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Archive | March, 2013

Charity water project

By Seth Holtrop

 

Too often, people discredit Cedar Springs. They claim that nothing good can come from here; that we are nothing more than “Cedar-tuckey.”

But the students of Cedar Springs have a different story to tell. They believe Cedar Springs is a place where excellence can be the norm, and where hard work can overcome any obstacles in our way.

Towards proving this point, the students of Cedar Springs High School are taking on one of the world’s most pressing problems. They are resolving to build a drilled borehole well in Tigray, Ethiopia—even though they know that many will scoff at the cost ($10,000).

Since last fall the community of Cedar Springs has raised a large amount of money for Charity: Water. They did so by doing extraordinary things like contacting different businesses, selling paintings, and implementing fundraisers throughout the school. By going outside of their comfort zones, they raised over $5,000 and are trying to raise $8,000 more.

N-Charity-water-project

The facts:

Every 19 seconds a child dies from preventable water related diseases

Ninety percent of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old

E.coli, Salmonella typhi, Schistosoma, Cholera vibrios, and Hepatitis A are some of the things that can be found in the filth filled water in Ethiopia

Help the unordinary teens of Cedar Springs prove their awesomeness. Any amount helps. You can donate at http://mycharitywater.org/worldhistory, and, when doing so, please feel free to leave a comment encouraging students to continue impacting history!

Posted in NewsComments (1)

Pack Your Easter Basket Full of Sweet Treats

EAS-Sweet-Treats(Family Features) Spring into action and surprise guests at your Easter gathering with eggcellent desserts and treats. From pastel-colored cakes to homemade kid-friendly candies, Wilton has simple ideas to brighten any holiday table and help you make delicious sweet treats that will have your guests hunting for more.

“Holiday get-togethers are the perfect time to try new recipes, have fun in the kitchen and showcase your baking skills,” says Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs at Wilton. “Get the kids involved with candy molds and Easter-themed cupcake kits, or add an element of surprise with a festive cake that reveals its pastel perfection when sliced.”

Try these tips from Wilton to make your desserts hop off the table:

• Celebrate Spring Fashion: Play up seasonal pastel colors by using an ombre technique. Fade through shades of rose, aqua or mint to add personality and chic spring flare to your cake.

• Some ‘Bunny’ Special: Involve kids in the process; let them put their creativity to work by adding finishing touches like seasonal nonpareils, bunny with jelly bean icing decorations and sprinkles.

• Lollipop, Lollipop: Impress guests by creating your own candy lollipops with Wilton’s Easter Candy Making Kit Mega Pack. From Easter eggs to butterflies, there are fun and tasty shapes to tempt guests of all ages.

• Basketful of Fun: Display your Easter candies and sweets in spring floral themed baking cups, and send guests home with leftovers in bunny treat bags and boxes for a festive touch.

For more Easter recipe ideas, baking tips and inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.

 

Spring Ombre Layer Cake

4-1/2 cups sifted cake flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

2-1/4 cups granulated sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons Imitation Clear Vanilla Extract

1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract

6 egg whites

1-1/3 cups milk

Rose Icing Color

Homemade Marshmallow Icing

Bunnies with Jelly Beans Icing Decorations

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9 inch round pans with vegetable pan spray.

In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy; add extracts and beat well. Add egg whites, 2 at a time, mixing until well blended. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three additions alternately with milk, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl as needed.

Divide batter into 4 equal portions (about 1-2/3 cups batter each). Add a small amount of icing color to one portion of batter. Add increasing amounts of color to each additional portion of batter to create shades of increasingly darker rose. Fill pans with batter.

Bake 17-19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove and cool completely. Wash and dry pans completely. Bake remaining batter as directed above.

To decorate, stack layers on cake board or serving platter, filling between layers with marshmallow icing.  Spoon ice cake; press icing decorations around cake into icing.

 

Homemade Marshmallow Icing

3 tablespoons Meringue Powder

1/2 cup cold water

2 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup light corn syrup

 

In large bowl, whip meringue powder and 1/2 cup cold water with electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

In medium saucepan, bring sugar, 1/3 cup water and corn syrup to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Stir constantly while sugar boils rapidly for 4 minutes. With mixer on high speed, slowly pour syrup down the side of the bowl into meringue, being careful not to let syrup hit the whip or meringue mixture. Continue beating on high speed for 4 minutes. Use immediately to fill and ice cake.

Makes about 16 servings.

