web analytics

Archive | Featured

Fundraiser brings in cash for camp

A live auction raised over $25,000 for Pine Ridge Bible Camp.

A live auction raised over $25,000 for Pine Ridge Bible Camp.

With Christmas songs playing in the background and holiday decorations on every table, 250 people shopped at the Pine Ridge Bible Camp’s 11th annual auction, held at Cedar Springs High School on November 8. A beautiful display of free Hors d’oeuvres and slices of layer cake added to the festive atmosphere, and shoppers tried to outbid each other during the silent and live auction.

Director Kevin Grifhorst spoke halfway through the live auction and read portions of letters describing what going to Pine Ridge Bible Camp means to children and their families. Bidders were given the opportunity to contribute towards scholarships for children. In a matter of minutes, over $7,000 was raised to help send children in need to camp.

In just one evening, 380 items were sold to raise a record-breaking $25,500. Then, an anonymous donor matched that amount and doubled it to $51,000. With $14,000 set aside for the camp scholarships, the rest will be used to help finish the lower level of the VerLee Dining Hall & Retreat Center at Pine Ridge Bible Camp.

 

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off

Red Hawk 8th grade football team undefeated

S-football-Eighth-grade

Congratulations to the 8th Grade football team, who have had two straight undefeated seasons. Way to go!

Back Row:  Coach Paul Ringler, Jason Magoon, Cody Gott, Wyatt Knauf, Colton Pope, James Myers, Coach John Gott, Coach Bob Wier

Middle Row:  Ryan Ringler, Jarrett Hoogerhyde, Kolby Swank, Ethan West, Bill Hammer, Kaleb Gordon, Xavier Anderson

Front Row:  Caleb Cook, Logan Hull, Austin Emmorey, Graham Bayink, Derek Egan

Missing from picture:  Lucus Pienton, Gage Gardner, Tucker MacDonald, James Powell

 

 

 

Posted in Featured, SportsComments Off

Hunters can help fill food bank freezers 

OUT-Sportsmen-against-hungerSportsmen Against Hunger program

From the Michigan DNR

With Michigan’s deer season swinging into high gear, it won’t be long before many hunters are bringing their harvested deer into the local butcher shop to have the venison processed and prepared for the freezer. And thanks to the generosity of those same hunters, thousands of pounds of that venison will end up not in their home freezers, but at local food banks and soup kitchens to feed the state’s needy and hungry citizens.

The donated venison is made possible through the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger program, a collaboration between the Department of Natural Resources and a number of conservation groups, designed to help hunters share their bounty with the less fortunate. Participants can donate an entire deer, a certain number of pounds of venison, or can simply make a monetary donation to support the program.

“We had around 30,000 pounds of venison donated through Sportsmen Against Hunger last year,” said Ray Rustem, who coordinates the DNR’s participation in the program. “Between the two buck tags and antlerless permits, some hunters are able to harvest multiple deer but don’t necessarily want or need that much venison in the freezer. By participating in the program, they are able to help feed the hungry while continuing to enjoy their sport.”

Since 1991, Sportsmen Against Hunger has helped connect wild game processors with hunters by providing a list of the processors that participate in the program. Hunters can simply drop off their deer at one of the facilities and the program will reimburse the processors $1 per pound for the venison that goes into the program.

“What’s an average deer produce for hunters, about 40 pounds of venison?” Rustem asked. “It costs more than $40 for most hunters to have a deer processed, so not all of the processor’s time and expense is being reimbursed with the $1 per pound they receive. They effectively end up donating that lost profit and we really appreciate their willingness to do so.”

Barb Haveman, who runs Barb’s Meat Processing in Comstock Park, said she’s already processed five deer for the program this year and predicts it will pick up with firearm deer season.

“There are so many people without food—folks who are disabled or are just trying to make ends meet. Who wouldn’t help somebody out like that? There are a lot of people who can’t afford meat. People are tickled to death to get the venison.”

Haveman said she usually charges $75 to $80 to process a deer. At the reimbursement rate of $1 a pound, she barely meets her expenses, let alone makes a profit, when she processes a deer for Sportsmen against Hunger.
“I still do it anyway,” she said. “It helps so many people. It just gives you a good feeling to help somebody.”

Hunters who don’t have an entire deer to donate can participate in the program by donating a pound of their ground venison when their deer is processed. Some meat processors only participate in the Give-A-Pound option rather than processing entire deer, to hunters should check http://www.sportsmenagainsthunger.org for a list of participating locations and what services they offer before bringing their deer in.

