Art of Chocolate Tickets on Sale NOW!

AOC Dripping

Sunday, January 26th 2014
5:30 to 8:30 PM
Indiana University Art Museum


Buy Art

The Art of Chocolate is an elegant evening featuring a unique silent auction with an art theme. Along with more traditional silent auction items (i.e. vacation packages, sporting event tickets and restaurant gift certificates), the evening will feature a variety of visual artwork by local artists. The sale of all artwork in the Art of Chocolate silent auction will benefit both LIFEDesigns (40% of the sale) and the artist (60% of the sale). This is a great way to help support local artists in our community and LIFEDesigns! Artwork is on display for sale throughout Bloomington during the month of January at the Showers Building, Lennie’s restaurant, all Bloomingfoods locations, local salons, various medical offices, at LIFEDesigns and other locations around town.

HOW TO PURCHASE: Did you see art around town that was part of the Art of Chocolate collection that you would like to purchase?

Please call 812-332-9615 ext: 218 and speak with Leslie Abshier to make purchase arrangements. You can also email Leslie at to request purchase of a piece. Purchases need to be made through LIFEDesigns and can be made with cash, check or card.

Eat Well

Decadent hors d’oeuvres, chocolate creations, and beverages will be presented many different local establishments including The Rail, Bloomington Country Club, Peacetree Mountain Truffles, Big Woods Brewery, Underground Cupcakes and Cafe, Joan’s Caramels, Scholar’s Inn, Oliver Winery, Malibu Grill, KRC, Angles Cafe and many more.This year there will be the famous chocolate martini along with a hot cocoa bar and a fondue station. Oliver Wine will be served throughout the evening. We are thrilled to have some of our chefs making items on site this year as well. Don’t worry, it won’t be just desserts! Chefs create savory items as well so feel free to come hungry.

“Forks Over Knives” cookbook author Del Sroufe will be our special guest for the evening. We are thrilled to have him in attendance this year featuring some of his recipes that satisfy your sweet tooth while staying healthy! Since this is our 10th year we thought it would be fun to mix things up and introduce a new way to do chocolate. Now you can indulge without worry!

Do Good

The Art of Chocolate is an annual fundraising gala held to support the vital services LIFEDesigns provides for people with disabilities. This is LIFEDesigns‘ only large scale fundraiser each year and serves to support two of its programs that are not funded through other means.

Join Us

Tickets available NOW at BCT Box Office, Bloomingfoods locations, LIFEDesigns and

Tickets are $40 a piece prior to the day of the event. This is $10 a piece cheaper than they were in 2013! There is also a student price this year if tickets are bought prior to the day of the event: $35 a piece with a valid student ID. ALL tickets bought the day of the event will be $50 a piece. The event is limited to 300 people and usually sells out so get your tickets today!


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First Black Friday…
Then Cyber Monday…
Now #GivingTuesday!

Giving Tuesday is TODAY December 3, 2013.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
  -Sir Winston Churchill

How you can help us promote #GivingTuesday with you friends on Social Media

  • Tell us on Social Media: why are you giving?
  • Take a photo with your answer to why you are giving and tag it with #GivingTuesday and #unselfie

How you can give to LIFEDesigns today for #GivingTuesday

  • via our website through Netowrk for Good or PayPal (see the buttons to the right)
  • mail a check to 200 E. Winslow Rd. Bloomington 47401.

Thank you for the gift you give today!

LIFEDesigns Fall Newsletter is Here!

Newsletter Feature Image Fall
Fall is here and so is the LIFEDesigns Letter: Our Newsletter to the LIFEDesigns Community. We want to keep you up-to-date on what we are doing, working with people with disabilities to become more independent. Check out what we have been up to by reading our latest Newsletter.
In the Fall Newsletter you will find:

  • An article by CEO Susan Rinne “Built to Last”
  • United Way Campaign 2013-2014
  • Our Forever Home
  • DSP Appreciation Week
  • A Habitat Home for Chris
  • Summer FUNdraisers
  • Crawford Move-In

…and more!

