Tom Stokes worked as a crane operator for U.S. Steel. In 1961 his job transferred him from Pennsylvania to Midwest Steel in Portage. When he arrived in Michigan City to explore the region and look for housing, he called his wife, Blanch, and exclaimed “We are moving to paradise!” He certainly counted himself lucky, as he and his wife spent the rest of their lives living in Michigan City, their “paradise”.
Both Blanch and Tom had a passion for Lake Michigan, the beach, and the natural beauty of the area. They spent many hours canoeing the waters of LaPorte and Berrien Counties, hiking the many parks, walking the beaches, and watching sunsets from the Michigan City lighthouse. Blanch spent her career working at Mullen Elementary School, enjoying being surrounded by the local children and teachers.
Blanch and Tom always wanted to do something special for the people in the community that they loved. Our family has established this fund in their honor, so that their commitment to the improvement and growth of this community may live on.