vibrant people of elkhart county

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How can you tell that someone loves their community, their neighborhood, their little corner of Elkhart County? It’s by what they do — by going the extra mile, by having a smile for everyone they greet, by helping with, well, just about anything.

We’re celebrating the doers — school secretaries, your neighbors, the people behind the counter at your favorite store — and how they #LoveElkhartCountyIN and make ours a Vibrant Community.

Meet the Vibrant People of Elkhart County

The Vibrant Communities movement will be recognizing the most energetic, cheerful and generous residents of Elkhart County throughout 2019 and it is inviting everyone who loves and cares about their hometown to take part. Vibrant People of Elkhart County will be a year-long daily celebration of the doers and how they #LoveElkhartCountyIN and make our hometown a vibrant community. These are 365 Vibrant People who go the extra mile, have a smile for everyone they greet and help with just about anything. Let’s meet some of them!

Les Gufstafson-Zook


January 19, 2019

Goshen He might be a little embarrassed being called one Elkhart County’s Vibrant People.  He is a quiet and humble man, but he is active…

Lee Miller


January 18, 2019

Elkhart County Lee is a very active member in the Elkhart County community.  She raised four children here and throughout that time supported the school…

Kelly Anderson


January 17, 2019

Elkhart “I’m really shy,” she says from across the bar.  “No, I mean it,” she adds with a big smile.  If Kelley Anderson is shy…

Doug Shaffer


January 16, 2019

Goshen From his position behind home plate he can easily scan the whole field and keep an eye on the dugout.  No, this is not…

Pam Knight


January 15, 2019

  Elkhart Sleepy-eyed customers walking into Old Style Deli are greeted with a needed cup of coffee and a bright morning smile from server Pam…

Allen Brenneman


January 14, 2019

Goshen He is a poet and a sculptor.  He is an award winning photographer.  He is a traveler and explorer.  He loves music.  He holds…

Pat & Owen Weaver


January 13, 2019

ELKHART Long ago, Pat Weaver said she and her husband, Owen, dreamed of having children of their own. Turns out, their dreams came true in…

Derrell Weaver


January 12, 2019

Elkhart The first word he ever spoke was “rainbow.”  To those who meet him, Derrell Weaver is like a rainbow – colorful, shining and likely…

Leah Benavente


January 11, 2019

Elkhart According to her co-worker Ashley Jordan, Leah Benavente has inspired her team members and community “more than she will ever know.” Leah has been…

Jalyn Stofleth


January 10, 2019

Goshen There are kids.  There are active kids.  And then there are super-vibrant fireballs like Jalyn Stofleth of Goshen.   Jalyn is a delightful youngster with…

Chelsea Gorsuch


January 9, 2019

Middlebury  Chelsea Gorsuch was a high school guidance counselor when she got a sign that she should start a business.  So, she took it literally…

Carla Darr


January 8, 2019

Elkhart It is hard to imagine Carla Darr without her being surrounded by a bunch of smiling children.  She loves teaching, guiding them and just…

Veronica Borkholder


January 7, 2019

Nappanee Veronica is an enthusiastic and hard-working entrepreneur who recently opened The Dutch Kernel at Coppes Commons in Nappanee.  She has worked diligently the past…

Jason Fink


January 6, 2019

Elkhart Jason Fink loves Elkhart. He isn’t originally from the area, but he is happy to be here. His family moved to the area to…

Ben Hartman


January 5, 2019

Goshen It takes a special mind to think how the principles of efficient manufacturing apply to agriculture.  It takes even more thought and effort to…

Austin Replogle


January 4, 2019

Elkhart  Not a day that goes by that Austin Replogle’s adoptive father Brian doesn’t think about that fateful day 16 years ago. That was when…

Kathy Mikel


January 3, 2019

Wakarusa Each week, Kathy makes a giant sub sandwich, a red velvet cake (with homemade chocolate frosting), and gets a can of Pringles. She then…

Jessica Davila


January 2, 2019

Goshen As her friend Shannon Oakes said about her, “I don’t even know where to start.  There are special people and then there is Jess.”…

Paul Thomas


January 1, 2019

ELKHART We start this series with a man who is the epitome of Elkhart County’s Vibrant People.  No one has loved life in Elkhart like…

Do you know someone you think should be recognized?

We’re taking nominations! Click the link below and let us know all about this vibrant person. We’ll be celebrating someone new each day of 2019.

Nominate Now!