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Tag Archive | "Calvary Assembly of God"

Community prays for Cora


“Pray for Cora” lit up the night. Community members spelled out “Pray for Cora” with candles during the candlelight prayer vigil at Skinner Field Monday evening. Photo courtesy of Danielle Hardenburg.

Cora Gonzales, a fifth-grade student at Cedar View Elementary, is still in critical condition after being hit by a car earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Danielle Hardenburg.

By Judy Reed

A candlelight vigil held Monday evening at Skinner Field brought out more than 200 people to pray for Cora Gonzales, the 11-year-old Cedar Springs girl hit by a car on 14 Mile Road on October 6. She is still in critical condition.

Cora’s parents, George and Cookie Gonzales, have asked everyone to pray for a miracle. And that’s what the community did Monday evening. 

At the vigil, community members were each given a candle as they entered the field, and then found a flag to stand by. Several inspirational songs were played, and Pastor Craig Owens, of Calvary Assembly of God, offered a prayer. Everyone lit their candles and prayed for Cora as the lights on the field were dimmed. Drones flew overhead to live stream the event for those that couldn’t be there, and from overhead, the candles lit the message “Pray for Cora.” 

People of all ages and came out to pray for Cora Gonzales Monday evening. Post photo by J. Reed.

The event was organized by Danielle Hardenburg, a friend of the Gonzales family.

According to Cora’s parents’ messages in Team Cora, MRI results showed a lot of damage to Cora’s brain, and doctors do not feel she will heal enough to not be hooked up to many machines. On Wednesday, they were going to attempt to pull out her breathing tube to see if she could breathe on her own. 

A can drive was held last Saturdaya to help with Cora’s medical expenses, and another one will be held this Saturday at Skinner Field from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are also two gofundme pages set up for her—one from the Lowell community and one from Cedar Springs. If you would like to donate, you can visit the Cedar Springs page at https://www.gofundme.com/love-for-cora/

If you would like to take a meal to the Gonzales family, you can sign up at http://www.takethemameal.com/meals.php?t=TPEC7896.

For updates on Cora, you can follow the Team Cora page on Facebook.

Community members spelled out “Pray for Cora” with candles during the candlelight prayer vigil at Skinner Field Monday evening. Photo courtesy of Danielle Hardenburg.

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Missing CS grad found 30 years after disappearance


 

Charles “Chuck” Cornell graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1974. He disappeared from his Battle Creek apartment in 1986.

Charles “Chuck” Cornell graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1974. He disappeared from his Battle Creek apartment in 1986.

By Judy Reed

A former Cedar Springs family received some bittersweet closure last week on a 30-year-old mystery: where was their son and brother, Chuck Cornell? And it was DNA samples from the family that helped police solve the mystery.

Charles Cornell, a 1974 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, was the son of Pastor Richard and Hattie Cornell. Richard was pastor at Calvary Assembly of God, then located in Rockford. According to Chuck’s sister, Rachel Valkeo, Chuck was the third child in a family of six siblings.

“He was quiet, liked baseball and nice cars,” remembered Rachel, who is a younger sibling. She said some might remember him working at Great Day while in high school.

Charles “Chuck” Cornell served in the U.S. Army from 1975-1979.

Charles “Chuck” Cornell served in the U.S. Army from 1975-1979.

After graduation, Chuck joined the U.S. Army in 1975, and received an honorable discharge in 1979. Eventually, Chuck moved to Battle Creek, where he found employment. Rachel said that he had a few friends from high school he kept in touch with, and that he also had a girlfriend in Battle Creek. But as time went by, the family heard from him less and less.

So, on Chuck’s 30th birthday, in April of 1986, his parents drove to Battle Creek to see him. But what they found was an empty apartment that looked as if it had been vandalized.

Rachel said that other news articles have reported that the last time they saw Chuck was at his 30th birthday party. “That party never happened,” she said. “They drove down to see him for his birthday—but he wasn’t there.”

Richard and Hattie reported the empty apartment and vandalism to police and that their son was missing. And for 30 years, the family thought police were looking for him, just like they were. But they weren’t. Instead, they found out that law enforcement thought he was voluntarily missing and had no record of his disappearance.

“My mom and dad believed they had filed a missing persons report. But in May 2016, we found out it was never actually filed. Police didn’t believe any disruptions in the apartment showed he should be missing,” explained Rachel.

