Porter County Sheriff's Department


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Annual Gala Celebrates

Larry Laflower, public information officer

with the Porter County Sheriff's Department,

deals blackjack during the annual mardi Gras Gala.

PCSD Officer Phil Pratt also helped at the Gala Event.

Annual gala celebrates group's accomplishments

By Annette Arnold Monday, March 7, 2011

VALPARAISO | Brandon Miller was glad to be a part of the Prevent Child Abuse Porter County 12th annual Mardi Gras Gala last weekend at Old Town Banquet Center.

Decorated with purple, yellow and green beads along with Mardi Gras masks, about 100 people not only celebrated the New Orleans event but the accomplishments of this Porter County group.

Miller, executive director of the Portage Resale Shop, was the recipient of this year's Hero for Children Award, given out annually by the group.

Miller has been involved in many outreach projects for children including giving children coats and new pairs of shoes.

Miller received the award from the group's president, Russell Shirley.

"I am sad that this organization has to exist," said Miller, " but I am glad it is out there and that I can help out with physical needs."

Miller believes that no child should have to sleep on the floor and that children need clothes and shoes.

During the evening people were able to participate in a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction which included oil change packages, dinner, throwing out the first pitch at a Railcats game and a coffee machine.

Shirley was glad to see the turnout of people in the community.

"This brings the community together and makes them aware of our organization," he said. "We are a small but dedicated group of people."

Joanne Urschel is a volunteer with the group and was glad to be in attendance.

"I've come to the Mardi Gras in the past and I can't believe what a small group this is for all they do." she said.

Mary Beth Schultz, head of The Caring Place in Valparaiso, was also glad she attended the gala.

"Everything they do goes to helping kids," she said. "It's a pure cause and people are in it for the right reasons."

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