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    Planting the Seeds of Future Success

    We just finished celebrating the hard work and discipline of young dreamers during the second annual Young Artist Expo (YAE).  During this time, precision dancers and violin virtuosos performed their well-rehearsed recitals in front of the public and young artists’ masterpieces were shared from the gallery walls.

    The YAE is a showcase for young artists from the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, South Shore Dance Alliance and the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington. Indiana.  Over the last few years, each of these organizations have become true partners of the Lindsey O’Brien Kesling (LOK) Wishing Tree Foundation.

    All of this activity brings me to a time in the year when I reflect on all that we’ve done in our Foundation’s short time.  In addition to news about the YAE, allow me to take a moment and update you on a few of the other activities and successes of the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation.

    In this last year, Foundation partners:

    Solidified our two-fold mission. “LOK Wishing Tree Foundation Lives Love through carbon monoxide education and unleashing the artistic dreams of youth.”  LOK encourages young artists to wish and dream, and funds opportunities that turn dreams into reality.  It also raise awareness and educate people about the dangers associated with carbon monoxide.

    Nurtured dreams of young artists. A partnership with the Lubeznik Center for the Arts provides after school programs including: drawing, painting and photography classes, violin lessons and dance instruction to public school children in Michigan City Schools.

    Provided scholarships to talented young artists like Peace.  Peace has been participating in the LOK Performing Arts Program offered by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington, Ind. for several years.  The award winning program provided her with a scholarship for an advanced show choir called, Syncopation, and an opportunity to be trained by local song & dance professionals.  She participated in a production in front of an audience of 3000 people last Christmas.  About the experience she said, “It was the biggest crowd I’d ever seen, but once I got on state, I thought, ‘I can do this.’”  Peace hopes this is just the beginning of her performing arts career.

    Saved lives through raising public awareness about the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Partnering with local fire districts we spread the word about this silent killer.  We developed a free resource kit (containing press releases, social media templates, coloring sheets, banners and posters, and petitions) for organizations to host their own Carbon Monoxide Awareness Event.  Additionally we provided carbon monoxide detectors.  We’ve heard first-hand accounts of how these efforts save lives!  We invite you to read about these events and first-hand stories and request your own free kit at http://www.lokwishingtree.org.

    And partners like you blessed the Foundation through your generous support.  LOK continues unleashing dreams and saving lives only with the help of our donors.

    Continued support of the LOK Foundation means we continue to support our partners in the arts; providing uninterrupted arts classes and dance instruction, music lessons, and innovative programs for our kids.  It also means we will continue our work protecting lives with in-home CO detectors and educating families about the dangers of CO poisoning.

    Donations of all amounts are appreciated.  Please consider a gift of support.

    • $25 will provide a Carbon Monoxide detector for a family in need.
    • $50 provides one weekly lesson for ten children in the Michigan City after school program.
    • $100 awards a ‘Lubeznik Center for the Arts Class’ scholarship to a student in need.
    • $150 provides six teacher hours for conducting a specialized three-session class for dance, instrumental, vocal or improvisational theater students.
    • $500 provides two local firehouses with CO awareness and prevention kits; promotional materials, social media support, children’s activities and CO detectors for families in need.
    • $1000 allows a child to see the world differently through the lens of a camera—providing kids with the opportunity to attend one of two, 12-week photography classes, learn photo techniques, and editing skills.

    Thank you for the encouragement you have provided to LOK in these last three, short years.  Thank you for your support of our work to unleash the dreams of our children through the arts.  Thank you for your concern to save lives with the use of Carbon Monoxide detectors.  You have my heartfelt gratitude.

    You help us Live Love!


    Dot Kesling, Founder


    P.S.  Enclosed in this envelope is a paper butterfly that contains wild flower seeds.  On it I would like you to write a wish, dream or prayer.  Return it in the envelope provided, and we’ll hang it, along with all the others, on the Wishing Tree.

    Your donation may also be included in the same envelope or made directly online at http://www.lokwishingtree.org/.


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    LOK Young Artist Exhibit at Lubeznik Center through July 26th

    The 2nd Annual LOK Young Artist Expo was held Friday, June 5th at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City.

    The evening was a rousing success that included participants from all three of our partnering arts programs and included music, dance and creative arts. Though the dance and the music have ended, the great news is that you can still visit the works of art on display at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts now through July 26th. Here are a few highlights, taken the night of the expo, with many of the young artists shown in front of their work.

