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Honoring Al Whitlow

This year's Paul J. Alinsky Excellence Award will be presented posthumously to Councilman Al Whitlow, who passed away on November 19, 2017.

After his death, Al was described by The News-Dispatch as being “the epitome of a public servant.” He began working as an educator for Michigan City Area Schools in 1961. Over the next 30 years he served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and coach – including as the assistant for the state champion 1966 Red Devils basketball team.

He later spent 13 years working as executive director for the Boys & Girls Club of Michigan City. When he retired in 2014, Al successfully ran for an at-large seat on the Michigan City Common Council, serving until his death.

Al was also named Humanitarian of the Year by the Human Rights Commission in 2006.

His obituary states, “Allan was an invaluable presence to Michigan City, and his dedication, perseverance, passion, kindness and unpretentious attitude to everyone he encountered during his life will be missed by an endless amount of people.”

The Paul J. Alinsky Excellence 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 this 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. ​

 

 

 

Jan 25, 2018
 
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Mike's Annual Market Presentation

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.

Feb 01, 2018
 
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La Porte County Superior Court 2

 Hon. Richard Stalbrink graduated from Ball State University in 1990 with a degree in political science. Thereafter, he attended law school at Valparaiso University School of Law and obtained a Juris Doctorate in 1993. He has practiced law in the State of Maryland and the State of Indiana. For the first four (4) years of his career, Mr. Stalbrink practiced law in a firm in the State of Maryland focusing on criminal defense and insurance defense.
Mr. Stalbrink returned to LaPorte County, Indiana, in 1998, and opened his private law practice while maintaining a part-time position as a deputy prosecuting attorney with the LaPorte County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Mr. Stalbrink has been an adjunct professor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a guest instructor at Notre Dame Law School for their Intensive Trial Advocacy Program.  In January 2007, Mr. Stalbrink accepted a position with the LaPorte County Judiciary as a full-time magistrate. In 2008 Mr. Stalbrink was elected as Judge of LaPorte Superior Court 2, in Michigan City, Indiana. Mr. Stalbrink has presided over many jury trials involving both civil and criminal matters. Mr. Stalbrink has served on the Domestic Relations Committee for the Indiana Supreme Court which serves to review and revise the Indiana Child Support Guidelines and the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. Mr. Stalbrink has graduated from the Indiana Judicial College and the Indiana Graduate Program for Judges.
When he is not serving in a judicial capacity, Mr. Stalbrink is active in the community in many volunteer organizations. Mr. Stalbrink is a past chairman of the LaPorte County Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is a past president of the LaPorte County Fair Board. He is also a past president of the 4-H Horse & Pony Committee. He has served as the senior leader of the LaPorte County 4-H Horse & Pony Club.​

Feb 08, 2018
 
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Franciscan Health - Michigan City

Dean Mazzoni, who has held executive positions at five hospitals during the course of his career, including for-profit and not-for-profit facilities, is the current president and chief executive officer of Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City. He assumed his duties in mid-January, 2016. Mazzoni has served for three years in his previous position as vice president and site administrator at Voorhees Hospital, a 398bed facility in Voorhees, N.J. Prior to joining Voorhees, he was vice president of operations at Marlton Hospital, a 198-bed facility in Marlton, N.J., for six years. Mazzoni was chief operating officer for two years at the 257-bed, two-campus, University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tenn. Mazzoni received his undergraduate degree in social and behavioral sciences from Johns Hopkins University, a master’s degree in public health/health care administration from UMDNJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and a master’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in corporate finance/strategy, from the University of Notre Dame.Mazzoni is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, has served as a mentor for the Healthcare Leadership Network of Delaware Valley, and is a member of the American Public Health Association. He has been active in numerous civic organizations, among them the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and has served on their boards of directors. He is currently on the Board of the Northern Indiana Education Foundation based in Michigan City.      ​

Feb 15, 2018
 
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Underwater Search and Rescue Divers

The Michigan City Police Department’s Underwater Search and Rescue Divers (SCUBA Team) consists of 6 divers at this time. All of the members are certified divers, with one also being trained as a dive medic in case injuries or medical injuries occur. We practice twice a month and were diving as late as November this year. Officers volunteer to be on this team and are on-call for water emergencies.  

