La Porte IN 1-20-2011 – The 4th annual La Porte County Rural Summit will be held on March 15, and the 14 rural communities in La Porte County are being asked to form teams to send to the Summit.

It will be held at the Wanatah American Legion from 8 am to 3:30 pm.  The 14 rural communities are La Crosse, Wanatah, Hanna, Union Mills, Westville, Kingsbury, Kingsford Heights, Stillwell, Fish Lake, Mill Creek, Rolling Prairie, Scipio Twp./Door Village, Springfield Township, and Coolspring Township.  As in the past each of these communities is asked to bring 6 to 10 representatives, including a high school student.

The theme of this year’s event is “Think Regionally, but Act Locally”.

Partnering organizations who sponsor the summit are Leadership La Porte County, Purdue Extension La Porte County, Purdue North Central, US Department of Agriculture—La Porte office;  the funders are the Unity Foundation, and the La Porte County Economic Development Alliance.  Each partner will make a brief presentation about the resources they offer the local rural communities.

“Rural towns and communities often lack the resources to tackle the challenges they face, like information, leadership, and money.  We try to provide access to these types of resources at the summit”, according to Jim Jessup, Facilitator at Leadership La Porte County.

Each rural community is asked to form a team of 6 to 10 citizens to attend the meeting.  Part of the day is devoted to the community round tables where each community participates in its own facilitated strategic planning.

“It is so important for each community to gather a team and attend.  The dynamic in the room is amazing, as each community demonstrates its pride and accomplishments, but also shares its challenges, creativity, and ideas”, Jessup said.

The Keynote speaker will be Mark Maassel, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, who will challenge the local communities to look beyond their own borders and think regionally.

There will also be a presentation by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission on the progress of the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan and its effect on La Porte County.  Also the La Porte County Economic Development Alliance will give an update on the logistics center and how the local communities might benefit from it.

Reservations for community teams should be made as soon as possible by contacting Jim Jessup at 325-8223 or by email at

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