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Tag Archive | "Kent Theatre"

It’s A Wonderful Life is an American classic with a fascinating history


By Liz Clifford


The Cedar Springs Community Players is presenting “It’s A Wonderful Life—A Live Radio Play” on December 8, 9, and 10 at the Kent Theatre. The play is inspired by the 1946 Frank Capra movie. From humble beginnings, this movie has become an enduring American holiday favorite.

But the story actually started out life in 1939 as a short story called “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern.  Stern was unable to get the story published and decided to use it as an elaborate Christmas card for his family and friends in 1943. The Christmas story caught the eye of a movie producer who bought the rights in the hopes of making a movie of it with Cary Grant. But the timing and script weren’t right and the rights were resold to Frank Capra’s movie company in 1945.

Capra had a vision for the film and created an enormous set for the town of Bedford Falls. The movie lot was on four acres and had several city blocks with over 75 buildings, a working bank building, and specially planted full size trees to make it look like a real, established small town. Local wild animals were even encouraged to make themselves at home on the set.

Everything in Capra’s movie town had to be perfect, including the snow.  Traditionally, movie snow was made of corn flakes. But Capra didn’t like the crunching noise it made as the actors walked on it. So a special “chemical” snow was created for the film.

But the extensive set, special inventions, and multiple script revisions all cost money and the movie was not a box office success. “It’s A Wonderful Life” won one Academy Award for technical achievement—the very exciting new snow. And, to add insult to injury, the FBI took an interest in the film. In 1947, the FBI stated that the film depicted the banker as the bad guy and showed that people who had money were despicable—a common technique used by Communists. In the anti-communist McCarthy era, this wasn’t the kind of attention you wanted your movie to receive.

So how did this movie become so beloved by Americans? Because of a clerical error over it’s copyright. The copyright problem meant the movie became available to show inexpensively on television and every station across the country showed it multiple times during the holiday season. Over the years, this movie was seen by so many people during the holidays that it became a part of the holiday traditions in millions of homes across America. Which is a pretty amazing turnaround for an unsellable short story that was made into a “pro-Communist” box office failure in 1946!

Come see the show and be part of the story that has been evolving for almost 80 years. “It’s a Wonderful Life—A Live Radio Play” will be at the Kent Theater on December 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 at the Cedar Springs Library or $12 at the door and $8 for kids.

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Holiday happenings


Check out some of the fun, family activities going on in the area for the holiday season.


2016 Cedar Springs Christmas Mingle with Kris Kringle 

Dec. 3: Celebrate the kick off to the Christmas season with “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle,” presented by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Come make Christmas ornaments at the Cedar Springs Library from 10 a.m. 1 p.m. Sign up at the library, 43 W. Cherry St., Cedar Springs, MI. Free.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Kids crafts at the CS Historical Museum (Cedar Street by Morley Park)

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Story time with Mrs. Claus at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more (90 N. Main, corner of Maple and Main Street)

4 p.m. Parade Line Up corner of Second and Maple Street

4:30 p.m. Christmas Parade starts at Maple and Main Street

4:45 p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting at the corner of Main and Ash Street

5 p.m. Live Nativity Scene (reenacted by Calvary Assembly of God at the corner of Main and Ash Street)

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Bake Sale and Hot Chocolate at the American Legion

5:15 p.m. Mingling with Kris Kringle at the American Legion Hall (Photographs with Santa by Kristen Smith)

Main Street will be closing down (from Oak Street to Beech) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the mini Christmas Parade, Tree lighting, and Mingle with Kris Kringle portion of the event.

Make gingerbread houses at the library

Dec. 10: Come make gingerbread houses at the Cedar Springs Library on Saturday, December 10, from 10 a.m to 12:30 p.m. Sign up at the library, 43 W. Cherry St., Cedar Springs, MI. Free.

2016 Kent Theatre Christmas Concert

Dec. 10: The 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) is scheduled for December 13th from 3pm to 5pm. Come out an have some holiday family fun! 

The Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza

Dec. 11: Come out to see dance performances from Cedar Springs dance Company and Seira Kovach & Cameron Wilson with poi dancing, at the Christmas Dance Extravaganza, hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, on Sunday, December 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the historic Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. in beautiful downtown Cedar Springs. Come out and have some holiday family fun. Admission tickets are $3 per person. By special request from the Cedar Springs Public Library, we are including a reader’s theater performance by Actors del Arte Ensemble of A Christmas Carol for the second half of our show this year.


