Dear JA Friend,

At JA, we're always striving to reach more students, host unique fund-raising events, and recognize community educators and volunteers who share JA with young people. And we're accomplishing our goals, as you'll read in this issue of Spark! Thank you for partnering with JA to make it all possible.

Lena Yarian
Lena Yarian, President This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Spark! Newsletter

Expanding to Serve Youth

To expand its ability to increase JA's hands-on programming for young people across Berrien and Cass counties in Michigan, and in Elkhart, Marshall, and St. Joseph counties in north-central Indiana, JA serving Michiana has merged with Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana.

"We're excited about the opportunity to combine our operations and increase the JA programs we offer in Michiana's pre-kindergarten through high school classrooms," says Shawn Todd, Board Chair, JA serving Michiana. "Educators have expressed a desire to add more JA programs in their elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Combining our JA operations enables us to respond to their requests, and community leaders and businesses are already pledging their support of time and funding. The result will be more young people able to experience JA's economic education, workforce readiness, and financial literacy programs."

Merging these JA operations offers a valuable opportunity to expand JA services in Michiana. During the current 2012-13 school year Junior Achievement reached 112,000 pre-kindergarten through high school youth (49.2% of its market) across 25 northern Indiana counties. JA serving Michiana served 7,700 youth in its 5-county region.

Within Michiana, the goal is to serve 12,750 youth across 5 counties in the upcoming 2013-14 school year. This will be accomplished with the support of local educators and businesses, as well as through expanded opportunities for senior management and Board level support.

Discover more about JA serving Michiana by clicking here:


Adventure, Mud & Fun for JA

Join Adventure Quest on June 28. Come to the Wine & Beer Festival August 10. Toss a ball in Bowl-A-Thon August 16-22 and September 11-13, and get muddy on the Parkview Health Muddy Trail Run September 7.

Adventure Quest
Navigate your way through creative clues and diabolical challenges on an Adventure Quest around Fort Wayne on Friday, June 28. As your team of 2 or 4 people solves clues, you'll unlock prizes on your way to the ultimate "Survivors Bash." The quest begins at 2:00 p.m. and continues until all survivors arrive at the Survivors Bash between 5:30-6:00 p.m. There's still time to register your team at Special thanks to Chase and Sweetwater, the title sponsors of Adventure Quest.

Wine & Beer Festival
On Saturday, August 10, from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at Headwaters Park West in downtown Fort Wayne, Cap n' Cork and Lake City Bank are sponsoring the annual Wine & Beer Festival. In a relaxed New Orleans atmosphere, specialty Indiana wineries and craft brewers will offer tastings as they share their knowledge. Tickets are $25 per person in advance ($30 at the gate); desiginated drivers can purchase tickets for $10 per person. Call JA (260-484-2543), visit, or stop into a Cap n' Cork to get tickets.

Bowl-A-Thon 2013
It's Bowl-a-Thon Somewhere. That's the theme of the 2013 GE Motors/JA event on August 16-22 and September 11-12 at Crazy Pinz. Start building your team of 5 friends, co-workers, or family members, then schedule your bowling date. Gather your donations, with a target of $70 minimum per bowler (or $350/team), and bowl two games. And come in your favorite luau wear, because it's a tropical Bowl-a-Thon Somewhere. Visit for more information.

Muddy Trail Run
Walk, run, or crawl the muddy trails, wade through the mud pit, and fly on the rope swing. Those are only a few of the challenges on the 5K Parkview Health Muddy Trail Run fun obstacle course, to be held on Saturday, September 7 at the Anthony Wayne Scout Reservation in Steuben County. Amp up the fun by adding a 30-foot rock climbing wall or a zip line experience, too! Visit for information and to register.

We also encourage you to get involved in an upcoming special event in your community. There are golf events across JA counties, an archery shoot in LaGrange County, a Cow Plop in White County, a car show in Whitley County, a 5K Run in North Manchester, and a Mud Run in Lafayette County to name just a few. Click here to see what’s happening in your community


Generous Donors Support JA

Junior Achievement is possible because of generous donations from businesses and individuals in each of our communities. Whether donors are joining community fund-raising events or sponsoring storefronts at JA BizTown and Lincoln Finance Park, every dollar supports hands-on learning for young people.

Recently, Touchstone Energy Cooperative and United REMC employees gave time and funding to remodel the Touchstone Energy Cooperative shop at JA BizTown. Now a realistic utility pole and other features highlight the space where students run the town's utility and explore careers in tomorrow's energy marketplace.

To support JA programs, 1st Source Bank has donated $100,000 to Junior Achievement over four years.

"1st Source is a strong supporter of Junior Achievement and the impact it has on children in our community," says Larry Mayers, 1st Source Regional President. "We're pleased to make this donation to ensure more students have access to their financial literacy programs."

BEL Awards Honor Leadership

Junior Achievement's annual BEL (Business and Education Leadership) Awards ceremony in May honored the commitment of the business leaders and educators who are inspiring others.

Rick James, CEO and Chairman of Metal Technologies, headquartered in Auburn; and Joe Ruffolo (posthumously), co-founder of RuffoloBenson LLC, were saluted as 2013 Greater Fort Wayne Business Hall of Fame Laureates. They join 76 others.

In addition, Don Steininger, President of Steininger Development, was honored with the Ove Jorgensen Spirit of Leadership Award.

To celebrate the outstanding innovations and achievements of volunteers and teachers, Golden Achievement Awards were presented to:
Kathy Aldrich, teacher, Angola Middle School
Jeri Fireoved, retired, Swiss Re
Gary Gable, Business Consultant, Humphries Developments
Steve Lehman, President, Smith Brothers of Berne
Steve O'Shaughnessey, Engineer, Parker Hannifin
Tim Stiglich, Senior Programming Analyst, Ford Meter Box
Matt Wojewuczki, Executive Vice President Global Operations, Vera Bradley

To learn more about these Business Hall of Fame inductees and the others who have been honored since the Hall of Fame was established in 1984, visit

JA empowers young people to own their future economic success by enhancing the relevancy of education. During the 2012-13 school year, more than 112,000 young people in pre-kindergarten through high school classrooms across 25 counties in northern Indiana, 5 counties in Michiana, and 1 county in Ohio experienced the benefits of JA learning. Visit to learn more.