Richard passed away in 1991, without ever knowing what became of his son. But Hattie, who is now 88 and resides in Rockford, and the others still searched. In May of this year, when D/Sgt. Sarah Krebs, of Michigan State Police Missing Persons Coordination Unit heard about Cornell, she encouraged his family to file a police report. A detective at the MSP Post in Rockford then investigated, according to a news release from the MSP.

Hattie and one of Chuck’s sisters submitted DNA that was tested in a national database of unidentified remains.

The samples pointed the MSP to a 1989 John Doe case out of Arkansas, almost 900 miles from Battle Creek. Cornell had been walking on the highway and was struck by a semi-truck and killed. Recognizable photos, medical and dental records and fingerprints were on file, but the cases were not connected until the crucial DNA was submitted.

“Cases like this highlight the importance of families of missing people getting their DNA on file in CODIS. It is never too late,” said Krebs. “Without that link, the Cornell family may have never known what had happened to Charles.”

The family was told about the match on Tuesday, December 27.

Rachel said both she and her mother have mixed emotions about the news. “We don’t have a lot of answers. We have the main answer, but we are still trying to connect the dots.”

One of the things they would like to know, is why was Chuck in Arkansas? “If there is anyone out there who knows why he ended up there, we’d like to know,” said Rachel. She said they were unable to locate the girlfriend. “She had children of her own, I don’t think it was a super serious relationship.”

Rachel said she is working with other agencies and authorities to work out exactly what occurred and with the coroner in Arkansas to get Chuck’s body home. They can then hold a memorial service.

Rachel is grateful for the support from law enforcement in finding her brother. “The authorities in Michigan—Det. Denise Bentley and D/Sgt. Sarah Krebs—and all the authorities in Arkansas, have been a tremendous help to my family,” she said.

The MSP said that the Cornell case marks the 67th identification that the MSP Missing Persons Coordination unit has made, and the 32nd one by DNA alone.

For information on how family members can contribute DNA or report a missing person, email MSP-MissingPersons@michigan.gov.

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Families celebrate at Mingle with Kris Kringle


Post photo by J. Reed.

Post photo by J. Reed.

Photo by by Craig Owens

Photo by by Craig Owens

By Judy Reed

Last Saturday, December 5, 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 2015 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.

Photo by Donna Clark

Photo by Donna Clark

According to Library Director Donna Clark, 70 people—old and young alike—attended the “Make and Take Ornament” morning at the library. They created an ornament for the town Christmas tree and one to take home. They created lots of pine cone ornaments filled with birdseed, so that they would be environmentally and bird friendly.

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 carrying Santa Clause at the end.

“Having the cheerleaders in the parade again this year singing, as the mini parade escorted Santa to the tree, was great,” said Hopkins. “And the Chamber was happy to have royal courts from both the Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire and The Red Flannel Festival in our mini Christmas parade this year.”

Photo by by Craig Owens

Photo by by Craig Owens

The American Legion Post #287 Honor Guard also marched in the parade.

After the parade, the Jubilee quartet led the singing of Christmas carols, and Calvary Assembly of God put on their live nativity, assisted by the Double K Farms petting zoo. “The awesome voices of Jubilee leading the caroling added a new touch  to this year’s Christmas tree lighting,” remarked Hopkins. “As always, the petting zoo and live nativity scene were awesome.”

Mayor Jerry Hall addressed the crowd, and then it was finally time to light the tree. Afterward, children lined up to sit on Santa’s lap in the heated tent.

Hopkins said they are already making notes of ways to improve the event for next year, and they hope more businesses, organizations, and community members will be in the parade next year.

 

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Trick or treat in Cedar Springs


Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

It’s only two days until Halloween—are you ready for a night full of fun? Does the thought of greeting scores of trick or treaters make you break out in a cold sweat? Forget staying home! Pack up the kids and come out Halloween night for the Annual Cedar Springs Area Halloween Spooktacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun begins at 4:30 p.m. with trick or treating at area businesses up and down Main Street, some side streets, and 17 Mile until 7 p.m. Special events include a haunted library at the Cedar Springs Library at the corner of Cherry and Second from 5-7 p.m.; a haunted school house at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum on Cedar Street in Morley Park from 5-7; Calvary Assembly of God will have lots of games and candy and prizes at the corner of Main and Ash from 5-7 p.m.; the Kent County Sheriff Traffic Squad will hand out hot chocolate and donuts at the Cedar Springs firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. again this year, and The Springs Church will host Trunk-or-Treat from 6-8 p.m., in their parking lot at the corner of Maple and First Street, along with a giant slide, and refreshments.

