Chesterton Tribune



Shirley Peffers Distinguished Woman; Golden Achievement to Janet Ryan

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A rock of the community is this year’s Duneland Distinguished Woman: Shirley Peffers.

Peffers was honored on Wednesday at the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards luncheon at Sand Creek Country Club.

Presenting the award to Peffers was last year’s Duneland Distinguished Woman, Bonnie Gaston.

“Each year this award is given to a woman in the Duneland community who consistently displays leadership qualities and is that special lady,” Gaston said. And Peffers certainly fits the bill.

“She has been a past president of Tri Kappa, Woman’s Club, and United Methodist Women,” Gaston noted. “She has been a Volunteer of the Year for the Chamber and a Reality Store volunteer. She organized the Chesterton Methodist Cookie Walk with her daughters that has been going on for 25 years. And she helped to organize and continues to cook for Jacob’s Table at the Methodist Church. She serves on the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry and for the last 30 years on Friday she is at St. John’s Church at 5 a.m. preparing for Meals on Wheels to be distributed to the community.”

“Shirley is always there when she is needed,” Gaston added. “She has raised four children, has 11 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. And in her spare time she still manages to play in her church’s guitar choir, do Bible study and be a Circle leader, and I think she may play bridge once in a while. But the best part for me in knowing this fine lady is that she reminds me of my mother: a dedicated, dependable worker.”

Peffers herself expressed “shock” at being honored, and thanked her daughter and grandchild for attending the luncheon. “It’s been a pleasure to serve this community and I hope I can continue serving for a long time to come.”

Golden Achievement Award

Also honored by the Chamber on Wednesday, with the Golden Achievement Award: Janet Ryan.

Presenting the award was Katie Rizer, executive director of the Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy. “Janet has served as an executive member of the Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy for the better part of 20 years,” Rizer said, “and has worked with the local developer and other leaders in preservation to maintain and enhance the restoration of Coffee Creek. Janet is committed to the environmental integrity and preservation of the greater Duneland community. As a member of the Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Executive Board, she’s been involved in all aspects of fishing tournaments, restoration to improve habitat, and conservation.”

Ryan has also already been named a Hero of Conservation as president of the Indiana Wildlife Federation, Rizer noted, and “as a retired accountant has shared her lifetime of acquired talents by leading the Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy through budgeting and long-term fiscal management.”

“I just want to thank you for this award,” Ryan said. “And especially my board and the four members of staff. If you have not yet experienced it, please come out to see the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve. It’s there for you.”


Posted 7/18/2019




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