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Kieda family creates a tradition of  lifesaving gifts   

 

 Lorraine Kieda, right, and her husband Al (in photo frame) began a life-saving tradition that their son Dan, left, carries on. Photo courtesy American Blood.

Lorraine Kieda, right, and her husband Al (in photo frame) began a life-saving tradition that their son Dan, left, carries on. Photo courtesy American Blood.

                                                                                                 

It’s not just a season, it’s a legacy of giving passed on that continues to save lives 

From Michigan Blood

Blood—it connects us all. But for the Kieda family, it’s not only a saving grace but a legacy passed down between generations.

Lorraine and Aloysius “Al” Kieda, of Grand Rapids, were in the midst of welcoming their youngest child into the world when they received devastating news: Lorraine needed a blood transfusion, but they didn’t have the means to pay for it.

That’s when an anonymous donor stepped in. That person’s blood saved Lorraine’s life, ensuring all four of the couple’s children would grow up with their mom.

That was 1959. Al and Lorraine would go on to serve their community, whether it was helping their local church, or volunteering at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, for the next 60 years.

However, it was a different kind of service that would create a lasting memory: Al began donating blood to Michigan Blood in Grand Rapids after giving blood while serving in the Korean War. He and Lorraine became regular donors, often giving side by side. Their example motivated their four children to share this passion for helping others.

Their oldest son, Alan, and his wife, Alyson, live here in Cedar Springs. Alan also is one to help others, through church and other activities.

“We encouraged our children to give back,” said Lorraine. “A lot of families today don’t have something like this to help unite them.”

Before her husband Al passed away in 2013, he passed along something so much bigger: 23 gallons of blood. Lorraine was up to 14 gallons before she was deferred for medical reasons.

Now, the couple’s second of four children, Dan, carries on Al’s legacy—donating in honor of his dad every chance he gets.

“My father always urged every one of us children to give and give generously, in hopes that our kindness would inspire others to give blood,” said Dan.

Dan, who lives in Kalamazoo, said he wears his father’s army hat, ring, and an olivewood cross pendant—something he made for Al—whenever he donates. It reminds him that his father not only lives on in his memory, but in the gifts of life he gave to so many.

Recently, Dan received his 3-gallon pin… and he doesn’t plan to stop there.

“Blood is one of the most precious things that anyone can give to another person,” he said. “It’s the gift of life.”

Al’s extraordinary generosity may have planted the seeds of service within Dan’s veins, but it’s the family’s gifts—their incredible dedication to helping others—that’s continuing to connect us all.

 

Michigan Blood is the sole provider of blood and blood products for more than 60 hospitals in Michigan. Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) who weighs at least 112 pounds may be eligible to donate. Blood donors should bring photo ID. Michigan Blood is currently in urgent need of O-Negative blood donations. The next blood drive in Cedar Springs is on December 20 at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, Gym, 140 S Main St., Cedar Springs, 12:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Visit Michiganblood.org to find other dates or locations.

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Business Bits

(L to R) Dave Rinvelt, manager at The Car Center, and owner Bill Edwards. Co-owner Nick Edwards is not pictured.

(L to R) Dave Rinvelt, manager at The Car Center, and owner Bill Edwards. Co-owner Nick Edwards is not pictured.

The Car Center

Need a dependable company to repair your car after an accident? Need a windshield replaced or repaired? The Car Center, at 13399 White Creek, has you covered. Bill and Nick Edwards, owners of The Car Center in Greenville, opened up the Cedar Springs location in May, in the building formerly occupied by Cedar Body Shop.

The Car Center offers full service collision repair, and glass repair and replacement (on site or mobile).

“We have been serving the Greenville area for over 20 years, and are proud to now have a location so our customers can be serviced closer to home,” explained Bill. “We offer customer service unlike any competitor.”

He also noted that their technicians are the best in the industry. “Fixing cars is our job, but helping people is our business,” he said.

He said they hope to continue to grow and serve the Cedar Springs and surrounding areas.

They are open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment. Call (616) 696-1830.

 

Nikki and Company Hair Design, Inc.

If you would like to try somewhere new to get your hair or nails done, check out Nikki and Company Hair Design, Inc. Owner Nikki Twichell said they are now open in their new location at 171 W. Muskegon Street, near the White Pine Trail. They offer haircuts, hair color, balayage hair, ombre hair, foiling, waxing, shellac nails, and more.

Twichell said her salon is unique because they have a boutique inside the salon, and the experience and education of the stylists there give them an edge over the competition. Try them out for yourself! Open Tuesday through Saturday. Call (616) 696-3192 for an appointment or more information.

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Holly Jolly Holiday Concert

First and second grade students, conducted by Jeremy Holtrop, do riser-ography for their holiday music performance.