Celebrate Christmas on the green in Greenville

Hometown Christmas parade and Santa party

Dec. 2: Come join the fun in downtown Greenville on Friday, December 2. The Santa park party will take place from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at Lafayette park. Get your picture taken with Santa, enjoy games and live music, then watch while Santa magically lights the Christmas Tree at 5:45 p.m. The parade will start at 6:00 p.m. on Lafayette Street. You won’t want to miss out on all the fun!

Enjoy local events and shop local businesses 

Dec. 3: Shop local businesses and enjoy local events throughout the day on Saturday, December 3.

Picture of You & Your Pet with Santa– 12-1:30 p.m. Town & Country Animal Clinic-FREE

Holiday Craft Fair. 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Greenville Area Community Center

John Berry Christmas Concert

Dec. 3: Ring in the Christmas season with country legend John Berry at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Hillcrest, Greenville, on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. This year marks Berry’s 20th holiday concert tour. He has big plans to celebrate and involve fans like never before! The John Berry concert benefits “Have Mercy,” helping our homeless get safe and warm, while working with them to rebuild their lives. Tickets are $25 at JohnBerry.com/tour OR pick up at the UPS store in Greenville.

Dec 4: Gingerbread House Decorating 1-3pm at Greenville Area Community Center $10(registration) 900 E. Kent Rd., Greenville. (616) 754-9163.

Dec. 4: MCC’s Holiday Celebration 1-4pm at Sidney Campus-Free

Dec 5: High School Band/Orchestra Concert 7:30 pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 6: Middle School Holiday Orchestra Concert 7pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 7: Grand Rapids Symphony Holiday Pops 7:30 pm at GHS. 

Dec 10: High School Holiday Choir Concert 7:30 pm at GHS; FREE tickets are required

Dec. 10: Holiday Flea Market at the Greenville Area Community Center – 754-9163.

Dec 11: MCC’s Alumni & Friends Holiday Choir Concert 3-4:30 p.m. at Sidney Campus. Admission is free.

Dec 12: Middle School Holiday Choir Concert 6:30 pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 13: Lincoln Heights Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS FREE!

Dec 14: Cedar Crest Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS FREE!

Dec 15: Walnut Hills Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS – FREE!

Business After Hours @ The Daily News Stafford Room 5 p.m. Food & refreshments $3. 754-5697

Dec 19: Baldwin Heights Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS-Free.


December 11:  Newaygo Community Christmas Concert Sunday, December 11 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Grant High School Fine Arts Center 331 E. State Rd, Grant. Come and enjoy the sounds of the Christmas Season. Admission is free.


Discover a Rockford Christmas

Take a step back in time and capture the magic of the holidays with these special events!

Holiday lighting ceremony

Dec. 2: Holiday lighting ceremony from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Rockford Dam overlook. Help us ring in the holiday season with the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy the sounds of the Rockford High School Jazz ensemble prior to the Rockford Choirs singing Christmas Carols. The Rockford Mayor will present a message of peace prior to thousands to lights coming to life in downtown Rockford and at the dam. This is a wonderful way for your family and you to start the holiday! Music starts at 5:30 p.m. and the Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Also Holiday Carriage Rides at the Rockford Pavilion from 6-8 p.m.

Santa Parade

Dec. 3: Join us for Rockford’s 73rd Annual Santa Parade on December 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Rockford. The jolly man in the red suit makes Rockford one of his first stops on his world tour. More than 60 floats line the downtown streets to welcome Santa Claus. He always arrives in style in a gorgeous white carriage. After the parade, he visits all good boys and girls in the Rockford Rotary Pavilion to hear their wish lists. The event features free photos, free milk and cookies, children’s activities, Christmas carols and each child receives a goodie bag after visiting with Santa.

Rockford community holiday concert

Dec. 4: Enjoy the delightful sounds of the season as the Rockford Community Band and Rockford Community Orchestra present their annual holiday concert at Rockford High School Fine arts auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. They will be playing all of your seasonal favorites and snacks will be served after the concert. Come and be a part of a Rockford tradition! Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Santa at the Pavilion

Dec. 7: 6-8 p.m. Tired of battling the mall crowds? Why not bring your child to Rockford to visit Santa at the Rotary Pavilion, all in the idyllic setting of downtown. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Rockford Rotary Pavilion, 50 Squires St. Square.

