For the Love of Fort Wayne

Have you heard of Love, Fort Wayne?  It’s a pro-Fort campaign created by the 2014 Leadership Fort Wayne class.  (The valuable entity that is “Leadership Fort Wayne” is a discussion deserving its own blog post.)  Several of the Contagious Community contributors have become involved with the project and for good reason.

According to the group’s website, Love, Fort Wayne (LFW) is “a positive image campaign for our city, captured via video testimonials from Fort Wayne residents and community leaders.”  The project is rolling into the social media world as we speak and the results are engaging.  So engaging that LFW has invited all Fort-lovers to submit their own testimonial via the website.

Consider participating.  Many of us live here for a reason, or a variety of reasons.  Let’s celebrate our city and the people who make it lovable.  (I might be talking about you.)

Love Fort Wayne

Shop for Success!

If you’re anything like me, you hardly need an excuse to shop. But if you’re looking for a good excuse, here’s an excellent one. For the entire day of November 6, you can shop the stores at Covington Plaza and support Dress for Success, a program of the Women’s Bureau.

For more information about stores and % donated, visit DFS Covington Plaza

Online Shopping to Support JA

Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana

As a board member and volunteer for Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, I see first hand the impact sharing financial concepts can have in a young life. Whether it’s inspiring the next entrepreneur, laying out a plan for a successful resume or seeing them learn hands on in BizTown, kids walk away inspired to succeed. For the past several years, JA has made it fun (and easy) to support their efforts through their online auction.

If you’re shopping for the person who has everything, definitely check out their site. There are many “experience” gifts, including a night behind-the-scenes of The Score with my husband.

November 20th at 8pm – November 27th at 8 p.m. EST. 

To View Auction Items, CLICK HERE.

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Some items that are available:

  • Certificates to local restaurants: Chop’s, Club Soda (all inclusive), Cork ‘n Cleaver, Don Hall’s Restaurants, Papa John’s…
  • Local & professional sporting event tickets: Chicago White Sox Scout Seats!, Notre Dame, Fort Wayne Komets, TinCaps, and Mad Ants…
  • Overnight get-a-ways: 1 Weekend Stay in Tennessee, Over Night Stay in Indy, and Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast in Indiana…
  • Entertainment packages:  DJ for 4 Hours, Honorary Team Captain for Mad Ants, Guest TinCaps Radio Broadcaster, Behind the Scenes Sports Announcer, Bowling Parties, Ultra Zone Lazer Tag, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Movie Packages…

Thank you, on behalf of the over 101,000 students being reached throughout the 25 counties Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana serves. 

Removing the Mask Gala

1st Annual “Removing the Mask” Gala

October 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm

at the Landmark Conference & Reception Centre

This first annual event supports education and advocacy for individuals struggling with mental illness through the work of Mental Health America in Allen County, Inc. The evening features cocktails, dinner, silent auction and music from The Paradise Band. Black tie is optional and masquerade masks will be provided.

Tickets are available for $85/person; $150/couple; or $750/table of 10. Purchase your tickets or make a donation to support the work by visiting

Running for a Reason

As you know, Amber and I are passionate about living and serving in our community. (We hope that passion is contagious!) Lately, we’ve also grown a passion for running. So logically, this post is going to be about the marriage of those two passions – supporting non-profits and running.

On any given weekend, you can find a 5k run/walk to participate in where the proceeds of the race go to charity. In fact, this month alone, you can still choose from all of these area races:

So what’s the point? I’m not advocating that everyone run out (pun intended) and sign up for any or all of these races. But what I would advise is to treat these events (and golf outings, fundraisers, etc.) as you would when investing your dollars through donation and time through volunteering.

If you’re just looking to run, you can do that on a local trail. You sign up for these events because you want to support the cause, yes? If that’s true, I recommend you do the following before registering:

  • Make sure you match your effort with your passion. Especially when there are this many events to choose from! Are you passionate about children’s causes? Healthcare? Clean water?
  • Ask how much of your registration goes to support the mission of the organization. If you were making a donation or paying for a ticket to an event, they would disclose this.
  • Learn how much of your gift goes to operating costs, etc. and how much goes directly to the mission? This will vary with each organization depending on if they operate from an endowment, have staff or are all volunteer.
  • Consider whether your not your gift stays local. Does the event support a local charity, national or global? Consider if that even matters to you?

This might seem like overkill for something as simple as a 5k. But if you’re making the investment to train and pay a registration fee, you might as well make sure you’re making a wise investment for your personal passion.

Your Story, Made Here- new website launch

Heather and I love our community, but we aren’t the only ones. In fact, there are entire organizations devoted to shining a spotlight on all of the reasons our region rocks. The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership is one such organization, and today it launched a new website, Your Story, Made Here,  the centerpiece of a strategy to attract and retain talent in Northeast Indiana. We choose to live here, work here, and play here, along with thousands of others. This website gives you a glimpse into all the reasons we do. Check it out!

Get to Know the Candidates on the Allen County Ballot

For the past five years, I’ve had the privilege of volunteering with YLNI the VOTE. And every year, I’m reminded by how fortunate we are to have this under-utilized resource in our community. It’s easy to get burned out on election rhetoric and campaign ads, but I find this non-partisan approach to the information to be refreshing.

YLNI surveys each candidate on the ballot in Allen County (local through State offices) and produces their responses in a simple, apple-to-apples brochure. Candidates responses are published in the order they appear on the ballot and without edits. Where else are you going to get side-by-side comparison of candidates on issues relevant to future generations?

In addition to the candidate brochure, they host a Candidate Meet-and-Greet event where each candidate will be given time to address the audience but the rest of the time is spent in informal networking. For many, this is a unique opportunity to ask your questions directly to the candidates.

I encourage to attend the event this Thursday evening where you can also pick up a copy of this year’s Candidate Information Brochure. If you can’t attend, a PDF of the brochure is available online here.

And mark your calendar now to VOTE November 6, 2012!