Courier & Press
A Chocolate Affair to benefit the Lampion Center is Feb. 5
By Aimee Blume
Evansville Courier & Press
Posted February 2, 2011 at midnight
"C" is for captivating.
"C" is for confectionery, caramel, creamy centers, cordials ... and chocolate, as in A Chocolate Affair.
Stephen and Marjorie Libs of Stephen Libs Finer Chocolates have been supporters of The Lampion Center's Chocolate Affair since the first dreamy evening 14 years ago.
"The Chocolate Affair is such a fun evening," Marjorie Libs said. "We really think it's important to attend — the Lampion Center helps so many people. Being a local business, we try to help as many charities as we can, and support the community ... and we get to sample everyone's wares and try new items, and it just feels good to be giving back."
"We're supported by the local people," Stephen Libs added, "so we do try to give back."
The Libses, along with nearly a dozen other local restaurants and businesses, will be giving back Saturday evening as they serve up pounds and pounds of delightfully decadent chocolate desserts at the 14th annual Chocolate Affair.
Amid dancing, live jazz, bubbling champagne and an exquisitely romantic atmosphere, you may find treats prepared by many of Evansville's finest chefs, pastry chefs and chocolatiers.
At Stephen Libs Finer Chocolates, every possible item is made from scratch.
"Things come in the door as raw materials," Stephen Libs said. In the kitchen, the employees roast and salt the nuts, grind the peanut butter, cook down cream fillings, blend the melt-a-way centers, whip the marshmallow cream and even cook the nougats and creamy, chewy caramel.
The caramels, for example, are cooked from sugar, butter and heavy cream in large copper pots.
"We use real butter and heavy cream — all real ingredients," Stephen Libs said. "The copper pots work best because they give better heat distribution."
That is, copper is very conductive, so a flame on the bottom provides heat that travels evenly and almost instantly up the sides of the pot all the way to the top edge.
"The word caramelized means the controlled burning of something," added Stephen Libs. "We add our cream in stages to the hot caramelizing sugar, and it produces a very violent boil. The water boils away, then we add more cream and it happens again. The old-time candy makers thought that gave a better flavor. You can use electric heat but we prefer gas — there is a big gas flame under the kettle. When they're done, we pour the caramels out onto a pan, then when it cools we cut them into squares."
The flavored cream centers are cooked in the Libs kitchen as well. When the cream mix is ready, an antique hand-roll machine presses it into portions.
"In the old days you used to roll them between the palms of your hands," Libs said. "That's why it's called a hand-roll machine."
The hopper of the machine is filled with the center mixture, and a handle lowers a press on the top, pushing out the centers from rows of holes in the bottom. Then a series of wires are moved across the holes, cutting off precise cylindrical bits of the stiff cream mixture. They are dropped onto paper, allowed to firm, then dipped into melted dark or milk chocolate.
The finished candies are hand-marked with initials to show the flavor of the filling: V for vanilla, O for orange, S for strawberry, B for buttercream, M for maple and 4 for Raspberry (because it's really hard to make an R with melted chocolate).
And then, of course, there is the chocolate itself. "We start with chocolate by Peter's and Wilbur — those are very high-quality chocolates — and melt it down to temper it," he said.
Real, good-quality chocolate is a tricky substance to work with. Chocolate at room temperature actually is formed of crystals and it behaves similarly to carbon — depending on how it crystallizes, you can get coal, graphite or a diamond. Tempering is how chocolatiers make sure they end up with a "diamond."
"To temper, you have to melt the chocolate, cool the melted chocolate, then raise the temperature again," Libs said. This ensures that any "wrong" crystals in the chocolate melt away, and that the "right" crystals have the optimum temperature to form.
"If we don't do it like we're supposed to, we have to start over again because the product will be discolored and the texture won't be right — it has to do with appearance, texture and shelf life."
For most chocolate-coated candies, the chocolate is pumped through an "enrober," a small, conveyer machine which pours melted chocolate over centers — peanut butter, pretzels, what have you — as they pass over a wire grate. The chocolate literally enrobes the center, and the extra drips away to be cycled through again. The coated candy is bumped back onto the solid conveyer, sent through a tube for a quick-drying process, and emerges just a few feet down the line where an employee is waiting to box it up.