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 8-9: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones. Rockford Rotary Pavilion, 50 Squires St. Squar.

Santa at the Pavilion with Live reindeer

Dec. 14: From 6-8 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Santa will be bringing his LIVE reindeer for the kids to get a closer look at these amazing animals.

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 15-16: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones.


Sand Lake Tree Lighting & Carols

Nov. 27: There will be a Tree Lighting and carols in Sand Lake at Salisbury Park on Sunday, November 27 at 5:30 p.m. Meet at the tree on the southeast corner of the park. Special music from Resurrection Lutheran Church Preschoolers.

Indoor Live Nativity

Dec. 2-3: Sand Lake United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall is transformed into the city of Bethlehem for an indoor live Nativity on Friday, December 2nd from 6 to 8 pm and Saturday, December 3rd from 1 to 3 pm. See the baby in the manger and listen to the angels sing. Our free gift to you this Christmas.


‘Tis the season! Check out these fun Sparta holiday events.

Nov. 24: Turkey Trot in Sparta, Thursday, Nov. 24, at 9:00 a.m. Race begins at Sparta Civic Center, 75 N. Union. Registration forms at spartachamber.com. Proceeds to Sparta Rugby club.

Nov. 26: 4th annual Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K Run, registration at 8:30 a.m., race at 9:30 a.m. Starts/finishes: Mamrelund Lutheran Church, 4085 Lutheran Church Rd., Kent City. Proceeds to Adopt a family and food pantry at Mamrelund. Register at michianatiming.com. Contact Cindy 616-799-0500 with questions.

Dec. 3: Horse-drawn trolley rides with Santa 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 112 E. Division.

Dec. 6: Santa Workshop 6-8 pm at Maddie LaRoues, 126 E. Division. Free photos with Santa, activities, & more!

Dec. 8: Pet night with Santa at the Santa House 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 80 N. Union.

Dec. 10: Visit Santa in the Santa house 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. 80 N. Union.

Dec. 11: Children’s Christmas program 10:10 a.m. at Sparta United Methodist Church.

Dec. 12: Holiday fun at the Sparta Library, 80 N. Union at 6:30 p.m. Mrs. Claus has been invited to come and read a story at our library. We will have cookie decorating and a fun craft for the kids to make. Bring your cameras for a fun holiday photo!

Dec. 13: Sparta Middle School band holiday concert 7 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 15: Sparta High School holiday concert with concert band, jazz band, and choir. 7 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 15: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 11-2 p.m. Horse drawn wagon rides.

Dec. 20: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 6-8 p.m.

Dec. 21-24: Ballard Church of Christ, 1633 10 Mile Road, presents “The Living Nativity,” from 7-8 p.m.

Dec. 22: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

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It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at the Kent Theatre


Honor your special angel

By Terri Riggle

On Thursday, Dec. 8, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play will open on the Kent Theatre stage. The play was adapted by Joe Landry and is essentially the same as the 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed and directed by Frank Capra. The play is staged as a radio production that takes place in the late 1940’s on a snowy Christmas Eve.

According to Wikipedia, the movie is “one of the most acclaimed films ever made, praised particularly for its writing. It was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made,  placing number 11 on its initial 1998 greatest movie list, and number one on AFI’s list of the most inspirational American films of all time.”

The play highlights the story of George Bailey, a small-town businessman, who in a panic one Christmas Eve, decides that he would be worth more dead than alive. But thanks to the interference of his guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody AS2, he is saved and shown how much of a difference he truly made in the world of Bedford Falls. At one point in the play, Clarence points out that “every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings,” which was what Clarence was eagerly hoping to earn by helping George.

The Players would like to offer our theater-going audience the opportunity to honor the people who have been an angel in their lives. Got someone in your life who has made a difference? Was it a teacher, a parent, a friend?  For $5, the Players will make a bell listing the name of your “angel.” It will then be added to a Christmas tree, which will be on display at the Kent Theatre. At the end of each performance, our actors will ring bells, honoring all of the special angels whose names adorn the tree.

