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Cedar Springs falls to Muskegon in District Final

A flock of Red Hawks take down Muskegon quarterback Cameron Martinez. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Varsity Football team ended a great season last weekend with a 48-10 loss to Muskegon in the district final at Grand Haven. They finished with a 9-2 record (only one loss during the regular season) and went undefeated in conference, making them the OK White Champions two years in a row. They went on to beat Mount Pleasant in the predistrict game, and then faced Muskegon. For details on that game, and teams they will face next year, click here.

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CBDT celebrates accomplishments

By Carolee Cole

The Community Building Development Team (CBDT) recently sponsored a Community Celebration. This was an opportunity for community members to meet together, enjoy a generous appetizer buffet catered by the Red Bird Bistro, and hear a presentation regarding the accomplishments of the CBDT since its inception in 2013 and hear the plans for the next few years. The Celebration was held at the American Legion on Main Street in Cedar Springs.

Audience members were truly amazed at how much had been accomplished over the last six years, both obvious and less obvious. Sonya Cronkright recently posted this statement online, “What a Great Evening it was at The Community Celebration hosted by the CBDT tonight. It was so good seeing so many familiar faces from the past and many dear friends we have shared our journey with for more than three decades…Thank you Red Bird for doing an excellent job with catering the event as well. MANY caring people who did much of the foundational work to help this city move forward all gathered in the same room made my heart sing tonight. Thank you all who came, and for those of you who couldn’t make it…we missed you and have not forgotten the hard work and effort each and every one of you have contributed throughout the years.”

Highlights of the presentation included the very first project, to build a rain garden at the corner of Fifth and Cherry Streets next to Cedar Creek. The purpose of this garden is to slow water run off from parking lots, building roofs, and streets by creating a buffer of indigenous plants between these areas and the Creek. The roots slow, clean and cool the water before it actually reaches the creek proper. Since that time, a second rain garden has been built, as well as other wetland preservation improvements using money from a $300,000 grant. 

A repeated statement heard throughout the evening was, “cash on the barrel head.” This is a favorite of Kurt Mabie, our President and speaker for the evening. Several times he noted everything that’s been accomplished was completely paid for through grants, volunteer labor, reduced costs for materials, and the generous donations of local lovers and supporters of Cedar Springs. Cash and donations to the CBDT have totaled just over $2 Million.

Another topic throughout the presentation was the Master Plan, devised by the City of Cedar Springs. The focus of the CBDT has been to look at the dreams and plans included in this awesome Master Plan and bring them to fruition. From a new library to trails throughout the city and a new amphitheater, it was noted that these are becoming a reality one and two at a time. 

The CBDT’s connection to the North Country Trail, Trout Unlimited and the Rogue River Home River’s Initiative has resulted in many trees being planted to protect and cool our amazing and perfectly situated trout stream. In addition, trails along the creek and through beautiful areas of both the city and the surrounding countryside on the way to the Rogue River State Game Area are becoming a reality, in fulfillment of the Master Plan. 

There are two specific projects being supported by the CBDT in 2020. These are the planning and possible installation of a children’s natural playground in the “Heart of Cedar Springs,” and the building of a veteran’s honor garden/park by the American Legion, near the library. There are other projects that will also be considered, but these two will be the focus.

A detailed power point with many photos from past and present has been prepared by Carolee Cole. If you have any groups or organizations who might like to see this presentation please contact Kurt Mabie or Carolee Cole. 

The CBDT meets four times per year to discuss plans and organize action. The next meeting is January 21, 2020 in the library at 6:30 p.m. More community members are needed to complete the next phase so join in at a level that works for you. All are welcome to attend. 

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The Post travels to the Bahamas

The Post recently took a tour of the Bahamas with Josh and Rachel (Reed) Hunt, of Martin. The couple left Miami on a five-day cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line and made stops at Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian’s own island), Nassau, Freeport (on Grand Bahama Island), and then back to Great Stirrup Cay. That island is the one shown in the background of the photo.