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Calvary Assembly of God to sell building


N-Calvary-property-web

This frees up finances for front-line ministries

Craig T. Owens, Senior Pastor of Calvary Assembly of God (CAG), announced this week that the church will sell its building and accompanying six acres, located at 810 17 Mile Road, in Solon Township, to 2nd Chance School. The school is a nonprofit for at-risk youth that will combine biblical lessons and traditional subjects, with the care and training of horses.

The church will rent space at Red Hawk Elementary, part of Cedar Springs Public Schools, for its Sunday and Wednesday services. Owens said that moving to Cedar Springs is a hand-in-glove fit for the focus of its extensive outreach.

“We are already so involved in activities in Cedar Springs, including Earth Day cleanups, the En Gedi Youth Center, Chamber of Commerce, and the list goes on,” Owens said. “It seemed like we could be an even bigger blessing to our city if we were closer.”

Owens said there are both practical and faith-based reasons the building was sold to 2nd Chance School.

“We have a hard time justifying paying for the full-time maintenance on a building in Solon Township that is only used a couple of days each week,” Owens said. “By only paying for the space we are using, it will free up finances to go to front-line ministries.”

Owens said these front-line ministries could include temporary housing for at-risk, transitional families, greater financial support of local charities, as well as support for international missions work.

“We would be interested in owning another building at some time, only if it could be something like an around-the-clock ministry center,” Owens said. “Until that opportunity presents itself, we will rent from CSPS.”

Owens said their first service at Red Hawk Elementary will be Sunday, August 30. They will meet in the media center. People can enter the building through door #10.

This Sunday, August 23, the church will participate with other area churches in the UNITED 2015 service, located in Morley Park at 11 a.m.

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Correction


N-Mingle3-Shepherds-by-Judy-webIn last week’s Post, a caption on a photo for the Christmas tree lighting article was incorrect. A photo of shepherds with their sheep noted that Calvary Assembly of God had a live nativity—which they did, but the shepherds and sheep in the photo were part of 4H Animal Junction. We appreciate them being a part of the event, along with Double K Farms, and hope they continue to be a part of it for many years to come!

 

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Halloween Happenings


Halloween-leadin

Check out some of the fun, fall activities going on in our area for Halloween!

 

MCC Haunted Indoor Forest

Oct. 24, 25: Montcalm Community College Art Club hosts a Haunted Indoor Forest from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Instruction North Building, on the college’s Sidney campus. A $2 donation is suggested.

Harvest Brains at Sand Lake/Nelson Library

Oct. 25: Program for teens, at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, October 25. Save your brains! Build a survival bag, practice your aim, and learn what it takes to stay alive during a zombie apocalypse. The library is located at 88 Eighth St., Sand Lake.

Harvest party

Oct. 25: Cedar Creek Community Church, at 2969 14 Mile RD NE Sparta, will host a harvest party on Saturday, October 25, from 5-8 p.m. There will be hayrides (using straw due to allergies), pumpkin painting, dunking for apples, cake walk, games, face painting, soup, hot dogs, popcorn, and lots of fun! All are welcome. Call 866-9829 for more info.

Pumpkin Carving and Lit Trails Walk

Oct. 25: Pumpkin/Carving and Pumpkin lit trail hike from 5-8:30 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, on Saturday, October 25. Suggested donation is $8 per person or $30 for family of four or more, including pumpkin to take home. (No one turned away for inability to pay. This donation helps keep HCNC operating.) Pumpkin carving from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and pumpkin lit walk through our spooky Enchanted Forest from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Friendly enough for your toddlers. Non scary animals will be on display in the forest, weather permitting for the mock-animals). Includes pumpkin to take home or leave at the center for the wild animals to munch on. Dress up as your favorite nature character. Open to all ages.

Trunk ‘r Treat at Courtland-Oakfield UMC 

Oct. 25: It’s our fourth annual Trunk ‘r Treat for kids of all ages. Saturday, October 25, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake NE. Candy outdoors; hot dogs & baked beans indoors.

