Circle of Friends Gala

For more than a century, the YWCA of Northwest Indiana has been dedicated to empowering women, eliminating racism, and promoting equality for all.  This past weekend, the YWCA of NWI hosted its annual Circle of Friends Gala at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, and the circle of friends and supporters was larger than ever. The pandemic forced organizers to hold the event virtually the past two years, so the anticipation of this in-person occasion was high. Hundreds attended in support of the organization, which champions women empowerment and the elimination of racism. The gala was hosted by celebrities Samantha Chatman of ABC 7 Chicago and her father, DJ Sam Chatman of 95.1 FM Chicago Club Steppin’.

After delivering greetings, Gary Mayor Jerome Prince invited members of the Gary Common Council on stage and presented the leadership of the YWCA of NWI with a check for $1.5 million. The funds will support improvements to the facility which is more than 25 years old.

“I can hardly contain my excitement,” said Caren Jones, Executive Director of the YWCA of NWI. “These monies are so needed, and our members deserve all the upgrades and improvements that will take place as a result of this funding.”

Guests in attendance danced the night away and enjoyed performances by the line dancers from the YWCA and Joan Collaso and the Family Band. Awards were presented to several community leaders who have exhibited extraordinary support to the YWCA of NWI. The Circle of Friends honorees included Jack Tonk of the Gary Rotary Club, 4th District Councilwoman Tai Adkins, United Steelworkers leader Markael Watkins and Matt Schuffert of Hard Rock Casino of Northern Indiana, which was also the presenting sponsor of the event.

Video and photos of the fabulous affair can be viewed on the YWCA of Northwest Indiana’s Facebook page and donations are still being accepted. Be sure to follow the YWCA of NWI on Facebook for regular updates. For more information, call 219-881-9922 or visit

Edgewater Health is conducting a Community Health Assessment as part of the preparation to renew the organization’s Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) designation status. As a part of this effort, Edgewater Health is conducting a survey of community stakeholders in Gary and other Lake County communities within the designated service area.

We invite your participation. Your input will assist Edgewater Health’s leadership to gain additional perspectives on key health needs in the community and to set priorities for the organization integrated health services.  Please use the link below.

Edgewater Health: 2023 Community Stakeholder Survey

View and download images from the Gala here

Thank you to our Visionary Sponsor



Mission Statement

YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Vision Statement

We transform lives by mobilizing our diverse community to provide vibrant opportunities and experiences that strive to diminish racial and gender disparities in health, education and wealth attainment, as we prepare future generations to sustain these endeavors.



Respect: We believe every person should be treated with dignity.

Equity & Inclusion: We recognize the equal value of all human beings. We embrace diverse ideas, talents and backgrounds, and believe all people should feel welcome in our community.

Community: Our community is integral to our thinking and we are committed to evolving our efforts to best meet its needs.

Empowerment: We believe all people can be supported to grow, learn, and achieve their desired aspirations.

Excellence: We aim to deliver high quality, safe programs and services, to be responsive to our members, and to value data driven decision-making across our organization. These efforts drive our performance and help us to achieve excellence in all that we do.

Integrity: We are committed to operating with honesty, maintaining ethical standards and transparency.


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