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Tag Archive | "Donna Clark"

Super fit reading program parties in the park


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Kids had a splashin’ good time on the water slide at the summer reading celebration party. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

It was a super celebration Wednesday, July 27, when the Cedar Springs Public Library celebrated the end of their summer reading program at Morley Park.

At least 500 people (and possibly more) attended the finale to this summer’s reading program. “It was an awesome turn out,” said Library Director Donna Clark.

The heat didn’t keep people away. Clark said that 400 bottles of water were gone within the first hour of the two hour program.

The theme for this year’s reading program was Super Fun and Fitness. They had 1,031 people sign up—734 kids and 297 adults—the most ever, and held 25 different programs over a six-week period.

In keeping with the fitness theme, the grand finale celebration was a field day program set up with lots of activities for kids to do. Kids had a riot playing games, jumping in the bounce houses, slippin’ and slidin’ on the water slide, getting their face painted, munching on popcorn, and cooling off with ice cream and ice water.

The Kent County Sheriff Department’s Mounted Unit was a big hit with kids of all ages at the summer reading celebration. Photo by J. Reed.

The Kent County Sheriff Department’s Mounted Unit was a big hit with kids of all ages at the summer reading celebration. Photo by J. Reed.

Also on hand was the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Mounted Unit, a Kent County Sheriff Deputy from the Cedar Springs Unit, a petting zoo, and the Cedar Springs Fire Department to hose kids down.

The kids who won prizes also picked them up at the event.

The event was staffed and sponsored by dozens of people and businesses in the community. “I love my community partners—the businesses, service organizations, and individuals—they make this all possible,” remarked Clark.

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Wolverine Skyhawks dazzle crowd


Jase “the Ace” Dussia entertained the crowd with his skillful flying of his remote-controlled aircraft. Here it’s hovering not far off the ground. Photo by J. Reed.

Jase “the Ace” Dussia entertained the crowd with his skillful flying of his remote-controlled aircraft. Here it’s hovering not far off the ground. Photo by J. Reed.

It was a beautiful evening Monday to enjoy the Wolverine Skyhawks remote-controlled airplane show, an annual event with the Cedar Springs Library’s summer reading program.

Oohs and ahhs were heard from the crowd, who gathered at the club’s field on West Street and were treated to a great show, along with hotdogs, chips and water.

All the club pilots are skilled at flying their beautiful planes, but one pilot especially dazzled the crowd—16-year-old Jase “the Ace” Dussia, from Otsego. Jase is an XFC (Extreme Flights Championships) 3D Aerobatics champion and has been flying since he was seven years old. He flew two different planes and showcased his skill with some tricky maneuvers—dancing, swooping, and much more.

Kerissa Basso, 14, was the winner of the remote controlled airplane system given away by the Skyhawks. Pictured (from L to R): Skyhawks Club Treasurer Rick Steinport, CS Library Youth Services Miss Heidi, winner - Kerissa Basso, and Skyhawks Club President Eric Pipenger. Photo from the Wolverine Skyhawks facebook page.

Kerissa Basso, 14, was the winner of the remote controlled airplane system given away by the Skyhawks. Pictured (from L to R): Skyhawks Club Treasurer Rick Steinport, CS Library Youth Services Miss Heidi, winner – Kerissa Basso, and Skyhawks Club President Eric Pipenger. Photo from the Wolverine Skyhawks facebook page.

The club also gave away a remote controlled airplane system, and the lucky winner was Kerissa Basso, 14.

About 150 people were at the event, with 53 kids ages Kindergarten through 12th grade entering the raffle for the plane.

According to Library Director Donna Clark, this year’s Summer Reading Program has been wildly successful with 1,031 people signed up. “In year’s past we always seem to exceed 700, 749 tops. This year we have 734 kids and 297 adults! I believe it’s because we have the finest summer program around and the excitement of a new library,” she said.

The Summer Reading program has had 25 programs crowded into 6 weeks.

The grand finale to the program will be next Wednesday, July 27, at Morley Park, from 2-4 p.m., when they have their Super Fit Field Day Reading Celebration. Prizes will be given away for reading, and the Mounted Police will also be there. Plan to come out for a great celebration!

Also, anyone interested in seeing more of the Wolverine Skyhawks in action, can stop out a the field at the end of West Street on Wednesday evenings, when the club is there to fly their aircraft.