Posted in Easter, Featured, RecipesComments Off

Easter care packages for the troops

 

Don’t let our troops be forgotten! With Easter on its way, we must remind our troops in Afghanistan that we still remember why they are there and everything they are doing for our nation!

As you plan your Easter egg hunts and Easter brunch feasts with your families, American troops are thousands of miles away from their loved ones and fighting for our country.  Every year our troops fighting the War on Terror spend the holidays in Afghanistan, fighting to keep America safe. They are going to be missing their families on Easter Sunday, March 31!

Just think of all your family’s beloved Easter traditions: boiling and coloring Easter eggs, going to church together on Easter Sunday and coming home to enjoy a special Easter feast with dear family and friends, putting on Easter egg hunts and giving baskets full of candy to the kids. Our troops will be missing all of that.

To help our troops this important Easter holiday we’ve made Easter Care Packages for the Troops available for you to sponsor. Give our troops some much-deserved support and offer a message of gratitude.

Your personal message will be sent in a care package packed by our volunteers and sent along with a box full of goodies including special Easter treats. The Easter Holiday is coming up quickly, so get your orders in now!

Soldier Registration is easy. If you have the address of someone on active military duty, such as a spouse, child or sibling, you can click here for our Soldier Sign Up to register each one with the program, or copy this link: www.moveamericaforward.org/soldier-sign-up/

Email it to them so they can register themselves. Once registered, they will be eligible to receive a package and messages of support from caring fellow Americans.

You can donate for a care package at moveamericaforward.org.

Posted in EasterComments Off

Easter services 2013

God wants a relationship with you. Take time to worship at one of the following churches during Holy Week next week and let God prepare your heart to celebrate the joy of Easter!

 

Community Good Friday Service – We shall overcome

March 29: You are invited to join together in worship with The Church of Cedar Springs for our community Good Friday service titled “We shall overcome,” at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 29, at The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant Street, Cedar Springs. Nursery is provided for children ages 3 and under, and kids church will be provided for ages 4 years through 4th grade. This program is being sponsored by the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association.

 

The Springs

135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs

March 29: Community Good Friday Service 7 p.m.

March 31: Easter Worship Celebration, 9:45 and 11:15 a.m.

Are you burned out striving for the good life? Jesus offers more than just the good life. He came so that we can have the better life. In this series starting on Easter Sunday, Pastor Barry will teach about the better life that Jesus offers—a life filled with meaning, freed by grace, and full of energy. Please join us as we live life to the fullest this Easter at The Springs! Kids up to 6th grade will have a rockin’ good time in kids church, with lots of fun-filled activities. Nursery available for ages 0 to 3. For more information visit our website at www.thespringschurch.info or call 616.696.2970.

 

Solon Center Wesleyan

15671 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs

March 30: Easter Egg-Stravaganza  (for kids up to 10 yrs.) 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

March 31:  Please join us for our Resurrection Celebration Service at 11 a.m.

 

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church 

140 South Main St., Cedar Springs

March 28: Holy Thursday potluck meal at 6:00 p.m. and worship at 7:00 p.m. March 29: Prayer stations in our sanctuary from noon to 6 p.m. Community Good Friday worship at 7 p.m. at The Springs Church.

March 30: Holy Saturday Prayer stations in our sanctuary from noon to 7 p.m.

March 31: Easter Sunday Worship on our front lawn at 7:30 a.m. Breakfast served in fellowship hall 8-8:45 a.m. (free will donation). Worship service at 9:00 and 11:30 a.m.

 

Calvary Assembly of God 

810 17 Mile, Cedar Springs

http://cscalvary.org

March 31: We will be presenting a free Easter breakfast drama called “Conspiracy!” at 9am and 11am. Tickets are free, but should be reserved ahead of time.

 

Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake Ave., Rockford (just north of 12 Mile)

March 28: Maundy Thursday 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

March 30: Saturday Easter Eggstravaganza egg hunt and more 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

March 31: Easter morning worship at 10 a.m.

 

First Baptist Church

233 S. Main, Cedar Springs

March 29: Good Friday Service  6:30 p.m.

March 31: Easter Sonrise Service 8:30 a.m. Easter breakfast following service. Easter Worship Service at 10:45 a.m.

