Event Types

Special guests KMS Choir with Shirley Allen

Minority Leader Scott Pelath, first elected to represent Indiana House District 9 in 1998, was born and raised in Michigan City.

Pelath received a Bachelor of Science degree in public affairs from Indiana University in 1992 and served as an aide to U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer from 1992 to 1997.

He served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, is a graduate of the Indiana University ROTC program and the Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Knox, Ky., and is a member of the American Legion.

On Nov. 8, 2012, Representative Pelath was elected Indiana House Democratic Leader by his colleagues and has twice been elected a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 2000 and 2012.

He has two daughters, Israel and Isabella, and one son, Leo.

Scott works as a human resources director at the Swanson Center in Michigan City.

Rep. Scott Pelath
Dec 07, 2017

Special guests Michigan City High School Football Coach Mason and Team.


Captain Kerry Bartsch has been an officer with The Salvation Army since 2012, but her involvement with the organization began when she was a child. At the age of five, Kerry began attending vacation bible school and summer camp at The Salvation Army because it was a place she always felt loved and accepted.

Following her passion for social work and helping others through Christ, Kerry found a career with The Salvation Army. She graduated from Southeastern University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and later attended The Salvation Army’s College for Officer Training with Johnny Bartsch, her husband since 2002.

The couple has three children – Gracie, Selah and Chloe – and a Rottweiler puppy named Faith. In her free time, Kerry loves kayaking, running and spending time with her family.

The Bartschs came to Michigan City in 2016 to oversee the local Salvation Army Corps, coming from their most recent assignment in Wichita, Kansas.

Captain Kerry Bartsch
Dec 14, 2017

While this is his eleventh year as Judge of the LaPorte Circuit Court, Judge Tom Alevizos has devoted his entire career to serving LaPorte County.  

Like all other LaPorte County natives, some of Tom’s most cherished memories are about growing up in such a vibrant and close-knit community.  Whether it be working at his Dad’s Michigan City gas station or growing-up around Michigan City in the 1970s, Tom had a sense of purpose instilled in him early on.  Before graduating from Rogers High School in 1979, Tom was class President and he made his skills available to various clubs and organizations.  Tom also won numerous academic awards while at Rogers.

After graduation, Tom went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate from Valparaiso University.  As a young man, Tom served on the Michigan City Common Council as an ardent advocate for the needs of his district and for the betterment of Michigan City in general.  Thereafter, the good people of LaPorte County elected Tom to serve three plus terms as the member of the Indiana House of Representatives.  As Representative, Tom’s tenure included being chairman of the Judiciary and Rules committees. He was instrumental in legislative and administrative efforts to allow Michigan City to choose to have a casino.

Tom’s service to LaPorte County also included his law practice.  Tom held a private practice while also serving 11 years as a LaPorte County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.  During this chapter of his career, Tom also served on the Indiana Public Defenders Commission.

We know Tom today as LaPorte Circuit Court Judge.  As Judge, Tom has ushered in new efficiencies in case management; drastically improved our juvenile law system through the implementation of the Graduated Sanctions and Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) program; started the LaPorte County Drug Court; sought and received grants to preserve an Adult Guardianship program; and has adhered to a concept of “smart sentencing.”  Tom also applies his hometown-pride style of improving the community on a larger scale.  Tom has served on the Board of Governor of the Indiana Judges’ Association and he currently serves on the Board of Governors of the American Judges’ Association.  

Tom’s sense of community support is not contained in any particular vacuum.  Outside of his legal and governmental professions, Tom has proudly served as district chairman for the Boy Scouts as well as being a board member for Dunebrook, M.L. King Community Center, Michiana Industries, and the Washington Park Zoological Society.  

Finally, Tom’s commitment to serving his community has culminated in his being awarded our State’s two highest civilian honors; Sagamore of the Wabash and Distinguished Hoosier.  These honors were awarded to Tom by Governors of different political parties and both awards are proudly displayed in Tom’s Circuit Court Chambers. 

Judge Thomas Alevizos
Dec 21, 2017
No Meeting! Happy Holidays!
Dec 28, 2017

Noon Tour of Zorn Brew Works 605 E. 9th Street

The legacy began back in 1871, when Bavarian immigrant Philip Zorn Jr —the son of a signature brewer—migrated to Michigan City to start his own microbrew venture. After managing Busch & Brandt Brewery in Chicago for over 20 years, he was determined to create a thriving establishment of his own…and settled at the corner of 9th and York Streets.