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Library groundbreaking next Saturday, July 9


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Years of plans and dreams are finally coming true—Cedar Springs is really going to have a new, much needed library building! The Library Board chose the contractor at their June 27 meeting, and a groundbreaking is scheduled for Saturday, July 9 at 5:00 p.m. near the Cedar Springs Fire Station, at the corner of Main and W. Maple Street. Everyone is invited. See the ad on page 11 and watch the Library website and Facebook Page for activities being planned for this event.

You may have read in The Post or The Bugle that over 900 people of all ages have signed up for the Library’s Summer Reading Program. This growth, along with the significantly increased use of the Library in general, has taken place in spite of not having adequate room. Your Library Staff is persistent regardless of the obstacles.

The current library building has only 2,016 square feet. The new library will have 10,016 square feet, a well-deserved treat to the citizens of Cedar Springs and surrounding communities.

Library Director Donna Clark is excited about what this groundbreaking means for Cedar Springs. “I have the distinct privilege of being the Library Director of our community library at this historic moment of groundbreaking, but I do not stand alone,” she said. “I’m only one, standing on the foundation prepared from the early 1800s to this present day, by a long line of educators, professionals, town folk, volunteers, and enthusiastic people of vision and hope. I celebrate with you who have served your local library as library employees and board members, and with our great City, who is walking this journey with us. I love it that we are building a whole City block of beauty and culture for future generations.”

There are new developments every week because the Library Board and several committees are meeting regularly to accept the bids of contractors and subcontractors, to choose materials, and to keep up with all of the details that require timely attention. “One of the most significant contributions of time during the past two years has come from Duane McIntyre, who will continue to serve as the Project Construction Manager at no charge. This represents a huge savings to the donors and citizens of our communities,” said Community Building Development Team Chair Kurt Mabie. “Many others have also contributed hundreds of hours to reach this milestone so that this dream could come true. Thank you to everyone! These gifts of time are extraordinarily meaningful and are greatly appreciated.”

A finance committee, made up of a good mix of local, respected professionals, is keeping track of the donations that are being made to the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and the Cedar Springs Public Library. Donations for the new building and its contents are still very much needed and greatly appreciated.

This new library building is just one facility planned for the Heart of Cedar Springs, thanks to the CBDT and the Cedar Springs City Council and Planning Commission. They have all brought their influence to bear on raising funds and negotiating with governmental entities, as well as making sure the right people are available to support the many needs of such a large undertaking. Kent County is a wonderful place to live, thanks to a history of good leadership and smart planning. What is happening in Cedar Springs fits perfectly into the scheme of friendly, up-and-coming communities throughout Kent County. The value of these projects to the residents and businesses of Cedar Springs, and to all of northern Kent County, cannot be overestimated.

The Heart of Cedar Springs will include the following projects that are critical to the continued growth of Cedar Springs.

A library, designed and developed as a place to gather, a place where educational opportunities can be extended, a place where a community can meet, grow and learn together.

An amphitheater where outdoor plays, musicals, movies, concerts and more will fill the summer days and evenings for residents, as well as a place of respite for White Pine Trail and North Country Trail enthusiasts.

Rain Gardens and a Sculpture are a part of the continual beautification of Cedar Creek and its historic flowing spring, which will provide multiple opportunities for several school districts to collaborate with science experiments, and participate in research that can benefit Michigan water way protection and development. The new library will be a great source and meeting place for these classes.

A Boardwalk and Bridges along the Creek, initially running from Main Street to the White Pine Trail but eventually spanning through to Riggle Park and 17 Mile Road to be enjoyed by walkers, nature enthusiasts, and fishermen.

A Community Center that can be used as a FEMA crisis center, as well as provide a beautiful venue for wedding and retirement receptions, and many other community and personal celebrations and gatherings.

A Recreation and Fitness Center where the Parks and Recreation Department, various other recreational and fitness organizations, schools, and individual residents can focus on health and wellness as a community.

All of north Kent County will benefit and appreciate these facilities and open spaces. The value they bring to the Cedar Springs Community will be a legacy for years to come. Please get involved now to be part of this legacy.

Tax deductible donations can be made out to the Community Building Development Team and sent to treasurer, Sue Mabie, 15022 Ritchie Ave, Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319.

