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Archive | February, 2012

Cheer team clinches district title

Ingles named Coach of the Year

The Cedar Springs Competitive Cheer team hosted the MHSAA’s Division 2 District Competition last Saturday, February 18, where they walked away as the District Champs. The Lady Red Hawks faced fierce competition, as all teams came prepared to win. However, it was the Red Hawks that rose above the rest.

After Round 1, in which precision is key and jumps are crucial, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks, Byron Center Bull Dogs, Grand Rapids Christian Eagles and Kenowa Hills Knights were all one point from each other, with Byron Center in first, Grand Rapids Christian second, Kenowa Hills in third and Cedar Springs fourth.  The Lady Red Hawks came out in the second round with determination and focus, pulling ahead of the rest of the competition with an 8-point lead, while also achieving their best round 2 score of the year with 227.4 for a subtotal of 450.3, landing them in first place going into round 3.

In Round 3, the stunting and gymnastics round, the competition was tough, anticipation rising, and it was too close to call from the view of the parents and spectators. It was suspenseful, with everyone wondering who would finish on top.

Fenessa Cotten, a senior on the team for The Red Hawks said, “I believe that during this past week, the team really pulled together and was extra excited about districts because we were hosting it. During the week, coach had us watch some inspirational videos at practice. Once we were on the mat for round one, I was thinking that I didn’t want it to be the last time to be performing our rounds together as a team. So I put my heart and soul into every round and gave it everything I could. I kept thinking to myself, ‘if I want to succeed, I need to want it more than I can breathe’ (it’s from one of the videos coach had us watch). Also, everyone was helping to get each other pumped up! Which helped a bunch!”

The Lady Red Hawks hit all their marks and now all they could do was wait for the scores. Senior Kelli Markosky, was excited to say, “Winning the title of district champs was something I didn’t even think about going into that competition, but after our round three, I knew we had given it our very best, and to hear our name called as District Champs my senior year is a memory I will cherish the rest of my life.”

The Lady Red Hawks’ score of 316.3 for the third round was a new school record for the Lady Red Hawks for round 3 and they scored 766.6 to take first place overall. The Kenowa Hills Knights took second with a final score of 746.6, Byron Center Bull Dogs placed third and the Grand Rapids Christian Eagles took fourth. All four move on to regionals, which will be held on February 25 at Grand Rapids Christian High School.

Coach Pam Ingles commented, “I’m so proud of all of the girls pulling together and working as a team. Their talent and drive came shining through at a pivotal point in our season. I can’t wait to see what we will continue to do this week at regionals on Saturday.”

Congratulations also go out to Coach Pam Ingles for being awarded Competitive Cheer Coaches Association of Michigan’s “Coach of the Year for 2012” for our district.


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Red Flannel Festival adds new events

Steve and Lisa Corbett, of Courtland Township, and kids Mike, 10, and Shannon, 13, are ready and rarin’ to go to the next Red Flannel Day. According to Lisa, Steve likes to wear his Red Flannels that day. Perhaps he’ll be part of the new Red Flannel flash mob, one of the new events taking place this year.

The Red Flannel Festival will provide some fresh new events for its 73rd annual festival, titled “Deeply rooted in tradition.”

New this year is the Michigan Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall. “The addition of the Memorial Wall enhances the tradition the Festival has in honoring Veterans,” said Red Flannel Festival President Michele Tracy-Andres. Annually, the Flap Jack Breakfast profits are donated from the Brown Family to the City for the Veteran’s Memorial Park via the Festival Community Share Program.

The Red Flannel Flash Mob is another new event this year. Organized by Social Media (Twitter, You Tube, Facebook) and mobile phone texting, a flash mob is a group of people who assemble in a public place for a brief time to perform a song then disperse.

Andres said that the new Firefighter Parade that debuted last year was a phenomenal hit and will be back again this year as an annual tradition.

The American Lumberjack Show is back this year with an entertaining display of old-fashioned lumberjack skills, replacing the Fireworks Show. A new Euchre tournament will be held at the Grand Lodge, along with last year’s Cornhole tournament.