    Photo credit: James Clemenson, jimjamescreative.com

    • Family and friends gather Family and friends gather It was wonderful to see so many supporters come out to encourage the young artists. LaPorte artist Jack Boardman is shown here (3rd from right), with fans of his work.
    • Amazing origami Amazing origami Though she was unable to attend in person, the beautiful and intricate origami pieces on display by St. John, Indiana artist Haley Schuberth drew a lot of attention.
    • Artists chat Artists chat These two artists returned to participate in their 2nd LOK Young Artist Expo. What great experience to have under their belts at the beginning of their artisitic careers.
    • Art appreciation Art appreciation Attendees enjoyed the art for its own sake, certainly, but also found it interesting to be able to interact with the young artists who attended the event and were on hand to talk about their work.
    • There's mine! There's mine! What a thrill for a young artist to walk into a show and spot their own artwork hanging in a gallery! Dream seeds have been sown!



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    2015 Young Artist Expo Highlights

    The 2nd Annual LOK Young Artist Expo was held Friday, June 5th at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City.

    LOK Wishing Tree Foundation celebrates artists! We hope you will enjoy some of these photos, highlighting their success last Friday.

    Photo credit: James Clemenson, jimjamescreative.com


    • Waiting is the hardest part... Waiting is the hardest part... Young violinists gather on the steps outside the Hyndman Gallery. Their performance opened the live event portion of the evening's festivities.
    • Young violinists Young violinists First and second year students from the Lubeznik Center for the Arts music program showcased their skills.
    • LCA dancers LCA dancers Transportation (or lack of it) is a frequent challenge for some of the kids in our programs. The Lubeznik Center for the Arts program began the season with 15+ dancers. 4 were scheduled to dance, but only these two made it. They handled the choreography change beautifully.
    • South Shore Dance Alliance South Shore Dance Alliance The South Shore Dance Alliance's roster included many new faces this year, several of them were LCA dancers invited to join them during last year's expo. It was heartening to see the level of skill and agility to develop within one short year.
    • Floor Seating Only Floor Seating Only Though many chairs were added to the gallery for attendees' comfort, plenty more packed the gallery, content to sit on the floor. Shown here: Maggi Spartz, Presient of Unity Foundation of LaPorte County and LCA Board Member, Rod Lubeznik.
    • Young Art Dreams Young Art Dreams A young mother and her daughter look on at the dancers. The young girl's face suggests perhaps she dreams of joining them some day...
    • Da'Marco Kimble, Flying High Da'Marco Kimble, Flying High LOK Alumni and past scholarship recipient, Da'Marco Kimble, returned for an incredible cameo dance performance.
    • Young Dancers Young Dancers Young dancers from the South Shore Dance Alliance show their spirit and positive energy.
    • Dancers Unite Dancers Unite For the big wrap up, Da'Marco joined the rest of the South Shore Dance Alliance team along with Peace, a past scholarship recipient from the Bloomington Boys & Girls Club LOK Performing Arts Program.
    • Jack Boardman, Artist Jack Boardman, Artist LaPorte artist, Jack Boardman, standing in front of his artwork.
    • Art Appreciation Art Appreciation A young visitor admires the artwork, hanging in the LOK Young Artist exhibit through July 26th.
    • Allyson Wilcox, Artist Allyson Wilcox, Artist Elgin, Illinois artist Allyson Wilcox, standing next to her art.
    • Origami by Haley Schuberth Origami by Haley Schuberth Haley Schuberth of St. John, Indiana created several elaborate origami pieces for the exhibit.
    • Origami Appreciation Origami Appreciation A young visitor reflects on the intricacies of this origami piece by artist Haley Schuberth of St. John.
    • 2nd Year Artist 2nd Year Artist Art isn't just for hanging on the wall... this second year student in Lubeznik's after school art program created this artful wooden skateboard.


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    Da’Marco Kimble, Blessed  

    Da’Marco Kimble received a full scholarship at South Shore Dance Alliance for 3 years during his high school career, sponsored in part by funds from the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation. A 2013 graduate, Da’Marco auditioned and was accepted into Indiana University’s Modern Dance Department, receiving a college scholarship. Since then, he has also been accepted into popular Debbie Allen Dance Academy Summer Dance Instensive. (Debbie Allen is a choreographer, director and dancer who has worked on projects such as Fame, West Side Story and Sweet. Charity.)

    Da’Marco will be joining us for the LOK Young Artist Expo on Friday, June 5th. He’ll be welcoming guests and will also make a cameo appearance with a dance solo during the performance.

    Da’Marco feels “blessed” and expresses it in this dance video. LOK is blessed to have treasured success stories like Da’Marco’s and appreciate his willingness to remain involved, helping other young artists get the support he received.

