Lakefront Career Network announces Spotlight Organization for 2019

The Lakefront Career Network will be putting horses, and their volunteer handlers, out in the limelight next year.
Reins of Life has been selected as LCN’s Spotlight Organization for 2019, an announcement made Tuesday at the Michigan City Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business After Hours holiday event at Horizon Bank.

Dorota Janik was thrilled. “I am so happy because I know that we are not a traditional mode of therapy,” the Reins of Life executive director said. “This is validation to me that we are worth supporting, and I think they are the ambassadors of our mission and our passion for the community.”

Reins of Life, on the south end of Michigan City, offers therapeutic horseback riding to those with physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral disabilities. “As long as a physician signs a medical release that it is OK to serve you, we will serve you,” Janik said of the variety of clients visiting Reins of Life. “We serve people from 2 years old and there is no upper age limit. Our oldest right now is 78.”

Lakefront Career Network, the young professionals’ branch of the chamber, partners with one non-profit agency in the city each year – offering publicity, volunteers and financial support. Reins of Life was chosen from among 12 applicants, a decision LCN Chairman Anthony Novak said wasn’t easy. “We tried to focus on our overall objective, which was how to bring awareness to their mission and how to bring volunteers to their door. One of the biggest things with a spotlight organization, we’re trying to bring light to an organization that many people don’t know about,” he said.

In 2017, LCN partnered with Stepping Stone Shelter for Women; in 2018, the Boys & Girls Club of Michigan City was the Spotlight Organization. Novak said the variety of agencies was also important – organizations that meet the needs of domestic violence survivors and youth, and now those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Reins of Life just marked the 40th anniversary of its South Bend location and has operated in Michigan City for 11 years. Janik said about 200 clients are served weekly with the help of about 400 volunteers.

Among the perks of being selected a Spotlight Organization, LCN will host a fundraiser for Reins of Life next year, as well as a Day of Giving, which will bring in volunteers for a day-long service project at the facility.

LCN is a group of local young professionals with a mission of connecting individuals in the community and helping them develop professionally, Novak said. With membership in the hundreds, the group meets throughout the year for networking and to assist local non-profits.

Anyone interested in becoming a part of the Lakefront Career Network can contact the organization through the Chamber website or contact LCN through its Facebook page.

For more information about Reins of Life, visit reinsoflife.org or call 219-874-7519.

Jessica O’Brien for The News-Dispatch

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