Trunk or Treat at East Nelson UMC

Oct. 25: Bring your kids and come “Trunk or Treat” at East Nelson UM Church, 9024 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs on Saturday, October 25 from 5-7 p.m. Warm up with hot chocolate and sloppy joes. Games and fun for all.

Fall Festival  

Oct. 29: Fall Festival for all ages at the Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs on Wednesday, October 29, from 6:30- 8 p.m. For families with children 5th grade and under. Games, prizes, snacks, boy and girl door prizes and candy, candy, candy! The church is located on Algoma, just north of 19 Mile Road.

Nightmare on Cherry Street

Oct. 30: Calling all 4th to 6th graders!  You are officially invited to come to our “Nightmare on Cherry Street” party at the Cedar Springs Library! The fun, games, and food will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 30 and go until 7:30. Registration is required, so come into the library to sign up or call 616-696-1910

Trick or Treat Trail Walk

Oct. 31: From 3-5 p.m. on Halloween, bring your kiddos by Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, to take a short walk down one of our trails to collect some candy, so we don’t get tricked!

Cedar Springs Spooktacular

Oct. 31:  The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, businesses and churches in Cedar Springs are sponsoring the annual Main Street Halloween Spooktacular on Friday, October 31. Some of the free events include: spooky storytelling and crafts at the Cedar Springs Public Library, 4:30 p.m.; a haunted school house at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park 5-7 p.m.; a Kids Carnival, hosted by Calvary Assembly of God 5-7 p.m.; Trick-or-Treating at local businesses between 5-7pm; and Trunk or Treat at The Springs Church from 6 to 8 p.m. (see more details below).

Kids carnival

Oct. 31: Calvary Assembly of God will be presenting a free carnival during the Chamber of Commerce’s Spooktacular event from 5-7pm on Friday, October 31. The carnival will be at the corner of Ash and Main Street, next to DJ Nails, and will have lots of family-friendy games, with prizes and candy.

Haunted school house

Oct. 31: The Haunted School House is back this year at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park from 5-7 p.m. again. Nolan Patin has worked up another fun spooky event for the museum. We do adapt our spookiness when young children are coming through and will be handing out treats.

Trunk or Treat at The Springs

Oct. 31: Creative costumes—check. Oodles of goodies—check. Lots of giggles and loads of fun—doublecheck! You’ll experience it all at The Springs Church at Trunk or Treat on Halloween night from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be lots of candy for the taking, carnival games, a giant slide, and refreshments. It will be fun for the whole family, and a safe, well-lit environment for kids. The church is located at 135 N. Grant St., in Cedar Springs.

Traffic Squad/Fire Department

Oct. 31: There will be cider, donuts and candy at the Cedar Springs Fire Department on Maple Street from 5 to 7 p.m. or while supplies last.

Halloween Hospitality Center

Oct. 31: Warm up station at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs, on Friday, October 31, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Serving hot chocolate and popcorn, everyone is welcome to join us.

Halloween party – Courtland Fire

Oct 31:  Stop by the Halloween party at the Courtland Fire station #2, 9535 Myers Lake road from 5-9 p.m. Games, snacks candy, cider, coffee,  car trunks with treats welcome. Sponsored by women auxiliary, and many stores in the area.

Family Harvest Celebration

Oct. 31: Pine Ridge Bible Camp invites you to its annual Family Harvest Celebration on Friday, October 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. This free event includes hayride, games, puppet show, cider, donuts and trip through Treat Town. Please bring a bag for collecting treats. It is a fun night for the whole family. Costumes welcome but not necessary. Please no witches, ghosts, monsters, etc. Pine Ridge is located just 5 miles east of town at 8415 17 Mile Rd. Call 616-696-8675 for more information.

Trunk or Treat at Crossfire Church

Oct. 31: Trunk or Treat at Crossfire Church, 4780 Cornfield Drive, Cedar Springs, from 6-8 p.m. There will be games and prizes, candy for the kids, hot dogs and chips available.

Ghostbusters at the Kent Theatre

Oct. 31, Nov. 1, Nov.2: Don’t let the Halloween weekend go by without spending some time at the Kent Theatre. A special showing of Ghostbusters will be on the big screen October 31, November 1 and 2, in celebration of Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary. Now in digital format, watch your favorite ghost busting team in action! Showing Halloween night at 6 and 9 p.m., Saturday at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. and Sunday at 3 and 6 pm. Tickets are only $3.00.