First and second grade students, conducted by Jeremy Holtrop, do riser-ography for their holiday music performance.

On Monday, Dec. 5, CTA elementary students celebrated all of their hard work by putting on a holiday concert. This year, due to the growth of the CTA music program, students performed at the Cedar Springs High School auditorium. It was a wonderful venue and our students enjoyed being on the big stage. Kindergarten students started off the performance with a couple well known songs, “The Bells on the Sleigh” and “He’ll Be Comin’ Down the Chimney”. First and second grade sang their songs together and showcased some riser-ography to make it fun!

One of the 1st and 2nd Grade songs, “Hip Hop Reindeer” featured the awesome hip hop dance moves of 2nd Grader, Deegan VanHarten. K-2 finished their portion of the concert with all three grades singing “Jingle Bells”. After the younger concert, the 3rd through 5th graders performed.

Some of the 3rd-5th grade songs included one about a fruitcake that wouldn’t go away, a song about decorating, and a Queen-style rock song titled, “We Will Jingle”. It was a fun evening and the students did an outstanding job.

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Cheer competition begins with wins

s-cheer

The 2016-2017 competitive cheer season has begun. Cedar Springs Middle School, coached by Deb Garza and Abby Olszewski, took the mat for the first time December 1 at Coopersville Middle School and brought home their first conference win of the season.

Saturday was the start to Cedar Springs high school JV and Varsity season. This brought the girls to Comstock Park High School for the CCCAM Scholarship Invitational, where there were 23 teams from 3 divisions competing.

After the completion of Rounds 1 and 2, Cedar Springs JV, coached by Katy Hradsky, had a combined score of  243.34. Cedar Springs Varsity, coached by Anne Olszewski, had a combined score of 401.56. That brings us to Round 3 where the girls display their impressive stunting and tumbling skills.

After the completion of Round 3, Cedar Springs JV earned a score of 226.08 bringing their total score to 470.14 and earning them a 2nd place finish for their division. Cedar Springs Varsity earned a score of 216.3 bringing their total to 617.56 and earning them a 3rd place finish for their division.
Our next middle school competition will be Thursday, December 15 at Cedar Springs. The JV and Varsity teams’ next competition will be December 21 at Mona Shores. Come out and support a great group of coaches and cheerleaders as they show their pride in being a Red Hawk.

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DNR seeking volunteer campground hosts 

Lori and Leo Constine spent time as volunteer campground hosts in Hartwick Pines State Park this past fall helping campers, answering questions and taking part in the annual fall Harvest Festival.

Lori and Leo Constine spent time as volunteer campground hosts in Hartwick Pines State Park this past fall helping campers, answering questions and taking part in the annual fall Harvest Festival.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteer campground hosts for the 2017 camping season in Michigan state parks, recreation areas and rustic state forest campgrounds.

Spend time in Michigan’s great outdoors, while engaging with park visitors. Volunteer campground hosts are responsible for 30 hours of service per week, including duties such as helping campers find their campsites, answering questions about the park, planning campground activities and performing light park maintenance duties. Camping fees will be waived for campground hosts.

Both individuals and couples may apply for volunteer positions that begin as early as April and last through
October. Volunteer hosts must provide their own camping equipment, food and other personal items.

Interested volunteers can click on “campground host” at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers to learn more about the volunteer host campground program, download an application and waiver and view a vacancy host campground report, which is updated regularly and indicates when and where hosts are needed in specific parks.

Hosts are screened and interviewed by park managers and selected based on familiarity with the state park system, camping experience, special skills, availability and knowledge of the area. Hosts must participate in a two-day host training session within the first two years of being selected as a host. The 2017 training will take place June 7-8 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon.

For information about the campground host program and how to apply, go to www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers or contact Miguel Rodriguez at 517-284-6127.

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Fire destroys family’s home

Firefighters work to put out the fire and any hot spots. Post photo by L. Allen.

Firefighters work to put out the fire and any hot spots. Post photo by L. Allen.

By Judy Reed

A Nelson Township family lost their home earlier this week after a fire broke out when no one was home.

This home in Nelson Township was deemed a total loss after Monday’s fire. Photo byTami Cain.

This home in Nelson Township was deemed a total loss after Monday’s fire. Photo byTami Cain.

According to Sand Lake Fire Chief Ed Holtzlander, the call came in at 10:49 a.m. Monday, December 5, that flames were through the roof at 9023 21 Mile Road.

Sand Lake, Cedar Springs, and Spencer Township Fire Departments all responded to the scene.

Holtzlander said that when firefighters arrived on scene, part of the roof was already caved in on the cinder block home.

He said that the fire most likely started in the attic above the kitchen/living room area, though it wasn’t determined how it started. “Their insurance company is investigating the cause,” explained Holtzlander.

