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John Teusink named 2014 Grand Marshal


John Teusink

John Teusink

The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors proudly named Cedar Springs resident John Teusink as the 2014 Grand Marshal for the 75th Diamond Anniversary Annual Celebration, to be held on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

“I consider this a great honor,” remarked Teusink. “It’s the greatest honor I’ve ever had.”

“The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of John’s outstanding dedication to the Cedar Springs community,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, President of the Festival.

Teusink, 73, has lived in Cedar Springs all his life, and came by his service to the community naturally. He is the son of Dr. James (J.) Harvey Teusink and his wife Dorothy, both deceased. Dr. Teusink was a well-known doctor for many years in Cedar Springs and also served on the school board for many years. Dorothy was the first woman mayor in Cedar Springs back in the 1960s.

Teusink grew up here in town with his older brother Jack, now deceased, and his sister, Nancy Jackson, who still lives on Beech Street. He graduated in 1958 from Cedar Springs High School, which was then at Hilltop. Afterward he attended Hope College and graduated in 1962, and later earned two masters degrees in Biology—one from Central Michigan University, and one from Syracuse University. He then taught in Florida for a time, then returned home and taught at Forest Hills for six years, before moving on to Aquinas, where he taught for 32 years. In January of 1962 he retired after having a heart attack.

John was elected to the Cedar Springs City Council in November 1976, and served for 32 years, with 19 of those years as a mayor. During his time as Mayor, he married 175 couples. “I had the cheapest rate in town,” he said with a chuckle. He recalled that when he asked one couple for their marriage license, the man pulled out a fishing license. “That wouldn’t work,” he remarked. Teusink retired from the Council in 2008.

Teusink also served on the Library Board and was a member of the Cedar Springs Community Players. Mayor Linda Hunt presented him with a framed declaration proclaiming December 11, 2008 as John Teusink Day in Cedar Springs.

Teusink said his family was very good friends with Red Flannel founders Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock.

“It’s very obvious John loves The Red Flannel Town and especially the Red Flannel Festival,” said Andres. “His connection to Festival Founders, Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock is very special to us. The Red Flannel Town is a better place because of his involvement.”

Teusink will reign this year, the Festival’s 75th Diamond Anniversary over the two weekends of the 15th oldest Festival in the state of Michigan, sharing the Red Flannel warmth of our community with visitors and residents.

 

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Red Flannel Festival seeking nominations for grand marshal


The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors is seeking nominations for a Grand Marshal—or a couple to serve as Grand Marshals—for the 75th annual Red Flannel Festival. Since the 1980’s, board members have chosen Grand Marshals for Cedar Springs’ signature event in October. Citizens are encouraged to write a nomination letter suggesting a person or couple to receive this year’s honor.

If you know someone you would like to see honored this way, please submit their names, address and phone number and include a brief summary of that individual’s or couple’s contribution to the Red Flannel Festival and Cedar Springs area—and specifically volunteerism to the Red Flannel Festival.

Nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Jan. 27 to the RFF Office, P.O. Box 43, Cedar Springs, 49319 or emailed to president@redflannelfestival.org. The Festival Board will choose the 2014 Grand Marshal at its January meeting.

The RFF Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 30 at 6:30 pm at the RFF Office, 21 E. Maple Street. All interested in volunteering are welcome!

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Thank You


We buttoned down the hatches for this year of Red Flannels.

First of all I want to say thanks to the Festival Committee for choosing me this year. I was enlightened as to just how much work is done by all of you special people. The many man hours that goes into making this successful is enormous, but you did it. I think that this year’s crowds outdid themselves, wall to wall people everywhere! Wonderful! God’s blessings were upon us that warm beautiful day.

A sleek black convertible to ride in was by Ed Koehn and again thanks for the pleasure.

All the community businesses did extend to all those that came a warm welcome and they will return again. As this is the Red Flannel Town as it was when The Clipper Gals started in the 1930s and it will be forever known as that! We need all of your help to get our Red Flannels back on our street signs for all the world to see, because you people are that Red Flannel Town and we need to restore that again. I know you will put those here to support it.