In the end, the finished chocolate product is a masterpiece of homemade filling and a shiny, crisp dark or milk chocolate coating that has been loved and babied every step of the way.
Per day, the Stephen Libs kitchen turns out only a couple hundred pounds of finished product.
"The nice thing about being small is that we do small batches," Marjorie Libs said. "Everything stays fresh — we don't use preservatives, and the customers can tell."
Deputies learn to prevent sexual abuse of childrenPosted: Mar 23, 2010 4:27 PM CDT Updated: Mar 28, 2010 4:21 PM CDT
VANDERBURGH CO., IN (WFIE) - The Vanderburgh County Sheriff's office teamed up with the Lampion Center to help prevent the sexual abuse of children.
Sheriff Eric Williams, his deputies and staff attended three hours of training through the Stewards of Children Program.
The program is designed to teach deputies how to prevent, recognize and react to signs of abuse.
Sheriff Williams said if his office learns how to protect children, they can take that knowledge into the community.
"We find a lot of times that the active employees of the sheriff's office are also are little league coaches and doing a lot of things with youth in our community so to give them the tools to be the expert that sometimes the community expects them to be while they are in those roles, but it teaches them how to do things to make sure that the opportunity for sexual child abuse doesn't occur," Sheriff Williams said.
The sheriff said nationwide, one out of four girls and one of six boys will experience a form of sexual abuse before the age of 18
Local agencies combine for child abuse education seminar
By Pam Robinson
According to national statistics provided by Evansville’s Lampion Center, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Perhaps even more shocking, 90 percent of child sexual abuse perpetrators are people the victim knows and trusts in some way. Indeed, a large majority of the 90 percent are family members, either adult or child relatives.
At the invitation of Willow Tree of Posey County, Lampion Center will present a child sexual abuse prevention program, Stewards of Children, in an effort to keep our children from becoming another statistic. The program will be held on Wed., Jan. 27, 2010, from 6 to 9 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, located at 46 Cale Street in Poseyville. Individuals may register by calling the Lampion Center at 812-471-1776 or Willow Tree of Posey County at 866-391-1927. Cost is $15, which includes a workbook. Scholarships are available.
Emily Morrison, a licensed clinical social worker with Lampion Center, will facilitate the evening’s training. Morrison recommends and invites “anyone who cares for children in any way, who has a connection with children or even has the best interest of children at heart to attend the training.”
Morrison says participants will walk away with seven basic steps of child sexual abuse prevention as well as a strong motivation to go out and share the information. “So many times,” she comments, “participants have left the training with an excitement to spread the prevention message. They now know the steps are so simple and doable. They’re happy that they can contribute in an area that they didn’t know they could – whether in their workplace, their churches, their volunteer work or in their own homes. A little bit of knowledge and a few tools go a long way to empower people to help those around them.”
Morrison states that within the Lampion Center practice as well as in the community at large, there has been increased need and increased request for services to treat the trauma of child sexual abuse. The victims range from children of very early ages where the disclosure was recent to adults who have been walking around with the trauma untreated since their childhood.
“We want to provide not just needed treatment, but also to prevent child sexual abuse,” Morrison emphasizes. The Stewards of Children program, created by the organization Darkness to Light, was brought to the area in September 2008 through a state grant. Since then, nearly 700 have been trained in the program: social work students, nursing students, teachers, mentors, tutors, parents, foster parents, CASA workers, child welfare workers, church administrators, child care workers, church youth workers and other corporate workers. Welborn Baptist Foundation, Holiday Foundation, Vanderburgh Community Foundation and Verizon have provided additional funding and materials. “With this funding,” she states, “we can assure that everyone has access to the training regardless of ability to pay.”
Morrison points out that Lampion Center receives support also from the United Way of Posey County. “We are always looking for ways to help and assist and engage the people of Posey County in the work that we do,” she says, “especially when can do it right in their own neighborhood.”