Feb 22, 2018
 
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Photographer

Bobby Talamine is one of the most prolific rock n' roll photographers in the world. Very much in demand, he is regularly published in leading international newspapers and magazines, and has been included in numerous books, exhibitions, advertising campaigns, and on CD and vinyl album jackets. He has photographed virtually every notable musical act since 1977, including artists as diverse as Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and The Grateful Dead. Recently, Bobby has worked extensively with Ariana Grande, Radiohead, Metallica, Halsey, Flume, Disclosure, Chance the Rapper and Beyonce.
Mar 01, 2018
 
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A Special Performance

Born and raised in Baltimore, Amy grew up on the sounds of Sinatra, Ella, Motown, showtunes, sock hop hits, and the American Songbook.
Known for brilliant performances, stunning vocals, and unassuming wit, charm, and candor on stage, Amy has played music halls, bars, opera houses, living rooms, sanctuaries, and theatres all across North America, with festivals from Florida's 30A Songwriters Festival to Alaska's Folk Fest, and will be heading overseas for her first UK tour in fall 2018. An award-winning, tree-hugging, ever-traveling (with her dog in tow), modern day torch-singer and songwriter, Amy's voice is one you want to experience live.
 
Mar 08, 2018
 
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Mike Hackett will discuss the upcoming Apple Dumpling Project and Jim Welborne will give us an update on the polio efforts.

Mar 15, 2018
 
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Update from the La Porte County Prosecutor's Office

Prosecuting Attorney John Espar is a La Porte County native, born and raised in Michigan City. He graduated Elston High School in 1980, and attended Indiana University~ Bloomington, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1984, cum laude with special honors in Forensic Studies and a second major in English. Upon graduation, John was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society. In 1987, John received his law degree from the University of Southern California~ Los Angeles. Prosecutor Espar has spent his entire 30-year legal career as a prosecutor seeking to balance a victim’s plea for justice, a justice system’s obligation to right the wrongs of others, and the community’s right to peace and security. Over the past 30 years, Prosecutor Espar has personally prosecuted some of the most-difficult and most-disturbing cases imaginable, including the death penalty prosecution of Timothy Buss for the abduction, sexual mutilation and murder of a nine-year-old child – one of two cases which instilled in John a passion to pursue justice for the victims of violence, and in particular, justice for the most-vulnerable among us, our children. Prosecutor Espar began his first term as the elected Prosecuting Attorney for La Porte County, in 2015 after securing more than 70% of the vote in a contested primary and 100% of the vote in an uncontested general election. Upon taking office in January 2015, Mr. Espar immediately set out to overhaul the very structure of the Office of Prosecuting Attorney and the very manner in which the staff of prosecutors conducted the people’s business within the criminal justice system, saying, “We were not elected to maintain the status quo; We were elected to overturn it.” In his first act as the newly-elected prosecutor, Mr. Espar set out to dismantle an office structure comprised of a staff of part-time prosecutors, divided between the demands of their private clients and their duties to the public as prosecutors. Today, the entire criminal division of the Office of the La Porte County Prosecuting Attorney is staffed by full-time prosecutors, dedicated as public servants to seek justice for victims of crime, accountability for criminal offenders and peace and security for our community. Prosecuting Attorney Espar launched a number of other unprecedented initiatives under his new administration, including the formation of the La Porte County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit to investigate, intervene and prosecute, individuals who use technology and the Internet to prey upon children for purposes of sexual exploitation. Prosecutor’s Espar’s ICAC Unit works in conjunction with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Indiana ICAC Task Force, and various other federal, state and law enforcement agencies across the country, to intervene in the online exploitation of endangered children. After forming the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, Prosecutor Espar formed the first Prosecuting Attorney’s Special Victims Unit and spearheaded the formal implementation of the La Porte County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), bringing together a multi-disciplinary team of compassionate professionals to meet the unique needs for the effective investigation and prosecution of crimes of sexual assault. Prosecuting Attorney Espar has been called to testify before the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee in support of legislation on behalf of the Indiana Crimes Against Children Task Force. And Mr. Espar’s work on behalf of child-victims of crime, has been recognized by the Dunebrook Child Advocacy Center, which named him the 2017 recipient of the Lester Radke Community Service Award.  John is a member of the National Internet Crimes Against Children Program, the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys, Inc. and the National District Attorneys Association. On a personal note, John is the fifth of seven children born to Margaret and Bill Espar. In 1985, John and Yolla began their, now 32-year marriage, during which they raised their three, now adult, children, Christina, Emily and Andrew. John and Yolla are members of Queen of All Saints Church where John serves as a lector. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Saint Anthony Maronite Aid Society and is presently on-leave from active membership in the Rotary Club of Michigan City.