Thank you, Rachel and Josh, for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into the photo. Just take it with you next time!

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Life in Algoma Township in the 1800’s

By Eloise (Armstrong) Covey, courtesy of the Algoma Township Historical Society

The Armstrong family home: 120 acres  on Algoma Avenue, north of 14 Mile Rd, between Indian Lakes and 15 Mile Rd. Helen and John are show here with five of their nine children. Front row (L to R): mother Helen Armstrong, Matie, father John, and Bessie. Back row: Harvey, Eloise’s father Milton, and Hattie. Photo courtesy of Algoma Township Historical Society.

The following story was submitted to the Algoma Township Historical Society by Eloise (Armstrong) Covey, who passed away in 2011. She donated many artifacts and pictures. She and her family owned and operated an upholstery business in Cedar Springs and a portion of her work is displayed at the Grand Rapids Public Museum in the “Queen” exhibit.

My grandmother, Helen Armstrong, was such an important part of my life as she often stayed with my family when I was a little girl. She told stories about living in the log cabin that her husband, John, built in the tall timbers that covered almost all of Algoma Township. The home was located just east of Algoma Avenue and on the south side of 14 Mile Rd.

The cabin was very small with only one window and one door. They had two small boys when they build the cabin. My father, Milton Armstrong, was just two years younger than his oldest brother. Grandma told me about the bears and wolves that roamed the thick woods surrounding their cabin. One time, she explained, they were out of meat but to make matters worse, they had no ammunition for their rifles and it just so happened that one night they heard a bear clawing at their door. Grandfather John wanted to take an axe and to go out and kill it before it got into the cabin and then they would have a good supply of meat but Grandma Helen begged him not to do it. She said an axe was of no good against a hungry bear! Just then they saw a second bear come around the side of the cabin so Grandma was right in not letting him go outside and confront the bear. The bears finally left the cabin alone and slipped back into the woods.

Eloise’s parents, Minnie and Milton Armstrong’s wedding picture from November 24, 1917. Minnie’s wedding dress has been donated to the Algoma Historical Society and is on display. Photo courtesy of Algoma Township Historical Society.

The family had made a narrow trail through the woods to go to Edgerton for supplies. Grandma Helen sometimes took the train from Edgerton to Grand Rapids to visit her mother. One time when she was coming home the train had some mechanical trouble so she arrived in Edgerton way after dark. She had no other choice than to walk through the dark woods on the narrow trail to get back to her log cabin home. She had no lantern to light her path and the thick woods prevented starlight from sharing its light. Her mother had given her a fresh loaf of bread and a pail of honey to bring home. Grandma said she could hear all kinds of animals in the dark woods around her and as she hurried toward home she pried off the lid of the honey jar and dipped chunks of bread in it and she determined that if any animals came close to her or within her sight she would throw the morsels to them. She was thankful she didn’t need to do that and she did get home safely.

Nine children were born to the family and they eventually moved to a big house on Algoma Avenue, between Indian Lakes Rd and 15 Mile Rd on 120 acres.

Grandma said when they moved there that the road (Algoma Avenue) was just a rutted sand two track and that even the horses had a hard time pulling their wagons with household goods up the hill that was just north of 14 Mile Rd on Algoma Avenue. The children could not ride but would follow behind and would carry their chickens, pigs, and other animals and pets.

Reflecting back, I’m sure it was a big and welcome change to move from a log cabin in the deep woods to a large house on what was then a road that was a route to civilized areas. I pause many times and think of how all those forests were cut down and the timber was brought to the nearby lumber mills and how more families came into the area to farm and raise families and how all that changed the landscape. I am thankful for the strong determination and will of my and all our early settlers, paving the way for the farm fields and homes and to still see many stands of timber standing tall and giving natural habitat for woodland birds and animals. 