Dean Hall, the president of the Michigan Bow Hunters Association, has been managing the Sportsmen against Hunger program for eight years. He’s seen the program grow on an annual basis. “Participation numbers and donations are getting to the level we’d like to see, but of course we hope it will continue to be even more effective,” he said. “We definitely understand when people want to keep their deer to feed their families, but a lot of hunters will fill one tag for themselves and then take an additional deer, especially if they have doe permits. As awareness of the program spreads we’re seeing more participation from hunters, especially those who have harvested more than one deer,” Hall said. “Sportsmen Against Hunger helped feed 150,000 families statewide last year. Hopefully we’ll exceed that this year.”

Hall said there are a handful of areas in the state where participation numbers are higher than others – the Thumb, southern central Michigan, Kent County and Macomb County all particularly stand out.
“Over in Kent County, Barb’s Deer Processing really puts a lot of deer through the program, every single year,” Hall said. “The owner and the workers at that facility put 110 percent effort into making sure that they’re there to process the deer that people want to donate.”

There is a fear, Hall said, that because of the reduction of available antlerless deer licenses available in a number of areas this year, that there may be fewer deer donated this season. To make up for the potential deficit, Hall said his group is making an extra effort to reach out to landowners who have Deer Management Assistance Permits, asking them to remember the hungry this season when they fill their permits.

“Keep in mind two things,” Hall said. “The donation of deer is very important to feed the hungry. It’s staggering how many people are working but remain below the poverty level and who have to depend on food assistance.
And the second most important thing is when you purchase a hunting or fishing or trapping license, right then and there you can donate a dollar to the Sportsmen against Hunger program. If the license vendor doesn’t ask you if you want to donate, go ahead and tell him you want to donate.”

An administrative change in the DNR’s license sales system has made donating at the point-of-sale easier this year, Rustem said.
“In the old days, the system treated the donation as a separate license and vendors had to go back into the system and order the additional license,” he explained. “This year, we reduced the number of steps it takes to make a donation to one. That makes it much easier for hunters to donate.”

Current records show that sportsmen have responded well to the change.

“We think the program will hit around $70,000 in monetary donations this year,” Rustem said. “In the past we collected about $25,000 a year. This significant increase will allow the amount of venison that goes into the program to more than double in one year’s time. Knowing that the program will provide a minimum of 60,000 pounds of venison to those who utilize Michigan’s food banks and soup kitchens this year is pretty astounding, and is something our hunters can be very proud of.”

For more information on the Sportsmen against Hunger program, visit www.sportsmenagainsthunger.org.

Posted in Featured, OutdoorsComments Off

4th and 5th Grade Essay Contest

 5th Grade – Mrs. Harwood’s class with 1st place winner Nathan Fisk standing next to Mrs. Harwood

5th Grade – Mrs. Harwood’s class with 1st place winner Nathan Fisk standing next to Mrs. Harwood

4th Grade – Ms. Norman’s class with 1st place winner Rebekah Wineman standing next to Ms. Norman

4th Grade – Ms. Norman’s class with 1st place winner Rebekah Wineman standing next to Ms. Norman

Mr. George challenged the 4th and 5th graders to participate in grade level essay contest. 1st place for the fourth grade went to Rebekah Wineman. Nathan Fisk took first place for the 5th grade. Mr. George presented each of them with a Charger sling bag and declared all of the students in the two grades were winners because of their participation.

Posted in CTA, FeaturedComments Off

Exciting football season ends at district final

Kaden Myers attempting to block an extra point.  Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Kaden Myers attempting to block an extra point.
Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

 

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity football team had a phenomenal season, but it ended Saturday, November 8, when they faced the Muskegon Big Reds. Fans had a lot to cheer about this year, especially the team winning the OK Bronze championship—something the team hadn’t done since 1978. Great job, guys! We all look forward to seeing what the team has in store next year under Coach Gus Kapolka and staff.

Click here for highlights from Saturday’s game.

 

Posted in Featured, News, SportsComments Off

Cedar Springs Police now Sheriff Deputies

Four Cedar Springs Police officers were sworn in as deputies Friday evening, November 7. From left to right: Deputy Mike Stahl, Deputy Chad Tucker, Deputy Chad Potts, and Deputy Ed Good. Post photo by J. Reed.

Four Cedar Springs Police officers were sworn in as deputies Friday evening, November 7. From left to right: Deputy Mike Stahl, Deputy Chad Tucker, Deputy Chad Potts, and Deputy Ed Good. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Four Cedar Springs Police officers were sworn in to the Kent County Sheriff Department Friday night, November 7, in a change of command ceremony at the Hilltop Administration building.

Officer Mike Stahl, Officer Chad Tucker, Acting Chief Chad Potts, and Sgt. Ed Good are now officially Kent County Sheriff Deputies. Sgt. Jason Kelley, from the Kent County Sheriff Department, will be in charge of the Cedar Springs unit.