I want to thank my American Legion Family also for their support of me and the Festival. May we all come together with love and prayers. Also thanks to my great family for all their help!

 

Mary Goller Kilts, Grand Marshall 2013

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Goller-Kilts named Grand Marshal for Red Flannel Festival


Mary Goller-Kilts - 2013 Grand Marshal

Mary Goller-Kilts – 2013 Grand Marshal

As a young newlywed whose husband worked for the Clipper girls, Mary Goller-Kilts could not have imagined that she would one day be Grand Marshal for the festival they made possible. She will be 81 in six weeks.

“I was initially very surprised,” she said, about finding out she had been voted in as the 2013 Grand Marshal. “I didn’t think I was deserving.”

But she couldn’t be more wrong. “The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of Mary’s outstanding dedication to the entire Cedar Springs community,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, President of the Festival. “Her outstanding community service in several organizations is very impressive and exactly what we look for in a Red Flannel Festival Grand Marshal. It’s very obvious Mary loves Cedar Springs and especially the Red Flannel Festival! Her connection to Festival Founders, Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock is very special to us. The Red Flannel Town is a better place because of her involvement.”

Mary grew up in Grand Rapids. When she was 8 years old her father passed away, and when she was 12, in 1945, her mother died. She had an older sister who was 16 and stayed with relatives, and Mary went to St. John’s Catholic orphanage and attended Catholic Central High School. She graduated from cosmetology school in 1949.

She met her future husband, Oscar Goller, a veteran, when he took some girls dancing in Grand Rapids in 1951. She was 18 years old. “It was a whirlwind romance,” she recalled. She moved here to Cedar Springs in February 1951, turned 19 in April, and was married by June. Oscar worked for the Clipper Girls—Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock—as a linotypist, and the couple rented an apartment from them for a time. Grace, who was also a real estate agent, soon found the couple a house—the one Mary still lives in—near Cedar Springs High School, for $2,800. “We were very close to Grace and Nina,” remarked Mary. “They were very affectionate people.” Mary said she would go into the office and help clean up, and would help out the festival by handing out flyers to the merchants. She also got to meet Jerry Ford, our future president, who used to attend the Festivals. “That was exciting,” she said.

Professionally, Mary worked for both Modern Cleaners here in Cedar Springs and Uptown Cleaners in Grand Rapids. When Tom Cooper, her former manager at Uptown, bought Modern Cleaners, he asked her to return here and manage it. She retired at age 73 after 52 years in the dry cleaning business.

In 1973, she also found a love for volunteering with the American Legion Auxiliary. “I joined for the vets and for the children,” she explained. Mary has served in several different roles in the Auxiliary, including state president. She is currently Unit 287 Chaplain and Membership Chairman, Girls State Chairman, Education Chairman, and Funeral Luncheon Chairman. But her heart is in the Salon of the 8/40 in northern Kent County, an auxiliary organization she founded that is committed to fundraising and scholarships for respiratory diseases in children. The money raised goes to National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

“I went and visited and saw the great work they do there,” she noted. Mary said their Salon has grown to 44 partners that also make ditty bags for the kids at DeVos Children’s Hospital. “I feel this work for children is the most important thing in my life,” she said.

Mary and Oscar adopted two children, Addie and Oscar Alan. Mary now has three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She and Oscar were married for 45 years.

Two years after Oscar died, Mary met Don Kilts, also a veteran and a widower. They married in 1998, and were married just under 10 years, when he passed away. Since then, she’s kept very busy in her volunteer work.

Throughout her life, Mary has always promoted Red Flannels, both personally and through the American Legion, and finally has the opportunity to do it in a highly visible way—as Grand Marshal of the 2013 Festival.

“It is with a humble heart I accept to serve as Grand Marshal for this coming year 2013,” she said. “Rest assured that I will continue to promote our town, flannels and its great people in memory of the founders of our Red Flannel Town, Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock.”

