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Tag Archive | "Grand Marshals"

Sand Lake Fourth of July celebration starts next week


The Britton family. Scott and Robyn Britton are serving as Grand Marshals for this year’s Fourth of July celebration in Sand Lake. Courtesy photo.

Scott and Robyn Britton chosen as Grand Marshals

The 149th Fourth of July Celebration in Sand Lake starts next week with the theme Celebrating the Decades. This long-running event celebrating our country’s independence is a fun tradition for families in the Sand Lake, Cedar Springs, and surrounding areas.

The event starts next Thursday evening, June 28, with a fireman’s parade of lights at dusk. On Friday, June 29, the carnival opens at 1 p.m., and the fun continues with a variety of activities daily through July 4. Highlights of that day include a grand parade and one of the best fireworks shows around. For a complete schedule of events, click here.

Grand Marshals for this year are Scott and Robyn Britton. They have lived in Nelson Township for the majority of their lives, and both are graduates of Cedar Springs High School, and have known each other since their freshman year. They have been married almost 29 years, and have raised three children, all whom have graduated from Tri County High School. Their oldest daughter, Hannah, just graduated from St. Mary’s Notre Dame; son Jesse just finished his third year at Ferris State University; and their youngest son, Jake, is heading to Northern Michigan University this fall. 

The Brittons have been construction workers and farmers their whole life. Hard work is what the Brittons have brought to the township for the last three decades. Britton Builders has built a number of homes in the area while employing people from within the community. They have also volunteered their services to Sand Lake Little League and other charities through the years. Just recently Scott arranged for local musician Luke Gitchel to entertain Tri County seniors at Nelson/Sand Lake Library on Friday senior day.

Scott also likes to show the art of being a “hands on” carpenter. He has employed a number of high school students from Tri County and Cedar Springs, and college students on summer breaks, teaching them hard work and skilled trades. Scott believes putting trades back into high school gives kids a career if they choose not to go to college. Scott is also a longtime member of the Tri County Eagles.

Robyn has had her hands full for a number of years as a Tri County school volunteer. With farming and working in the construction industry, she has supported her family and community, bringing in her own skills. She also serves in a governmental capacity—last year she was appointed to the position of Supervisor by the Nelson Township board. Robyn has numerous hours of involvement in the community, attending over 90 meetings and traveling over 3,000 miles in one year to bring awareness to the Sand Lake and Nelson Township communities. You will also find Robyn doing what she loves, restoring old homes and bringing value back to them and the community.

The Brittons would like to thank everyone for beng a part of the fourth of July celebration and the Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce for all the hard work they do to make this week a huge success for our community.

Scott and Robyn wish everyone a safe and happy fourth of July!

Article reprinted by permission of the Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce.

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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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