Lindsey O’Brien Kesling Wishing Tree Foundation (LOK) began a partnership with Lubeznik Center for the Arts in 2013 in order to provide opportunities for youth to pursue a wide variety of creative activities that enhance their potential for success.
Through the support of this partnership, Lubeznik Center focused their instruction and support on youth in Northwest Indiana. Activities included violin and photography lessons, after school dance classes, drawing instruction and a Young Artists Expo on June 6, 2014 that featured the artworks by students of all ages in a professional exhibition space at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts.
Thanks to this video shared recently by Angie Carlson of the Lubeznik Center. It shows the incredible transformation made from students at Pine Elementary and Krueger Middle School, both located in Michigan City, Indiana.
The town of Chesterton designated October, 11 2014 “Carbon Monoxide Awareness Day.” We created a template for a resolution you can use to ask your own town to designate its own awareness day. Download it here..
The LaPorte County Fire Chief’s Association voted to officially endorse the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation’s efforts to promote CO awareness. Chairman Randy Novak stated, “It is our hope that working with LOK Wishing Tree Foundation we can save lives from this deadly killer.” Here’s a link to the letter of endorsement..
Local firefighters have already been credited with saving the lives of at least one family. In October 2013 Alexandra Christner attended a CO Awareness event hosted by the LaPorte Fire Station #1 and received a free CO detector, courtesy of First Alert, a leader in residential fire and CO detection devices. Just months later she and her family were awakened by the detector, which was triggered by a furnace leak. The family had a carbon monoxide alarm for years but it stopped working properly; money was tight and they decided to hold off on buying a new one. Without her son’s urging to attend the event at the firehouse, the family’s story could have ended quite differently. Alexandra says,”I absolutely believe everything happens for a reason. I believe my son had a passion for being a firefighter for a reason. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t become a firefighter when he grows up.” Read more about this story here.
Over 180 gathered in Rolling Prairie yesterday at Kankakee Township Fire Station where they held a CO awareness and prevention program as part of National Fire Prevention Month and as a re-dedication of their newly renovated fire house. Dot Kesling was one of the keynote speakers. Kesling recognized State Senator Jim Arnold and State Senator Tom Dermody for their strong support of the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation and its mission. During the last session of the Indiana Legislature, Representative Dermody worked very to successfully amend a bill in the Indiana House that would have mandated home inspectors to note the lack of carbon monoxide detectors during inspections. Unfortunately, the amendment did not survive when the bill reached the State Senate. But, through his efforts in working with the Indiana Homebuilders and Indiana Home Inspectors Association, he was able to secure their commitment to include it on home inspections WITHOUT being mandated by law. Thank you, Representative Dermody. Your incredible support and efforts have made Indiana homes a much safer place.
To learn more about CO awareness events, please visit our Facebook page.
Lindsey O’Brien Kesling was 22 years-old when she died in her Scottsdale apartment from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Scottsdale Fire Department responded to the 911 call in November 2010.
“Losing a child for any reason breaks a parent’s heart, but losing them to something that could have been prevented makes the loss so much heavier to bear,” said Dot Kesling, Lindsey’s mother. Part of the the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness about carbon monoxide poisoning and how to prevent it, particularly in the coming winter months.
Several organizations are hosting CO awareness event in partnership with the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation, along with First Alert, a leader in residential fire and CO detection devices.
