1. Theft from Cub Scouts leads to rally from community
The Elkhart community stepped up to help a local cub scout group that had $5,000 stolen from them. Cub Scout Pack 762 received $1,775 in donations after The Elkhart Truth published a story about how their former cubmaster stole a year's worth of funds from them to purchase fast food. The money would have been used to buy uniforms and go to camp.
Santa's Pantry, a local non-profit, and Pay It Forward 4-H Club will also host a chili dinner fundraiser for Cub Scout Pack 762 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 4. The dinner will be held at Eastwood Elementary School, 53215 C.R. 15.
2. Food drive helps feed Elkhart students over spring break
The Elkhart community also banded together to donate food and clothing for Elkhart Community School students who may not have enough to eat at a food drive on Saturday, March 29, at Concord Mall and the nearby Martin's Supermarket.
The donations will benefit Elkhart County students who do not have access to school-provided meals during spring-break. 56.4 percent of students in Elkhart County rely on free or reduced-price lunches, according to the Indiana Youth Institute.
3. Two Michiana teachers are going off the grid in search of fresh material
Two Michiana teachers received a Lilly Endowment grant to follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark this summer, and they will be making the trip without internet, cell phones or GPS. Art teacher Carly and history teacher Dave Martin hopes that the six-week trip will refresh them and inspire new material to teach their students.
Dave Martin will be reading the journals of Lewis and Clark at each of their stops, and he will compare their experiences with his by writing in his own journal.
4. What do you think about living in Elkhart County?
Following the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce's second "Inspire Elkhart" luncheon, we asked our readers what made them proud about living in Elkhart County. Here are some of the positive things our readers had to say:
Jason Moreno: "I am proud of our unique landscape with multiple rivers and awesome parks. I am proud that our school superintendent pushed our high school kids to do 30,000 hours of volunteer work, and they liked it. I am proud of how the community rallies when our children are hurt and dying. I am proud of the fact that there are more patents than people in this city because we're adaptive and diligent. I am proud of the generations of Elkhartans who build opportunities, jobs, landmarks, and leisure for the rest of the city. If all that some of our neighbors can contribute is criticism and departure, then I am proud to introduce my new neighbors to their new home when the naysayers leave and we can get on with the business of making this an even better place to live."
Collette Burks: "Anywhere you go you are going to have pros and cons but I have lived here all my life it isn't the greatest place to live but our community pulls together to help people in time of need and devastation proud to live in ELkhart for that reason"
5. Jordyn Bontrager left Elkhart and found a family life at Westview
Westview senior Jordyn Bontrager never thought that he would be catching chickens and playing basketball at an Amish schoolhouse growing up. Yet he does not regret staying with his grandparents in Shipshewana after his mother and sister returned to Elkhart. While he still loves and keeps in touch with his mother, Bontrager said his grandfather and grandmother are the biggest inspirations in his life.
""They go to work every day, they provide for me, they teach me things every day." Bontrager said.
Bontrager was the team leader for Westview High School. They played against Park Tudor in the IHSAA state 2A championship game on Saturday, March 29.
"The first couple of days, it was a really scary ... a black kid from Elkhart coming into a school with a bunch of Amish kids who are so not you," Bontrager said. "But the kids ... there was no prejudice. They welcomed me, greeted me, all got to know me."
Westview High School will hold a thank-you event for their Class 2A runner-up boys basketball team Thursday, April 3, in the school auditorium.