On Saturday, June 8, Shirley Heinze Land Trust welcomed 330 friends and
supporters at Sand Creek Country Club for the 10th Annual Summer benefit.
This year’s benefit celebrated four of Indiana’s natural gems: Ambler
Flatwoods, Ivanhoe South, Little Calumet Wetlands, and Meadowbrook.
This year’s benefit generated over $100,000 to further advance the mission
of preserving and restoring natural areas in Northwest Indiana.
“We are extremely thankful to each of our corporate and individual sponsors,
along with all our friends and supporters who helped us raise the funds to
continue our mission not just within these four natural gems, but throughout
Northwest Indiana,” said Kris Krouse, Executive Director of Shirley Heinze
This year’s corporate sponsors included NIPSCO, BP Products North America,
Phantom Technologies, ArcelorMittal, Horizon Trust and Investment
Management, MonoSol LLC, Burke Costanza & Carberry LLC, Lakeside Wealth
Management, and Rowley Bushue and Company LLC.
Guests were welcomed by local cellist Josh DeVries and glasses of champagne.
There were elaborate native plant displays and hors d’oeuvre and food
stations tended to by chefs. The seating was an open arrangement to promote
networking and socializing.
The silent auction offered plenty of items including an Everglades of the
North Kayak Trip donated by Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, a week
stay on Elk Lake, Northern Michigan donated by Carol and Lance Alberti, and
a three night San Diego stay donated by San Diego Tourism Authority.
Before the live auction Shirley Heinze Land Trust Board President Margaret
Williford welcomed, thanked and recognized supporters.
The live auction offered five unique packages; an Austin City Unlimited
Weekend in Austin, Texas; a Live, Eat, Hike in a Hoosier State Park at
Indiana’s Turkey Run State Park; a Mystery Dinner on the shores of Lake
Michigan in which guests will be served by Executive Director Kris Krouse
and his wife, Heidi Krouse; a Duneland Countryside tour in a 1929 Packard;
and a Five Day Escape to Sleeping Bear Dunes in Northern Michigan.
Kris Krouse presented the evening’s program highlighting Shirley Heinze Land
Trust’s land acquisition program and recent additions to Ivanhoe South
Nature Preserve in Gary, Meadowbrook Nature Preserve in Valparaiso, the
Little Calumet Wetlands Project in Chesterton, and Ambler Flatwoods Nature
Preserve in Michigan City. Guests raised their paddles for the Funding the
Cause Paddle Auction that immediately followed, with a total of $38,000
raised for the land acquisition program.
The annual benefit is a celebration of the accomplishments of Shirley Heinze
Land Trust and serves as a key source of support for organization. Since
1981, Shirley Heinze Land Trust has protected and preserved more than 1,300
acres in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties. The land is restored and
managed to educate children and adults on the value of natural areas in
The next volunteer workday is Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m. Đ 3 p.m. at Ambler
Flatwoods, Michigan City. A free Community Hike at the Meadowbrook
Conservation Center and Preserve is Saturday, July 20 from 10 a.m. Đ Noon.
The 2013 Hike Program includes a Dragonfly Hike Saturday, July 27 from 9
a.m. to 12 p.m., Hoosier Prairie Hike on Saturday, August 10, 2013 from 9
a.m. to 12 p.m., a Bird Migration Workshop on Saturday, August 17 from 10
a.m. to 12 p.m., and an all day Bus Tour on Saturday, August 24.
If you participate in all of the 2013 Hike Program events, the cost is $80
per person; otherwise it’s $25 - $35 per person, per event. To learn more
about Shirley Heinze properties and volunteer opportunities, visit