 

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford

March 31: Sunrise service – 8:30 a.m. with Easter breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Resurrection Service – 10:30

 

Holy Spirit Episcopal Church

1200 Post Drive, Belmont

www.holyspiritbelmont.org

March 28: Maundy Thursday 7:00 p.m. The Last Supper and stripping of the altar

March 29: Good Friday 7:00 p.m. – Stations of the Cross

March 30: Holy Saturday 7:00 pm – Easter Vigil and lighting the new fire

March 31: Easter Sunday 8:30 am – Breakfast, Easter Eucharist 10:00 am

 

North Kent Community

1480 Indian Lakes Rd. NE, Sparta

March 31: Easter Sunrise Breakfast at 9 a.m.

Easter Service 10 a.m. “The Resurrection Power – in us!”

Questions? Call Pastor Craig Carter 616.550.6398.

 

Resurrection Lutheran

180 Northland Drive, Sand Lake

March 29: Good Friday service 7 p.m.

March 31: Easter breakfast at 8:15 a.m. Easter Sunday worship service 9:30 a.m.

 

Pioneer Christian Reformed Church

3110 17 Mile, Cedar Springs (1 block west of US131)

March 28: Thursday, at 7 p.m. A showing of the “Passion of the Christ” movie.

March 31: Easter Breakfast at 9-10:15 a.m. Easter Sunday service at 10:30 a.m.

 

Sand Lake and South Ensley United Methodist Churches

Sand Lake UMC, 65 W. Maple, Sand Lake

South Ensley UMC, 13600 Cypress, Ensley Township

March 28: Maundy (Holy) Thursday 6:30 p.m. at South Ensley

March 29: Good Friday 7:00 p.m. at Sand Lake

March 31: Easter Sonrise 8:00 a.m. at Sand Lake. Those who are able will gather in the fellowship hall to begin the service. Breakfast to follow service.

Easter Sunday service 11:00am at South Ensley

April 7: Don’t forget Holy Humor Sunday!

Posted in EasterComments Off

Cedar Rock Storm JV ice hockey team wins championshi

S-Hockey2The Cedar Rock Storm JV Ice Hockey team won the WMJVHL Tier III championships Monday March 11 at the Griff’s Ice House. They played the Lakeshore/St. Joe Warriors JV team and won in a hard fought game.  Both teams came to win and provided exciting and action packed three periods of hockey.

What is special about this win and this team is the boys played the entire season with just nine skaters and two goalies against teams that had double and triple the number of players. Despite being out numbered, the boys faced every game with gut, heart and hard work that clearly paid off. They surprised the league time and time again becoming the team to watch. Through sheer determination they made it to the playoffs and won all three of their playoff games and then the final championship game by a score of 3 to 1.

Top Row L-R:  Coach Devon DuBois, Nick Fennessy, Robert Hiltz, Kyle Oberdorfer, Brandon Sipka, Coach Steve Obney Front Row L-R:  RJ Tennant, Maggie Voelkel, Spencer Bohlinger, Cole Davis, Cameron Umphrey, Joe Hughes and Ben Hopkins

Top Row L-R: Coach Devon DuBois, Nick Fennessy, Robert Hiltz, Kyle Oberdorfer, Brandon Sipka, Coach Steve Obney
Front Row L-R: RJ Tennant, Maggie Voelkel, Spencer Bohlinger, Cole Davis, Cameron Umphrey, Joe Hughes and Ben Hopkins

Congratulations Cedar Rock Storm on a fantastic season!  The coaches and boys should be very proud of their accomplishments and the title of Champions.

The Cedar Rock Storm JV team consists of Brandon Sipka (Cedar Springs Sophomore), Kyle Oberdorfer (Cedar Springs Sophomore), Nick Fennessy (Cedar Springs Sophomore) Cameron Umphrey (Cedar Springs Freshman), Cole Davis (Cedar Springs Freshman), Robert Hiltz (Greenville Sophomore), Joe Hughes (Cedar Springs Junior), Spencer Bohlinger (Northview Freshman), Maggie Voelkel (Northview Junior), RJ Tennant (Cedar Springs Sophomore) and Ben Hopkins (Cedar Springs Junior), Coaches Devon DuBois and Steve Obney.

The Cedar Rock Storm JV team is based out of our very own Cedar Rock SportsPlex located just north of 14 mile on 4758 Cornfield Dr in Cedar Springs.  They have many programs and opportunities to learn how to skate and to play on ice hockey teams throughout the year. Tryouts for next year’s Cedar Rock JV team will be held in April so stay tuned to the cedarrocksportsplex.com for more details.