 

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Joe Watson named 2012 Grand Marshal


Joe Watson and his wife Florence.

The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors proudly named Cedar Springs resident Joe Watson, Sr. as the 2012 Grand Marshal for the 73rd Annual Celebration, to be held on Saturday, October 6, 2012.

Watson, 77, moved to Cedar Springs in 1963. He was raised in Virginia, and served in the military in North Carolina before moving here. He and his wife, Florence, have been married 54 years and raised five children: Jedonne, Joseph Jr., Charlie, Kelli and Merri. All graduated from Cedar Springs High School.

“The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of Mr. Watson’s outstanding dedication to the entire Cedar Springs community,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, President of the Festival. “His outstanding community service in several organizations is very impressive and exactly what we look for in a Red Flannel Festival Grand Marshal. It’s very obvious Joe loves Cedar Springs and especially the Red Flannel Festival! The Red Flannel Town is a better place because of Joe’s involvement.”

Watson has been a leader in the community, volunteering his time to several organizations coaching youth sports and was one of the founding members of the Cedar Springs Athletic Association (created for youth athletics) prior to the formation of the Athletic Boosters. He supported the Festival for several years with his dedicated service as a Keystone Kop and Grand Parade Organizer.

Watson said he is excited to serve and honored to be chosen. “I think it’s a nice gesture,” he remarked. “I was very surprised.”

Mr. Watson and his wife Florence will reign 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.

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Gusts enjoyed stint as Grand Marshal


Dear Editor,
Lolly and I have been vacationing in Zimbabwe the past two weeks. We have been reflecting on what a fantastic time we had representing the Red Flannel Festival as Grand Marshal. We would like to thank the Red Flannel board for such a wonderful experience.
We started with the Prince and Princess pageant. The pageant committee did a great job organizing everything, plus controlling 55 kindergarteners. The Saturday before Red Flannel Day, we spent a lot of time attending functions with Tinsley, Kayla and Samantha. They did an outstanding job of handling themselves under all situations. Their time with the kids in the Prince and Princess pageant and children’s parade was especially rewarding. The 5K run had perfect weather, cool and little wind. In the afternoon it warmed up for the bed races and children’s parade. Way to go Choice One! We stopped by Cedar Pub to smell the chili and watch the horseshoe contest.
We had a wonderful meal at the Lion’s Club lumberjack supper and visited with many friends. At the queen pageant we sat directly behind Tranaya’s family. What a wonderful moment for her and her family. Good luck to Tranaya, Kaitlyn, and Esther in the upcoming year.
Red Flannel Day started early with flag raising. We had a nice flapjack breakfast, followed by arts and crafts fair, car show Celtic highlander games, marketplace, and marching band competition. We never would have completed everything without the golf cart. Finally the parade itself. The weather was perfect. What an amazing experience seeing so many familiar faces. As we turned the corner under the traffic light, all we could see was red! We want to give a special thanks to Jim and Linda Babylon for providing us a ride in their yellow 1969 Camaro convertible.
Thank you, people of Cedar Springs, for providing two weekends we will never forget.

Gary and Lolly Gust, Nelson Township

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ChoiceOne director honored as grand marshal