The bells are available by sending $5 to The Cedar Springs Community Players, ATTN: Bell; PO Box 207; Cedar Springs, MI 49319. You can also purchase one before each performance in the Kent Theatre lobby. Please clearly print your name and the name of your angel and mail it, along with $5, to the Players.

Performances of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, written by Joe Landry, will be Dec. 8, 9, and 10 starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Kent Theatre. Tickets are available at the CS Public Library for $10 for adults 18 and older and $8 for students 17 and under. Tickets may also be purchased before each performance at the box office for $12 for adults 18 and over and $8 for students, 17 and under.

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Comedy to open at the Kent Theatre

Cast names (in photo) are:  seated: RJ Moore, Anna Ambrose, Tom Johnson. Standing l-r: Rod Zamarron, Mark Stoll, Deb Irwin, Doug Christensen, Laura Johnson.

Cast names (in photo) are:  seated: RJ Moore, Anna Ambrose, Tom Johnson. Standing l-r: Rod Zamarron, Mark Stoll, Deb Irwin, Doug Christensen, Laura Johnson.

The comedy “The Foreigner,” by Larry Shue, will be presented by the Cedar Springs Community Players at the Kent Theatre on Oct 13, Oct 14, Oct. 15, 2016.  The show, directed by Sue Harrison, will start at 7:30 p.m. each night. The show was one of Jack Clark’s favorite shows and is being dedicated to him. Pre-sale tickets are available at the Cedar Springs Library or from any cast member for $10. Tickets at the door are $12 for adults and $8 for students under 18.

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

Family Fun Day at Metron

Aug. 5: Metron of Cedar Springs located at 400 Jeffrey, Cedar Springs, would like to invite the community to our Annual Family Fun Day on Friday, August 5th from 4 to 6 pm. Activities for the day include: Bounce House, Games for the children, Live Musical Entertainment, food/drinks and fun for all. Hope to see you August 5th! #31

Free Lake Effect Concert

Aug. 7: Free Lake Effect Concert featuring the band “Round Brown Suitcase” will be held on Sunday, August 7th from 12 to 3:30 pm (band starts at 12:30 pm). The concert will be held at Bostwick Lake UCC Church, 7979 Belding Rd. NE, Rockford. Donations and food sales will benefit Pause with a Cause. Contact Lisa Atchison, 616-634-6459 with any questions. #30,31p

Take off pounds sensibly

Aug. 9: Take off pounds sensibly (TOPS), a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women, meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free so come check out what TOPS can do to help you reach your weigh loss goals! Weigh-ins 8:15-9am, meeting starts at 9:15am. Call Barb at 696-8049 for more information. #31

Rummage Sale at CS UMC

Aug. 10,11: The Cedar Springs United Methodist Women will hold a rummage sale in the fellowship hall on the corner of Main and Church Streets. August 10, Wednesday, from 9 am to 7 pm and August 11, Thursday, from 9 am to 2 pm. There will be a bag sale on Thursday. Proceeds go toward their mission projects. #30,31p

My Choice..My Health Diabetes Prevention Program

Aug. 15: This program will help you take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes. You’ll learn about healthier eating habits, ways to be more physically active and other behavior changes over the course of 16 weekly one-hour sessions. The group will continue meeting monthly, completing a full year. My Choice..My Health Program will be held at Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs starting Monday, August 15th from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. To register, visit www.nkfm.org/dpp or call the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan at 616-458-9520. #31,32p

Creating Local Herbal Remedies

Aug. 15: Join local plant enthusiast Rachel Potter for a discussion and demonstration of how to gather and use medicinal plants to make salves, teas, tinctures and other natural remedies that nourish and heal the body and keep it healthy year round. This workshop will teach you to nurture yourself with what is growing all around us. For adults. Monday, August 15th at 6:30 pm at the Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #31

DIY Tie Dye for Teens

Aug. 16: Bring a white or light colored t-shirt to this program and try a new way of tie dye – with permanent markers! All other materials will be provided to help you create a one-of-a-kind shirt to wear. Tuesday, August 16th at 4 pm at the Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #31

Auditions for CSCP Production of “The Foreigner”

Aug 22,23: The Cedar Springs Community Players are pleased to announce auditions for its upcoming production of “The Foreigner” by Larry Shue. This comedy has won two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production. Auditions will be held at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church on Monday and Tuesday Aug. 22 and 23 between 6:30 -8 p.m. Needed are: 4 adult males, 1 teen male; 2 adult women, and 4 non-speaking extras, can be either male or female. Production dates are October 13, 14 and 15 at the Kent Theatre. Please like our FB page and to see details! #31,32p