Posted in SportsComments Off

Youth wrestlers headed to state

Over seven hundred youth wrestlers attended the MYWAY Wrestling Western 

S-Wrestlers-youthRegionals held at Grandville High School on March 9 and 10, 2013. This year Cedar Springs Youth Wrestling Club is boasting a total of fourteen regional placers, 10 of whom are MYWAY State qualifiers. Of those 10 state qualifiers, four were Regional Champions!

This year’s Regional Champions were Landon Demorest in the 7-8 year old 43 lbs division, Braden Hallman in the 7-8 year old 61 lbs division, Ryan Ringler in the 11-12 year old 119 lbs, and Jordan Ringler in the 13-14 year old 85 lbs division. All four of these champions were undefeated this year in regular season tournaments. They will be leading the Red Hawks into the State Finals to be held this weekend, March 22, 23 and 24, at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

Additional state qualifiers were those who finished in the top four of their divisions. Keaton Klaasen took second in the 4-6 year old 46 lbs division. Third place finishers were Austin Averill in the 4-6 year old 37 lbs, Reese Gonzales in the 11-12 year old 85 lbs, Gage Gardner in the 11-12 year old 119 lbs, Allexis Gonzales 11-12 year old 126 lbs, and George Gonzales Jr. in the 13-14 year old 155 lbs division.

The last four regional placers narrowly missed their chance at finals by taking 5th and 6th in their divisions. Logan Hull and Bryce Hallman both took fifth place in the 11-12 year old division; Logan at 75 lbs and Bryce at 100 lbs. Pistachio Gonzales and Aiden Bouwens both finished in sixth place; Pistachio in the 4-6 year 52 lbs division and Aiden in the 9-10 year 85 lbs division. Hundreds of wrestlers were put out of the tournament within the first several rounds of wrestling. All of these wrestlers worked very hard to place at regionals. Good luck to those who are attending State Finals this weekend. Get out there and show them what Cedar Springs is made of, Champions!

Posted in Featured, SportsComments Off

Birds Displayed

Ranger Steve’s Nature Niche

By Ranger Steve Mueller

Frank Rackett collected and mounted birds starting in 1876 and continued through about 1936. He donated his collection to Godwin Height Public Schools. The school district could not properly care for the collection and was no longer displaying them. They contacted the Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC) to see if they would be a useful addition to our extensive display collection.

More than 150 bird cases containing about 450 birds were picked up in March 2012. During the summer and fall, volunteer Dave Cartwright refurbished cases and cleaned specimens. Preparing the collection for display has taken hours and great dedication from Dave. Without his efforts, the current display would not be suitable for viewing, enjoyment and education.

Come to HCNC between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays or noon and 4 p.m. on weekends to enjoy the displays. Taxidermist Harold Moody donated live mount specimens (those prepared to look like living animals) to HCNC starting in the 1970’s and continued for 30 years. When a bird or mammal was killed, we contacted Harold and he volunteered to mount specimens in memory of his daughter, Pamela, who was killed at age 24 by a drunk driver.

We also worked with MI DNR conservation officers to acquire animals that were confiscated from poachers or were found dead like the Common Loon that swallowed a fishing lure. The Mute Swan flew into a power line. The bobcat was hit on Red Pine Drive north of the nature center.

The Rackett collection contains many birds from western North America, including a few from south of the United States. There are several warblers and rarities like the Green Jay, MotMot, Painted Redstart, Lewis’s Woodpecker, and Mountain Plover that one will not see in Michigan or may not be found in other Michigan collections.

We developed what might be the most extensive bird and mammal collection for any nature center in Michigan. Universities and some large public museums have more but it is rare to find such an extensive collection at any nature center in the nation or world. Our collection is especially rich in birds of prey and I doubt it is matched by other nature centers.

HCNC is now a 501c3 non-profit operated by Lily’s Frog Pad and is working to continue serving school districts and area communities. HCNC is an important community resource and deserves community support. To help HCNC continues its mission, you can sponsor a display case or live mount display by providing funding for operations. Explore the displays free during open hours and please sponsor a display for a year. Come pick a display of your choice and provide $25 or more in support for 2013 programming to serve education and community interests. When visiting ask about individual or family memberships.

Though I am retired, I continue to volunteer at HCNC where more volunteers are encouraged and welcomed. Contact Cindy Perski at 616-675-3158 to offer your skills from technology, grant writing, woodworking, outdoor projects, nature study surveys and more. http://lilysfrogpad.com/volunteer-opportunities/.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at the odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433, 616-696-1753.