I so enjoyed hearing my grandmother tell stories of her growing up in the 1800s and all the hard work and determination to provide for her family in the rough conditions of the early settlers days in Algoma Township.

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Safety is key to every successful hunt

Man wearing hunter orange vest and cap, holding firearm upright, walking through a grassy field.

With Michigan’s firearm deer season starting in just a few days, the DNR reminds both new and veteran hunters to always put safety first.

Lt. Tom Wanless, who heads up the DNR’s recreational safety programs, said that although some safety tips seem obvious, it’s critical for anyone hunting with firearms, regardless of their experience level, to understand safety basics.

“You’re not successful unless you’re safe,” Lt. Wanless said. “We want everyone to return home to their families and friends. While many safety recommendations may seem like common sense reminders, they shouldn’t be taken for granted.”

Some safety tips to keep in mind include:

* Treating every firearm as if it is loaded.

* Being aware of your surroundings—know your target and what is beyond it.

* Unloading the firearm when crossing obstacles and/or getting in or out of a tree stand.

* Obeying “no trespassing” signs—they are there for a reason.

* Obtaining the landowner’s permission to retrieve your game if it wandered onto private property.

* Wearing as much hunter orange as possible to increase your visibility.

Get more hunting safety tips and resources at Michigan.gov/HuntingSafety. For season and regulation details, see the 2019 Hunting Digest at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests.

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Holiday gingerbread house contest

Plan now to enter the “Sweetest Christmas” holiday gingerbread house contest hosted by Double K Farms and the Cedar Springs Public Library.

There will be three categories: 5-8 years; 9-12 years; and a group/family entry. Participants will drop off entries at the Cedar Springs Public Library on Saturday, November 30 between 9 a.m. and noon. Entries will be on display until December 30.

The community will be invited to judge entries December 2 through December 14. Winners will be posted in the Cedar Springs Post and on the Cedar Springs Library’s website on Thursday, December 19, 2019.

Awards will be given to first place participants in each category.

Registration forms are available at the library.

For more information, contact Cynthia Karafa at 616-696-2604 or email her at cindy-k-13@hotmail.com. 

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American Legion post honored to help veterans

American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 is on a mission to help veterans. Post file photo.

By Judy Reed

Glen Hill Post #287 is named after Glen Hill, a young corporal from Cedar Springs killed in action during World War I. Photo courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Museum.

If a veteran or their family needs help, there is one place they can count on to give them some help—their local American Legion post. And the American Legion post here in Cedar Springs is no exception.

The post is named after Glen Hill, a young man from Cedar Springs drafted into World War I in 1917. He participated in the battles of Champagne, Aisne, Saint Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne. After being decorated twice for gallantry in action, Corporal Glen Hill died of wounds received in battle in the Argonne Forest in France, on October 19, 1918. (Some sources say October 17.) He was 25 years old, and was laid to rest in Solon Cemetery.

Glen Hill Post #287 received their temporary charter in June of 1920, followed by their permanent charter in August 1921. And they’ve been helping veterans ever since.

“We are a veterans organization and our main goal is to help veterans,” explained Post #287 Commander Skipper Townes. “We lobby Congress for a better budget for active and inactive personnel; lobby for better conditions in VA hospitals; more recognition for vets, and try to get more help for those with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). They never really looked at it during previous wars. Guys would come home and commit suicide. We want more help for them.”

He also noted that they try to get more adequate wages for those serving. “Privates live under the poverty level. They would lose money if they tried to get food benefits,” he explained.

Townes said one of the things they’ve tried to do is to get the VA to treat Veterans sooner rather than making them wait years. He said their Post can help veterans with their claims to get the benefits they need. All they have to do is ask for help.

The Post holds Bingo nights often and the proceeds are put in a fund for veterans and families that need help. You don’t need to be a member to request help. The funds are also used to donate to the Grand Rapids Home for the Veterans. They recently had them at the Post for a dinner, and other times (usually once a month) they go to GR Home for Veterans and hold a dinner there. They also give money to many other community entities, such as the ministerial association to help with food. “We give wherever help is needed,” explained Townes.