Tri-County High School Annual Gathering

Sept. 10: The Tri-County HS annual gathering for 1963 – 1975 will be held on September 10th at the Sand Lake VFW. Appetizers and dinner from 5 to 7 pm with RSVP and $20 due by August 27th. Lou Fisk, 616-263-9054 or gfisk01@charter.net.  Social hour is from 7 to 10 pm.  Social hour only is $5 at the door. #31,32p

MCC Offers Trip to Art Prize

Sept. 30: Experience ArtPrize September 30th in Grand Rapids with Montcalm Community College. Buses depart from the Stanley and Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center on MCC’s Greenville campus at 8:30 am and from MCC’s Sidney campus at 9 am. Buses will arrive at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) at 10 am and depart at 5 pm. The trip is free to all who register. Admission to the GRAM is $4 per person. Anyone planning to participate in this trip must be age 12 or older; participants between 12 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult. To register, email the registration form located at www.montcalm.edu/events/artprize-trip/ to karen.maxfield@montcalm.edu or call 989-328-2111, Ext. 334, by September 15th. #31

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Scout project helps Bellowood dog rescue

Austin Anderson (center) and friends Jacob Swinehart (left) and Andrew Watts (right) recently completed projects at Bellowood Dog Rescue to help Austin earn his Eagle Scout rank. The fence behind them and Welcome sign were two of the projects. Photo by J. Reed.

Austin Anderson (center) and friends Jacob Swinehart (left) and Andrew Watts (right) recently completed projects at Bellowood Dog Rescue to help Austin earn his Eagle Scout rank. The fence behind them and Welcome sign were two of the projects. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Austin Anderson loves his rescue dog. So when it came time to pick out a project to help him earn his Eagle Scout rank—the highest rank in Boy Scouts—he was inspired to give back and do something to help a local dog rescue. With some help from his mom, he chose Bellowood Dog Rescue in Cedar Springs.

Because of his generosity and help from his friends, family and local businesses, the Bellowood welcome center has a freshly painted fence, new welcome sign, and 20 specially crafted dog bowls.

“I am so thankful,” said Kim Schreuder, the founder of Bellowood. “The boys did a great job.” She explained that the Welcome Center is a place where people come to meet the dogs they want to adopt, so it’s important that it look nice.

Austin, the son of Dean and Kristine Anderson, will be a senior next year at Cedar Springs High School. He and his friends, sophomore Jacob Swinehart and junior Andrew Watts, paid a visit to Bellowood, and Schreuder showed them around and explained what projects needed to be done. They then chose what they wanted to do.

The boys also designed and made dog bowls to help dogs with megaesophagus.

The boys also designed and made dog bowls to help dogs with megaesophagus.

The dog bowls were made to especially help dogs with megaesophagus—a condition that is an enlargement of the esophagus, a muscular tube connecting the throat to the stomach. Dogs with that condition have a harder time moving food and liquid down to the stomach. According to Pet MD, some breeds, such as wire-haired terriers and miniature schnauzers can be born with it. Other breeds prone to the condition include German shepherds, dachshunds, great Danes, Irish setter, Labrador retriever, pug, and Chinese shar-pei. With the new bowls, they are up high enough that the dogs will be able to swallow their water and food much easier.

The boys created their own dog bone design from scratch, and made 10 large bowls and 10 small ones. “They are much better quality than the plastic ones you can buy in the store,” remarked Schreuder.

The scouts, with some help from parents, also cleaned, scraped, sanded, and painted the front fence, and created a new welcome sign. The materials were either bought at cost, donated, or paid for with gift cards from local businesses.

“I am so very very thankful for all their hard work and what they gave to us,” said Schreuder. “It’s such a blessing! They are great kids.”

Austin said he now needs to turn in his paperwork as the next step toward getting his Eagle Scout rank. His friend Jacob Swinehart previously achieved his Eagle Scout rank with work on the Kent Theatre.

“I’m so happy to be a part of this, and thankful,” said Schreuder. “It’s fantastic. I think it’s special that the boys do things like this—not just for me, but for others in need, too.”

