Starke United sets goal, honors the Haughs

KNOX — Starke United has announced it wants to raise $75,000 to help others, and honored Mike and Joan Haugh for helping launch the agency 15 years ago.
“We need your help... let people know that Starke United gives to many agencies,” Board Chairman Todd Zeltwanger told a crowd of more than 80 gathered for the 2010 Campaign Kickoff Breakfast at the Knox Community Center on Thursday, Sept. 2.
The kickoff quickly turned into a tribute to Mike and Joan Haugh, as Master of Ceremonies Ted Hayes detailed the start of Starke United 15 years ago, and explained the roles both Haughs played.
“Starke United was organized by a small group of people who met at the Shore Club (now closed restaurant in Bass Lake), including Ed Hasnerl, Mike and Joan Haugh, Ellie Allen, Gordon Campbell and others,” Hayes said.
Both Haughs have been very active in the community. Joan is director of Community Services of Starke County and a volunteer for many groups. Mike has been involved with Funday in the Park and the Mint Festival in North Judson, helped organize the Solid Waste District, helped establish the EDIT tax to attract businesses and much more.
“My dad’s the idea guy, my mom’s the detail person,” their son, Dave Haugh, said. Dave is a sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
In recognition of their services to Starke United, the couple were presented with a framed document signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels, proclaiming them Distinguished Hoosiers.
The tribute to the Haughs competed for attention with a keynote speech by baseball legend Ron Kittle, a Gary native known best as left fielder for the Chicago White Sox.
“I think it’s important we all have a heart. We’ve got to be caring people. And not everybody can give money for charity, but you can spread the word,” Kittle told the crowd.
Along with making numerous speaking engagements for charities, Kittle operates his own charities. Proceeds from his book sales go to benefit those charities.
Starke United is a United Way affiliate which distributes gifts it receives to charities in Starke County. ‘We’ve got a lot of agencies that need our help,” Director Edie Hall said.