Press Releases & Updates

Dunebrook announces Dr. Tammy Button, DDS as new Executive Director

Contact: Pamela Henderson
Director of Grants & Communications
7451 W. Johnson Rd.
Michigan City, IN 46360
Phone: 219/874-0007 Fax: 219/872-4213

Dunebrook announces Dr. Tammy Button, DDS as new Executive Director

Dunebrook announces Dr. Tammy Button, DDS as new Executive Director Michigan City, IN – December 14, 2021 Dunebrook’s Board President, Tony Gillisse CPA, announced today that Dr. Tammy Button, DDS, MSD, MA has been named to succeed retiring Executive Director Jeanne Ann Cannon, LCSW. Dr. Button’s employment will begin in early January and she will assume leadership responsibilities upon Cannon’s March retirement.

Under Cannon’s dedicated leadership, Dunebrook built on its strengths in delivering evidencebased parenting support programs and conducting forensic interviews, developed new community partnerships and strengthened existing relationships with community leaders, partners and donors. Dunebrook looks forward to Dr. Button leveraging these achievements to help further its reach to families in the quest to prevent child abuse.

Board President Tony Gillisse states, “Tammy brings a unique perspective to Dunebrook from her work in addressing pregnancy and infant oral health. Her energy, proven leadership and visioning will be a valuable asset to Dunebrook.”

Dr. Button joins Dunebrook after a long career in pediatric dentistry as a practitioner and educator. She states, “As a La Porte County resident and former Porter County resident, I am aware of Dunebrook’s positive presence in our community. When I served as a pediatric dental healthcare provider in this area, I was very grateful to have Dunebrook as a confidential referral source for families. And as a parent, I value Dunebrook for their recognition that all families can use support and guidance of some kind at one time or another.”

When asked why a pediatric dentist would be interested in serving as Dunebrook’s Executive Director, Dr. Button replied, “Our overall health and well-being as individuals is made up of many different parts. A positive impact made to even one of those parts, such as emotional or physical health, improves all aspects of our health and wellbeing.” She adds, “I look forward to contributing to the incredible Dunebrook legacy which has already contributed so much to our community.” She shares that her vision for Dunebrook is that it serve as a revitalizing connection for all families, parents, and children, and looks forward to building on the momentum that is a hallmark of Dunebrook’s devoted staff and passion for supporting children and families.

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Dunebrook’s Executive Director to Retire in 2022

Michigan City – October 20, 2021 Dunebrook’s President, Tony Gillisse, has announced that Executive Director Jeanne Ann Cannon, LCSW, will be retiring in March, 2022.

Jeanne Ann Cannon, LCSW joined Dunebrook as its Executive Director in 2016. During her tenure, she oversaw the expansion of Dunebrook’s prevention education programs in schools, record highs of forensic interviews conducted in the Child Advocacy Center and a crib distribution program to help reduce the rate of infant mortality in LaPorte County. Gillisse said that Cannon’s leadership has been instrumental in strengthening Dunebrook’s Strategic Plan and forging relationships with hospitals, agencies and other partners in the community. He comments, “Jeanne Ann led our team in navigating the unprecedented crisis of the pandemic, being a constant and positive role model. She worked with our staff to seamlessly deliver services while also heeding safety measures.”

Board Secretary and Past President Ted Perzanowski adds, “As a member of the Board of Directors, it has been a joy for me to work with Jeanne Ann throughout her six-year tenure as Dunebrook’s Executive Director, Jeanne Ann’s leadership has been steadfast, practical, and heartfelt. She has been a fully engaged steward of Dunebrook’s purpose: Safe Children, Healthy Families. Dunebrook has truly been enriched through her tireless contributions of self.”

Cannon stated, “It has been an honor to lead such a talented team at Dunebrook and work alongside our dedicated Board of Directors. The passion, respect for clients and critical work that each of them do every day is outstanding in the fight against child abuse.” She adds, “It has been a pleasure to work alongside so many passionate individuals in our community with the Home Team, Drug-Free Partnership and Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte’s initiative Partners for Healthier Babies and others. Dunebrook will continue as a vital member of their important work.”

She adds, “As a team, we are building up the foundation of our community while strengthening its base, children, parents and families.” “Dunebrook’s Board and staff are fully experienced, trained and committed to serving families and working with community partners to be responsive to the ever-changing needs of families in our community.”

Cannon is also a licensed clinical social worker and will return to her private counseling practice, part-time, counseling couples, women and life-coaching for professionals. “Helping others search their souls and attain
their goals is dear to my heart. I look forward to returning to my practice and the gift of time and flexibility to spend more time with my family.”

Dunebrook’s Board of Directors has begun the search for a new Executive Director. Interested candidates are invited to find more information at www.dunebrook.org or by contacting Lena Ritchie at lena@dunebrook.org or 219-874-0007 ext. 319. The position is rewarding, always active and the opportunity to work with an outstanding staff and Board!

Dunebrook was created in 1989, and delivers services in LaPorte, Porter, Starke and Pulaski Counties. The Child Advocacy Center plays an integral role with investigators by conducting forensic interviews upon an allegation of abuse or a child’s witness to a crime and supports the child and family following the interview. Dunebrook’s child abuse prevention programs, Healthy Families, Body Safety, Stewards of Children and Parent and Family Education, make a difference every day in strengthening and supporting families.

For more information about enrolling in Dunebrook’s programs, volunteering or to request a speaker, call 219/874-0007 or visit www.dunebrook.org. Follow Dunebrook on Facebook and tune in to the Tuesdays at Ten livestream to learn more about what is happening at Dunebrook and our community.

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Community Raises Funds to Support Dunebrook’s Child Abuse Prevention Programs

Michigan City, IN – Sept. 27, 2021 – The Gardens in Michigan City provided a scenic backdrop for Dunebrook’s “Cocktails in the Garden” event on Sept. 16. The event, underwritten in part by American Licorice and ADS/Acme Communications, invited guests to enjoy food from Social Q BBQ, Rolling Stonebaker and
South Bend Chocolates and beverages from Patrick’s Grille while enjoying mingling and an auction with one-of-a-kind items, fine wine and dining and sports collectibles.

Board President, Tony Gillisee, said that Dunebrook wanted to do something a little different to celebrate being
safely back together with our old and new friends. “The Cocktail event gave us the chance to showcase this gem
we have in Michigan City while raising such vital funds for our work at Dunebrook.”

Congratulations to our Award Recipients!

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Thank You Lakefront Career Network

Dunebrook has been thrilled to be LCN’s Spotlight Organization in 2020 and 2021. It’s been a tremendous partnership in building community connections, raising financial and in-kind support for our work and building awareness of Dunebrook’s parenting support, public education and child advocacy programs 

Thank you, LCN, for hosting Share the Love Week, February 8-12 and partnering with businesses for a week of give backs supporting Dunebrook. Thank you to LCN and the participating businesses, Fannie May, Holly’s Restaurant, South Bend Chocolates, Boathouse Grill, Uptown Social and the Michigan City Fire Department.  

Lakefront Career Network provides opportunities for young professionals to develop a personal network, grow professionally and succeed in business while enhancing the community’s quality of life. More information on how to become a member of LCN and upcoming events is available by visiting?www.mcachamber.com. 

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Congratulations to Unity Foundation of LaPorte County

Unity Foundation of La Porte County met its goal to raise $500,000, successfully completing the Lilly Endowment Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative, Phase VII match. This 2-year effort by the Unity team triples the impact of local donations to Unity’s Community Funds. The $500,000 raised became $1.5 million and will support community needs. 

Congratulations to Unity Foundation for this achievement and THANK YOU! 

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