On their last day there, the boys got to play with some of the rescue dogs up for adoption. (See photo). For anyone interested in adopting one of these or another rescue dog, contact Kim Schreuder at xbellowoodx@yahoo.com, or visit their page on www.petfinder.com.

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Senior neighbors take a trip to the Kent

N-Senior-NeighborsThe historic Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs was the entertainment for the Sparta Senior Neighbors on Wednesday June 1.

The Sparta center was provided transportation to and from this nostalgic theatre by Senior Neighbors and Ride Link. This energetic group of seniors, ranging from age 60 and older, received a walk down memory lane as they entered this wonderfully restored theatre from days gone by. The seniors were treated to the movie Jungle Book, as well as popcorn and a drink served to them from the Theatre’s antique equipment. The smiles couldn’t have been brighter as these seniors enjoyed yet another day out together exploring what our community has to offer.

Senior Neighbors offers any Kent County resident 60 years and older a program that includes several valuable services.  The program may include wellness speakers, exercise classes, healthy lunches, parties, raffles with prizes, educational classes geared for senior citizens, games, fun outings, various crafting interest groups, worship services, bus transportation,  health related checks from blood pressure to hearing aid and foot care,  and more. The centers are located throughout Kent County, making it convenient for anyone to attend the functions and events offered Monday through Friday of every week.

The consensus from the large number of senior citizens who take advantage of the Senior Neighbor services is that they feel a part of an extended family and are given a sense of belonging. They also feel empowered with the educational and informative items discussed from day to day. The daily entertainment brings laughter and enrichment to these seniors’ lives.

The Senior Neighbors’ mission is to promote independent living for people age 60 years and older in our community. These essential services are offered to help senior citizens remain independent into their later years. Senior Neighbors is supported in part by the Kent County Millage, the Area Agency on Aging of West Michigan, Kent County businesses and an advisory council of volunteers.

Lois Hall, a member of the Sparta Senior Neighbors center for the last seven years, said that she enjoys coming to the center to meet her friends and have company during her days. Lois said, “It’s a great place to meet people and to spend my day.” Lois commented that she never feels alone anymore.

Any senior citizen age 60 years and older is welcome at any center.  Please stop by a center near you to see what is happening and pick up a newsletter with a schedule of events and activities. You will receive a warm welcome by not only the center coordinator, but the other members of that particular center. Kent County centers are located in Sparta (ph: 887-1273), Walker (ph: 735-3240), Lowell (ph: 897-5949), Grand Rapids (ph: 459-3040) and Grandville (ph: 531-5250). Transportation is provided to the centers if needed.

“Together we can age with grace, dignity and a whole lot of fun,” added Sparta Center Coordinator Jane Ringler, who resides in Cedar Springs. Jane says that she loves going to her job at the center and it is because of the senior citizens she works for that make it such a pleasant and happy place to be.

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A House Divided

Audrey (played by Danielle Phillips) with onstage daughter Lily (Annie Bagin) in the Scott Phillips play A House Divided. It’s still playing this weekend at The Kent Theatre. Photo by T. Noreen.

Audrey (played by Danielle Phillips) with onstage daughter Lily (Annie Bagin) in the Scott Phillips play A House Divided. It’s still playing this weekend at The Kent Theatre. Photo by T. Noreen.

Reviewed by Tom Noreen

It’s May and time for another Scott Phillips production! I like Scott’s plays because they make me laugh and we all need to laugh. That’s not to say they don’t have a message, because they do. When I go to a play or a movie, I want to have a good time and that I did at A House Divided.

Not wanting to divulge the storyline, since I want you to see it yourself, it was a hoot. Suffice it to say, we all have a bit of friction in our families that we would like to replace with harmony and understanding. Scott’s stage family is no different. We can all identify with one character or another. There are plenty of funny lines in the script, but it is the cast’s delivery, facial features, gestures, and ability to play off one another that makes it such a great comedy. Phillips did a great job casting the roles.