The event will be held throughout the coming months. First Alert is providing 20% discount coupons on select carbon monoxide detectors at each event. So far, the following fire departments have indicated they will host events:
- Bloomington Mayor’s Office – Bloomington, Indiana
- City of Bloomington Fire Department – Bloomington, Indiana
- Chesterton Fire Department – Chesterton, Indiana
- Coolspring VFD – Michigan City, Indiana
- Kankakee Twp. Fire Dept. – Rolling Prairie, Indiana
- LaPorte County Fire Chiefs Association – LaPorte, Indiana
- La Porte Fire Department – LaPorte, Indiana
- Michigan City Fire Department – Michigan City, Indiana
- Porter Volunteer Firefighters, Inc. – Porter, Indiana
- Scottsdale Fire Department – Scottsdale, Arizona
- Turkey Creek Fire Territory – Syracuse, Indiana
- Clay Fire Territory – South Bend, Indiana
- Owen Valley Fire Department – Spencer, Indiana
- Elkhart Fire Department – Elkhart, Indiana
- San Pierre Volunteer Fire Department – Medaryville, Indiana
- Griffith Fire Department – Griffith, Indiana
- Willow Grove Fire Company – Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
- Baltimore City Fire Department – Baltimore, Maryland
- Hythe Volunteer Fire Department – Alberta, Canada
If your organization is interested in hosting an event, learn more here.
- Watch and share this informational video about the dangers of carbon monoxide, created by Lindsey’s brother William Kesling and her cousin, Timmy Baron.
- Share these ready-to-go social media updates suitable for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to let your friends know how to protect themselves from the dangers of accidental CO poisoning.
- Protect your home and those you love by purchasing and installing a carbon monoxide detector. Click here for a 20% discount coupon from First Alert. Makes a unique and thoughtful holiday gift.
- Sign our petition to strengthen laws about carbon monoxide detector requirements.
A bird sculpture, created from pieces of reclaimed wood — hand painted, and inscribed with messages of hope and inspiration from dozens of supporters near and far – will be on display during the First Lindsey O’Brien Kesling Wishing Tree Foundation Young Artist Expo on Friday, June 6th Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City. The expo will be a family-friendly, multimedia showcase of lively youth visual and performing arts that will include participants from each of the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation’s three partnering arts organizations: the South Shore Dance Alliance, the Lubeznik Center for the Arts and the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington. “Showcasing these kids’ talents—and the fruits of our labors—has been a dream of mine since the beginning,” said LOK Founder, Dot Kesling.
The expo will coincide with Michigan City’s Uptown Arts First Friday Art Walk; attendees are invited to stop in to see the bird. The expo will feature art created by young creative artists as well as brief performances from young dancers and musicians.
The dream bird sculpture was created by artist Laura Marie Panozzo of Earth Angel Eco Art in LaPorte. Panozzo donated her time and the sculpture to help raise funds for the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds creative and performing arts opportunities for young artists. The bird will be sold via an online auction that will conclude on Monday, June 9th The LOK Wishing Tree Foundation was founded in memory of LaPorte native Lindsey O’Brien Kesling, who had a passion for the arts and for helping children. The Foundation continues the positive work Lindsey began prior to her tragic accidental death at just 22 years old.
Click here for more details about the auction.
The “Dream Bird” The LOK Dreambird sculpture was created by LaPorte artist Laura Marie Panozzo of Earth Angel Eco Art as a gift to the Lindsey O’Brien Kesling Foundation. The piece was assembled from wooden “feathers” that were hand painted by supporters and assembled by Laura Marie Panozzo.
The bird is being auctioned as a fund raiser to support arts programming for youth using an online format, following the guidelines described below.
Dream Bird Auction Guidelines
The auction will open on May 18th, 2014 and closes promptly at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 9th. When the auction closes, the last and highest bid will be the winner.
By bidding, you are stating that you are ready and able to pay for the Dream Bird. All bids are contracts. All sales are final.
Paper bids will be received only on May 18th. After that time, any and all bidding will be done through e-mail to email@example.com.
Each bid must contain the following:
- first and last names of the bidder
- bid amount in even dollars (in amounts exceeding the previous bid amount by $25 or more)
- phone number
- valid e-mail address
All bids must exceed the previous bid amount by at least $25.