Mar 22, 2018
 
Mar 28, 2018 2:30 PM
 
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An update on the war on drugs from La Porte County's High Intensity Drug Traffic Area team

La Porte County joined Indiana’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area group in January 2017, focused on people bringing drugs to La Porte County from Chicago or Detroit on Interstate 94, on the South Shore train, etc. Sheriff John Boyd told the media that he applied for this designation under a belief that the drug war is best attacked as a region and the effort locally, although enhanced the past several years, wasn’t enough.  Through the HIDTA group, the La Porte County Sheriff’s Department has partnered with other agencies including the FBI, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Attorney’s Office and Indiana State Police.  This brings additional manpower, funding and resources to aid in La Porte County’s war on drugs.

Mar 29, 2018
 
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Narcan training

Ann Klute from the La Porte County Health Department and Joseph Bunch from the La Porte County Drug Free Partnership will teach Rotarians about the proper administration of Narcan, training that could possibly save a life.

Naloxone (Narcan™) is an opiate antidote which reverses an opioid overdose in much the same manner as an EpiPen (epinephrine injection) reverses an allergic reaction. Opioids include heroin, fentanyl, and prescription pain pills like OxyContin, Percocet, methadone, and Vicodin. It cannot be used to get a person high. If given to one who has not taken opioids, it will not have any effect on them, since there are no opioids in their system to reverse.

Apr 05, 2018
 
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President of the Maywood-Proviso Rotary Club - Leadership, Motivation and Personal Development

Talei Thompson is a professional speaker. He specializes in leadership growth and personal development as a member of Dr. John C. Maxwell’s leadership team. He volunteers his time as a mentor for the Black Star Project, a non-profit organization that seeks to enhance the educational experience of students in the Chicago land area.  As a volunteer for this organization he speaks to thousands of students each year, encouraging them to use their talents, gifts, and abilities to accomplish their dreams, goals, and aspirations. 

Talei is the C.E.O of E.T and T Enterprises Inc. He is the former interim President of the Chicago land south suburban chapter of SPAA, the Speakers Publishers and Authors Association.  He is also a board member and president of the Rotary Club of Maywood-Proviso, recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow. Talei also serves on the Board for The Answer Inc., an Autism awareness non-profit organization.

Mr. Thompson studied at Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia, is the loving father of two boys, as well as a member of Fellowship Baptist Church on the south side of Chicago

Apr 12, 2018
 
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STEM Coordinator Shelley Deutscher and sixth grade students

Lake Hills STEM Magnet School is located within walking distance to Lake Michigan.  Lake Hills is STEM accredited by the Indiana Department of Education. The school is currently in the second of a three year partnership with the Museum of Science of Industry. Approximately 500 kindergarten through sixth grade students attend Lake Hills.

Our school has become leaders in Michigan City Area Schools in the area of Coding and teaching Computer Science Skills to all of our K-6 students. STEM Celebrations of Learning are held to allow students to share their knowledge of coding with parents and the community.

Code is the list of instructions given to any computer in order for it to perform the desired actions. We live in a world that is becoming more reliant on technology every single day. At Lake Hills we are trying to prepare our students for their future in education and then the workforce.

Apr 19, 2018
 
Apr 25, 2018 12:00 PM
 
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Conversation with the founder of Yoga Mecca, who will lead Rotarians through a meditation

I find that from every teacher, every lineage, and every practice, you can glean new light and wisdom. My teaching is a fusion of styles and traditions including: Ashtanga, Power yoga, Iyengar, Yin yoga, restorative yoga, Akhanda yoga, Integral yoga, and the teachings of Ido Portal. The hallmarks of my teaching include: Freedom, Compassion, The Balancing of Pluralities into Singularity, and Fun.
I also practice gymnastics, capoeira, calisthenics, run, and rock climb in my spare time, which all inform my teaching.

Every yoga class is an opportunity to enlighten my students with the wisdom of the body, mind and spirit, to progress ever more towards Moksha, Ananda, Kaivalya, Mahasamadhi and Yoga.