He said that the home was a total loss.

Sand Lake Fire was called back to the house about 5 p.m. that day after the fire rekindled. “It was a problem with the insulation and how the roof line was built,” he explained.

Post photo by L. Allen.

Post photo by L. Allen.

No one was injured during the fire.

A gofundme page has been set up to help the Roebuck family (Billie, Laurie, and Isaac), who lived in the home, to meet immediate needs while their insurance is being sorted out and they figure out if anything is salvagable. You can visit the page at https://www.gofundme.com/fire-relief-fund-for-roebuck-family.

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Community celebrates Santa and tree lighting

Santa mingled with the children before the tree lighting ceremony last Saturday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Santa mingled with the children before the tree lighting ceremony last Saturday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Calvary Assembly of God Church put on their live nativity at the tree lighting. Post photo by J. Reed.

Calvary Assembly of God Church put on their live nativity at the tree lighting. Post photo by J. Reed.

Last Saturday, December 3, was a beautiful day to be out and about in downtown Cedar Springs, to celebrate the annual Mingle with Kris Kringle, sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

According to Chamber president Perry Hopkins, the first weekend of the 2016 Cedar Springs Christmas went really well, with a lot of people turning out to make and take ornaments at both the Cedar Springs Public Library and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum, and to see Santa at the end of the day.

According to Library Director Donna Clark, 74 people—old and young alike—attended the “Make and Take Ornament” morning at the library. Hopkins said that the museum estimated over 70 people attended ornament making there as well. “Story time with Mrs. Claus was a packed turn out also,” remarked Hopkins.

Both Renaissance Royalty and Red Flannel Royalty took part in the mini parade and tree lighting last Saturday. Photo courtesy of P. Conley.

Both Renaissance Royalty and Red Flannel Royalty took part in the mini parade and tree lighting last Saturday. Photo courtesy of P. Conley.

At 4:30 p.m., a mini parade made its way down Main Street from Maple to Ash, with Sgt. Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Cedar Springs unit leading the way, and a horse-drawn wagon and rider from the Red Flannel Tree Farm carrying Santa Clause at the end. Included in the parade was the American Legion Post #287 Honor Guard and Women’s Auxiliary; Cedar Springs Renaissance Queen Victoria and guest; the Red Flannel Queen and Court; Grand Marshal Donna Clark and her husband, City Councilor Dan Clark; and Fire Chief Marty Fraser with the Cedar Springs Fire Department.

After the parade, Tom Noreen serenaded the crowd with some instrumental music, and the crowd later sang Christmas carols. Mayor Jerry Hall addressed the crowd, and then it was finally time to light the tree.

After the tree was lit, Calvary Assembly of God put on their live nativity, assisted by the Double K Farms Animal Junction. Afterward, families headed to the American Legion hall for hot chocolate and cookies, and to let children line up to sit on Santa’s lap.

“Many people were happy that the Mingle with Kris Kringle was held inside at the American Legion,” said Hopkins. He estimated over 200 people attended the tree lighting.

This weekend has more fun in store for families. On Saturday, December 10, is the 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC). It is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Come out and have some holiday family fun!

On Sunday, December 11, will be the 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza. Come out to see dance performances from Cedar Springs Dance Company and Seira Kovach & Cameron Wilson with poi dancing, at the Christmas Dance Extravaganza, hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, on Sunday, December 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the historic Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. in beautiful downtown Cedar Springs. Come out and have some holiday family fun. Admission tickets are $3 per person. By special request from the Cedar Springs Public Library, they are including a reader’s theater performance by Actors del Arte Ensemble of A Christmas Carol for the second half of their show this year.

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The Post travels to Hoover Dam

From L to R: Helen Popelar, Gloria Robinson, Angie Popelar, Priscilla Shaffer, Carolyn Clement, Clare Hoover, Pam Orgeck, and Lourelle McKnight.

From L to R: Helen Popelar, Gloria Robinson, Angie Popelar, Priscilla Shaffer, Carolyn Clement, Clare Hoover, Pam Orgeck, and Lourelle McKnight.

“While on vacation in Las Vegas the first week of October, my mother, Priscilla Shaffer of Cedar Springs, insisted on going to the Hoover Dam to walk the new bypass bridge,” wrote Lourelle McKnight. “Before the walk we stopped at the Dam and pulled out her Cedar Springs Post and took a picture of all of us! It was a great time.”

Thanks so much to all of you for taking us with you to Hoover Dam!

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!

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City Council tours Display Pack

Cedar Springs City Councilors Rose Powell, Dan Clark, Molly Nixon, Perry Hopkins, Mayor Gerald Hall and Display Pack President Vic Hansen on a recent tour of Display Pack.