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    Experience Peace on June 5th

    Sixth-grader, Peace Jobito, that is.

    Peace will travel from her home in Bloomington, Indiana to grace the stage at the 2nd Annual LOK Young Artist Expo at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts on Friday, June 5th.

    Peace has been participating in the LOK Performing Arts Program offered by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington for several years. The award-winning program received the 2013 “Merit Award for Program Excellence in the Arts” from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

    Peace won a scholarship through LOK Wishing Tree Foundation two years ago, when she was a fourth-grader. She used her scholarship to get involved in an advanced show choir called Syncopation, an opportunity that provided her with song and dance training from local professionals.

    “I liked it a lot,” Peace said. “It was really, really hard, but it was also fun and helped me a lot.”

    Ly Wilder, an IU adjunct lecturer in jazz, co-director of Syncopation said, “Peace is a fantastic performer with a sweet spirit and strong work ethic. It’s unusual for a child of her age to remember complex choreography and coordinate her body so well, but she can do both.”

    Peace was featured in a production performed by Syncopation in front of 3,000 people as part of the Chimes of Christmas Show with the Singing Hoosiers. “It was biggest crowd I’d ever seen,” she said. “But once I got on stage, I thought, ‘I can do this.’ ”

    Peace hopes her involvement in the performing arts program is only the beginning.

    “I love dancing, because it lets you express what you feel inside,” she said. “I would love to sing and dance professionally some day, and maybe even be a superstar on TV.”

    Article references original material submitted by Dann Denny from the Herald Times Online.

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    Cee Cee Kaylor Joins LOK in Community Outreach Role

    Cee Cee

    Cee Cee Kaylor

    The LOK Wishing Tree Foundation is proud to announce a new Part Time Community Outreach Manager, Cee Cee Kaylor. Cee Cee recently retired as Executive Director of the Samaritan Counseling Center, upon receiving a diagnosis for not one, but two types of cancer. Before the diagnosis, she had planned to continue working full time.

    Kaylor’s positive attitude and increased dedication to medical self-care seems to be paying off. “I’m doing well. Doctors used the word remission; cancer is still there just not active. My mother taught me to see the world through rose colored glasses. Some may call me ‘Pollyanna’, but it can’t hurt to have a good attitude.” While cancer is no longer a death sentence, it is time consuming — her kidneys require dialysis three times a week at nearly four hours per visit.

    When we asked her for a good time to interview her for this article, Cee Cee responded in her characteristic upbeat, matter-of-fact way, “You can always catch me during my dialysis treatment — it will give me something to do!” Sounds like a leader used to multi-tasking…

    During her time with the Samaritan Center, Kaylor led the organization to expand programs and services in the schools and courts, increased foundation support with grant writing and opened additional offices and staff. After a career spent helping others, Cee Cee knew that continuing on in a capacity of community involvement would remain important to her. When former LOK Community Outreach Director Christine Ward announced she was relocating out of state for her husband’s job, she approached Cee Cee as a possible successor.

    Cee Cee immediately knew it would be a great fit for her. She shared, “ I’ve had so many blessings. LOK was one of those blessings. Good people associated with it, fun and worthwhile, I’m proud to be a part of it. It’s a good opportunity and just right for me.”

    Since beginning with the LOK Wishing Tree Foundation just a few weeks ago, she has already initiated efforts to increase distribution and installation of carbon monoxide detectors. A recent opportunity was supplying detectors to the Chesterton Fire Department, who in turn installed the detectors on homes they are repairing in conjunction with Rebuilding Together, a program that provides extensive home rehabilitation and modification services to low-income homeowners.

    Kaylor has plenty of ideas for other ways to expand her role with LOK. She is very high energy and balances that with her other demands. Kaylor muses, “After being active all these years, I’ve got to make the best of what I was handed. I’ll have to do dialysis the rest of my life — I just accept it.” Cee Cee says she also realizes how important it is not to waste time and live each day to the fullest, even if it’s basic. “I’ve been journaling lately. I want to tell my story someday. I’ve become more spiritual, less self absorbed.”

    She also wants to travel and spend more time with loved ones. “It was amazing to realize how much support and love I have out there — from friends and family.” She managed a two month trip to Florida where she made arrangements to have dialysis treatments at a center down there.

    What is she going to do next? “Dialysis treatments are even available on cruise ships”, Kaylor enthused. It is going to be fun to work with this dynamic woman! LOK is certainly blessed to have her on our team.

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