Through the practice of yoga we all become a little more understanding, a little more compassionate, and a little more loving.

Apr 26, 2018
 
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  In 2012, as the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics program celebrated its 20th Anniversary Season, MCAS Safe Harbor unveiled its Rookie Robotics Team. With a dedicated and talented team of high school students, the MCAS Safe Harbor Team 3936 earned the prestigious Midwest Region Rookie All-Star Award in Chicago and competed at the 2012 World Championships held in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. This season, the team was part of the #2 Seed Alliance Team that made it to the finals of the Indiana St. Joseph District tournament this weekend! We thank Team 71 of Hammond and Team 1501 of Huntington for choosing us to be part of their Alliance team. Our Blitz Drive Team did a great job of navigating the Arcade to secure Power Cubes for the Vault and the Pit Crew kept our robot working through 18 matches over two days. Well done, Blitz!!   As part of the Safe Harbor Afterschool Program and Hours for Ours mentoring program, which champion youth-based science and engineering activities in an Afterschool setting, our robotics program was one of three Afterschool programs nationwide to be showcased in the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Annual Report. Building on these accomplishments, we expanded our program to include the FIRST Lego League for Middle School students and the Junior FIRST Lego League for Elementary School students. Utilizing the proven FIRST Robotics suite of programs we are proud to begin inspiring engineers and scientists at the earliest stages of learning and then continuing to guide them through their high school years and on to their future roles as leaders in our communities. The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership. With the support of our community, family members and mentors, the MC Robotics Team strives to build up our community’s children, help develop leaders of the future and provide a safe place for learning and innovation.
May 03, 2018
 

The Rotary Club of Michigan City will present its inaugural Teacher of the Year Award, honoring an educator within the Michigan City Area Schools system who embodies the Rotary motto of Service Above Self and exemplifies this message in his or her classroom.

May 10, 2018
 
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Real Food Blends

Originally inspired by their young tube-fed son, AJ, who is now the company’s “Chief Inspiration Officer”, and a belief that we all deserve real food, Julie and Tony Bombacino sought to create a company that provided easy access to 100% real food meals and nutritional variety to tube-fed people and their families, at home or on the go.

Years later and with millions of meals sold, you will still only find 100% real food in our meals. No corn syrup, preservatives or synthetic additives/fillers – just a variety of simple real ingredients to nourish your body and soul.

May 17, 2018
 
May 23, 2018 12:00 PM
 
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Since 1992, Unity Foundation of La Porte County has served donors, nonprofits and local communities. As La Porte County’s community foundation, it manages approximately $31 million in assets, administers more than 325 charitable funds, and has distributed approximately $16 million through direct grants and scholarships. Unity’s mission is to strengthen La Porte County now and forever by building permanent endowments; providing leadership; offering philanthropic vehicles for everyone; and, being a catalyst for social and economic vitality

May 24, 2018
 
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The Social and Learning Institute

The Social and Learning Institute has been serving the La Porte County area since 1976 as a privately funded non-profit organization providing a day program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Institute’s mission is rooted in the idea that all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are defined by their own strengths and abilities--not by their disability--and that each person deserves every opportunity to thrive and participate fully in society. Programming is designed to expand minds, teach essential life skills, and help individuals recognize their worth through a structured balance of socialization and learning activities. Learn more.

May 31, 2018
 
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A history of La Porte University

Leigh’s presentation will be about La Porte University, which was founded in 1840 and included Indiana’s first medical and law schools as well as a literary department..  He’ll tell us about the rise and fall of the university, including  an interesting connection to Michigan City.  The La Porte University site was recently designated by an Indiana State Historical Marker.  Leigh’s book about he university was published with the support of the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte and is on sale at the La Porte County Historical Society Museum.

Jun 07, 2018
 
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Presented by the Scholarship Committee

The Scholarship Committee will introduce the 2018 winners of the Rotary Club of Michigan City Foundation Scholarship.   Each year two graduating high school seniors, who exemplify ‘Service Above Self,’ are awarded $2,000 each.  The student applicants are asked to submit a short biography, letters of recommendation, and an essay on how they were  impacted by involvement in service activities, and how these activities touched and enriched the lives of others, especially those in need.  Please join our fellow Rotarians to welcome these thoughtful and accomplished students, hear about their service experiences, and their plans for the future.  Let’s also congratulate the parents for a job well-done!