“Of course, all of the traditional events are still in place,” said Andres. “The Queen Scholarship Pageant, Car & Tractor Shows, Museum Open House, Chili Cook Off, Bed Races and Grand Parade are wonderful “deeply rooted” traditions!” For a full schedule of events, or to download event applications, visit www.redflannelfestival.org. The Festival takes place each year the last weekend in September and the first weekend in October, with the grand parade and main events taking place on Red Flannel Day, the first Saturday in October.


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Mushing in the Mitten

Ann Nelson, of Howard City, talked about her life-long passion for mushing, the care of her 16 Siberian Huskies, the hand-crafted dog sleds that she and her husband, Ted, design and sell, and why the absence of typical Michigan winter is a huge disappointment this year.

Children from the Greenville Michigan Inclusive Connection for Home Learners visit with the dogs at Thunderfeet Kennel and Dog Sleds in Howard City.

Racers hindered by weather share dog sled passion with students 

By Sarah Read


Winter has been wacky this year. Unusual season temperatures and on-again, off-again snow has left most Michiganders puzzled. For those who dread The Mitten State in the cold months, it’s a relief from the bitter months of deep snow. For winter sport enthusiasts, however, it’s a crushing disappointment.

Such is the case for mushing devotees Ann and Ted Nelson, of Howard City. The Nelsons own Thunderfeet Kennel and Dogsleds, where they care for their 16 Siberian huskies and custom create dog sleds. For the Nelsons, dog sled racing is not just their passion, but their life. “Normally we have a race each weekend in January and February into March, but winter isn’t cooperating this year,” Ann explained to a group of homeschool families who enjoyed a field trip to Thunderfeet this month.

Ann has been a musher in Michigan for over 25 years. Caring for and feeding the dogs is an around-the-clock job. Nelson explained they get dog food shipped to their home by the ton, and also go through approximately ten pounds of raw meat a day divided between 16 dogs. Along with custom designing and hand crafting dog sleds, which they sell, the Nelsons also mentor others who are interested in taking up the sport. While the hobby is a big commitment, the community of mushers is welcoming and helpful, according to Ann. “[Mushing] is big in Michigan,” she said. “It’s hard work but it’s so rewarding, and there is a wonderful community [of mushers] who can help you get started.”

The field trip attendees from Greenville Michigan Inclusive Connection for Home Learners were excited and appreciative to visit and learn from Ann about what is a sport for some in Michigan and a main mode of transportation for others in the world. “I’m still glad we have cars,” one student mentioned, “but if that was our only way to get around it would be really fun!”

To learn more about Thunderfeet Kennel and Dogsleds, visit www.thunderfeetdogsleds.com. For more information on the Greenville home education group, which offers monthly field trips and other educational opportunities, visit www.greenvillemichiganhomeschoolers.webs.com 


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5 K Walk/Run supports To: Africa From: U.s.

TAFU founder Mary Fournier poses with students and teacher of a kindergarten class in Uganda. Through the generosity of people in west Michigan, this needy school has been able to triple in size and educate hundreds more students.

To: Africa From: U.s. (TAFU) will hold its first annual 5K walk/run fundraiser on March 24, at 9 a.m. in Greenville.

This 501(c)3 organization was started in 2009 by Cedar Springs teacher Mary Fournier and works to aid needy communities in Africa. “The main things that TAFU works to help are educational needs and water needs,” explained Fournier. “They have installed 3 different water tanks providing water to a few thousand people. They have also provided a computer lab, library, and classroom block for different schools that it works with.”

The event will be held just south of M-57 on Maplewood between Meijer and the Club Fitness center in Greenville.

Fournier said that TAFU is aiming to raise enough money to build a dormitory for a school and provide a sustainable farm with irrigated fields for a village. The aim is high with a goal of $10,000. TAFU did a fundraising event that was similar last year in combining fitness and global awareness and raised nearly this same amount.

“This cause is one of the great things we have the power to embrace and act upon,” according to Fournier. “With our busy lives we lead it is easy to forget how privileged we are in that our homes have electricity and running water. It is easy to forget that our schools provide books, technology, transportation and many other supplies to students. We can certainly do something about it.”

If TAFU meets its fundraising goal with this event, it will have raised over $50,000 total for different projects for the communities it serves.

