Community News Archives for 2023-11

DNR offers holiday gift pack again this season

Each year the Indiana Department of Natural Resources offers in limited quantities a Holiday Gift Package.

The package includes a 2024 Indiana resident State Park Annual Entrance Pass.  A 1-year subscription (6 issues) to the DNR’s award-winning Outdoor Indiana magazine will be mailed separately from the gift pack and will arrive in mid-January, and a $65 Indiana State Park Inn Gift Card. These gift cards are valid only at the seven Indiana State Park Inn facilities and may be used at the facilities for lodging, meals in the dining room, purchases in the INN gift shops, rounds of golf, or pro shop purchases at The Fort Golf Course. 

The gift card is not redeemable in cash and is valid for five years from the date of purchase.

The 2023 Holiday Gift Pack from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is just $99, a savings of $31.

Your gift pack will arrive in a 6 x 9 envelope and include a  congratulations  letter that details the Holiday Gift Pack product and information.

The offer ends on December 31 or when sold out.

Recovery Cafe awarded Ambassador's Grant

The Fulton County Community Foundation’s Ambassador’s Club granted $2,000 to Recovery Café, a local organization focused on providing support and resources for individuals in addiction recovery.

Recovery Café programming includes weekly recovery circles and small groups, social events, free meals, life-skills training, anda mental health specialist staff member.

“Being in a small town sometimes feels limiting,” says Recovery Café Executive Director Pat Brown. “But not when it comes to care and support. The Ambassadors at the Northern Indiana Community Foundation are such a blessing. They know us, they see us, they talk with us, and they help us. What more could any community offer?”

The Ambassador’s Club, made up of former foundation board members, meets twice a year to award grants to worthy causes in Fulton County. Like many grants, funds for Ambassador’s Club awards comefromcommunity funds that are used to make grants that meet the current local needs. To help grow community grant funds, the Fulton County Service Committee Legacy Fund was established by current and former members during Lilly Endowment, Inc. GIFT VI (Give Indiana Funds for Tomorrow) program.

There is currently an opportunity through Lilly Endowment, Inc. for donors to help grow community funds. All gifts to community funds are being matched by $2 for every $1 donated.

Other examples of project and organization grants by community funds include the Rochester Splash Pad, Lucas Devices for fire departments, new dugouts and fencing for local ball diamonds, a generator for the Kewanna Food Pantry, and so much more.

Learn more about how you can make a positive impact now and forever in your community by visiting

Frain Crematory open, dedication set for December

Frain Mortuary is operating its new crematory service.

On October 2, Dan and Jon Frain of Frain Mortuary, Inc. opened the Frain Crematory in Winamac.  Located north of Winamac on US 35, the state of the art facility is equipped with the latest cremation technology. 

Families that choose cremation can be confident that their loved one is cared for in a dignified manner by funeral professionals with generational experience. 

For more information, please contact Frain Crematory at 574-946-6200. 

A dedication ceremony is planned for early December with the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce.  

Pike Lumber donates $25,000 to support Akron parks

Pike Lumber Company of Akron donated $25,000 to the Pike Lumber Company Fund supporting the Akron Area Parks.

Established in 2018 at the Fulton County Community Foundation, this fund provides support for parks located in Akron and adjacent areas of Henry Township.

“Pike Lumber Company has always held a strong belief in the importance of improving the communities in which we operate,” said Craig Brouyette of Pike Lumber Company. “Our company has been involved with the Pike Memorial Park since the early 1950s. Our pledge to the Akron area parks is just one way we strive to give back to the Akron community.”


FSSA adds second round of employer-sponsored child care fund grants

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning today announced it will extend the Employer-Sponsored Child Care Fund application window and award grants in two rounds. The $25 million fund, part of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb’s 2023 Next Level Agenda, will mobilize employers and communities to create or expand child care offerings that address the needs of working Hoosiers.

Round one of applications are due at 11:59 p.m. Nov. 22. Round two of applications will close at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 15. FSSA will target up to 75% of the funds for round one applications with announcements in December of the awarded employers and organizations.  

