The Lapel family invests in the community | Crazy life entertainment

LAPEL – On the main street of Lapel is a historic all-brick building that housed Lapel’s original post office. Built in 1899, it holds much of this small town’s history and sits right next to the railroad that divides the town in two. Here now stands The Lodge on Main, a space that was purchased and renovated by the Evelo family.

After meeting at Indiana State University, Derek and Stephanie Evelo got married and started their life together. After living in Fishers for 21 years, the Evelos decided to return to Stephanie’s hometown of Lapel. With family and religious ties there, the Evelos wanted to raise their three boys with small-town roots. The slow pace and small town vibe is what they love.

“When you come back (to Lapel) everything slows down and that’s what more and more people are going to be looking for over time,” Derek said.

The couple have owned rental properties since 1997 and both work in real estate. In addition to real estate, the couple is part of many volunteer groups around town, such as the town pantry, their church groups, and setting up parenting pages on Facebook to build community.

In 2020, the Evelos purchased The Lodge with a vision in mind: to create an affordable venue to host community events and gatherings. The space has been renovated and now accommodates two bedrooms and a commercial kitchen which are available for rent.

“We wanted it to be a blessing for the community,” Stephanie said.

Parties and showers are their most popular events, but it doesn’t stop with accommodation. The Lodge is also an operating space for business owners, which has benefited caterer Esther Woschitz.

Woschitz owns the Essential Desserts and Food Company and uses The Lodge’s commercial kitchen to run his business. She is also an on-site caterer for events held at the Lodge.

“It helped me get business when people book an event there,” Woschitz said. After meeting on Facebook, Stephanie Evelo and Woschitz hit it off and became business partners.

The Evelos have also invested in another property being renovated in Lapel. The building is an old church that they plan to turn into an AirBnB that can accommodate 12-14 people. Stephanie Evelo even took to social media, asking the public what they would look for in a space like this. This post received over 30 comments with helpful suggestions from the community.

The Evelos believe that investing in their community is something that should be encouraged and is part of the Evelo family’s mission for Lapel.

“I want to leave my community better than it was,” said Derek Evelo.

The Lodge on Main is online at as well as their social media pages @thelodgeonmainlapel.

Sydney Rusche is a senior from Lapel, Indiana who specializes in public relations. Sydney is associated with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.

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