All bidders will be e-mailed (under blind carbon copy) the current and latest bid amount, when the bid is received. The latest and current bid will also be listed on the LOK Facebook Page. This correspondence and information will be limited to the bidder’s first name and current/highest bid amount only. Correspondence via email and on Facebook will read, “Dear bidders, Kathy just submitted a new bid for the Dream Bird in the amount of $1500. The bid was received at 5:00 p.m. central.”
After the winning bid is received, the auction’s manager will personally call the winning bidder on the number provided and arrange for payment over the phone. The winner will be contacted directly and promptly on Monday, June 9th at 8:00 p.m.
Major credit card, cash or personal check will be accepted for payment, and payable to the “LOK Wishing Tree Foundation”.
After the payment transaction is complete, the winning bidder will verify permission for how his/her name will be listed and shared with all bidders and the public.
The winning bidder will be announced via press release, Facebook and e-mail on Tuesday, June 10th.
If the final and winning bidder defaults on their decision to purchase the bird with their winning bid, or if the final bid amount does not exceed the $10 minimum, the next previous bid will be accepted.
For winning bidders, the amount that is tax deductible is limited to excess payment over the value of the item which is valued at $1500. Please consult your tax advisor.
After the payment transaction is complete, the winning bidder and auction manager will arrange for delivery or shipping.
The Dream Bird will be delivered within a 50 mile radius of La Porte, Indiana. Arrangements for shipping via the carrier of the bidder’s choice, and at the bidder’s expense may be arranged if the winning bidder wishes the item to be moved farther than the delivery area.
LaPorte artist Laura Panozzo of Earth Angel Eco Art Studio is creating a “dream bird” from pieces of reclaimed wood that will become the feathers of a large wood bird sculpture — the dream bird — which she will donate to the Lindsey O’Brien Kesling Wishing Tree Foundation and will be auctioned as a fund raiser. Each attendee will have the opportunity to create a feather as well as enjoy delicious seasonal small plates prepared by Chef Brad Hindsley of Spire Farm-to-Fork Restaurant, also of LaPorte.
Panozzo and Hindsley recently began a collaboration they have named, “Our Common Thread”, their common thread referring to the artistry each applies to their craft. Their initiatives are community-focused — either on educational workshops, public art projects and fund raising for local causes. Our Common Thread is donating all profits from this event to the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation. Journeyman Distillery is donating their space and will also make their hand-crafted, organic whiskeys available for sampling.
The LOK Wishing Tree Foundation was founded in memory of LaPorte native Lindsey O’Brien Kesling, who had a passion for the arts and for helping children. The Foundation continues the positive work Lindsey began prior to her tragic accidental death at just 22 years old. The foundation provides funding for arts programming to youth in underserved areas, partnering with local arts organizations such as the South Shore Dance Alliance and the Lubeznik Center for the Arts.
Live musical entertainment provided by Midwest Hype, known for their urban garage jazz sound. Defined by their hip-hop flow, unforgettable vocal melodies, punching horn lines, immaculate jazz improvisation, dance floor mayhem and tight pocketed compositions, they offer a refreshing youthful breath in today’s digital world
Tickets are $65 per person and include food from Spire five sample-sized cocktails from Journeyman Distillery and the opportunity to create a Dream Bird feather under the guidance of artist Laura Panozzo. All profits for the evening will be donated to support LOK Wishing Tree Foundation. The event runs from 6:00pm to 9:00pm Saturday, March 22, 2014. Pre-registration requires. Tickets available here.
For more information, contact Kathy Sipple, at (219) 405-9482 or visit to http://lokwishingtree.org.
NWIGives is a one-day fundraising event on February 12th, 2014, that will unite all communities in Lake, Porter and La Porte counties to support the nonprofit charitable organizations serving our region. The goal is to inspire local residents to make a gift to their favorite charities, raising thousands of dollars in one day! It’s your chance to make a real impact on people in your own community, and ignite giving across Northwest Indiana as your gift may be matched by generous corporate and foundation sponsors.
