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Tag Archive | "Betty Truesdale"

Grand Marshals chosen for 2018 Red Flannel Festival


Bob and Betty Truesdale are this year’s Grand Marshals of the Red Flannel Festival. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Bob and Betty Truesdale, of Cedar Springs, have been chosen as Grand Marshals for the 79th annual Red Flannel Festival. They own the Amish Warehouse at 141 S. Main Street.

“We chose Bob and Betty for the Grand Marshals because of their long history in Cedar Spring and the love they have for the festival,” explained Nancy Deyman, President of the Red Flannel Festival board.

This year’s theme is “Step back in time.” And you can certainly do that when talking to Bob and Betty!

Bob was born a mile north of Pine Lake to Eula Eldred Truesdale, who was a rural schoolteacher for 30-plus years. It was just Bob and his mom, in those early years, and he often traveled with her to the rural schools she taught at in and around Cedar Springs and helped by building the morning fires. 

He first met Betty, the daughter of James and Dorothy Albright, of Ravenna, at a church rally in Rockford, when she was a freshman in high school. “He had a date but I flirted with him,” she said.

They went their separate ways but later reconnected at Spring Arbor High School, a Christian school that later became Spring Arbor University, and eventually married.

The couple spent four years on a reservation in Alberta, Canada, from 1960-64, where they helped build a church. “Bob was a lay preacher there,” explained Betty. “The kids say it was the highlight of their lives. We have wonderful friends up there.”

Bob said he has been an entrepreneur most of his life. He worked for the Rand Corporation selling typewriters, mechanical calculators, etc. He then created his own business, Mr. Dictate, and later sold it. He then went to work for Peter Secchia as director of maintenance for a line of restaurants and wood products. He has now been selling Amish furniture for 25 years. 

Betty stayed home with their four children—Dean, Vicki, Collette, and Dan—for 23 years. She also worked for INA, which later merged with another company and became Cigna.

The two have always attended the Red Flannel Festival and been big supporters of the event. They have also been active in other areas of the community. Bob served on both the City Council and Planning Commission. While on the City Council, he brought to the board the possibility of bringing the Kent County Sheriff’s Office in to do the policing here. Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma, also a Cedar Springs resident, presented a plan to Council for a partnership between the two entities, and it was approved. The plan was eventually implemented with great success. 

“It was the highlight of Bob’s political career,” remarked Betty.

Bob wasn’t the only one that dabbled in politics. Betty served on the Courtland Township board for a year. “I found politics wasn’t for me,” she said.

Betty was treasurer of the Community Building Development Team for three years, and Bob was also a part of the team. But they had to drop that when they began spending part of their time in Marshall, with family. They have also always been busy with their church activity at Pilgrim Bible. 

How did Bob feel when he was told they had been selected as Grand Marshals? “I felt like there must be some mistake. We are only commoners. I’m humbled. It’s a great honor. It excites me and pleases me that we have so many friends in Cedar Springs and we are proud to serve as Grand Marshals.”

Red Flannel Day will be Saturday, October 6, 2018. Watch the Post for more information about this year’s activities.

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TOP STORY 2015


post photo by J. Reed

post photo by J. Reed

New businesses, non-profits bring revitalization and growth to Cedar Springs

BY JUDY REED

The Cedar Springs area received a shot in the arm this year with several new businesses moving in, and even more growth is on the horizon, thanks to the partnership efforts of the Community Building Development Team with the Cedar Springs Library and Cedar Springs City Council.

The big success story of the year is the Cedar Springs Brewing Company, which finally opened its doors at 95 N. Main, in mid-November. It was the culmination of a 25-year-dream for David Ringler, a.k.a “Director of Happiness” at the brewery, and it’s the first time in recent history that a new building has been built on Main Street in the heart of downtown Cedar Springs.

N-Top-Story-CS-Brew2The brewery/restaurant features a variety of craft beers, focusing on German styles, along with a full food menu (which includes German dishes), wine and their homemade Cedar Creek Sodas, which are non-alcoholic beverages.

Since their opening, the brewery is jam-packed every night and it’s amazing to see so many vehicles in downtown Cedar Springs.

“We’ve had a wonderful reception from the community and been very pleased to welcome many people from outside our community who’ve come to visit, often multiple times,” remarked Ringler. “Some of this is to be expected, given that we’re new and over the holiday season, but we’re hopeful that we’ve made a positive impression and people will continue to visit.”