The Posey County News ~ January 19, 2010
Vanderburgh Community Foundation " Spirit of Giving Award" given to Lampion Center Board Member Terry Huber.
EVANSVILLE — Terry Huber, executive director of Workforce and Economic Development at Ivy Tech, and attorney Ted Ziemer Jr. have jobs that keep them more than a little busy.
But their work doesn't stop when they leave the office at the end of the day or for weekends. Those who know Huber and Ziemer know they are tireless supporters of various community causes.
On Thursday, the two men were honored for their philanthropic and volunteer work at the Vanderburgh Community Foundation's third annual Spirit of Giving celebration.
Huber received the foundation's Children's Philanthropist Award while Ziemer was honored with the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award. They were chosen from a field of three finalists for each award. Both winners will have $2,500 donations made to the organizations of their choice. The awards were announced after a lunch at the Boys & Girls Club of Evansville during which community leaders were the servers.
The idea behind the awards, said foundation Director Barbara Dicken, is to bring recognition to those in the community who give selflessly to make it a better place and improve the lives of others.
"We just really wanted for those who give back to the community to be recognized in the same way as those who are recognized for their athletic or academic abilities," Dicken said.
Huber was recognized for his work with the Lampion Center over the past 14 years and his work as a trainer with its Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention program. Huber took the program to heart.
"He has been the catalyst for funding the project by holding stakeholder meetings at his own expense to ask others for financial support. He volunteered to be trained as a facilitator and has personally taught the Stewards of Children program to many people in our community," said Allison Comstock, awards committee chairwoman, in presenting the finalists.
Huber said he has been driven to volunteer by his interest in the issues he works with, a desire to give back and the value system instilled by his religious faith, to give back as he has been blessed.
Lampion Center Offers Training to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse
Reported by: Randy Moore Friday, Jun 12, 2009 @05:48am CST
This statistic is chilling. Every fourth girl will be sexually abused by her 18th birthday. It's not much better for boys -- 1 in 6. There are lots of good programs for treating victims of child sexual abuse.But the Lampion Center in Evansville wants to prevent abuse. This week I sat in on a training session Lampion is offering called "Stewards of Children, a three hour sexual abuse prevention training program. Linda Roth is the Lampion Center's Clinical Director. She says, "Those figures are staggering and that's by those that are reported. So we estimate there's more than that." (read entire story / see video)
'Installed images' banish distressful memories
Crime victims, combat veterans and disaster survivors have something in common — they've all endured traumatic experiences that can result in lingering emotional distress.
But all can also potentially be helped by Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, a type of therapy developed in the late 1980s that helps people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and distressing memories.
"We're learning the brain does have the capacity to heal itself from emotional and mental distress," said Linda Roth, clinical director of the Lampion Center.
The Lampion Center provides a range of services for children and adults, including counseling, skills classes, school-based programs, adoption services and workplace services. It serves those who live, work and/or attend school in Vanderburgh, Warrick or Posey counties.
In 2006, the nonprofit agency provided 17,225 hours of counseling. Some of their clients are self-referred, while others are referred by another agency.
Some clients have private insurance, while others pay as little as $10 per hour on a sliding fee scale.
In November 2006, the Lampion Center added to its counseling toolbox when it began offering EMDR. Two counselors are trained in the technique.
When Roth uses the therapy, she first has the patient create a mental image of a place that makes him feel secure. Next, that image is "installed" in the mind as the patient thinks of that place while also performing a series of eye or body movements. The patient may be asked to perform rhythmic eye movements or body movements, such as tapping or drumming with both hands to stimulate both sides of the brain.
Then, the patient thinks of the memory that is troubling him while again performing the eye or body movements.
The technique works with both recent and older traumatic events, and the patient does not need to provide the therapist with details of the trauma in order for the treatment to work. EMDR can be used on both children and adults — Roth has used it on patients as young as 2 years old.
Because the technique is so different from traditional talk therapy, Roth spends a lot of time explaining it to patients so they know what to expect.
"It's not intrusive, it's not hypnotism, but some people still are fearful of it," Roth said.