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Coming soon — a new library


This rendering shows the new Cedar Springs Library building.

This rendering shows the new Cedar Springs Library building.

The building contractor will be chosen on Monday, June 27, which means building should begin sometime in July. The project is estimated to take 6-8 months, and cost just under $2 million.

The Library Board, Community Building Development Team (CBDT), and the City of Cedar Springs collaborated to make this lifelong dream come true. The vision of the Library Board, the drive of the CBDT, the support of City Council, and thousands of hours given by many people from our community, have made this extraordinary effort a reality.

One of the final approvals needed was from the DEQ. That approval came through this month. This had been a major hurdle because the Cedar Creek and attendant wet lands run through the ten-acre project site, now being referred to as the Heart of Cedar Springs, where the library building will be constructed.

Between Maple and Pine Streets, on the northwest side of town, ten acres is being developed, which will include the new library building, an amphitheater, a boardwalk along the Creek, with rain gardens and sculptures, a community building and a recreation/fitness center. Complementary to this Town Square development, the White Pine Trail and the North Country Trail will intersect right here in Cedar Springs.

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In The Post last fall, the Library Board announced a fundraising opportunity for people local to Cedar Springs. While several folks have already participated, there are still bricks—available in two sizes—4”x8” for a donation of $50 and 8”x8” for a donation of $100. Bricks will be engraved with the name or message of your choice and will be used to pave the walkways into and around the Library.

In addition, there are a very limited number of retaining wall blocks available for a donation of $1,000 each as well as capstones for a donation of $2,000 each.  Retaining wall blocks and capstones, about 36 inches high, will have an inset engraved metal plaque to recognize donors, as individuals, organizations, or businesses. The donation may also be in honor or in memory of someone.

Over $3,000,000 has already been raised towards the whole ten-acre project—the Heart of Cedar Springs. A good portion of those funds have been designated to the new library building, and unless otherwise designated, all donations will be directed to the Cedar Springs Community Library until it is completely and totally funded. At that time donations will be directed towards other parts of the Town Square project.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank all donors and volunteers for their dedication to make this dream come true for Cedar Springs,” said Community Building Development Team chair Kurt Mabie. “It has taken years of planning by the Library Board, the City of Cedar Springs, the Community Building Development Team and various sub-committees to get to this point. We are now hoping that others in our Community will step up to the challenge and help make all of this possible.”

All gifts are tax deductible.  Both the CBDT and the Library are non-profit organizations.  The CBDT is a 501 (c) 3 and the Library is a 170 (c) 1. Checks should be made out to the Community Building Development Team and sent to the treasurer of the CBDT, Sue Mabie, at 15022 Ritchie Ave, Cedar Springs, Michigan, 49319

To obtain the forms for donating towards a brick or a block, you may call Donna Clark, Director of the Library, at 696-1910 or email her at ceddc@llcoop.org.  Checks for these fundraisers should be made out to the Cedar Springs Community Library. General contributions will be recognized inside the Library.

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CTA students clean up library


Raven Fleet with her technique of cleaning shelves and books in a way to be sure they were returned to the shelf in proper order.

Raven Fleet with her technique of cleaning shelves and books in a way to be sure they were returned to the shelf in proper order.

On Thursday, April 29, twelve CTA 6-11 grade girls descended on the Cedar Springs Public Library with their teacher/mentor, Samantha Liscombe, and worked from 3-5 p.m.

The girls pulled books off the shelves all over the library from front to back, cleaned the shelves and wiped germs off the books, DVDs and books on CD. The girls called for the section of the library they wanted. Shouts were heard, such as, “I get the young adult section,” and “I want the DVDs”, “We want the children’s section,” and so forth.

It was a massive undertaking and was accomplished with the passion and energy of youth. Director Donna Clark was on hand to enjoy the fellowship and to supervise the volunteers. Those helping out were: Sophyna Ross, Willow Sidlauskas, Kristina Wilhelm, Raven Fleet, Alyssa, Autumn and Ashley Shelagowski, Tatyanna Lawson, Olivia Martinek, Kaeala Bucholtz, Destiny Batchelder and Samantha Harris.

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Donna Clark named 2016 Red Flannel Festival Grand Marshal


Donna Clark on her first Red Flannel Day after returning from Israel.

