter County.

Many in this group know first-hand how expensive events can be for young families and that these events can be off-limits for families our community partners serve.

Harnessing their energy and efforts to serve the families of Porter County and Northwest Indiana, Young Leaders United developed a new event, United Way Field Day and Picnic.

The community is invited to join 20 nonprofits and businesses hosting field day games and activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 16 (a Saturday) at Sunset Hill Farm County Park in Valparaiso.

United Way Field Day is free for children and costs only $5 per adult. Clients of United Way partner agencies can receive a coupon to attend the event for free.

Guests can anticipate field day classics including tug-of-war, obstacle courses and relays, a puppy kissing booth, pet adoption, free popcorn and balloons. You can bring a blanket and picnic basket or purchase food from Valpo Viennas and Culver’s of Valparaiso, both of whom are donating portions of their sales back to United Way.

Participating nonprofits include the Boy Scouts of America La Salle Council, Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, Frontline Foundations, Housing Opportunities, Lakeshore PAWS, Mental Health America of Porter County, Opportunity Enterprises and VNA of NWI.

Event sponsors include 1st Source Bank, Barre & Beyond, Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP, Coastal Valley Water, Heritage Barn, McAfee Animal Hospital, Lil’ Wranglers, Meridian Title, Metro Recycling, Porter County Sheriff’s Department, Wayne Enterprises and YLU sponsor NITCO.

For more information visit www.unitedwaypc.org or contact Mackenna Schon at mackenna@unitedwaypc.org or (219) 464-3583.

Mackenna Schon is United Way of Porter County's director of volunteer engagement. The opinions are the writer's.

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