How to sign up: Go to www.2africafromus.com and click on the register button. The registration is currently $25 but goes up to $30 as of March 1st. You can also register as a volunteer. If a participant works to raise $100 or more from sponsors, they will earn a specialized race t-shirt. See website for details. If you cannot attend the event but still wish to make a donation to TAFU, you may donate on the website or send a check to: To: Africa From: U.s.  P.O. Box 327 Cedar Springs, MI 49319.   If you have questions, contact race director Mary Fournier at 2africafromus@gmail.com


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Don’t forget to vote Tuesday

Primary and sinking fund millage vote is Feb. 28


Voters in the Cedar Springs Public Schools District will have two items to vote on Tuesday—who they want to run for President of the United States, and whether they want to pass a building and site sinking fund tax levy to help offset capital improvement costs for the school district.

Calling voting a right and a responsibility, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is urging Michigan citizens to vote in the presidential primary election on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

“I would urge all citizens who wish to do so to celebrate their freedom and make sure their voice is heard, their vote counts,” said Johnson, Michigan’s chief elections officer. This election, like all elections, is open to all registered voters. However, because this is a “closed primary,” voters will be required to indicate which party’s primary they wish to vote in, and they will then receive that party’s ballot. Remember, voters do not need to be a registered member of a political party in order to cast a ballot.

Voters who wish only to vote in the special millage election may request a ballot that does not include presidential candidates.

Cedar Springs Public Schools is asking for a levy not to exceed 1 mill ($1 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for 10 years to create a sinking fund for the renovation, remodeling or repair of school buildings and all other purposes authorized by law. They told the Post last week that their main priority is fixing school campus roads. If it passes, they estimated they would raise $521,000 in the first year. See the ad on the back page for more info on the project, and see our article from last week’s paper on our website at cedarspringspost.com.

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at your local city or township office.


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Mary C. VanderWal

Mary C. VanderWal, 42, of Los Banos, CA passed away peacefully in her sleep from natural causes on Saturday, February 4, 2012. Mary was born November 11, 1969 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Jerry and Betty (Salo) VanderWal. She was Red Flannel Queen in 1986 and graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1987. She had represented Michigan in the Miss National Rodeo finals placing 4th. She loved animals, especially horses, and received a degree from MSU in horse management. Mary was a very positive, encouraging and charitable person. She loved to help others. Surviving are her companion, Jim Hernandez; sons, Seth Hernandez and Trace Hernandez all of Los Banos, CA; parents, Jerry & Betty VanderWal of Cedar Springs; brothers, Mark (Janice) VanderWal of Ravenna, Todd (Dana) VanderWal of Hudsonville; sisters, Kati (Brent) Fisk of Sand Lake, Kari (Jeff) Paulen of Howard City; four nephews and seven nieces. The family will greet friends on Saturday, February 25 at 1:00 pm until time of memorial service at 2:00 pm at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. Pastor Mary Ivanov officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to United Pegasus Foundation, P.O. Box 173, Tehachapi, CA 93581.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. 


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Gretchen Weeks

Gretchen Rebecca Weeks, 93, passed away in Traverse City on Wednesday, February 15, 2012.  Gretchen was born to George and Lena (Lockerby) Bryant on May 6, 1918 at the family farm in Pierson, Michigan.  She grew up on the farm and had a happy childhood. Gretchen graduated from Sand Lake High School at sixteen and attended Ferris Institute, earning a teaching certificate.  She began teaching at the age of eighteen at the Pioneer one-room school in Pierson, earning $35 a month.  She also taught at Kinney and Solon Township one-room schools.  In 1940 she married Lloyd Weeks and stopped teaching to be a wife and mother to three children; Lloyd Jr. (1943 – 1950); Larry (1947 – 1997); and Louise, who lives in Traverse City. Gretchen returned to teaching in 1957 at Cedar Springs Elementary, and taught first grade there until retiring in 1979.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in 1964. Gretchen and Lloyd enjoyed their retirement years, traveling to many states, as well as Israel, Mexico, Hawaii and Canada. They had many friends and were members of Cedar Springs First Baptist Church. After Lloyd passed away in 1991, Gretchen stayed very active and spent a lot of time with friends and family.  Her grandchildren meant the world to her. In 2003 Gretchen moved to Traverse City to be near her daughter and grandchildren.  She lived at Glen Eagle for the next nine years in the company of many good friends, and enjoyed her life there. Gretchen was preceded in death by her two sons, Lloyd Jr. and Larry; her husband Lloyd; and her brothers and sisters, Fred, Pearl, Isabelle, Beatrice, Carroll, and Martha. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Louise and Jack Scholtus; her grandchildren, Jason Weeks of Marietta, Georgia, Brooke and Neil Fraser of Decatur, Georgia, Hilary O’Toole of Denver, Branden Bearinger of Traverse City, Samantha Packer of Kotzebue, Alaska, and Maggie Packer of Traverse City; her great-grandchildren, Connor, Kaden, Alexander and Aria; her brother-in-law Donald (Beverly) Weeks; and many nieces and nephews.  Visitation was held at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, on Wednesday, February 22. Services will be held there Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Pastors Jim Howard and Bert Boes officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. 