In the beginning it was difficult to keep up with the demand for beer, but people came anyway.

“We’ve remained very busy, which is a blessing,” said Ringler. “As we’ve progressed over the past six weeks, we’ve been able to adjust our inventories to keep up on beer production, which means we’ll be able to fill growlers soon.”

Ringler talked about some things customers can expect in the coming year. “Our beers will rotate and expand regularly, and our food menu will see the addition of daily specials and be updated at least 3-4 times over the course of the year. We will begin hosting live music regularly and we also have a number of events planned throughout the year (with details coming soon).”

He said they will also begin hosting “Community Giveback Nights,” beginning January 11, where they will be giving back 10 percent of food sales to the Cedar Springs Band Boosters on that evening. Other organizations will follow.

He said they will also begin growler sales, and canning their product for sale in the marketplace, so we will be able to find their beers in stores, bars and other restaurants.

“Our spirits line will also be launched, beginning with Wodka and White Lightning products,” added Ringler. “We will also add additional season sodas and soft drinks to our lineup.”

One of the big things will be the outdoor Biergarten, which will open in the spring, and add 70 to 80 seats.

Ringler is grateful to the community for how they’ve embraced the brewery. “Thank you. We’ve been humbled by the warm reception, encouraged by the enthusiasm, and we’re working hard to earn your continued support,” he said.

The brewery is one of several businesses to come to Cedar Springs this year. The brewery bought the Liquor Hut building, which they then leased to Cold Break Brewing, a home supply brewing company; Family Farm and Home bought the old Family Fare building; and Advance Auto built a new building on the site of the old Family Fare gas station. Since Advance Auto had bought Car Quest previously, they took in all the employees from the Car Quest shop on Main Street.

Another company coming to Cedar Springs is Display Pack, who bought the Wolverine World Wide warehouse at 660 West Street. Wolverine’s lease is up in 2017, and Display Pack is slowly taking over the building as Wolverine vacates the premises. Display Pack, employs 225 people, and up to 275 people seasonally. Since many of their employees live in Grand Rapids and those who walk won’t make the commute, they may hire as many as 60-80 people from this area.

Another group who is revitalizing Cedar Springs is the Community Building Development Team, through their partnership with the Cedar Springs Library and the City of Cedar Springs. Over two dozen organizations and businesses in Cedar Springs, along with dozens of individuals, have been working together for the past three years to develop eight acres of land, within the City limits, into “The Heart of Cedar Springs.” This place can be called our own “Town Square,” where the local citizens and visitors can enjoy a new library building, a community building, a recreation center, and an amphitheater, all placed among beautiful rain gardens and sculptures along a board walk on the banks of Cedar Creek.

Donations of land and cash, as well as pledges, as of November 2015, total over $2,555,000. The overall project is expected to cost approximately $10,000,000.  The plan is to raise funds for each individual project and to break ground for each facility when funds are adequate. Donations may be designated.

The Cedar Springs Library building is scheduled to be built first, breaking ground early next spring. A Capital Campaign Committee was appointed by the CBDT and they are in the process of writing grant proposals to large corporations and foundations to raise the funds needed to complete these projects.

Checks can be written to the Cedar Springs Public Library and either sent to Box 280 or dropped off at the Library. They can also be written to the Community Building Development Team and sent to the treasurer of the CBDT, Betty Truesdale, 141 S Main Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Community development team buys property


The Community Building Development Team purchased property last week from Rob and Jodi Coxon. Shown at the closing from left to right: Jodi Coxon, CBDT president Kurt Mabie, Sun Title closing agent,  Rob Coxon, realtor Leon Stout, and CBDT treasurer Betty Truesdale.

The Community Building Development Team purchased property last week from Rob and Jodi Coxon. Shown at the closing from left to right: Jodi Coxon, CBDT president Kurt Mabie, Sun Title closing agent, Rob Coxon, realtor Leon Stout, and CBDT treasurer Betty Truesdale.

With the purchase of a parcel at the corner of Fifth and Pine Street in Cedar Springs last week, the non-profit Community Building Development Team is making headway in its mission to advance the “construction of buildings and spaces where the greater Cedar Springs Community can gather for cultural, educational, recreational, commercial, and family/community events.”