 

Posted in OutdoorsComments (1)

Did you file a 2009 tax return?

IRS has $917 million for people who have not filed a 2009 return

WASHINGTON — Refunds totaling just over $917 million may be waiting for an estimated 984,400 taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009, the Internal Revenue Service announced. However, to collect the money, a return for 2009 must be filed with the IRS no later than Monday, April 15, 2013.

The IRS estimates that half the potential refunds for 2009 are more than $500.

Some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments. In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

For 2009 returns, the window closes on April 15, 2013. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by that date. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2009 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2010 and 2011. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or their state tax agency, and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans.

By failing to file a return, people stand to lose more than refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2009. In addition, many low-and-moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2009, the credit is worth as much as $5,657. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2009 were:

$43,279 ($48,279 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children,

$40,295 ($45,295 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children,

$35,463 ($40,463 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and

$13,440 ($18,440 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

For more information, visit the EITC Home Page.

Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications page of IRS.gov or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2009, 2010 or 2011 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer.

If these efforts are unsuccessful, taxpayers can get a free transcript showing information from these year-end documents by filing Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, with the IRS or by calling 800-829-1040.

Posted in Tax TimeComments Off

North Kent Community Center chili cookoff

From left: Denise Gates, Cedar Springs Regional Manager ChoiceOne Bank; Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director North Kent Community Services; Linda Anderson, Rockford Regional Manager ChoiceOne Bank

From left: Denise Gates, Cedar Springs Regional Manager ChoiceOne Bank; Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director North Kent Community Services; Linda Anderson, Rockford Regional Manager ChoiceOne Bank

The Fire and Ice Chili Cookoff for North Kent Community Services raised close to $800 for the center last month. Over 500 chili enthusiasts attended the cook-off held at the Rockford Rotary Pavilion on February 9. The event was held in conjunction with the Rockford Ice Festival and was sponsored by ChoiceOne Bank.

“As the local community bank, we are committed to the families and businesses we serve in the Rockford community,” said James Bosserd, President and CEO of ChoiceOne Bank. “This is our second year of sponsoring this now annual event and it’s a perfect way for the bank and our employees to show our support and enthusiasm for the community and the events that truly promote Rockford’s community spirit. It’s a great event and a great time. And now an annual event!”

Those attending were able to taste and then cast their ballots for the People’s Choice award. The five judges that were selected for the event judged the other four categories. Eleven teams participated and prepared their chili on site. There were 4 award categories and winners:

• People’s Choice: Terry’s Lodge Chili

• Best Dressed Booth: Chilly Chilly Bang Bang

• Best Non-Red: Spicy Chicken Chili

• Rockford’s Best Chili: Terry’s Lodge Chili

Posted in BusinessComments Off

ChoiceOne Bank promotes Parker to AVP, Commercial Lender

BUS-Parker,-Jason-ChoiceOneChoiceOne Bank recently announced that Jason A. Parker, of Cedar Springs, has re-joined the Bank as Assistant Vice President, Commercial Lender. In his new position, Parker will work with clients and new prospects to meet their commercial lending needs.

“As a Trusted Advisor of ChoiceOne Bank, I will also work with my clients to help identify all of their financial needs beyond commercial lending,” said Parker. “In that effort I will help coordinate and direct my clients to the appropriate areas within the Bank to obtain the broad range of banking services that we can offer.”

Parker’s appointment as Assistant Vice President marks a return for him to ChoiceOne Bank. Most recently he worked at Huntington Bank for five years, where he managed a $30 million portfolio. “We are pleased to welcome Jason back to ChoiceOne Bank,” said James Bosserd, President and CEO of ChoiceOne Bank. “The experience he has gained in his career and his commitment to serving customers will prove invaluable for our ChoiceOne Bank business clients. He brings a strong background and work ethic to his position.”

From 2003 to 2007, Parker was a branch manager at ChoiceOne, and prior to that a branch manager at Ionia County National Bank. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University.

Parker is active in his community serving as a member of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Celebration Committee. He is a past member of the Cedar Springs Rotary Club, past board member of the Cedar Springs Chamber of Commerce, and past Treasurer of the Lowell Rotary Club. Parker also helps coach youth soccer.

“Jason’s involvement in local service organizations is typical of what our employees are known for at ChoiceOne Bank,” added Bosserd. “As the local community bank, we want to do all we can to help the families and businesses in our communities succeed.”

Posted in BusinessComments Off

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