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La Porte County Family YMCA Announces New CEO

January 15, 2024


La Porte, IN – The La Porte County Family YMCA announces the appointment of Scott Helmkamp as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Bringing an impressive 25-year career exclusively dedicated to the YMCA movement, Scott Helmkamp arrives with a rich tapestry of experience and an unwavering commitment to community service. His journey within the YMCA, starting as a program director and culminating in his recent role as district executive within the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne Association, showcases a proven track record of leadership and dedication.

The La Porte County Family YMCA is abuzz with anticipation over the dynamic energy and enthusiasm that Scott bring to the organization. Expressing his excitement, Helmkamp shared, “I’m eager to become a part of the La Porte County community. My wife, Wendy, and I have felt a genuine connection since our first visit. The warm welcome we’ve received played a pivotal role in our decision to relocate here. My overarching vision for the YMCA is to transcend the label of a community center, aiming to be recognized as the heartbeat of the community where everyone has access and a sense of belonging. Through collaborative efforts, we can and will make a positive impact on lives, fostering a better place to call home in our corner of the world.”

Underlining the significance of this appointment, Jessica Romine, search committee chair, emphasized the pivotal moment in the organization’s history. “We find ourselves at a juncture filled with tremendous opportunities that necessitate strategic execution to fulfill our commitment to the community.”

Dawn Zigler, board chair of the La Porte County Family YMCA, conveyed her confidence in both the rigorous selection process and Scott’s prospective leadership. “The thorough interview process provided clarity, affirming that Scott will provide the leadership needed to elevate our organization to unprecedented levels of service and relevance within our community. We eagerly look forward to following his lead.”

Scott Helmkamp is scheduled to officially assume the role of CEO on February 12, 2024, heralding a new era of leadership for the La Porte County Family YMCA.

La Porte County Family YMCA Basketball Program Moves to Kesling Intermediate School

The La Porte County Family YMCA’s Youth Basketball Program has grown so large, it has become increasingly difficult to run the league in the YMCA’s two gymnasiums. Peggy Zarantonello, Sports Coordinator for the La Porte Branch, approached the La Porte Community School Corporation to propose a partnership between the YMCA and the Corporation to host the Y’s Basketball League, which is expected to have over 200 participants this Winter.

“The layout of our building isn’t ideal for hosting a program this size. We’re constantly moving equipment between the two gyms, which are on two different floors. We’re very excited for this opportunity, our shared goals made the School Corporation an ideal partner. We face a lot of challenges with our current buildings, and we don’t want to limit our programs due to the lack of space at the Y” said Zarantonello.

“LPCSC is excited to continue our partnership with the YMCA, specifically highlighting the addition of the basketball program. The collaboration with the YMCA previously included complimentary swim lessons for elementary students, which brought immense joy to our students. We look forward to the progression of this partnership as we focus on mutual goals in the enhancement of the basketball program. The LPCSC and the YMCA share a strong vision and commitment to the programs that benefit the students in our community” said Dr. Ben Tonagel, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education.

Hosting the program at the Kesling Campus will also allow for additional space and seating for family and friends coming to support their athletes. Weekly practices will still be held at the YMCA; however, all games will be hosted at Kesling. For more information about the program, contact Peggy Zarantonello,

La Porte County Family YMCA Raises $90,000 for Scholarship through Special Events

September 11, 2023

The La Porte County Family YMCA hosted it’s two major fundraising events this Summer, raising over $90,000 for the Y’s Caring for Community Scholarship Fund.

In July, the La Porte County Family YMCA hosted it’s second annual Celebrity Golf Outing, which brought together community members for a fun day on the course while supporting a great cause. Twenty three teams registered to play alongside 13 celebrity guests in this one-of-a-kind event. With the help of local businesses who sponsored and supported the event, along with the support of Val & Cliff Levingston, the event was a huge success.

“The first year everything was brand new, and we really didn’t know what to expect. Now that we’ve been through it, the planning and preparation was much smoother this time. We were able to control our expenses more, and increased our sponsorship revenue significantly thanks to our new Community Engagement Coordinator Jenni Alexander. We performed a very in-depth cost analysis to identify areas where we can save further in the future. The more money we are able to raise, the more we’re able to impact our community through scholarships” said Jessica Durham, Director of Marketing & Special Events.

The La Porte County Family YMCA continued their efforts through the Summer, the Tour de La Porte the last weekend in August. This is the YMCA’s third year hosting the event, previously hosted by the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte. The event spans across two days, offering a half marathon, 5k run/walk, 5-100 mile cycling routes, and a brand new 1.5 mile family fun run/walk. In total, the event had 820 participants for the weekend, and raised over $66,000.00. “Our sponsors not only support the event through their donations, but a lot of them get involved through volunteering as well. We’re really blessed by all the amazing sponsors and community partners that are involved to make this event successful” said Durham.

This year’s top event sponsors included Northwest Health, Larson Danielson Construction Company, Howmet Aerospace and NIPSCO. For more information on the YMCA’s Scholarship Fund, please visit


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