Any applications not awarded in the first round, and additional applications received between Nov. 22 and Dec. 15, will be considered for the second round. Those awards, utilizing the remaining funds, will be announced in January.

The $25 million program, a partnership with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, uses a portion of the state’s remaining federal relief funds from the COVID-19 pandemic and is part of the state’s broader efforts to strengthen the early care and education sector, providing support for today’s workforce and investing in tomorrow’s. The program is also supported by the Indiana Manufacturers Association.

Grant funding can be used to support employees’ child care needs in a variety of ways, including sponsoring dependent care assistance plans, providing on-site or near-site child care or offering child care tuition benefits. Grants of up to $750,000 will be awarded. The full list of allowable uses and details can be found here.

To be eligible, employers must be located in Indiana and either a business or corporation employing 20 or more employees, a group of employers with 20 or more employees or a community-based nonprofit applying on behalf of a group of local employers with a combined total of 20 or more employees. Employers must also be willing to contribute 10% of the total amount requested and be able to implement solutions within the first year of the program.

More information and a link to the application can be found here

Local community member honored for excellence and dedication

Silvia Markley, Business Office Manager, from Hickory Creek at Rochester was among the 99 employees from across the state of Indiana who were honored with the American Senior Communities (ASC) Quest for Excellence award for their outstanding service to patients and residents. 

Every year, ASC celebrates outstanding employees who were nominated by their peers during the annual Quest for Excellence Awards Celebration. In its 23rd year, the event took place on November 9, 2023, at the Marriott Downtown Indianapolis. 

With over 10,000 employees across the state, a Quest for Excellence award of the year is the highest level of recognition an ASC employee can receive, honoring employees who exhibit a compassionate and dedicated approach that surpasses their typical job requirements. Honorees include clinical staff, therapists and culinary staff, as well as business office, housekeeping, maintenance team members and others. 

Vice President of Social Wellness & Enrichment Janean Kinzie delivered remarks on ASC’s Care Companion culture, and Josh Heaston, Director of Christian Mission for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis delivered the keynote speech on compassion. Additional remarks were delivered by CEO Steve Van Camp and COO Andy Shane. 

“ASC’s Quest for Excellence Award winners promote and maintain the ASC culture of caring for others while demonstrating the highest level of integrity,” said ASC Chief Executive Officer Steve Van Camp. “These exceptional people embody ASC’s commitment by keeping its values of Compassion, Accountability, Relationships and Excellence (CARE) as their highest priorities.” 

Volunteers needed for event feeding the community in Mentone

Feeding the Families of Egg City is coming up this weekend.

The Mentone Chamber of Commerce along with area businesses and churches is hosting the event Saturday.

Volunteers are needed to help prep, bake and cook on Friday. A sign-up sheet is at Deli N Dough for two hour increments from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Volunteers are also needed for Saturday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., to help with food prep. And volunteers are needed 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. to help serve and keep food fresh and hot. Help is also needed for clean-up from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

If you know someone in Mentone that could use a meal, contact Deli N Dough ahead of time so arrangements can be made for delivery. A name, number of people in the home and address will need to be provided.

Recipients of the meals can come to Deli N Dough on Saturday to get a meal to go or they will be delivered.

Anyone with questions should direct them to Deli N Dough.

Fulton County Community Foundation Giving Tuesday campaign

The Fulton County Community Foundation is launching their annual Giving Tuesday Campaign leading up to the November 28 event.

Similar to previous years, there is a significant community fund match initiative. Additionally, there is a $1 for $1 match opportunity for up to $10,000 for the Fulton County Parks Department and $15,000 for The Outlet Youth Center.

Giving Tuesday is an international day of celebration for local and global nonprofits that work year-round serving their communities.

This year’s celebration will be from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the foundation’s office, 227 E Ninth St, Rochester. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Learn more at or call 574-223-2227.


Fulton County Chamber Of Commerce announces It's Small Business Season: Support Local

The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce Small Business Season!

Again this year, the Chamber is launching a program to support small business. Check out the Chamber’s Facebook group at Throughout the holiday shopping season, the Chamber is encouraging consumers to “Think Small” and earmark at least part of their holiday spending in support of local small businesses.

