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Community comes together for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Walk on Saturday

[COLUMBIA CITY, IN] – Close to 120 people came together on Saturday for Whitley County’s first Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Walk at Morsches Park. This free event was hosted by BABE of Whitley County, a non-profit organization that provides resources and a community for Whitley County families.

The path of the one-mile walk was lined with signs for each family with their baby’s names written on them, along with “We walk for the steps they will never take” at the bottom. DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home released a dove to open the event. Once the walk was concluded, each baby’s name was read aloud, and Amanda Daniels shared her story of loss and hope before a balloon release concluded the event.

“Our goal was to bring awareness to something so many women go through but don’t talk about,” said Laura Tucker, Executive Director of BABE. She continued, “One participant emailed me afterward to thank us for having the children’s names spoken with love and dignity. It moved me to tears to know this meant so much for families.”

The walk also included a resource area where families could learn more about BABE and local partners who can come alongside families when experiencing loss.

Tucker added that she wanted to thank the four leading sponsors of the event; 80/20, All Pro Towing, Columbia City Iron & Metal, and Jarhead Hauling & Junk Removal. This event was free for the public for anyone who wanted to attend. BABE is planning on having this event again next April.

Families could get their picture taken at the balloon arch.
Amanda Daniel shared her story of loss and hope during the event.

The walk concluded with a balloon release.

The trail was lined with signs with family and baby names listed.

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ABOUT WHITLEY COUNTY BABE

BABE of Whitley County is a non-profit organization in Whitley County that serves over 1200 people.  BABE encourages preventative care and childhood development by providing incentives and a community to nurture the mental and physical well-being of our local families. BABE also hosts various mom groups and activities and programs to provide support to the families who need it most. Learn more at www.babewc.org.

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Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Walk and Balloon Release Coming in April

[COLUMBIA CITY, IN] – BABE of Whitley County, a non-profit organization that provides resources and a community for Whitley County families, will be hosting Whitley County’s first Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Walk on Saturday, April 16 at Morsches Park. 

This one-mile family walk is being provided for free for anyone in Whitley County and surrounding areas who would like to attend. Families will be able to see their baby’s name written on a sign, hear their name spoken, and participate in a balloon release at the conclusion of the walk.

“Unfortunately, every pregnancy carries the risk of not taking a baby home nine months later, and it’s something not a lot of people feel like they can talk about,” says Laura Tucker, Executive Director of BABE. She continued, “We’ve created this walk to help bring awareness to pregnancy and infant loss and to hopefully provide some space for grieving and healing for families.”

The walk will also include a resource area where families can learn more about BABE and local partners who can come alongside families when experiencing loss. The walk will begin with a dove release by DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home and will conclude with a balloon release. The event begins at 11:00 a.m. Registration is free, and an event t-shirt is available for $15 when you register online by April 1. 

Tucker added that BABE is still looking for local sponsors to help cover the cost of the event since it will be free for families. Tucker can be reached at laura@babewc.org. You can learn more about this event including how to register at www.babewc.org/walk

To learn more about the services provided by BABE of Whitley County, please visit babewc.org. You can also visit BABE on Wednesdays and Thursdays from Noon – 5:30 at 533 N. Line Street in Columbia City.

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ABOUT WHITLEY COUNTY BABE

BABE of Whitley County is a non-profit organization in Whitley County that serves over 1200 people.  BABE encourages preventative care and childhood development by providing incentives and a community to nurture the mental and physical well-being of our local families. BABE also hosts various mom groups and activities and programs to provide support to the families who need it most. Learn more at www.babewc.org.

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BABE of Whitley County Announces Winners in Cutest Kids Contest

More than $12,000 raised in annual photo contest for Whitley County Families

[COLUMBIA CITY, IN] BABE of Whitley County, a non-profit organization that specializes in providing resources and a community for moms and families, raised more than $12,000 in its annual Cutest Kid Contest last week, making this contest the most successful photo contest BABE has held.

“This is the 9th year of the Cutest Kids Contest and the second time we’ve done an online-only contest,” said Laura Tucker, Executive Director of BABE.

Tucker added that this contest was always held at the Whitley County 4H fair for years. They decided to switch last year to an online contest when faced with new challenges due to COVID-19.

“Finding an online platform to use to make this contest easier for parents and those who vote has been key in our success. It’s made it so easy for parents to share their kid’s entry on Facebook, which helped exposure and helped us get more donations,” said Tucker.

The contest included six age categories and one grand prize winner. One dollar equaled one vote, which means more than 12,000 votes were cast during the week-long contest. All proceeds from this event will help the growing families in Whitley County. BABE provides an incentive program for those who consistently participate in partner programs like doctor’s appointments, parenting classes, and anything that promotes the overall well-being of moms, babies, and children through age 5. This photo contest is one of the ways BABE is community-supported.

The winners of the 2021 BABE Cutest Kids contest are as follows:

Grand Prize Winner:
Levi Zion
Son of April King and David Zion

Ages 0 – 1:
1st place: Levi Zion
Son of April King and David Zion

Ages 1 – 2:
1st place: Berkleigh Beard. Daughter of Lyndsey and Jacob Beard

Ages 2 – 3:
1st place: Teagan Wight. Son of Carolynn and Zach Wight

Ages 3 – 4:
1st place: Harper Western. Daughter of Kelsie Pasquale and David Western

Ages 4 – 5:
1st place: Finn Knepple. Son of Alyssa and Mike Knepple

Ages 5 – 6:
1st place: Lucy Knepple. Daughter of Alyssa and Mike Knepple

To learn more about the services provided by BABE of Whitley County, please visit babewc.org.