The 2.28 acre parcel with road frontage on Fifth and Pine Streets, was purchased on February 25, from Jodi and Rob Coxon, at a greatly reduced price. The property was appraised at $37,500 and sold to the CBDT for $15,000, according to CBDT treasurer Betty Truesdale.

“We are impressed with the involvement of so many people in our community to make our community a better place. It is our privilege to contribute part of the value of our land for the projects being planned by the CBDT, Library Board, and En Gedi Board. A new library and community building will be great assets for Cedar Springs. We are very happy to be a part of these efforts,” explained the Coxons.

Also joining in on donations toward this process were Thomas Cronkright II, owner of Sun Title Agency, who waived all closing fees and Leon Stout, of Stout Group Ltd, the real estate agency handling the sales transactions, waived a portion of his fees.

“It continues to amaze me on how people are jumping on board to be part of the movement to improve the quality of life in our community,” said Kurt Mabie, president of the CBDT. “Jodi and Rob’s support is greatly appreciated, along with Thomas and Leon’s assistance. It takes a group effort, a partnership of many, to bring about big things. That is exactly what is happening now,” he continued.

The exact use of the land has not yet been determined. According to Mabie, CS Manufacturing plans to donate a large section of land that adjoins the Coxon property to the CBDT next fall. Once that land is secured a site plan will be created.

All community members are invited to the CBDT Meetings held on the third Tuesday of each month at Hilltop School on the 3rd floor. The meeting run about one hour and begin at 6 pm.

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Large donation made to local non-profit


An anonymous donation of $170,000 was made to the Community Building Development Team. Treasurer Betty Truesdale holds a sign announcing the donation.

An anonymous donation of $170,000 was made to the Community Building Development Team. Treasurer Betty Truesdale holds a sign announcing the donation.

A Cedar Springs-based non-profit is gaining steam in its efforts to make the community a better place to be.

Betty Truesdale, treasurer of the Community Building Development Team, reported at the February meeting that the group received an anonymous donation of $170,000.

“This entire community has been extremely supportive of the CBDT’s goals and efforts,” remarked Truesdale. “All of the money donated has been done in a spirit of hope and commitment to our community and without an ‘ask’ or official fund raising effort. It is heart-warming and encouraging, as well as a testimony of the type of people living in our community.”

The non-profit organization was created two years ago, with a focus on constructing buildings and spaces where the greater Cedar Springs community can gather for cultural, educational, recreational, commercial, and family/community events.

The group has been working closely with various local, state, and federal organizations in securing a wide range of grants and improvements for Cedar Springs. The CBDT, in cooperation with the City of Cedar Springs Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Trout Unlimited, and CS Tool and Die, recently installed a rain garden and stream buffer on the banks of Cedar Creek on the corner of Fifth and Cherry Streets. There are other proposed rain gardens and ponds to be created in support of the unique trout habitat in Cedar Creek, a major contributor to the Rogue River, a designated Michigan trout stream.

Other projects include a partnership with the Friends of the White Pine Trail, which allowed a recent clean-up along the trail within the city limits. They said great progress is being made in naming Cedar Springs a North Country Trail Town, with an official declaration to be announced soon. The group purchased the Coxon property, which adjoins other properties along the White Pine Trail and the city lot on the northwest corner of Maple and Main Streets.

The CBDT continues to support the efforts of the Cedar Springs Library Board by funding site evaluations, environmental studies, and soil preparations for the future library building. City Councilors are working in partnership with the CBDT’s efforts of building an amphitheater tentatively scheduled to begin this summer.

“The CBDT currently has about 40 members on the team but is seeking additional volunteers to lead the efforts of making the Cedar Springs Community one of the best small towns in America,” said Kurt Mabie, President of the CBDT Board. “We hope more will join in to share their ideas, time, and talents and help to shape the future of our community.”

The CBDT meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 pm in the school board meeting room at Hilltop School. More information can be found on the newly designed website at www.CSCommunityCenter.org as well as updates on the Facebook page under Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team. Or, contact any CBTD board member Kurt Mabie, Tom Mabie, Betty Truesdale, Carolee Cole, Tom Holloway, Dale Larson, Sally Howland, Nick Andres, or Sue Wolfe.

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