Fulton County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jillian Smith shares, “Small business is the backbone of our economy. 64% of our new jobs in the US come from small business. When people spend their dollars locally, more money stays local. On average, for every $100 spent locally, $68 of that stays here.”

“By implementing Small Business Season, we hope to encourage people to patronize all sorts of small businesses this holiday. In addition to our wonderful retail options, there are dining establishments, personal service providers, even local artisans that need our support. Small Business Season is a way to help our residents develop a better appreciation for how their spending affects our area and quality of life.”

In addition to increased marketing efforts, the Chamber is planning a Fulton CountyShop Small Passport Program November 25 – December 10. Shoppers will be invited to patron participating businesses for their chance to win Chamber Dollars. The Chamber is encouraging all businesses to participate in its efforts to raise awareness of how supporting small business improves the quality of life for the entire community. “All businesses need one another. There’s a symbiotic relationship. But small business is the most endangered because many small businesses don’t operate with large cash reserves. When costs skyrocket, they feel it,” says Smith.

The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce is challenging everyone in the area to support small business this holiday season.

About Small Business Season
Small Business Season™ is a free global marketing campaign created to help share the message and educate on the importance of supporting not just a local business, but our neighbors and friends. Small businesses support our community by creating jobs as well as donating to our non-profits, our youth organizations, and our local events. 

Secretary of State offers texting service to voters

Hoosier voters will now have a convenient, secure way to contact the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office with election questions or concerns.

The election text hotline is simple to use. Just text the letters ‘IN’ to the number 45995. A secure link will be returned where Hoosiers can submit their question or concern directly to the Secretary of State’s Office. Election staff will promptly receive and review questions or concerns and respond directly to the voter.

Hoosiers can text ‘IN’ to 45995 for a wide variety of reasons.  A few examples include:

Reporting something suspicious at a polling site

Information about voting locations and hours

Questions about election security

Hoosiers can always check their voting status, find polling locations, and see a sample ballot at the website. As a reminder, Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th. 

The service is free, however individual user’s text messaging and data rates may apply.

Congressman Rudy Yakym mobile staff hours for the district

Congressman Rudy Yakym (IN-02) announced the following dates, times, and locations that his office will be holding mobile staff office hours in November throughout Indiana’s Second District.

Mobile office hours will allow for Congressman Yakym’s staff to assist constituents with casework questions: 


Cass County

, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. ET

Walton Tipton Public Library

110 N. Main St.

Walton, IN


 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. ET

Walton Tipton Public Library

110 N. Main St.

Walton, IN



Fulton County

Rochester District Office – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

709 Main St.

Rochester, IN


 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET

Kewanna Public Library

210 E. Main Street

Kewanna, IN


Kosciusko County

 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. ET

Etna Green Town Hall

106 S. Walnut St

Etna Green, IN


 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Warsaw City Hall

102 S Buffalo St

Warsaw, IN


Marshall County

, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Plymouth City Hall (Mayor’s Office – 2nd Floor)

124 N. Michigan St.

Plymouth, IN


, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Bremen Town Hall

111 S. Center St.

Bremen, IN


Miami County

 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. ET

Peru City Hall (Conference Room – 2nd Floor)

35 S. Broadway

Peru, IN


 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET

Bunker Hill Town Hall

101 W Broadway

Bunker Hill, IN


Pulaski County

Thursday, November 16, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET

Medaryville Town Hall

409 E. Main Street

Medaryville, IN


Thursday, November 30, 11:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET

Pulaski County CDC/Economic Development (Board Room)

623 W. Eleventh St.

Winamac, IN


Starke County

Wednesday, November 1, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET (9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. CT)

North Judson Town Hall

310 Lane St

North Judson, IN


Monday, November 13, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. CT)

Starke County Courthouse

53 E. Washington St

Walkerton, IN


Wabash County

Wednesday, November 8, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET

Roann Town Hall

110 N Chippewa St

Roann, IN


Tuesday, November 28, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Wabash City Hall

202 S. Wabash St.

Wabash, IN