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ABOUT WHITLEY COUNTY BABE

BABE of Whitley County is a non-profit organization in Whitley County that serves over 1200 people. BABE provides quality incentives to parents who participate in preventive and prenatal care, including parenting, educational and nutritional classes to promote a healthy pregnancy, healthy birth outcomes, and early childhood development. In exchange for participating in preventive and prenatal care, participants are given a BABE Coupon that can be used to “purchase” diapers, wipes, clothes, strollers, and more at BABE’s store located on Line Street in Columbia City. BABE also hosts various mom groups and activities, and programs to support the families who need it most. Learn more at www.babewc.org.

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BABE of Whitley County Receives 20,000 Diapers From Hello Bello

[COLUMBIA CITY, IN] – BABE of Whitley County, a non-profit organization that provides resources and a community for Whitley County families, received more than 20,000 diapers from Hello Bello, an environmentally friendly company that specializes in diapers and personal care items for babies. Celebrity couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are co-founders of the company. 

Executive Director of BABE, Laura Tucker, contacted Hello Bello earlier this year to share BABE’s mission since it aligns closely with their own mission. “Hello Bello believes all parents need access to affordable, premium products for their little ones,” said Tucker. She continued, “Our incentive program rewards families for participating in a variety of programs that benefit both the parents and the child. Thanks to the generosity of Hello Bello, parents now have access to even more diapers when they come in to exchange their earned BABE coupons.”

Tucker described this donation as one of the largest diaper donations they have ever received and the first from a national brand like Hello Bello. “We were thrilled when they offered to send diapers to us, but we had no idea it would be so many,” Tucker added.

Many non-profit organizations are still facing challenges due to the economic downshift caused by COVID-19 in the past year. BABE of Whitley County is also feeling these effects. “COVID-19 has caused us to rethink our fundraising strategy for over a year now,” says Vice-Chair of BABE’s board of directors, Christy Phend. She continues, “We’ve had to find creative ways to be available to the families we serve, and we’ve had to postpone many of our fundraising campaigns. This donation could not have come at a better time for us.” 

To learn more about the services provided by BABE of Whitley County, please visit babewc.org. You can also visit BABE on Wednesdays and Thursdays from Noon – 5:30pm at 533 N. Line Street in Columbia City.

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ABOUT WHITLEY COUNTY BABE

BABE of Whitley County is a non-profit organization in Whitley County that serves over 1200 people. BABE provides quality incentives to parents who participate in preventive and prenatal care, including parenting, educational and nutritional classes to promote a healthy pregnancy, healthy birth outcomes, and early childhood development. In exchange for participating in preventive and prenatal care, participants are given a BABE Coupon that can be used to “purchase” diapers, wipes, clothes, strollers, and more at BABE’s store located on Line Street in Columbia City. BABE also hosts various mom groups and activities, and programs to support the families who need it most. Learn more at www.babewc.org.

Press Release, Uncategorized

BABE Announces Laura Tucker as New Executive Director

BABE Announces Laura Tucker as New Executive Director

Lauran120219[COLUMBIA CITY, IN] – Whitley County BABE, a non-profit organization that specializes

in providing resources and a community for moms and families, has recently hired a new executive director, Laura Tucker.

Tucker steps into this position with the experience she’s learned in the past three years as the store manager of BABE. She has been playing an active role in the events and fundraising campaigns since she came onboard.

A resident of Whitley County for the past 15 years, Tucker has been raising four children with her husband, Jeremiah. In 2019, Tucker was nominated for a Heart of Gold award through the Community Foundation of Whitley County. This award recognizes people in the community who make Whitley County a nicer place to live and work through their acts of kindness. Tucker was nominated specifically for the impact she has on the moms and families she serves through BABE of Whitley County.

“I’ve been using BABE since my oldest child, now a freshman, was a baby. I’ve watched BABE grow into this wonderful place that not only helps promote healthy families, but we also rally around the moms when they need support.” Tucker said. She continues, “Sometimes that support is just someone to talk to about day-to-day struggles.”

Jacie Stahl, outgoing executive director, decided earlier this month to take a step back from BABE of Whitley County after three years to spend more time with her family which includes homeschooling her youngest son.

In the past three years, Stahl has focused on the community aspect of the organization in addition to continuing BABE’s mission. She has converted the BABE store into a place where many classes take place each month along with an area where moms can get to know other moms.

“For 20 years now, BABE has been a place where moms can use BABE coupons they’ve earned at doctor’s appointments or classes in exchange for essential baby items like diapers and wipes. I felt that it was important to focus on the community aspect as well.” said Stahl. She continued “BABE now offers a space for moms to get to know each other and share their lives with other moms. We’ve created a safe place that moms look forward to coming to each week.”

When asked about what her immediate plans were for BABE, Tucker shared her enthusiasm about reaching more families by adding evening hours to the BABE store for working moms. She also wants to grow the involvement of our community and hopes to focus on Churubusco and South Whitley as well.

Tucker officially steps into her new role on Monday, January 27, and Stahl’s last day will be on January 31st following a farewell party at the BABE store on the 30th. More information including a list of resources and coupon distributors is available at babewc.org

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ABOUT WHITLEY COUNTY BABE
BABE of Whitley County is a non-profit organization in Whitley County that serves over 1200 people. BABE provides quality incentives to parents who participate in preventive and prenatal care including parenting, educational and nutritional classes to promote a healthy pregnancy, healthy birth outcomes and early childhood development. In exchange for participating in preventive and prenatal care, participants are given a BABE Coupon that can be used to “purchase” diapers, wipes, clothes, strollers and more at BABE’s store located on Line Street in Columbia City. BABE also hosts various mom groups and activities and programs to provide support to the families who need it most. Learn more at http://www.babewc.org.