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Rex Morris

In Memory of Rex Morris


If every tear we shed for you

Became a star above,

You’d stroll in Angel’s Garden

Lit by everlasting love.


Your Loving Family


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It’s all about balance

Pastor Herb VanderBilt

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs



“Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. Brothers, pray for us. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you (I Thessalonians 5:12-28).

Paul’s words of advice to Timothy, over 2000 years ago, are good advice even today. Basically he is reminding Timothy that life is a balance of holding onto the good and avoiding the evil.  Recently we heard a lecture by the noted New Testament scholar N.T. Wright, where he said that the message of the church also has to be in balance or in harmony. He used the metaphor of a quadraphonic stereo with a speaker in each corner of the room and how if one speaker is too loud, it distorts the sound and destroys the harmony. I think that the apostle Paul is also telling Timothy to look for this balance in helping people not only grow the early church, but also those who are just discovering Jesus Christ. We can also use this metaphor in how to find balance in our lives today. We all have people in our lives pulling us one way or the next and we also need to find the balance in our relationships with others. If we use the idea of four speakers we can think of our relationship with our friends, our job, our family and Church as the quadraphonic space that we live in. If one of these speakers is too loud it affects how we hear the others. If we turn down our friends and only listen to the other three, it will distort the melody of life and so on with the other three. All of these speakers keep the spirits fire alive in us; turn any of them off and we put out the spirit’s fire. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.



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Make Your Home with Me

By Ronnie McBrayer

Lately, one of Jesus’ more cryptic phrases has been making laps inside my head. These words were spoken on the last night Jesus was with his disciples: “Abide in me, and I will abide in you.” Jesus was welcoming his disciples to remain connected with him and to rely upon him. “Stay put. Don’t abandon your relationship with me,” Jesus was saying. Eugene Peterson translates Jesus words like this, “Make your home in me.”

That’s not so cryptic, as we understand home quite well. Home is where each day begins and where it ends. Home is where we eat, rest, relax, take shelter, play, and love. Home is where we go when there is no other place, and where we always return. Home is that glorious place where we walk around in our socks and underwear, scratch our backsides without worrying about who is looking, and lounge around on the weekend without showering or shaving if we so choose. Home is where we can drop all our burdens, barriers and coping mechanisms.

Home is sweet, it is where the heart is, and it is our castle. It is where we bring the bacon and where we wait for the cows to arrive. Home is like no other place in the world, and no matter where or how far we travel, home is where we always call, well, home. It is where we feel safe, secure, and ultimately, where we can be ourselves. Jesus said, “Make your home”—relax and be yourself—“with me.”

I believe that a large portion of our personal suffering stems from the fact that we often go looking for “home” in all the wrong places. The wrong career, the wrong person or relationship, the wrong ambitions: We are searching for that comfortable place where we can prop our shoeless feet on the coffee table and be accepted as the real, natural people that we are.

When that no-strings-attached acceptance is not forthcoming, we begin to work, worry, toil and sweat, manipulate and be manipulated, all in an attempt to get others to take us as we are. We end up being strangers to ourselves, living within the artificial structures we have created, but it sure isn’t home sweet home. It’s miserable. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can give ourselves over to Christ, in total dependence, and find rest for our homesick souls.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.