The officers went through an unpinning ceremony, where their spouses unpinned their Cedar Springs badges. Officers Mandy Stahl and Jonathan Ludwick also participated in the unpinning, but will not be working for the Sheriff Department. Officer Mandy, who had been with the Cedar Springs Police Department for 12-1/2 years, decided to retire from police work, and is now working with animals at the Kent County animal shelter. Officer Ludwick was a part time officer.

The Cedar Springs Police before the ceremony. From left to right: Officer Chad Tucker, Officer Jonathan Ludwick, Acting Chief Chad Potts, Officer Mandy Stahl, Officer Mike Stahl, Sgt. Ed Good, and retired Police Chief Roger Parent. Photo courtesy of Kent County Sheriff Department.

The Cedar Springs Police before the ceremony. From left to right: Officer Chad Tucker, Officer Jonathan Ludwick, Acting Chief Chad Potts, Officer Mandy Stahl, Officer Mike Stahl, Sgt. Ed Good, and retired Police Chief Roger Parent. Photo courtesy of Kent County Sheriff Department.

After the unpinning, the officers then went out and changed into their deputy uniforms. Mayor Mark Fankhauser and others gave a few remarks to the audience during that time. “I want to express our sincere appreciation for the work they’ve done. They are top notch. They are still our police department, just with a different uniform. We will grow in a positive and dynamic manner and they will represent us on a much larger scale,” he said.

Dan Koornydke, with the Kent County Board of Commissioners called it a big day, and historic for Kent County. “It’s a great thing we are doing. It’s a win-win for Kent County and Cedar Springs,” he said, noting that Cedar Springs will get all the resources that the Sheriff Department has to offer.

Sheriff Larry Stelma also called it a historic event, and the largest partnering program in Kent County. “It’s innovative and progressive, and you don’t hear that much with City Councils,” he noted. He thanked them, and talked about the meetings with City Manager Thad Taylor and former Police Chief Roger Parent that got the ball rolling. He thanked Kent County Administrator Daryl DeLabbio for his work with staff to make sure interests of both parties were met.

Sheriff Larry Stelma (left) introduces Sgt. Jason Kelley (right), who will be in charge of the Cedar Springs unit. Post photo by J. Reed.

Sheriff Larry Stelma (left) introduces Sgt. Jason Kelley (right), who will be in charge of the Cedar Springs unit. Post photo by J. Reed.

Stelma also thanked the Cedar Springs Police Officers, who he said gave the program their vote of confidence. “It was a courageous move on their part,” he said.

He also thanked his staff, including Chief Deputy Michelle Young, for working out all the details, and thanked the community for having faith in the Sheriff Department.

“Change can be hard,” remarked Stelma. “It’s intimidating and unsettling. Both change and failure to change can be dangerous. When we fail to change, it leads to stagnation. Knowing when to change and how to manage it is critical.”

Stelma gave some history of law enforcement and the changes the city has faced over the years. “This is my town, my community, too, for over 50 years,” he told the audience. “This should be a happy time, an opportunity to build on what the Mayor, the Council, and the City Manager has done. We are maximizing services and being a better steward of our scarce dollars.”

When the deputies returned, they were pinned with their Sheriff badges, and sworn in by Sheriff Stelma. Chaplain Larry VandeVoren, who also used to work for the Cedar Springs Police Department, said a blessing over the officers, asking God to keep them from harm.

The officers and retired Chief Roger Parent were all presented with shadow boxes that contained a Cedar Springs Police Department badge and police patch. A shadow box was also given to the city to display.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off

North Kent Pastors got talent

The winning act was Fr. Tony Russo and and Fr. Mike Hodges from Our Lady of Consolation with “Soul Man” from The Blues Brothers.

The winning act was Fr. Tony Russo and and Fr. Mike Hodges from Our Lady of Consolation with “Soul Man” from The Blues Brothers.

Cedar Springs Librarian Donna Clark and her daughter, Tamar, enjoying the show. 


Cedar Springs Librarian Donna Clark and her daughter, Tamar, enjoying the show.

Pastors from various churches in the area showed they not only have talent in the pulpit, they are pretty good at helping raise money as well.

North Kent Community Services (NKCS), a food and clothing pantry that serves struggling families in northern Kent County, held its first “North Kent Pastors’ Got Talent” event last month, and hit a homerun.

They had 10 competing teams from churches in Rockford, Sparta and Cedar Springs who sang, danced, and performed stand-up comedy to a crowd of 480 guests to net more than $66,000 for the non-profit. The entire amount will go towards food and educational programming for their clients.

Pastors Keith and Judy Hemmila from Crossfire Ministries in Cedar Springs hamming it up in the photo booth.

Pastors Keith and Judy Hemmila from Crossfire Ministries in Cedar Springs hamming it up in the photo booth.

“The event surpassed our expectations. We have incredibly generous people in Kent County; and some truly talented pastors,” said Claire Guisfredi, executive director at NKCS.