By Judy Reed

When there is community group doing something good in Cedar Springs, there is a good chance that Donna Clark, our town’s head librarian, is a part of it. Her dedicated involvement in the betterment of our community is being recognized with her selection as the 2016 Grand Marshal for the Red Flannel Festival.

“The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of Donna’s outstanding dedication to the Cedar Springs community,” said Michele Tracy, President of the Festival. “Donna has volunteered for Red Flannel Festival for many years. She is also a great leader in the community, serving as Secretary of the Cedar Springs Rotary Club, 2nd Vice President of the Cedar Springs Women’s Club and Secretary of the Community Action Network. Donna is also very active as a volunteer for the Community Building Development Team. She has also been the Librarian at the Cedar Springs Public Library for the past 15 years.”

Donna Clark (far right) with the 2015 Red Flannel Queen and Court and Red Flannel Festival President Michele Tracy after announcing Donna would be Grand Marshal of the 2016 Festival.

Donna Clark (far right) with the 2015 Red Flannel Queen and Court and Red Flannel Festival President Michele Tracy after announcing Donna would be Grand Marshal of the 2016 Festival.

Donna has a heart for Cedar Springs, and it shows through in everything she does.

It’s very obvious Donna loves The Red Flannel Town, and especially the Red Flannel Festival!” said Tracy. “This year, with the ground breaking of a new library, is the perfect year to honor Donna for her many years of community service. Her personal volunteerism on the Red Flannel Queen Scholarship Committee and over 10 years of directing the Festival’s “Read to Ride” Program are instrumental to the success of the Festival. The Red Flannel Town is truly a better place because of her exceptional community involvement and extraordinary volunteerism!” said Tracy.

Being selected as Grand Marshal was the last thing Donna expected.

I was shocked when I heard that I had been named 2016 Red Flannel Festival Grand Marshal,” explained Donna. “My second reaction was to think of others more worthy. I then realized that 2016 is going to be an epic year for the Cedar Springs Public Library as the Community Building Development Team moves to initiate Phase I of their master plan—to build a beautiful, spacious new home for its “Red Flannel Town” Library.

Tentative plans are for the library to begin construction this summer at the corner of Main and W. Maple, near Cedar Creek.

In 2016 we are trading out 2016 sq. ft. for 9,998 sq. ft. How about that? Our Community Library will also celebrate 80 years since the 1936 millage was voted in to provide stable funding, thanks to the inspiration and hard work of the ‘Clipper Girls’ and others. I share this honor with those who have gone before me and those serving with me today. Let’s celebrate as we ‘Build the Heart of Cedar Springs!’” remarked Donna.

Donna came to Cedar Springs in 1971 from her hometown in Mustang, Oklahoma at the age of 18 to go to the tiny Bible school on Pine Street, Wesleyan Bible Institute. Her pastor, one of the founding members, encouraged four of his local youth to go and study in Cedar Springs. The following year Donna married a talented fellow from Ohio, Dan Clark. WBI was reborn as Jordan College, where Donna eventually graduated and took her credits to Grand Valley State University to graduate with a B.A., certified to teach English to grades 7-12. Donna stayed on at Jordan College and taught a few English-related courses.

Donna thrived here in Cedar Springs, got her education and in 1978, she and Dan started a family. They have four children, Daneille, Shianne, Josh, and Tamar; and two grandchildren, Clark and Oaklee. The couple went to Oklahoma for 10 years, and then lived in Israel for almost 13 years. They returned in November 2000 for Dan to take a job at Creative Technologies Academy.

Imagine my delight and surprise when 23 years after leaving Cedar Springs for Oklahoma and then almost 13 years in Israel, our family of six ended back here in Cedar Springs! After only two months, a job found me through my Cedar Springs friends from the 70s—the Cedar Springs Public Library! In all we have lived in Cedar Springs for 22 years.”

Donna will reign this year, the Festival’s 77th, over the two weekends of the 15th oldest Festival in the state of Michigan, sharing the Red Flannel warmth of our community to visitors and residents. Visit www.redflannelfestival.org to volunteer or for additional information.

Watch the Post for more announcements about the new library, and what to expect at this year’s 2016 Red Flannel Festival.

