MICHIGAN CITY – The fifth annual Radiothon for The Salvation Army of Michigan City was held May 11, with local radio station WEFM 95.9 broadcasting from the social service agency for five hours.

“It’s a time for us to share our story, and spread some awareness about The Salvation Army and what we offer here in Michigan City,” said Kerry Bartsch, corps officer at The Salvation Army, explaining the purpose of the annual event.

Special guests including Salvation Army advisory board members and supports from the community visited during the Radiothon to speak about their connection to the Salvation Army.

Among those guests were Fire Chief Randy Novak of the Michigan City Fire Department. Novak and his wife, Debbie, served as Christmas Chair family for The Salvation Army in 2017, and continue to support the organization in several ways.

Throughout the Radiothon, Ron Miller of WEFM reminded listeners that donations were being accepted to help support The Salvation Army of Michigan City. Proceeds from this event are used to support programs such as the food pantry, men’s overnight shelter, diaper bank, summer camp, utility assistance and more.

Coinciding with the Radiothon, The Salvation Army also held the annual Hands for Hope Awards Luncheon, honoring volunteers and donors that have supported the Salvation Army throughout the year.

The Jasicki family was recognized as this year’s Volunteer of the Year.

Jessica O’Brien, development director for The Salvation Army of Michigan City, presented the award, saying the family deserved this award because of the several hours spent volunteering in a variety of ways.

“We met the Jasicki family last year because Elliot needed some volunteer hours for the Promise Scholarship,” O’Brien said. “Now we’ve had the entire family here – volunteering in the food pantry, at the block party, in our clothing room, during Stuff-A-Bus and Stuff-A-Sleigh and Christmas distribution. They’ve really become a part of The Salvation Army family.”

Also recognized during the awards ceremony for their support of The Salvation Army were Al’s Supermarkets, Michiana Marine Detachment 1348 Toys for Tots, D&M Excavating, First Trust Credit Union, McDonald’s Restaurants of La Porte County, the Rotary Club and Exchange Club of Michigan City, WEFM, WIMS, The News-Dispatch, Erik Tannehill Michigan City Police and Fire Departments, Horizon Bank, NIPSCO, Blue Chip Casino, General Insurance, Members Advantage Credit Union, Harbour Trust and Investment Management Company.

Keynote speaker for the awards luncheon was Angie Nelson-Deuitch, known for her philanthropy, who discussed the way The Salvation Army has impacted her life since childhood.

Sharing about her childhood, Nelson-Deuitch said her father struggled with drug abuse and was laid off from work on occasion, and there were a few times that the lights and water were turned off at the family home.

But she remembers receiving help from The Salvation Army during these hard times – even being adopted by other families for Christmas.

Her parents, strong advocates of education, always encouraged Nelson-Deutich and her siblings to work hard and be successful. Now, six of the seven children in Nelson-Deuitch’s family have college degrees (three of which have earned Master’s degrees) and one has made a career in the military.

Reflecting on the struggles that her family went through, and how receiving assistance made her a more philanthropic person in her own life, Nelson-Deutich read a passage from the Bible.

Quoting Acts 20:35, Nelson-Deuitch read, “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Sponsoring the Radiothon and Hands for Hope Luncheon were PNC Bank, Harbour Trust and Investment Management Company, Edward Jones financial advisor Michael Kopec, Three Sheets Bar and Grill, Andrew Mitchell State Farm serving Michigan City and Holly Mitchell State Farm serving Hammond.

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