Cedar Springs City Councilors Rose Powell, Dan Clark, Molly Nixon, Perry Hopkins, Mayor Gerald Hall and Display Pack President Vic Hansen on a recent tour of Display Pack.

The City of Cedar Springs City Council was invited to tour the Display Pack factory on West Street last Wednesday, November 30. Vic Hansen, Display Pack’s President, led the City Councilors and City Manager on a tour of the new Display Pack facility that provides consumer packaging services to some of the world’s top brands.

Hansen said that he was proud to show off the building to the city representatives. “Display Pack takes quality seriously and I think it shows in what we are doing here,” he remarked.

Cedar Springs Mayor Gerald Hall said he was impressed by how environmentally friendly the Display Pack building is. “The recycling program Display Pack has instituted is top-notch, and they’re clearly trying to lead the industry in industrial recycling innovation,” he commented.

Display Pack is in the process of moving into the 360,000 square-foot building being vacated by Wolverine Worldwide on the south end of West Road. The company recently held a job fair to fill open positions and expects to have between 230 and 275 jobs on site when fully staffed. Vic Hansen told the City Councilors that he was very happy with the move to Cedar Springs and that the City has been very welcoming. “We look forward to working together for both of our benefit,” said Hansen.

Display Pack also has plans for future expansion in Cedar Springs, potentially adding an automotive plastics division and an onsite extruding division.

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Balancing end-of-life caregiving with holiday celebrations 

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Create memories, enjoyment

Caring for a seriously ill loved one is difficult at any time of year. But the holidays can compound the stress as caregivers, especially those who mark the season in grand fashion, seek balance between the consuming responsibilities of meeting their loved ones needs and creating a memorable celebration.

Whether it’s continuing with longtime traditions or introducing new ones, the keys to a meaningful holiday while facing end-of-life are to:

* avoid overwhelming your loved one by scaling activities to the realities of the situation;

* think outside-the-box if elaborate annual traditions are not feasible; and

* remember that there is no right or wrong approach.

“The most important point is to remember that the stress of caregiving may leave little energy for the grand celebrations families have held in the past- so it is perfectly acceptable to scale down or simplify to keep it even more memorable,” advises Karen Monts, practice manager, counseling services for Hospice of Michigan.

Monts suggests considering such outside-the-box plans as:

* Opting for a family trip, if your loved one can travel;

* Donating as a family to your loved one’s favorite cause;

* Dining together at a favorite restaurant;

* Focusing on faith traditions, attending a religious program together; or

* Creating keepsakes and reliving memories such as taking a family picture, creating a memory stone, or recalling funny stories.

Monts also suggests that if having all the decorative bells and whistles are an absolute must and your loved one has been “the ‘king or queen’ of decorating, consider recruiting the help of friends and extended family, or hiring professional decorators.”

Thinking outside-the-box can also include hosting your celebration or special event on a day other than the actual holiday to ensure your loved one can fully participate.

“It’s important that family members continue to create memories with their loved ones,” said Monts. “About 10 years ago, a patient’s daughter decided to move up her wedding and held her ceremony in our facility between Thanksgiving and Christmas so that she could share the moment with her father. We helped plan the ceremony, and one of our spiritual care coordinators officiated. That was the gift she gave him that holiday. He relaxed after the ceremony, happy because he believed she was safe and taken care of. He died the following week. Unique experiences like that resonate with families and allow the memories of a final holiday season with a loved one to be cherished rather than ignored.”

Monts adds, “Many patients and families are incredibly hopeful, even at the end-of-life. They expect to celebrate. Even if holiday plans don’t materialize, families shouldn’t feel guilty. There is hope in the planning.”

In her 26 years in hospice care, Monts has learned many hospice patients want to “remember good relationships and the positive impact they’ve had on others.” The holidays offer a perfect opportunity for friends and family to share “how a loved one wants to be remembered and discuss that their life had—and still has—meaning.”

Monts suggests families build lasting memories by interviewing each other. “There are profound understandings that come out of that process,” she said.

There are many online resources to help get the conversation started. Story Corps (https://storycorps.org/) is a site Smith references to spark talks with patients, exploring such questions as:

What is your proudest moment?

How do you want to be remembered?

What is your most spiritual moment?

What are your thoughts about death and the after-life?

Do you have any regrets or last wishes?

What advice do you have for me, my children, or even children to come in our family?

Starting these conversations is typically the most difficult step in talking about sensitive and intimate feelings and viewpoints. But once the ice is broken, these exchanges can produce tremendous rewards.

In addition to planning ahead, Monts believes the only other absolutes in celebrating the holidays when caring for a seriously ill loved one are to “remember the only ‘should’ is doing what is best for you and your family during this time and to simply enjoy the holidays with your loved one, not matter how you choose to celebrate.”

For more information, call 888-247-5701 or visit www.hom.org.

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