Exchangettes

MICHIGAN CITY — The Exchangettes Club of Michigan City held their monthly meeting at the Elks Club. The members welcomed Bobbie Komendera and Bill Wild from Footlight Players. Footlight Players is a local theatre group. They are celebrating their 70th theatre season. Komendera said he was mesmerized at the age of 5 when he saw a theatre production of Oliver. He was eventually offered the roll of Fagen at Footlight. He considers Footlight his home and was presented with an achievement award for his acting.

Upcoming events for the Club include a garage sale on Aug. 10. Barb Krueger won the 50/50 and Janet Bokken won the door award.

The next meeting of the Exchangettes will be June 18 at the Elks Club in Michigan City beginning at 6:30 p.m. New members are always welcome.

Lions Club

MICHIGAN CITY — The June 5 meeting of the Michigan City Lions Club was called to order at noon at Immanuel Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall by Boss Lion Nancy Hawkins. Lion Dan McNabb led the opening song and the Pledge to the American Flag; Lion DeNita Tonn gave the invocation.

As this was a business meeting, there was no speaker.

Boss Lion Nancy welcomed back several Lions who had been “snow birds” this winter.

Correspondence has been received from the Leader Dog organization for the Lions Club’s $500 donation. A note was also received from John Kessler regarding the club donation of $500 in memory of Lion Ed Frank.

Roger Potratz talked about the upcoming Candy Day at both Al’s grocery stores on June 29, and passed around a signup sheet for workers. There will also be a “Dollars for Dogs” day at Kabelin Ace Hardware on Aug. 10.

A new club directory will be ready in July. Lions are asked to verify that the information is correct and send corrections to Melinda Nagle.

Tail Twister DeNita Ton “twisted the tails” of Lions – Dan McNabb reminded the club of upcoming Community Concert on Sunday, June 9; Lots of “grandkid” graduations were noted; Roger Potratz told about his charter fishing trip with his son and grandkids on Monday.

Boss Lion Nancy reminded us all to help find 11 speakers for the next year’s meetings.

The Golf outing was cancelled due to weather.

The next meeting will be June 19 with a Board Meeting to follow. 

Exchange Club

MICHIGAN CITY — The Michigan City Exchange Club met on June 4 at the DAV, Michigan City.   

June Program Chair Phil Freese introduced the president of the Michigan City Port Authority, Sam Ferguson. Ferguson began by recognizing several members in the lunch crowd. The Port Authority was organized in 1959 and currently has seven board members, each member is appointed by the Mayor before gaining approval from the Michigan City Common Council. Ferguson pointed out that no tax funds are given to the Port Authority. The moneys used to support their $3 million dollar are derived by slip rentals and other fees charged to the boating populist. The authority oversees the Washington Park Marina as well as two smaller marinas along Trail Creek. Currently the slips are rented at a 95 percent level; leaving 5 percent for temporary rentals.

“The Port Authority’s mission is to encourage, promote and preserve Michigan City’s boating industry,” Ferguson said.

One of the improvement projects in the pipe line is re-decking the 300 Dock with a composite material. Another improvement is the establishment of a new “green parking lot” between the Fish Camp restaurant and the Coast Guard station. This project is funded through a partnership between the Port Authority and the Redevelopment Commission. The authority has also added 70 Jet Ski slips to keep up with a solid demand. The authority also boasts a thriving “in & out” service. This service consists of keeping pleasure craft on racks. The boats are moved from the racks to Trail Creek by a large forklift when the owner desires its use and returned to the racking system when not in use. When asked if the authority was planning for the future removal of the generating station, Ferguson said there is ample time for planning due to the long time frame for the removal of the station. To rent a boat slip or to find out more about the Michigan City Port Authority log onto: mcmarina.org.

The next meeting of Exchange is June 11 at 12 p.m. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. The program is to be Paladin Resource Center.

Retired Teachers

MICHIGAN CITY — The La Porte County Retired Teachers Association recently held their spring meetings in Michigan City and La Porte with 74 total in attendance. Earl Cunningham, president, called the meetings to order and asked the Veterans to lead the pledge, followed by a moment of silence for the recently departed, followed by our RTA prayer. He then introduced VP Debe Meyer, Secretary Kathy Harrow and Treasurer Chuck White and thanked them for their service. Nicki McCray, representing CASA, explained their program and recruited several interested retirees at the LP meeting; followed by Jo Ann Manes’ presentation from the state RTA. In Michigan City, Jim Lampl gave a dramatic reading and advertised the play he will be in later this year. Numerous door prizes were distributed. The association thanked the following donors: Albano’s Pizza of La Porte, Jimmy Johns of La Porte and Blue Chip Casino. 

Exchange Club

MICHIGAN CITY — The Michigan City Exchange Club met on May 28 at the DAV, Michigan City.   

May Program Chairman Dennis Schultz introduced Michigan City Councilman Johnny Stimley. Stimley is also a long running member of the Michigan City Zoological Society. Stimley began by stating that the Michigan City Zoo and the Zoological Society are two separate entities. The zoo is a city department that is overseen by the Michigan City Park Board and the Zoological Society, which predates the zoo. The zoo maintains a 501(c)(3) status, which enables them to seek grant funding from various sources.

The Zoo receives $100,000 from Blue Chip Casino yearly due to an agreement with the city. Stimley brought an exhibit which displays the time line of the formation as well as changes to the zoo from the year 1925 to present. The multi panel display depicted several written articles and pictures dating back to “Jake the Bear.”

“Many of the structures within the zoo were built by ‘WPA’ workers,” Stimley said.

The Works Progress Administration was a federal program created by President Roosevelt; the program was designed to get folks back to work during the Great Depression. Some of the projects created at Washington Park and the Michigan City Zoo include: walls, benches, Monkey Island, and the Observation Tower. The councilman told Exchangites that the zoo currently houses and showcases 200 to 250 animals representing 90 species. He also stated many of the animals are rescue animals. Five full time and four part time employees along with a host of volunteers maintain the zoo year round and the zoo is opened to the public from April to October. A current project underway is an apple orchard on a plot of donated land; John declared that the animals at the zoo eat a ton of apples per year; this new orchard will help reduce food costs. Events like Brew at the Zoo and Boo at Zoo bring attention to the zoo as well as Michigan City annually. Many larger municipalities cannot claim a zoo. Learn more about the zoo at www.washingtonparkzoo.com or call 219-873-1510.

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