Here, the P. H. Zorn Brewing Company was rumored to have used a spring-fed well to produce up to 15,000 barrels of fresh beer a year, including iconic brands such as Pilsenzorn, Grain State and Golden Grain. Even during Prohibition, the Zorn name survived by using the facility to make soda pop.  Eventually, Zorn Brewing Company changed its name to Dunes Brewery and was passed down to Philip’s son, Ron, before closing its doors in 1938.

Today, we have brought that brewing tradition back to life in Michigan City. We intend to revitalize a cherished piece of history and introduced a new series of exceptional craft beers to rival any of the past.  We invite you to experience a new sense of excitement to the Elston Grove area, and taste our brews in a warm, inviting, comfortable, and fun new setting.

Michigan City’s oldest microbrewery is now its newest. Stop in to the NEW Zorn Brew Works Co. and let us show you that crafting the perfect beer is still an art. One that is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. Your new favorite is waiting here.

Sam Kruis, Director Sales and Marketing
Jan 04, 2018

​Candida “Candy” Van Buskirk began her role as principal of Michigan City High School in the fall 2017 semester.

In her almost 20 years of teaching, coaching and educational leadership, Van Buskirk has served as associate principal of Michigan City High School, worked for New Prairie High School as an assistant principal, and at New Buffalo Schools, where she taught biology and chemistry. Her bachelor’s degree is from Bowling Green State University; her master’s in science from the University of Dayton; and her master’s in educational administration from Western Michigan University.

Additionally, Van Buskirk is a two-time All-American basketball player who has coached at both the high school and college levels. Her nonprofit “Coach Candy Basketball Camp” continues to teach participants character, attitude and teamwork.

Candida "Candy" Van Buskirk
Jan 11, 2018

Edward Seal grew up in New Buffalo, MI and now lives in Valparaiso, IN with his wife Jennifer and two children, Henrich and Eleanor. Edward began his career at the Swanson Center in 2009 shortly after graduating from Purdue North Central. He worked as an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) case manager for five years before becoming the Project for the Assistance in the Transition from Homelessness (PATH) case manager in 2014. He is now the Coordinator for the PATH program as well as the Coordinator for the Home Team of La Porte County. Ed has serves on Homeward Bound board of directors and he is currently the Board Chair for the Moraine House. Edward loves caring for his children and animals (3 chickens, 1 dog and a fish) he drinks coffee and listens to music to relax. ​

Edward Seal, Coordinator
Jan 18, 2018

The award is presented in honor of Paul Alinksy who was a past Chamber Chairman of the Board, Rotary Club President, and founder of Sentinel Alarm Company.  Paul passed away in 1997 and the award was created to keep his memory alive. The award is given annually to a person from the Michigan City community who exhibits dedication to community service and excellence, passion and innovation in their vocation/career.  These are the areas where Paul excelled. ​

Paul Alinsky Award
Jan 25, 2018

After graduating from Ball State University in 1993, Mike began his career in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Harbour Trust in 2001, Mike spent eight years serving as a Personal Trust Administrator with JP Morgan Chase. There, he was responsible for both personal trust and employee benefit accounts.

Mike has successfully completed the Personal Trust School program through Cannon Financial Institute at the University of Notre Dame. He earned the designation of Certified Trust Financial Advisor in 1997 and has enthusiastically worked to maintain this designation, as well as expand his knowledge of financial planning and investment management. In an effort to further broaden his knowledge of the trust and investment field, in 2012 Mike successfully passed the CISP exam and became a Certified IRA Services Professional through the Institute of Certified Bankers. He is the head of New Business Development at Harbour Trust and serves as head of the IRA Division.

Born and raised in Michigan City, Mike has two daughters and has served 3 terms as president of the Michigan City Rotary Club and as Rotary District 6540 Assistant District Governor. Mike is the President of the Board of Directors for the Lubeznik Center for the Arts.

Mike Hackett
Feb 08, 2018
Dean Mazzoni, President and CEO
Feb 15, 2018