Despite Covid, NIBCC continued its mission in 2020

The Northeast Indiana Base Community Council is reminding the public that annual membership dues are up for renewal on January 1 every year. Membership dues allow the nonprofit organization to continue its mission to be America’s most engaged military community.

Since 2011, the NIBCC has served as a catalyst in unifying the military, civilian and business communities of the greater Fort Wayne region through awareness, collaboration, advocacy, workforce development and leadership. Efforts include:

• Connecting people to programs, building a network of support for service members and their families.

• Promoting the seven military bases and armories in the 11-county region.

122nd Fighter Wing – Air National Guard

1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry – Army National Guard

—338th Quartermaster – Army National Guard

A/2 – 152nd Cavalry – Army National Guard

384th MP BN HHC – Army Reserve

1/330th IN REGT – Army Reserve

—221st OD CO – Army Reserve

• Raising money for the Military Support Fund

• Supporting Veterans Connect 211 database

NIBCC is a 100-percent volunteer organization, offering members the opportunity to participate in or attend the myriad events throughout the year.

2020 was a challenging year for all nonprofits, but in spite of the challenges of virtual meetings, socially distanced events, and reduced attendance, we were able to continue key parts of our mission.

We hosted two Speaker Series luncheons in 2020. In February, Col. Mike D. Stohler joined us at the Parkview Mirro Center to share his experience and leadership approach as commander of the Indiana Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne. In October, Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr. delivered the keynote address virtually, while guests enjoyed the luncheon at Cerutti’s Diamond Room in Fort Wayne. Bunch is the Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, headquartered at Wright-Paterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Our main fundraiser for the year, Race for the Warrior, held its sixth annual event in August, providing to be a model for social distancing, meeting the State of Indiana and Allen County Health Department guidelines for COVID-19 compliance. The race raises money for the Military Support Fund, designated to provide emergency financial microgrants to local military families in crisis. Funds assist with life necessities like rent, utilities, transportation for work, uncovered medical needs.

Also among NIBCC’s accomplishments in 2020 was adopting Veterans Connect 211 as an NIBCC program. The program works with the Indiana 211 database to connect vets with services that support and serve the veteran community.

Without a paid staff, every dollar raised through memberships, donations, sponsorships and event income goes directly toward continuing NIBCC programs. If you would like to join or renew your membership to the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council, please visit nibcc.org.

Published by Gwen Clayton

Gwen Clayton is a freelance writer living in northeast Indiana. She is the former editor of the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, and has written for numerous other publications since 1986. Her first book, the paranormal thriller "Fermata Cellars," was published in 2016, and her Bible-inspired short story, "Purr: A story of love, lions and a Hebrew named Daniel," was released in 2019. She recently finished writing, "Zinfandel’s Grimoire," which is the sequel to 'Fermata;' that book is in the editing and design phase of publication. Her current works in progress include the third book in the Rivervine Trilogy, tentatively titled, "The Comatis," and the nonfiction, "Dragon's Poker Table: A rocker chick's breast cancer journey." Her books are independently published under the imprint, Rivervine LLC. In addition to writing books, Clayton contracts as a copywriter for local, small businesses. She lives in southwest Fort Wayne with her husband Eddie, a retired military veteran and avid photographer. When not working on their various projects, the couple enjoy traveling through middle America searching for adventure, patronizing mom-and-pop businesses, and promoting the general welfare of current and former service men and women. Gwen serves as the marketing chair and board member of the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council. She holds a bachelor of science degree in public administration from Regis University.

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