Dunebrook celebrated its silver anniversary at Heston Hills, La Porte with a masquerade gala. Guests were adorned with silver-themed attire and donned masks that were hand-decorated by Dunebrook staff and volunteers. NIPSCO, a longtime supporter of Dunebrook, was Grand Sponsor of the event.
Dunebrook’s President, Joe Coar and Executive Director, Gail Johnson, welcomed guests and presented Diana Dibkey with the Lester Radke Community Service Award. The Radke Award, first presented to its namesake, Lester Radke, recognizes community members who represent Les’ selfless attitude and caring spirit to help improve the lives of others. Dibkey was part of the Child Abuse Advisory Team that helped create Dunebrook in 1989 and later served for 13 years as Dunebrook’s Executive Director. During her directorship, she led Dunebrook’s building expansion efforts, expanded parent support services beyond La Porte County into DCS Region 2, and created a model to blend intense parent support with early education programming that has been replicated in communities throughout the nation. Previous Radke winners are Angie Nelson, Bruce and Julie Manner, Fred and Sue Miller, Duane Seifert, Dave De Lau, Norm Steider, Larry Fegaras, Rebecca Fistel and Joe Coar.
Coar also rallied guests to generate $2,500 in gifts in ten minutes. Donors of $25 or more received a hand-made blue scarf, representing the color for child abuse prevention awareness. Scarves were crocheted by Dunebrook staff and volunteers. Coar congratulated guests on surpassing the goal and raising more than $2,800.
Dunebrook’s two biggest annual fundraising events, the gala and Dragon Boat Races, provide vital funding for parent support programs and the Child Advocacy Center. Dunebrook serves more than 300 families each month in home visitation, preschool, forensic interviewing and parenting classes; delivers Body Safety to children in the Region’s elementary schools; and, presents child abuse prevention strategies to organizations and community groups. Programs and services are provided without cost to families. Dunebrook has offices in Michigan City and Valparaiso, and serves La Porte, Porter, Starke, Jasper, Pulaski and Newton Counties. Dunebrook’s vision is Every Child: Safe, Healthy, Happy.
For more information about enrolling in Dunebrook’s programs, or to volunteer or request a speaker, call 800/897-0007 or visit www.dunebrook.org.