The matriarch is Patsy (Julie Bratton) and her squabbling family Charlotte (Roshanah Dayton), her husband Jordan (Dave Schmuker) and daughter Sawyer (Madeline Wilcox); Isaac (John Bagin) and his son Albert (Jack Bagin); and Audrey (Danielle Phillips), her boyfriend Stone (Steve Hutchins), and daughter Lily (Annie Bagin). Then there is the nosey, well-meaning neighbor Sandra (Terri Riggle), her husband Roy (Doug Christensen), and son Jordan; and Roy’s friend Nelson (Russ Cole) who becomes Patsy’s “significant friend.” Finally, last but actually first on stage, is Maddie Ruth who goes toe-to-toe with Scott as they remind the audience of proper theater protocol.

What better way to start your Memorial Day weekend then a trip to the theater? Show dates are May 27 and 28 at 7:30 PM. All performances will be at the Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main, Cedar Springs.

Tickets for adults are $12 in advance/$15 at the door; under 18 years of age only $6.  Tickets are available at the Cedar Springs Public Library. You can also reserve tickets at the advanced price by emailing Scott Phillips at phillips4ba@yahoo.com.


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“King Klong” at the Kent Theatre

Big King Klong.

Big King Klong.

Actors del Arte Ensemble of West Michigan of Rockford Mi. is presenting a 10-ft ape on stage this weekend at The Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs.

The oversized primate with an attitude is hard to dismiss—he is the star attraction of the upcoming 2-act play.

The great ape and ensemble of 28 actors recreates the classic 1933 black and white film King Kong with a few modifications.

Great costumes, stage sets, and giant ape all add up to one legendary show,” said Play Director Patricia Rose, “one the whole family can enjoy.”

Rather than New York, the giant ape’s debut takes place in Chicago—so no Empire State Building take down. He ends up on Carnagie Towers instead, battling the bi-planes of the era.

It’s a love story between Klong and May Raye, and the efforts of a rich showman to exploit him. “He’s a money-maker and I’m doing all I can to capitalize on that, whether the ape likes it or not,” said Randy Galaszewski, who plays John King of Gold Star Productions. Galaszewski, who has appeared in scores of plays, locally produced movies, and television commercials, has the lead role, which he calls one of his favorites in his 30-year career. “How often do you get to fall in love with a starlet, only to have a knuckle-dragging primate get in the way?” he chuckled.

The audience will marvel at the ingenuity it took Brian Thomas to create this creature we call Klong. Hours of work—a labor of love actually on Brian’s part. There are a wide range of costumes created by Jenny Chertos and a beautiful back drop she has created for the story. So much talent we have invested in this production .

King Klong is really a laugh filled romp through the jungles of South America,

a true parody of the original,” said Patricia Rose director with over 50 years of theatre experience.

It takes you back to the Chicago of the Great Depression era, where the common man could sit in a darkened theater and for 20 cents escape the cold reality of the times and be transported to another world,” she said.

Ticket prices are Adults $10, Students $5 and Seniors $8. Tickets at the door.

Showtimes are Friday April 29 at 8 p.m., and Saturday at April 30 at 2 and 8 p.m. at the historic Kent Theatre 8 N. Main St, Cedar Springs. For more info call 616-874-5264.

To see a video about the show go to : https://vimeo.com/162131441

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Kids celebrate reading month

Mike Metzger, who started the first library card roundup in 1997, was on hand to help celebrate this year’s event at the Kent Theatre. Here he poses with two Cedar Trails students. Movie-goers wait in line for popcorn at the library card  celebration at the Kent Theatre.

Movie-goers wait in line for popcorn at the library card celebration at the Kent Theatre.

Mike Metzger, who started the first library card roundup in 1997, was on hand to help celebrate this year’s event at the Kent Theatre. Here he poses with two Cedar Trails students.

Mike Metzger, who started the first library card roundup in 1997, was on hand to help celebrate this year’s event at the Kent Theatre. Here he poses with two Cedar Trails students.

It was  19 years ago—in 1997—that Mike Metzger had the idea to get first graders in the Cedar Springs Public School district to sign up for a library card. And every year since, the Cedar Springs Public Library has partnered with Kent District Library to reach out and get the job done.

This year the Cedar Springs Library partnered with both the Nelson/Sand Lake Library and the Spencer Township Library in sending home about 300 letters to the area first graders and in paying a share of the cost to get them in free to a movie at the Kent Theatre as part of the celebration.

Each year the Kent Theatre holds a special movie night on a Monday and Tuesday for the first graders and their families as part of the celebration, and they provide free popcorn to first graders. This year they showed “Norm of the North.” About 268 attended.

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