The top winning act was Fr. Tony Russo and and Fr. Mike Hodges from Our Lady of Consolation with “Soul Man” from The Blues Brothers. The runner-up winning act was Fr. Mark Peacock from St. Patrick Parnell singing an old family favorite.

North Kent Community Services ministers to hundreds of families in need each year, especially during the holidays. Anyone wishing to donate can visit their website at www.nkcs.org and click “Donate Now.” They can also mail a check to 10075 Northland Drive NE, Rockford, MI 49341.

 

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off

Post travels to Alaska

N-Post-travels-Alaska-HemmeHank and Debbie Hemmes, of Howard City, took the Post with them on a cruise to Alaska in August.

“Our cruise ship stopped in Ketchikan, Alaska where we took the Bering Sea Crab Fishman Tour. We learned how they go about catching King Crab. The ship that we were on, the Aleutian Ballad, was on the second season of the Deadliest Catch before it was retired. It was very interesting to listen to their stories and the risk they all took,” they said.

They noted that they also saw a lot of bald eagles on their trip.

Thank you, Hank and Debbie, for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

 

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off

Cedar Springs Schools and GRCC partner to form Middle College program

Dr. Steven Ender of GRCC and Dr. Laura VanDuyn of Cedar Springs Schools.

Dr. Steven Ender of GRCC and Dr. Laura VanDuyn of Cedar Springs Schools.

By Judy Reed

 

Cedar Springs Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn and Grand Rapids Community College President Dr. Steven Ender signed a letter of intent Monday evening to create the Cedar Springs Middle College for fall of 2015.

Under the program, freshman with at least a 2.5 GPA will be able to apply for the program, which would begin in their sophomore year, and provide the opportunity for them to earn both a high school diploma and an associate of arts degree in five years. The student will graduate high school and also earn an associate’s degree, without spending any money towards tuition.

It’s just the third program of its kind in Kent County. GRCC also partners with Wyoming, and Davenport partners with Kenowa Hills High School.

Dr. Steven Ender, president of GRCC

Dr. Steven Ender, president of GRCC

Utilizing dual enrollment/early college status, these students will continue to acquire high school credits toward graduating with a Michigan Merit Curriculum diploma, while also completing requirements toward an associate of arts degree. To do this, students will take fewer classes toward high school completion and more toward their college degree in each subsequent year. Due to the uniqueness of acquiring both certifications, the program would take an additional (fifth) year of high school.

Dr. VanDuyn said she was proud of the district’s students, of whom 72 percent go on to post secondary education, the same as the national average. But she said this program could be a big change for our community, noting that the program has about a 95 percent success rate of those going on to get their four-year degree.

Dr. Ender noted GRCC is celebrating 100 years of post-secondary education, and this is currently a program wave happening in post-secondary education. “It’s a price you can’t beat. You are clearly on the right track. And your students will definitely get a university education,” he assured the Board of Education.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off

Spectrum Health providing Telehealth services 

 

HEA-TelehealthNew service provides interactive specialist appointments and education

Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals have added telehealth services—which uses interactive video-conferencing to connect providers and patients to clinical services and education programs at distant sites. Patients can now avoid travel times and reduce travel expenses and still access the care they need.

Telehealth patients have a live, real-time interaction with a physician who provides specialized care, follow-up appointments and education that may not be offered locally. This technology gives physicians the ability to obtain sufficient examinations of patients by questioning them about their past health history and current symptoms, and by using electronic diagnostic equipment and peripheral cameras.

The telehealth program at United and Kelsey Hospitals began with virtual cardiology services. The program has grown to provide specialist consults in cardiology and oncology between United Hospital, Kelsey Hospital and Spectrum Health medical facilities in Grand Rapids. The program will soon include diabetes education, stroke specialist access, a virtual wound clinic and primary care provider e-visits to local communities.

Feedback from local telehealth patients has been overwhelmingly positive. Gregory Baker of Coral drove 10 miles to the Kelsey Hospital Emergency Department in Lakeview after experiencing chest pain. Upon being evaluated by the emergency department physician, it was clear he needed to be seen by a cardiologist. A cardiologist was not available in Lakeview at the time, so the Kelsey Hospital staff took advantage of the new telehealth technology and consulted with a provider from the Heart and Vascular Center at United Hospital. “The experience was wonderful; it felt like the doctor was in the room with me,” explained Gregory. “It was nice to see a specialist when I really needed him and not have to travel and spend money on gas.” Gregory appreciated that the off-site physician was able to read his tests and explain his health situation. “This is a huge benefit to our rural community.”

“With this new technology, a consultation can be done in the emergency room right when we need it, which benefits both patients and care providers,” states Steven Fahlen, DO, Kelsey Hospital Emergency Department. “This is just the beginning; we will see more services being offered through telehealth to benefit the patients in our community.”

 

 

Posted in Featured, HealthComments Off