Want to read all about it?
Continue to keep an eye out for Newsletters in the mail and online from LIFEDesigns.
If you are not receiving our newsletters and would like to or are receiving them by mail and want to receive them by e-mail to help us go green and save money by cutting out printing costs and using less paper, please sign-up for our email list. Thanks!
If you are receiving duplicates or still receiving hard copies of our newsletter and don’t want to be, please email Community Development Officer, Leslie Abshier, at labshier (at) to let us know what needs to be changed.

Crawford is LEED Platinum Certified

Crawford Apartments – LEED Platinum Certification Achieved!

Developed by LIFEDesigns, Inc., Crawford Apartments (Sept 2013) provides 25 apartments for formerly homeless persons and is now officially LEED Platinum certified! It is Indiana’s first LEED Platinum certified affordable multi-family housing community.

High Energy Efficient Features include

  • Solar Panels
  • 18 SEER Heat Pumps
  • Triple Pane Windows
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters

 Clean Air Features include

  • Passive Radon System
  • Low VOC Paint
  • Low Formaldehyde Cabinetry

 Water Conservation Features include

  • Water Sense rated Faucets and Lavatories
  • Drought Tolerant Plantings
  • Irrigation System

 Special Features include

  • Community Garden
  • Bicycles for Residents and Shelter to Protect Bicycles
  • Recreation Space
  • Bus Stop
  • Walking Distance to Retail/Commercial
USGBC Awards Crawford Apartments LEED® Platinum Certification

In October, Crawford Apartments on S. Henderson was officially awarded LEED Platinum certification by USGBC for achievement in green homebuilding and design, which is the highest level of certification possible.   LEED for Homes is a green certification program that rewards homes and apartment buildings that are designed and built to be energy- and resource-efficient and more healthy and durable for the occupants. LEED-certified homes and apartments complete a technically rigorous process that often includes a home energy (HERS) rating and onsite inspections to verify that the residence is built to be energy and water efficient, environmentally sound, and a healthier place to live.

Crawford Apartments, developed by LIFEDesigns, Inc, is the only affordable residential apartment building in the state of Indiana that has been awarded the LEED Platinum certification. The apartments were designed by Doug Bruce, of Tabor/Bruce Architecture & Design based in Bloomington, and were built by Gilliatte General Contractors, Inc., out of Indianapolis. Christin Kappel, owner of Simply Sustainable, LLC, specializing in green design and consulting for residential projects throughout the state of Indiana, worked closely with development team for Crawford Apartments to provide design review, suggestions and product selection ideas.

“LEED certification is a realistic way to tackle ever rising energy costs by cutting a building’s energy usage by as much as 60%, our case studies have shown,” said Nate Kredich, Vice President, Residential Market Development, USGBC. “Crawford Apartments will be saving money year-round by being a LEED-certified building.”

“As a LEED-platinum certified apartment building, Crawford Apartments serves as the highest model of greener and more efficient living for the entire community,” said Susan Rinne, Chief Executive Officer for LIFEDesigns, the building’s owner and developer. “The apartments set the example that we can all live better by reducing our environmental footprint, cutting our utility bills, and coming home to a greener place to live.”

On a city bus line less than two miles from Downtown Bloomington, Crawford Apartments is conveniently located for the residents who live there. The apartment complex focuses heavily on reducing energy use.  The 25-unit three-story building features solar panels, triple pane low-e argon windows, high efficiency lighting fixtures, 18 SEER HVAC systems, and LED bulbs. Other energy efficiency upgrades include Energy Star certified water heaters, programmable thermostats, high efficiency gas furnaces and air conditioners, as well as mechanical ventilation. 

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

Developed by U.S. Green Building Council (USBC)

The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Since USGBC’s founding in 1993, USGBC has grown to more than 18,000 member companies and organizations and a comprehensive suite of LEED green building certification systems. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations all sharing USGBC commitment to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. Visit for more information.

