First-ever online benefit declared a success by the Shirley Heinze Land Trust



The Shirley Heinze Land Trust wrapped up its first-ever online spring benefit, which replaced the traditional in-person gathering this year, by surpassing its goal.

There was a combined $50,000 challenge gift announced in May. The fundraiser, held May 15 to May 30, was to help support the Land Trust’s mission to preserve and restore natural lands and waters in northwestern Indiana, and to engage people in nature and conservation.

“Given this year’s unique challenges, it’s truly amazing that we surpassed our monetary goals for the benefit,” said Kristopher Krouse, executive director. “We’re very grateful to our Benefactor Sponsor, Northern Indiana Public Service Company; our Karner Blue Sponsor, ArcelorMittal; and all our other corporate and individual sponsors.”

Four video testimonials and a message from Krouse were shared with benefit participants via email, the organization’s website, and social media channels. Board members Matt Vessely, Anne Walsh, and Dale Nichols, and volunteer Jaimee Janiga, shared their insights about Shirley Heinze Land Trust, the importance of its mission, and their own personal passion for nature protection in northwestern Indiana.

The videos remain available for viewing at

“Special recognition goes to Dale and Nancy Nichols, and Leslie Shad and Joe Brennan, who provided early challenge donations which inspired others to contribute. Their generosity produced an unprecedented response that will help assure we can continue to advance our critical work during these challenging times,” Krouse said.

Since 1981, Shirley Heinze Land Trust has preserved for the public’s benefit more than 2,600 acres of land in La Porte, Lake, Porter, and St. Joseph counties, including outstanding examples of northwestern Indiana’s rarest natural communities. Its nature preserves also offer opportunities for outdoor recreation and education. The organization is committed to promoting an appreciation for the importance of land conservation and encouraging people of all ages to experience the natural wonders of this unique region.

For more information on the work and nature preserves of Shirley Heinze Land Trust, visit, call (219) 242-8558, or access its Facebook page at

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