Experts aren't agreed on exactly how EMDR works, Roth said, but studies have shown that it is effective.
During the first month that the Lampion Center began offering EMDR, Roth said, 92 percent of patients reported a significant reduction in their stress levels after one session. That number is higher now, Roth said, because the therapists have become more skilled in the technique.
One of Roth's patients, a woman who asked that her name not be used, tried it to help her with anxiety related to finances.
To date, she's been through one session.
"I was really pretty amazed by it, that it did help calm me down," the patient said. "I am really intrigued by it."
She said EMDR has also helped her 14-year-old-son, who had been experiencing anxiety so severe it was interfering with school.
The Lampion Center has a long history of helping the community.
The agency was founded in 1885 as the Women's Relief Corps to provide food and clothing to Civil War veterans and their families.
Over the years the agency merged with other groups and changed names several times: to Associated Charities, then Community Welfare, then Family and Children's Service, and finally Lampion Center.
Services offered have also changed over time.
For instance, the organization no longer provides poverty relief — its focus is on mental health and community services. And, though the agency still offers some pre- and post-adoption services, it no longer offers adoption placement services.
The agency has an annual budget of about $937,000, 39 percent of which comes from the United Way. The rest comes from program fees, grants and contracts and donations.
For more information on EMDR, please go to www.EMDR.com.
Courier & Press
Troubled teenagers' parents get a hand
By MICHELLE BRUTLAG Courier & Press staff writer 464-7431 or firstname.lastname@example.org
March 8, 2004
Parents and guardians of troubled teenagers are a constant presence in Vanderburgh Juvenile Court Judge Brett Niemeier's courtroom.
"One of the recurring themes we see continually in juvenile court is parents who are having a difficult time with their teenagers," Niemeier said. "Sometimes it's the teen's fault, sometimes it's the parent's fault, sometimes it's a combination of both."
With that in mind, Niemeier collaborated with the Lampion Center, a local nonprofit counseling agency formerly called Family and Children's Service, to create a program that would offer parents and guardians an educational parenting program at the same time their teenagers were in a counseling support group.
"I've been wanting to have a class like this ever since I took the bench," Niemeier said.
Tentatively named Family Choices, the parenting portion will begin March 18 and will continue Thursday evenings at the same time as the teen support group, Choices, which began last summer.
Most of the Family Choices group members will be court-referred by Niemeier, though other people will be accepted. He said the program will be a wonderful resource for the court, particularly the juvenile probation officers.
"The probation officers are often between a rock and a hard place, between the parents and their kids," Niemeier said. "It's often hard to discern the truth. They try to counsel them, but they don't have the time to be a tremendously big help."
Lynn Kyle, executive director of Lampion Center, said the parenting education was a structured, six-session program, but people could start at any time. The center also operates a parents-of-teens support group called Parent Link, which meets once a month. Niemeier said that when he orders parents to the educational program, he will also require that they attend two Parent Link meetings after they complete Family Choices.
One of the benefits of the program, Kyle said, is that parents can start at any time because the sessions will be offered continually.
"You can come in at any point. The judge might see people and sometimes they have to wait two months for another program to begin," she said. "All that time is lost. This is very fast, immediate feedback."
Some of the topics covered in Family Choices will be styles of parenting, building courage and self-esteem, problem-solving, respectful discipline skills, effective communication skills and family talks.
The parenting group will meet at the same time as the teen Choices group, and some of the participants will be parents of the teens in Choices. After both groups end, the parents will meet with their kids for a half-hour session.
"Our goal is to try to help the family, helping everybody learn how they can maximize the opportunity of being in their own home," Kyle said. "We want to stabilize the family situation."
Niemeier hopes the new program will prevent teens from leaving their families - whether it be by running away or removal to a foster home, group home or criminal detainment.
Though the sessions will be limited to 10 participants, Niemeier said he doesn't foresee a problem filling it.
People who are court-referred to the program will not be charged for the service. Those interested in participating on their own will pay a $25 fee per session. The fee will cover up to two parents or guardians.