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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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Library kicks off capital campaign


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Goal is to reach $750,000 by year end

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Public Library has been in the same building—at the corner of Cherry and Second Streets—since 1951. And, according to Library Director Donna Clark, the growing demand for programs and services for patrons of all ages has surpassed the capacity of the existing building for at least 30 years.

“We cannot physically grow our collection beyond the average 22,000 items,” she explained. “We now store 5,000 items in the cloud, representing our eBook and eAudio book collection, shared with other W. MI libraries.” She said that the handicapped rarely try to get in, and families with young children and strollers struggle to get in, as do the elderly or those on crutches.

And once they do, seating consists of 8 chairs around two tables in the adult middle aisle and three over stuffed chairs. Not what you’d expect for a library that had 802 people visit in one day for the opening of the summer reading program earlier this summer.

Over the last 15 years, there have been attempts to begin a fundraising program for a new library. They have started with gusto, only to die out from lack of support. But in recent months there has been a resurgence of support for building a new Cedar Springs Public Library, and a Capital Campaign Committee has been formed to raise money through grants and other local fundraising efforts. The anticipated cost to build the library is approximately $1.75 million dollars.

Committee Chair Nick Andres commented, “To date, nearly $1 million dollars has been raised and/or pledged in one form or another to the construction of the library. With an end in sight, now is the time to raise the remaining construction funds.” He went on to explain the construction funds need to be fully secured prior to requesting bids from contractors.

The Committee has set a goal of raising $750,000 by the end of 2015. The goal is to break ground in the spring of 2016.

About $62,000 was raised at the kickoff campaign dinner last Saturday evening.

Site plans have been updated, design drawings are currently underway and access has been granted by the City for the completion of soil compaction and DEQ soil borings.

Plans are to build a new library at the corner W. Maple and Main Street, behind the current fire barn. The size of the library would increase from 2,016 sq. ft  to 9,998 sq. ft. and include a wide range of books and materials; be handicapped-accessible; have separate men’s and women’s bathrooms; additional seating; study rooms for small groups; a children’s library with expanded space for activities, crafts and story time; a young adult/teen area; a multipurpose room for library programs and community use, with a kitchen; a computer lab/classroom for workshops/training; twelve computer workstations; and more.

The capital campaign committee said they are planning several fundraising activities that will be easy and exciting for local residents, businesses and corporations to take part in. Keep watch for these to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Library Capital Campaign Committee is made up of members of the Library Board of Directors, the Friends of the Library, members of the Community Building Development Team and other local citizens and has room for others to serve. To become involved please contact Nick Andres at nicksandres@charter.net.

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The Post travels to Israel


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The Post recently took a trip to a 55-acre archaeology site in Israel, known as Biblical Tamar Park, spanning 4,000 years of Israelite occupation, from Abraham to the present.

Pictured are Cedar Springs residents Dan Clark (left), his wife Donna (center), and Dr. DeWayne Coxon. The Clarks are among the hundreds of volunteers taken by Dr. Coxon to Israel over the span of 30 years to engage in worthy projects there.

The Clarks previously worked in projects in this desert region for 13 years, and returned to Cedar Springs in 2001. “It was great to be back ‘home’ in the Arava with our good friend, DeWayne, and our hometown paper, the Cedar Springs Post!” said Donna.

Anyone interested in Dr. Coxon’s work in Israel can visit www.blossomingrose.org.

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Library hires new children’s librarian


Kelly Roach started as the new children’s librarian at the Cedar Springs Library this week.

Kelly Roach started as the new children’s librarian at the Cedar Springs Library this week.

When business owner Kelly Roach decided to close her coffee shop, Alpha Omega Coffee and Games, she wasn’t sure what she was going to do. It didn’t take her long to find something. Kelly started this week as the new children’s librarian at the Cedar Springs Public Library.

Kelly replaces Shannon Vanderhyde, who took a job at the Rockford branch of Kent District Library, as a children’s parapro. Shannon had worked for Cedar Springs Library since 2008. “We enjoyed her storytimes, and wish her well at Rockford,” said Donna Clark, Cedar Springs Library Director.

Donna is excited about Kelly joining the library and the new ideas she is bringing with her. “I think there could be lots of new programs coming. She can do all ages. She’s great with adults, and loves teens as well as the younger kids. I am really thrilled to have her,” said Clark.

 

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