VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT: February Birthdays!








February is here so please wish our February babies a Happy B-day!

2/01 Leslie G.

2/13 Robin L

2/17 Christina M.

2/17 Pete S.

2/18 Diane H.

2/18 Linda O.

2/21 Ashley B.

2/28 Sierra R.



Many of you will meet some of our four new ushers at the Hot Chocolate Party on Monday. Some will see them this weekend working their first shift. Whenever it is that you see them, let’s give them a hearty DPAC welcome!

 When you get a chance, take time to get to know Gary, Mary, Carole, and Christopher by reading below:

Gary H.

  1. Hometown- Born and raised in South Bend, have lived in Mishawaka area for 38 years
  2. Occupation- Retired IT and Technology Support
  3. Hobbies- Traveling, Kayaking, Hiking, Blacksmithing
  4. Favorite Food- Cherry pie
  5. Favorite Live Performance- Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
  6. Favorite Artist- Yanni

Mary H.

  1. Hometown– Mishawaka, IN
  2. Occupation- Retired.  Insurance Claims Representative for Indiana Farm Bureau
  3. Hobbies- Camping, Reading and Cooking
  4. Favorite Food- Popcorn
  5. Favorite Live Performance- Phantom of the Opera
  6. Favorite Artist- Jasha Heifetz
  7. Lastly, I have a special place in my heart for dulcimer music and would love to learn to play the hammered dulcimer.

Carole M.

  1. Hometown– I grew up in South Bend though I was born in New York and arrived here at one year old.  I graduated from St. Joe High School and Notre Dame.
  2. Occupation- I have been in ministry all my life, mostly in New Orleans and a reservation in Arizona.  Presently, and for the last 8 years, I am Chaplain and Director of Mission & Pastoral Care at St. Paul’s Retirement Community.
  3. Hobbies- I like to exercise, work-out – walking, biking, taking exercise classes; I enjoy reading and travelling and going out to dinner with friends.
  4. Favorite Food- I enjoy all different cuisines but most especially, I enjoy Middle Eastern foods: hummus, lentils, shawarma, etc.
  5. Favorite Live Performance- Most memorable as a young person, probably when I was 18 years old – Bruce Springsteen. Most recently, it would be the 50th anniversary stage play about Martin Luther King The Mountaintop right here at DPAC.
  6. Favorite Artist- I don’t have a favorite artist – one person I used to buy any of her CDs was Sarah Brightman.
  7. Lastly, I have at least two things on my bucket list:  walking the Camino del Santiago, and taking a trip to Africa.  I work with many African individuals.

Christopher S.

  1. Hometown- Warsaw, IN
  2. Occupation- Part time Men’s Stylist / Fashion Consultant, Full time Outreach Manager for Fleet Feet Mishawaka
  3. Hobbies- Organizing and hosting monthly movie nights at my house for friends, enjoying the arts, and running.
  4. Favorite Food- Sushi
  5. Favorite Live Performance- Blue Note Jazz Club, NYC, 2015: Chris Botti with surprise special guest John Mayer
  6. Favorite Artist- Currently: La Santa Cecilia  All Time: John Mayer, Josh Groban, Michael Buble
  7. Lastly, I’m very grateful to be here and I look forward to working with everyone.  Thank you!

VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT: Usher Linda DeCicco Has a New Book!

Just in time for the holidays, Linda has written a children’s book: The Front Porch Pumpkin Saves Christmas. It would be a welcome addition to any family’s Halloween AND Christmas book library! You can currently buy it on Amazon.com. So if you get a copy, I‘ll see what I can do to get you an autograph! Below is an article on Linda that appeared in the South Bend Tribune this week. Congrats to Linda and her family!

Mishawaka woman’s family helps her with illustrations for children’s book

By Kathy Borlik  December 2nd, 2018

Now is the perfect time to find the missing link between Halloween and Christmas. The link is a much-loved pumpkin sitting on Grandma’s porch. So, by Christmastime, it is a bit squishy and in need of attention. But don’t sell it short. It can do a lot. Magic can happen.

 “The Front Porch Pumpkin Saves Christmas” is the recently published children’s book by Linda DeCicco, of Mishawaka. The book is available on Amazon and was published through Amazon’s Createspace site.

 The charming book features artwork from Linda’s seven grandchildren, Satchel, Benjamin, Lila, Beckett, Harper, Luke and Hunter. She calls them the Magnificent Seven. More artwork comes from Linda, her daughters and her father.

 Linda is a retired teacher and journalist. She taught 17 years at Riley and Adams high schools. Before that, she worked 17 years at the Tribune as a writer, editor and copy editor. She retired from Adams in 2015.

 Linda’s dad was Mike DeCicco, the esteemed fencing coach at Notre Dame. He had five national championships and many other titles in his nearly 40 years of coaching. Linda grew up here and graduated from Marian High School and IU Bloomington. She married and had kids.

She said she has always had the writing bug. She rises early every morning to write before she gets on with the rest of the day. She compared it to doing the dishes every day or cleaning house. It is part of the daily routine. “My sister says when I get depressed, she knows I didn’t write that day,” Linda said.

 But, she cautioned, she hasn’t sacrificed everything to write. “I had family and a job.”

Linda won a Lilly Endowment grant to research her first novel, “The Fig and the Flower.” That turned into a trilogy. Her poetry and fiction have been published in literary magazines. She also wrote a history of Notre Dame’s Sophomore Literary Festival.

 As for the pumpkin tale, “I wrote it a few years ago. I played with it and the grandchildren loved it,” she said.

 “I wanted the grandchildren to have a copy of the story. I also wanted my dad to do the illustrations, but his health started to decline. (He died in 2013),” she said. Linda took a little time and found a way to create the book without finding an agent or publisher.

She found the Amazon site, worked with the program and got each grandchild to do an illustration, even Hunter, age 2.

 The lessons in the story are about hope, magic and cooperation, she said. Maybe a lot of magic.

Here is the link to the article:


VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT: December 2018 Birthdays!











December is here, so let’s send some happiness to our December b-days!

12/10 Mark K.

12/14 Joanne K.

12/15 Gary O.

12/23 Reynaldo H.

12/25 JoLynn B.

12/28 John B.

12/28 Julia M.

12/29 Katherine J.

*Also note as we get to the end of the year, if you haven’t seen your birthday come up please let us know and we’ll make sure we get your birthday in our system for 2019. Thanks!