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Main Street with Roger Allen

Go green!

Peter Skyllberg was dug out of his car a few days ago. The car, in a seldom-traveled location, had become buried in deep snow. That occurred in December. His rescuers and doctors are surprised he’s alive. Apparently, warm clothes, melted snow, and “the hibernation effect” saved him.

This news item is out of Sweden. I mention it only because you may have noticed that WE aren’t having our normal winter. It’s February and that’s grass we see on the lawns. Global warming doesn’t distribute its effects evenly. I can manage, thank you, with our version of winter this year—no hibernation necessary!

Go away!

Are you tired of the deluge of election ads that misquote, fudge the truth, and paint opponents as a danger to America? Hang in there. Once the primaries move on to other states, we’ll get a temporary break from the political carnival.

Speaking of carnivals

A carnival truck and a revival preacher’s truck collide head-on, and everyone gets killed. The next thing anyone knows, Saint Peter is interrogating the revival preacher very thoroughly. Suddenly, the carnival crew arrives at the Pearly Gates, noisy and reeking of beer. Saint Peter waves them all through as he continues questioning the preacher. The Reverend splutters indignantly and asks, “How can you let those filthy, unrighteous hooligans into heaven while you give me the third degree?”

“Take it easy,” Saint Peter says. “They’re only going to be here a week.”

Speaking of computers

Well, we weren’t, but I’m writing this on one. So here’s a computer story.

New customer to Tech Support: It says hit any key, and when I do that nothing happens.

Tech Support: Can you try again and tell me what happens?

Customer: Tried, but nothing.

Tech Support: What key did you hit?

After a moment and some ching-aling sounds, the customer replies: Well, first I tried my car key and just now my office key.

Senior wisdom

The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else does.

The older you get the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends. (Amazing! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks two sizes!)

I know what Victoria’s Secret is. The secret is that nobody older than 30 can fit into their stuff.

Time to retire

Three elderly airline pilots are walking on the ramp. First one says, “Windy, isn’t it?” Second says, “No, it’s Thursday.” Third one says, “So am I. Let’s go get a beer.”

Last words

The argument you just won with your wife isn’t over yet. “And lastly…”


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Varsity wrestlers place at regionals

Pictured is sophomore Jared Vodry, senior Austin Wamser, Coach Scott Troost, and junior Cody Oehme.

Will move on to state competition


The Cedar Springs Red Hawk Varsity Wrestlers endured a hard weekend wrestling last weekend at the regional competition. Cedar Springs had three boys qualify for the regional competition that was held in Mount Pleasant on Saturday Feb. 18, and all three were able to advance to the state competition that will be held at the Palace of Auburn Hills on March 3 and 4.

Senior Austin Wamser, ranked 5th in the state, claimed a second place finish in the 152 pound weight class, losing to Travis Curley from St. Johns, who is currently ranked Number 2 in the state. Wamser went head to head with Curley, without getting pinned but lost by points in the end.

Junior Cody Oehme grabbed a 4th place finish in the 125 pound weight class, losing only to the #6 division 2 state ranked wrestler Alec Ward, from Greenville, and honorable mention wrestler Luke Klein, from Sparta.

Sophomore Jared Vodry wrestled his way back to grab a 4th place finish in the 135 pound weight class, after losing to the #1 state ranked wrestler Brant Schafer, from St. Johns. Vodry then won his next match and moved on to take on state honorable mention wrestler Cameron Bender, also of St. Johns.

“The boys did a heck of a job,” Said Coach Scott Troost. “I knew Austin and Cody were going to make it through, but Jared was more of a long shot considering he had to wrestle a wrestler that had beat him twice the week before, but he pulled it off and beat that same wrestler, and that’s when I knew all 3 were going to advance to the state finals.” Troost continued, “I am very proud of them, just going to state is a huge accomplishment, all having very tough kids to beat to get there.  But the hard work isn’t finished yet. We have a week and a half to have them ready for state.”

Good luck to our regional finishers and we wish them well as they travel to Auburn Hills for the state competition on March 3 and 4. We are very proud of our wrestler Hawks.


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