But there’s a lot more that goes on than just Bingo nights and dinners. They annually organize Memorial Day activities in area cemeteries; hold Veterans Day activities, and march in area parades, such as the Grand Rapids Veterans Parade. They will be at Metron of Cedar Springs on November 11 at 2:15 p.m. to do a flag ceremony. They will do a reading of the folds of the flag, and explain the POW/MIA table. They will be accompanied by the Cedar Springs Marching Band, who also plays at the Memorial Day ceremonies. In return, the Post donates money to them as well.

The Post holds a lot of youth activities and offers several scholarships through the state legion. They send youth to boys and girls state, where youth can learn about the government and earn scholarships there. There is an oratorical contest scholarship, baseball scholarship; shooting program, and much more. With the oratorical contest, students can start entering in 9th grade, and keep entering until they turn 18. First prize is $20,000. Go to michiganlegion.org to find a list of scholarships, their deadlines, and eligibility rules.

The Post has about 240 Legion members. There are more members under the Auxiliary (spouses) and Sons of the American Legion. “We are trying to get about five members who’d like to create a motorcycle riders group,” noted Townes.

He also said that rules have recently been revised by Congress on who is eligible to join as a member. American Legion is open to those veterans honorably discharged from December 7, 1941 to the current day, as well as WWI. This takes in National Guard, reservists, Air National Guard, and more. “Previously eligibility was based on individual wars or conflicts, and there was always the cold war gap. Congress finally realized we were at war with the communists during that time,” he said.

In the Auxiliary, spouses (male or female) and their daughters can join, and granddaughters, and on, for as many generations as they have. The auxiliary has many of their own programs, such as an upcoming blanket and winter coat drive for homeless veterans.

Similarly, Sons of the American Legion can join under their father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc. They also have their own projects that they do.

We’ve only scratched the surface on all the ways the Post can help veterans, and they types of things they do. If you’d like to join, or would like more information, or know of a veteran who needs help, you can contact the Post #287 at 696-9160.

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New sculpture set in city park

By Sue Wolfe

Steve Anderson and his new sculpture of a blue heron.  Courtesy photo. 

A beautiful new sculpture has landed in the Heart of Cedar Springs and the artist who created it will be familiar to many.

“Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life” is local artist Steve Anderson’s motto as he celebrates 44 years of living by and through his “God-given gift” of sculpting. Anderson’s stainless-steel sculpture of a blue heron, standing nine feet tall with a six foot wing span and titled “Ascension,” was recently set in place in the northwest area within the Heart of Cedar Springs park along Cedar Creek between the new community library and amphitheater.  This is the second piece of Anderson’s abstract, nature-based work in the park. It joins his earlier piece titled “Dragons Flight” featuring three dragonflies in motion. Both sculptures are done using the 316L alloy that has superior anti-rust qualities and beautifully retains its shine.

Anonymous community philanthropists and lovers of art commissioned both pieces. They said their dream is for our community to have its own sculpture park where people of all ages could enjoy the outdoors while appreciating their interaction with the sculptures. Hopefully, some will be inspired to a higher level of artistic appreciation and new possibilities.

Local artist Alice Powell-Anderson, (not related to Steve Anderson) was one present for the recent dedication of the sculptures. “Both of Anderson’s pieces fit very well along the pond and creek and are nicely done,” she said.

Mayor Gerald Hall, on behalf of the City of Cedar Springs, expressed his gratitude to Anderson and the donors in saying, “These two Anderson sculptures are wonderful additions to our newest community park.”

