Ogden Dunes is a great place to live. The last new people to move onto my block moved in 28 years ago. No one has moved out but the children. Some of them have moved back to raise their families here.
The irregularity of the land is part of its charm. The dunes, the woods and the beach all give it a look quite different than most towns. That is not what makes it such a great place to live. It has always been the people. We are a town of volunteers.
Many of the people who keep our town running are volunteers.
The Ogden Dunes Volunteer Fire Department is staffed by men and woman who have spent many hours in training as EMTs and fire and rescue specialists. They are on call from their homes and jobs whenever the call goes out. They risk life and limb and comfort to come to their towns rescue. Most live in town, but a few no longer live here and others come from out of town when they are needed.
The Town Council works to do what’s best for the town and try to keep things running smoothly. The Ogden Dunes Home Association's mission is to “maintain privacy and beauty of the community and establish recreational facilities for use of town members.”
The Ogden Dunes Beautification Committee is in charge of the management of community gardens, clean-up of the town and seasonally decorating parts of town along with other acts of beautification on behalf of the town. All this is done by groups of energetic and devoted townsfolk who bring out their garden tools and lots of energy to get things done.
The Ogden Dunes Park Board works to keep our public lands up to date and well used.
The Planning Board monitors building codes and construction.
The Ogden Dunes Environmental Advisory Board does many things to improve the health and quality of life through improved water, land and air quality. This includes testing the water quality, getting grants to do environmental testing, and bringing environmental problems to the town’s attention. They do this through public announcements and education as well as town wide events such as beach cleanups and recycling events.
There are other committees that meet at various times for particular reasons. Our Historical Society tries to preserve, protect and present the history of Ogden Dunes. The Ogden Dunes Community Fund and Grant Committees work to give and get funding for projects that improve our town. The Sandpiper Preschool is a cooperative effort for the children.
These are many of the things that keep our town running through volunteerism, but there is more than that here.
The president of the Portage Exchange Club lives here and works hard for so many of the needs of Portage. The Portage Township Food Pantry is well represented here with four board members and four regular weekly volunteers. Townspeople donated money to process over 500 pounds of venison for the Food Pantry.
We have Meals on Wheels volunteers. We have board members and volunteers from the Porter County Community Fund and the Resale Shop, Gabriel’s Horn and Sojourner Truth and a dozen other worthwhile causes.
Our Lion’s Club and Women’s Club collect and raise money for many of the surrounding area charities.
Jacob’s Ladder grew out of this town and still operates from here. Our Community Church does so much to help other needs found in the community.
Many people from town give money generously, but it is the time, energy and heart given through volunteering that shows the reality of this town.
These are some of the more official volunteer activities done by citizens of Ogden Dunes. There are, however, other reasons to feel good about living here. The Memorial Day celebration brings everyone out to say hello and start the summer with fun and friendship.
On the Fourth of July, it’s like a homecoming, with families gathering from all around to have a sandcastle contest and a great beach day. We have some extremely generous townsfolk who treat us to a wonderful fireworks display.
It's people like that who give up time, money and energy who also throw big townwide beach parties and ice cream socials and many other special events for their neighbors.
There are times when we have differences, but the majority of the people love their town and hope it will always be a place that has a heart for fellow residents and the larger community in which we are privileged to live.