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Pranksters fool Crown Pointers once more; Chicago Bears not hosting training camp at Southlake YMCA

Pranksters fool Crown Pointers once more; Chicago Bears not hosting training camp at Southlake YMCA

Pranksters fool Crown Pointers once more; Chicago Bears not hosting training camp at Southlake YMCA

A banner outside of the Dean & Barbara White Southlake YMCA states the Chicago Bears will host a training camp at the Crown Point YMCA in summer 2022. The sign was created as a prank for April Fools' Day. 

CROWN POINT — Contrary to a Facebook post that has been viewed ten of thousands of times, the Chicago Bears will not host its training camp at Crown Point's YMCA. 

The sign outside of the Dean & Barbara White Southlake YMCA was the latest April Fools' Day prank pulled by two members of the Lake Court House Foundation, Inc. 

It all started three years ago when First United Methodist Church flocked the lawn of the Grand Old Lady with 55 pink plastic flamingos. 

Since, Tom Donovan, the foundation's first vice president, and Dave Bryan, the organization's second vice president, have found ways to fool Crown Pointers with realistic pranks. 

The pair told The Times Thursday the pranks are all in good fun. 

Residents might have heard of Trader Joe's opening a location in the city, or perhaps Indiana Beach relocating to the Lake County Fairgrounds, but both are fictitious tales created by Donovan and Bryan. 

This year's prank garnered more attention than the previous gags, the pair said, noting a Facebook post featuring the banner has been viewed more than 55,000 times. 

Coming Sunday, see a day in the life of Michigan City Police Officer Brian Wright.

Both Donovan and Bryan sit on the corporate board for the Crossroads YMCA, where the idea for this year's prank came from.

"Jay Buckmaster, the CEO, is from Wisconsin, and he is a big Packers fan. We thought last year, he's always wearing his Packers face mask and everything in a meeting, and we always clown around and joke with him," Bryan said.

"This field across from the Y has been changed from a sports field to a lot of different things, so we just thought it'd be funny to tell everybody that's where the Bears," would host training in summer 2022. 

Buckmaster told The Times in an email Crossroads YMCA enjoys being a part of a fun-loving community like Crown Point, even if it means getting surprised with an April Fools' Day prank.

“Crossroads YMCA is happy to be a popular destination here in Lake County, IN, but news that the ‘Chicago Bears are coming to our site in Crown Point,’ was a true prank played on us," Buckmaster said.

"The community has a rich history of pranks, including Indiana Beach moving to the fairgrounds, Trader Joe’s relocating, and now the Bears relocating to Crown Point."

Though the rumors aren't true, both agreed it would "be something," if the NFL team ended up in Crown Point, with Donovan noting he thinks the pair's Indiana Beach prank was more far fetched than the Bears coming to the Hub of Lake County. 

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South Lake County Reporter

Mary Freda is the South Lake County reporter at The Times. She is a proud Ball State graduate, where she studied news journalism and Spanish. You can reach Mary at or 219-853-2563.

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During a recent meeting, the Crown Point Board of Works unanimously agreed to declare 302 E. Clark St. unsafe, and authorized the city's legal department to move forward with filing for receivership of the home. 

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