About LEED for Homes
LEED for Homes is a third-party certification system for building and designing high-performance green homes that are energy-and-resource-efficient and healthy for its occupants.  Developed and administered by USGBC, LEED for Homes awards points to projects in eight categories of environmental performance: Innovation & Design Process, Location & Linkages, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and Awareness & Education. To date, more than 18,000 units have achieved certification with LEED for Homes program, and over 75,000 have registered and are in process.  For more information, visit

What is LEED?
It is a rigorous rating system for the design and construction/renovation of green buildings.  It has rating systems for commercial buildings, schools, homes, neighborhood, and multifamily buildings. It is intended to promote environmentally responsible and efficient construction and renovation practices.  Though this certification system was developed and is administered in the United States, it is in use worldwide.

Projects must meet rigorous minimum standards across several categories to even be considered for LEED certification.  Additionally, up to 100 maximum points are awarded and successful projects earn one of four LEED certifications based upon their scores:

The categories are:  Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality. Some types of projects earn points for Locations and Linkages and Awareness and Education.  Bonus points are offered for Innovation in Design and Regional Priority.

Certification Levels are:


Certified: 40 – 49 points          Silver: 50 – 59 points            Gold: 60 – 79 points           Platinum: 80+ points

Why Build Green?

High Performance Energy Efficiency:  LEED certified buildings are required to be more energy efficient than typically required by code.  Reducing dependence upon fossil fuels is an important objective of LEED.  Emphasis is placed upon insulation, windows, doors, heating and cooling systems, hot water heating, lighting and appliances.  Additionally, proper installation of insulation and sealing/caulking is required. The result is lower operating costs of the LEED buildings, less air pollution, and reduced dependence upon fossil fuels.

Improved Indoor Air Quality:  LEED buildings require fresh air circulation and discourage the use of building materials which infuse harmful chemicals into the building.  For example, radon, the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer, is mitigated in LEED certified buildings.  Also, the installation of cabinets, flooring, or paint containing harmful chemicals is discouraged.  Then, owners and residents are encouraged to clean using chemical-free safe products. This creates healthier indoor environments.

Water Conservation:  Clean fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive for municipalities to provide to the public.  Greater awareness of the high cost to treat and provide the public with clean water is one of the LEED certification objectives.  LEED certified buildings are required to conserve water via low flow faucets and lavatories, and smart landscaping with drought tolerant, native plants.  Further water conservation via the installation of gray water systems, rain barrels, irrigation, and cisterns, are encouraged in LEED programming.

Local Sourcing: LEED requires the use of sustainable construction materials and encourages local sources.  This reduce pollution (via fewer transportation miles in materials transport), and promoting sustainable forestry practices.  Points are provided for materials purchased locally.  Wood supplied must be from sustainable forestry’s.


LIFEDesigns’ Annual Halloween Party!


It’s almost here! Our most anticipated event of the year: the Annual Halloween Party!!

THIS Friday, October 25th – 5:30pm to 7:30pm – St. Marks United Methodist Church

Come dressed in your best costume. Prizes will be given out for scariest, prettiest, most creative and best overall costume. Food provided will be pizza and salad. Drinks provided will be lemonade and water. There will be candy given out and a kids activity area. There will also be carnival games to play! Don’t forget, we always have a great DJ for dancing and, yes, some karaoke songs, too! We will also be pieing the “winner” of our 2013 United Campaign Penny Wars in the face. You don’t want to miss it! Everyone is invited and we mean everyone! Bring friends, family, neighbors and anyone you’d like to join us! There is no charge to attend this event. However, we are holding a pet food drive at the event, so please bring dry dog food if you would like to help our furry friends.

We hope you will join us for one of the most exciting LIFEDesigns events of the year!

LEARN MORE by going to the LIFEDesigns website or our Facebook page.