How it Works
On 2-12-14 you will have the opportunity to go online at nwigives.razoo.com and make contributions to your favorite charitable organizations in Lake, Porter and La Porte counties. It’s easy to make a donation to LOK…simply use the donation screen below or from the Razoo.com website simply enter LOK Wishing Tree into the Find A Cause bar, or click on the link here to get to our giving page. Select the amount you would like to donate on the right hand side of the screen and get started helping a young person achieve their dream! Don’t think you’re going to be around a computer on the 12th? You can go ahead and schedule a donation anytime before February 12th.
For more information please contact Kathy Sipple at 219-405-9482 or vial email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mother Nature and her polar vortex couldn’t keep us down…
Due to forecasts of scary weather, our Give Back dinner at Bentwood Tavern in New Buffalo, Michigan was rescheduled from Tuesday, Jan. 21st to Wednesday, Jan. 22nd in hopes of offering guests a safer experience. There were over 80 reservations for Tuesday and Brynn Hines from Bentwood contacted every single one to advise them of the new date.
Wednesday night’s weather wasn’t much better, but nearly 100 LOK Wishing Tree supporters braved fierce cold and slippery roads to gather and celebrate in the warmly festive atmosphere at Bentwood Tavern anyway. Spirits warmed and troubles were forgotten over wonderful conversation and “artisan comfort cuisine” crafted by local icon, Chef Jenny Drilon.Ashlyn Bowen, 11, of LaPorte, and Christopher Jackson, 13, of Michigan City, served as Young Artist Ambassadors for LOK, displaying several pieces of their artwork created through their involvement with LOK arts programming.
Janet Bloch, Education Director for Lubeznik, was on hand to share in the children’s excitement of sharing their art in public for the first time. Ashlyn participated in Lubeznik’s 2013 summer art program and has been drawing for 3 years or so; Christopher participated in Lubeznik’s new youth photography class, made possible in part by funding from the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation. Jackson has been involved in arts classes of various kinds for 9 years, the majority of his young life.
Many thanks to Richard Warner of Visual Impressions Photography for commemorating the evening with wonderful photos of the young artists, LOK board members, Bentwood staff and our wonderful dinner guests. Additional photos available here.
We are pleased to announce that Bentwood Tavern in New Buffalo, Michigan has selected the Lindsey O’Brien Kesling Foundation as the beneficiary of their January 21st Give Back Dinner. LOK was selected as one of only five give back nights that Bentwood offers annually.
Bentwood Tavern is committed to raising funds and awareness for important community non-profits. To date, over $61,000 has been donated. Fifty percent of all food and beverage revenue for that evening will be donated to support LOK Wishing Tree Foundation.
Bentwood Tavern features “artisan comfort cuisine” crafted by local icon, Chef Jenny Drilon. Please join us for a wonderful evening of good food with friends.
Give Back Dinner hours are 5:00pm to 10:00pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, January 21, 2014.
For reservations call 269-469-1699 or visit www.bentwoodtavern.com.
600 West Water Street
New Buffalo, MI 49117
The LOK Wishing Tree Foundation would like to share with our readers an opportunity that exists for young artists in northwest Indiana — The 2014 Youth Arts Awards. This award was originally the dream of the late Gov. Frank O’Bannon who hoped to develop an award on the state level. The regional partners of the Indiana Arts Commission were given the task of developing such an award at the local level. The Regional Arts Council of South Shore Arts will be presenting this local award.
Last year they received many nominations in visual and performing arts from across the region and the caliber of talent was outstanding. The overall winner was clarinetist Joe Long of Lowell High School. Interview/auditions will be scheduled with the student in March/April of 2014 with final notification before the end of the school year. The winner will receive a monetary award as well as a certificate. Once nominations are received, a confirmation letter with the interview/audition requirements will be sent to the nominee. The Award will be presented by the Summer or Fall of 2014 at an appropriate venue.
Do you know a young artist who should be nominated? A nomination form is available here. Nomination forms are due by January 31, 2014.