Sand Lake Fire Department

Oct. 31: The Sand Lake Fireman’s Association will host their annual Halloween festivities at the fire station at 2 Maple Street in Sand Lake from 6-8 p.m. There will be games, a bounce house, prize drawings, goody bags, cider, donuts, and coffee. There will also be a costume contest. Judging is at 7:15, must be present to win the contest. Call 636-8854 for more info.

Trick or Treat at Meadowlark

Oct. 31: Meadowlark Retirement Village in Sparta loves having trick or treaters. Their doors will be open from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, October 31. The residents can’t wait to see all the kids dressed up! Meadowlark is located at 65 Ida Red Ave, Sparta. Call 887-8891 ext. 102 for more info.

 

 

 

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Trick or treat in Cedar Springs


 

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

It’s only one week until Halloween—are you ready for a night full of fun? Does the thought greeting scores of trick or treaters make you break out in a cold sweat? Forget staying home! Pack up the kids and come out Halloween night for the Annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun starts at 4:30 p.m. with spooky storytime at the library, at the corner of Cherry and Second. That is followed by trick or treating from 5 to 7 p.m. at Main Street businesses.

The Kent County Sheriff Traffic Squad will hand out hot chocolate and donuts at the Cedar Springs firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. again this year, and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will host a haunted school house at the museum in Morley Park. Calvary Assembly of God will host a carnival at Main and Ash, and The Springs Church will host Trunk-or-Treat from 6pm-8pm, in their parking lot at the corner of Maple and First Street, along with a giant slide, and refreshments. For more info, see ad below.

N-CSHalloweenSpooktacular

 

 

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Spring (time) cleaning


Pastor Craig T. Owens

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

www.cscalvary.orghttp://craigtowens.com

 

 

 

Now that it appears that—let’s cross our fingers—Spring has finally sprung, many people will be throwing open the windows, airing out the house, and cleaning up some things that have accumulated over the long, icy winter. Ah, yes, the annual rites of spring cleaning!

One place that lots of things accumulate is our schedule. Between sports schedules, church activities, music lessons, grocery store trips, making meals, parent-teacher conferences, birthday parties, and so many other things, our schedules are packed chockfull.

In our relationships love is typically spelled “t-i-m-e.” So if you don’t have enough t-i-m-e to express your love, perhaps some spring cleaning is needed.

A few things to remember:

(1) Time is finite. You cannot call a time-out, you cannot bank up some time for another day, you cannot slow down the clock. Once you commit to something, that time is gone forever.

(2) It’s okay to say “No.” A friend of mine recently shared this thought: Whenever you say “Yes” to anything, there is less of you and your time for something else. So make sure your “Yes” is worth the “less.” If the “less” is t-i-m-e with your loved ones, please say a guilt-free “No, thank you.”

(3) Make your “Yes” mean yes. If you do decide to commit to something, then honor your commitment. Jesus said, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37). And wise King Solomon warned, “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it” (Ecclesiastes 5:5).

(4) Time is your servant, not the other way around. Make your time work for you; don’t be a slave to the clock. A good indication that you’re the slave and not the master is that feeling like you are always running late for everything. Cut out some non-essentials like TV time or countless Facebook hours so you can make t-i-m-e for what’s really important.

Happy Spring (time) Cleaning!

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Joy! Joy! Joy!


Pastor Craig T. Owens

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

www.cscalvary.org

http://craigtowens.com

 

 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare Him room,

And heaven and nature sing.

Joy is not something that melts away, it is unaffected by circumstances, remaining rock-solid. Joy is what the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem brings us. 

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ;

While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy.

On the day Jesus was born, the angels sang about peace on earth. Jesus Himself said that He didn’t come to condemn us, but to save us. Jesus came to be our Savior, which is another reason for great joy!

No more let sins and sorrows grow,

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found.

Jesus Christ’s Advent among us was the fulfillment of a promise given all the way back in the first book of the Bible. God the Father said Jesus would come to wipe out sin, and sorrow, and reverse the curse, turning it back into a blessing for all who would put their faith in Jesus. What joy to have all of the negatives turned into positives! 

I hope you will discover—or rediscover—the joy that the birth of Jesus brings. At Calvary Assembly of God, where I have the privilege of pastoring, we are talking about the joy and the light that came with Jesus Christ’s birth. If you don’t have a home church, I would love to have you join us over the next couple of Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

Joy! Joy! Joy! Let it reign!

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