In the late 1990’s, Anderson created two stainless steel hawks for Cedar Springs Public Schools with the larger 18-foot tall “Tom Brown Fire Hawk” being located in front of the football stadium honoring the late football Coach Tom Brown. This Red Hawk took about three months to construct with assistance from Tom Kloote’s and Dan Davis’s high school vocational education students. Coach Lonnie Armstrong assisted in the smaller hawk standing in front of the high school.

Anderson’s sculptures “Water Dance” is seen at the Rogue River Rockford Dam built in 2010.

Anderson’s father was a steel hauler and often brought home scrap metal pieces, therefore allowing him to create his first pieces in their garage. Anderson credits his mother for encouraging him to pursue his art and suggested he introduce his talents to the public eye by renting space in Wyoming’s Old World Village Mall back in 1975. Mr. Wally Murphy, Anderson’s strict and structured 7th grade art teacher, praised him and told him he possessed something very special.

Anderson married his childhood sweetheart, Janell, after earning his bachelor’s degree in 1975 from Grand Valley State University with a major in art and minor in business. Soon they were blessed with three sons—Troy, Cory and Chad. All three sons were accomplished Cedar Springs student-athletes. Many others benefited from Anderson coaching wrestling while his boys were involved. Both Janell and Steve were actively involved in volunteering with school and athletic organizations. They also kept an “all welcome at our home” policy for the young people of our community.

Currently, Troy is a sculptor in the summer when not teaching eighth grade at Rockford North Middle School. Cory is a Sheriff Deputy for Lake County in Florida, as well as being recognized as a very good sculptor. Chad is a full-time sculptor in the Cedar Springs area. Steve and Janell now spend winters with Cory in Florida doing 4–6 art shows a year featuring Anderson’s 3-D stainless steel and aluminum kinetic (wind activated) works of art. Anderson does five to 10 shows in Michigan and surrounding states during the summer. Eventually, Anderson hopes to only do commissioned sculptures for municipalities.

The Andersons priorities begin with a Christ-centered family foundation. They feel blessed to have family share in their passion for sculpture. This is demonstrated with the emergence of the third generation of Anderson artists—Troy’s 16-year-old son, Quaden. Sculpting has always been a family activity with the legacy of each being challenged to begin sculpting by the age of 12. Then, they learn other basic sculpting techniques such as raising and chasing metal with hammers into a sandbag.  

Anderson explained he does all sizes of sculptures and each one is an original inspired by the “Ultimate Master Sculptor, God.” And, while he doesn’t actually have one favorite piece he does have favorite features about each of his pieces. Features he particularly enjoyed creating with his two Heart of Cedar Springs pieces include the welded and ground textures on the head and neck of “Ascension” and the overall graceful flow and glass eyes on “Dragons Flight.”

When asked what words of encouragement he might like to share with young people he said, “Whatever you have a passion for, just stop and think about that thing you enjoy more than anything else. Never let money be the major factor. Now figure out how to make a living doing it.”

More information about Andersons Sculptures can be found at AndersonsMetalSculpture.com or you can email Steve Anderson directly with additional questions at Sculptor76@yahoo.com.

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The Post travels to the Thumb

TJ Norris of Solon Township, traveled with husband Ken to the Thumb Region of Michigan to get one last road trip in before the snows. While the main display at the Sanilac Petroglyphs, just south of Port Austin, was closed for the winter, there was still a good hike in the woods and enough petroglyphs visible to give a good reason to come back.

Thanks to TJ and Ken for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into the photo. Just take it with you next time!

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Veteran’s Day services 2019

Cedar Springs: The American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 color guard will do a flag ceremony on November 11 at 2:15 p.m. at Metron of Cedar Springs, 400 Jeffrey St. All are welcome to attend.

Sand Lake: The Tri Corner VFW Post #7912 in Sand Lake will hold a flag burning ceremony on Monday, November 11, at 6 p.m., to properly and respectfully dispose of worn and tattered American flags. The flags will be burned and then buried. A container is set up on the front porch of the post for people to drop off flags that need to be burned. 

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