Jun 14, 2018
 

Sinai Forum

Learn about the exciting speakers at the upcoming Sinai Forum to be held at the Student Activities Center, Purdue Northwest, North Central Campus

Since 1953, The Sinai Forum has provided exceptional, affordable programming on important issues of the day in a town hall setting for the residents of the greater Michigan City area. Over the years, the Forum has featured Nobel Prize recipients, former heads of state, Pulitzer Prize winners, recognized media personalities, and famous performing artists. Season after season, Forum audiences have been inspired, educated, enlightened, and entertained. www.sinaiforum.org 

Jun 21, 2018
 
Jun 27, 2018 2:30 PM
 
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Human Trafficking - Indiana Attorney General Office

The Office of the Indiana Attorney General helps protect the rights, freedoms, and safety you enjoy as a citizen of the Hoosier state.

Denise Robinson is Chief Counsel of Investigations with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General in Indianapolis where her duties include supervision of the civil and criminal sections of the Investigations Division and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The Human Trafficking Unit is part of criminal investigations and is staffed with both Deputies Attorney General and Special Investigators.
Until January 20, 2017, Denise was a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office in Indianapolis, Indiana. Employed as a full-time deputy prosecutor in Indiana since 1992, Denise joined MCPO in April 2006 starting in the Homicide Division where her prosecution of homicide cases included cases seeking life without parole and/or the death penalty. In 2007, Denise became supervisor of the Homicide Division; in 2011, she became the Special Crimes Unit supervisor which included complex homicide prosecutions, including child homicides, as well as other high profile prosecutions in Indianapolis. She was also the homicide coordinator for MCPO, which included responsibility for screening and filing all homicide-related cases. She has successfully prosecuted, as lead counsel, numerous high profile homicide cases.
Before coming to Indianapolis, Denise was a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Elkhart County, Indiana for over three years where she was responsible for prosecuting homicide and major felony cases, heading the drug task force, and conducting in-house training for deputy prosecuting attorneys and for law enforcement. Prior to Elkhart County she was Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for over ten years, serving LaGrange County, Indiana.
She received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University, her J.D. degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Laws in International Business and Trade from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She is currently enrolled at Christian Theological Seminary in the Master of Divinity program.
Denise has instructed law enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys in Indiana and throughout the United States on various legal and trial topics. She has taught for the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), AGACL and various state prosecuting agencies on topics including DNA, arson and other complex homicide prosecutions, child death cases, jury selection, cold case homicides, pre-trial issues in death penalty and other complex homicide cases, and human trafficking

Jun 28, 2018
 

Happy Independence Day!

Jul 05, 2018
 
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Invite your family and friends!

Enjoy a picnic at the Barker Mansion garden. Invite your family and friends!

Special guest Singer Dina Bach.

In 1968, the Mansion, also known as Barker Civic Center, was presented to the City of Michigan City under terms of a legal agreement between the City and the donor, Catherine Barker Hickox. Her wish was that the Mansion, her childhood home, should be used as a cultural and civic center in memory of her father, John H. Barker. A commission was established to direct the Center’s activities which would include restoration, preservation and documentation of the Mansion and its artifacts. These activities are for the purpose of education, research, and interpretation of the life-style of a wealthy industrialist of the late 19th century for a broad public audience.

Such is the background for the evolution of the Barker Civic Center whose specific mission is as follows:

  • Present a historically accurate portrayal of Barker family life, especially that of John H. Barker - family man, citizen, entrepreneur, industrialist, and philanthropist; and also that of his daughter Catherine Barker Hickox - orphan at age 14, heiress, businesswoman, and founder of the Barker Welfare Foundation.
  • Offer tours, programs and exhibits portraying the cultural, social and economic activities of the period, thereby fostering the public’s appreciation of the mansion’s original furnishings, architecture and gardens.
  • Serve area schools with specially focused tours, games and programs.
  • Create a gracious and hospitable atmosphere for usage by non-profit civic and cultural groups and for lectures, recitals, and weddings.
  • Welcome the public to the Mansion and to our many programs as a volunteer.
  • Preserve and maintain the Mansion and its contents in order to ensure its place on the National Register of Historic Places.
Jul 12, 2018