ChoiceOne Bank Director Gary Gust, of Gust Construction, was honored when he was selected as the Grand Marshal of the Cedar Springs Red Flannel Festival which took place Saturday, October 1.
Each year, the Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors solicits nominations from the entire community for the prestigious title of “Grand Marshal” of the Red Flannel Festival. The Grand Marshal presides over the entire Festival, attending several key events and presiding over the Grand Parade.
“I was honored to be selected as the Grand Marshal this year,” stated Mr. Gust. Lolly and I are very active in our community and have enjoyed participating in this event for many years. This brought great pride to both of us.”
Gust has been a director of ChoiceOne Financial Services, Inc. and ChoiceOne Bank since the merger with Valley Ridge Financial Corp. and, prior to that, was a director of Valley Ridge Financial Corp. and Valley Ridge Bank/Kent City State Bank, which was consolidated with The Grant State Bank on December 6, 1996, to form Valley Ridge Bank, since 1991.
“Gary has been a long-standing board member of ChoiceOne Bank,” said President and CEO James Bosserd. “As a local business owner that believes in supporting his community, he has provided valuable advice and character to our local community bank franchise.”
Gust attended Cedar Springs High School, and went on to Ferris State University, where he played tennis and met his wife, Lolly. Gary owned Gust Construction Company from 1979 until 2009.
ChoiceOne Bank is a full service financial institution with offices in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Newaygo Counties. ChoiceOne Bank offers insurance and investment products through its subsidiary, ChoiceOne Insurance Agencies, Inc. ChoiceOne Financial Services, Inc. is the holding company headquartered in Sparta, Mich., and the parent corporation of ChoiceOne Bank. For more information, please visit ChoiceOne’s website at www.choiceone.com.

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Gary Gust chosen 2011 grand marshal


Lolly and Gary Gust

The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors announced last week that they have chosen Cedar Springs resident Gary Gust as the 2011 Grand Marshal for the 72nd Annual Celebration, to be held on Saturday, October 1, 2011.

“The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of Gary’s outstanding dedication to the entire Cedar Springs community,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, President of the Festival. “His fabulous community service in several organizations, and strong support of the Festival are very impressive and just what we look for in a Red Flannel Grand Marshal. It’s very obvious Gary loves Cedar Springs and the Red Flannel Festival!”

Gust has been a prominent leader in the community, volunteering his time to several organizations in youth sports and helped found the Athletic Boosters in 1981, as well as being the first President of the Boosters. He has supported the Festival for many years, including participating in numerous 5K Run events.

“We have always enjoyed Red Flannel Day, but this year will be extra special,” said Gust. “We always look forward to all the festivities. We’ve done it for years, but will do it up close this year.”

Gust remarked that he felt quite honored to have been chosen. “I hope I can live up to the expectations,” he said.

Gust attended Cedar Springs High School, and went on to Ferris State University, where he played tennis and met his wife, Lolly. Gary owned Gust Construction Company from 1979 until 2009. Today, he and Lolly enjoy their four grandchildren, harness horse racing and traveling around the world hunting.

To donate to the Red Flannel Festival, an independent, non-profit 501(c)3 organization, view the Festival’s website at www.redflannelfestival.org or mail to RFF, PO Box 43, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Gary Gust chosen 2011 grand marshal


Gary Gust and his wife, Lolly. Gary will be the 2011 grand marshal at the Red Flannel Festival.

The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors announced last week that they have chosen Cedar Springs resident Gary Gust as the 2011 Grand Marshal for the 72nd Annual Celebration, to be held on Saturday, October 1, 2011.
“The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of Gary’s outstanding dedication to the entire Cedar Springs community,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, President of the Festival. “His fabulous community service in several organizations, and strong support of the Festival are very impressive and just what we look for in a Red Flannel Grand Marshal. It’s very obvious Gary loves Cedar Springs and the Red Flannel Festival!”
Gust has been a prominent leader in the community, volunteering his time to several organizations in youth sports and helped found the Athletic Boosters in 1981, as well as being the first President of the Boosters. He has supported the Festival for many years, including participating in numerous 5K Run events.
“We have always enjoyed Red Flannel Day, but this year will be extra special,” said Gust. “We always look forward to all the festivities. We’ve done it for years, but will do it up close this year.”
Gust remarked that he felt quite honored to have been chosen. “I hope I can live up to the expectations,” he said.
Gust attended Cedar Springs High School, and went on to Ferris State University, where he played tennis and met his wife, Lolly. Gary owned Gust Construction Company from 1979 until 2009. Today, he and Lolly enjoy their four grandchildren, harness horse racing and traveling around the world hunting.
To donate to the Red Flannel Festival, an independent, non-profit 501(c)3 organization, view the Festival’s website at www.redflannelfestival.org or mail to RFF, PO Box 43, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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