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Tag Archive | "Red Flannel Festival"

Red Flannel Festival names 2017 Grand Marshal


 

Tom Anderson will be the 2017 Grand Marshal of the Red Flannel Festival. Courtesy photo.

Tom Anderson will be the 2017 Grand Marshal of the Red Flannel Festival. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed 

The Red Flannel Festival board of directors has chosen Thomas Anderson, a long time Cedar Springs attorney, as the 2017 Grand Marshal for the 78th annual Red Flannel Festival.

Tom, who is now 82, was born in Grand Rapids, but raised in northern Kent County. He graduated high school from St. Patrick’s, in Parnell, Michigan, which is in Grattan Township. His father was an attorney in Rockford, and Tom decided to open up an office in Cedar Springs. “I knew my father got a lot of business from Cedar Springs, so I thought it would be a good idea,” he explained.

And it was. He opened up his office here in 1961, and continued working until he sold it in 2011—50 years later. During that time, he worked as Cedar Springs City attorney for many years, served as Kent City’s attorney for 30 years, and was attorney for the Village of Morley.

In 1963, Tom began announcing the Red Flannel Parade, and continued through 1990.

In 1962 he became a Rotarian, and has been one now for 55 years. Most years you can find him working at the Rotary Chicken BBQ on Red Flannel Day.

How does Tom feel about being selected as Grand Marshal? “I was surprised,” he said. “I guess it’s a good thing. I thought they had forgotten me.”

Not by a long shot.

“The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of Tom’s outstanding dedication to the Cedar Springs community,” said Randy VanDuyn, President of the Festival. “It’s very obvious Tom loves the Red Flannel Town, and especially the Red Flannel Festival! The Red Flannel Town is a better place because of his involvement and extraordinary volunteerism!”

Tom’s family also has close ties to Cedar Springs and Red Flannel. His wife, Jean, taught at Cedar Springs Public Schools for 30 years. And the couple’s three children all went to Tri County High School, participated in band all four years, and all marched in the Red Flannel parades.

This year’s Red Flannel Festival weekends will be September 30 and October 7. Anderson will reign this year, the Festival’s 78th, 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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Year in Review: Former refugee becomes RF Queen


Red Flannel Queen Mumina Ciise (left) is shown here on Red Flannel Day with Grand Marshal and Library Director Donna Clark, and court members Kaley Louck and Madison Case. Photo courtesy of the Red Flannel Festival.

Red Flannel Queen Mumina Ciise (left) is shown here on Red Flannel Day with Grand Marshal and Library Director Donna Clark, and court members Kaley Louck and Madison Case. Photo courtesy of the Red Flannel Festival.

By Judy Reed

For Mumina Ciise, being chosen as the 2016 Red Flannel Queen is a dream come true. And not all that long ago, this special event would never have seemed possible for Mumina or her family—a family that was just struggling to stay safe in war torn Somalia.

Mumina’s parents, Max and Maryan, fled Somalia with their seven children, due to civil war, when Mumina was only three-years-old. They arrived in Cedar Springs in 2010, and moved into a two-bedroom apartment. The community welcomed them, and helped them realize the dream of owning their home, through the Inner City Christian Federation. Mumina was thankful to be chosen to represent the Red Flannel Festival as queen. She hopes to one day become a teacher and teach at Cedar Springs High School.

Grand Marshal

Longtime resident and Library Director Donna Clark was chosen as Grand Marshal for the 2016 Red Flannel Festival. The Festival chose Donna due to her many years of selfless service and outstanding dedication to the community through both the library and several service organizations. “The Red Flannel Town is truly a better place because of her exceptional community involvement and extraordinary volunteerism!” said former RFF president Michele Tracy.

RFF President

In other Red Flannel news, Michele Tracy stepped down as President after 15 years, and assumed the role of president emeritus, a non-voting member of the board. Tracy moved to Hershey, Pennysylvania this year to work for Penn State University’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Taking over as president of the RFF was Randy VanDuyn, husband of Cedar Springs Schools Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn.

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Girl raises money with apple cider stand


_n-lemonade-stand-alphafcEmma Nista, of Rockford, daughter of Rob Nista, wanted to set up an apple cider stand during Red Flannel Festival to raise money for the Alpha Family Center here in Cedar Springs. She raised $20 with her stand, and gave the money to Alpha.

“What an inspiration she is to all of us,” said Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director of Alpha. “And special thanks to Emma’s dad and mom for raising an extra special young lady with a heart to serve others.”

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Sun shines on Red Flannel 2016


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The 2016 Red Flannel Queen Mumina Ciise (top) and court members Madison Case (center) and Kaley Louck (bottom). Photo courtesy of Tim Hindenach.

The 2016 Red Flannel Queen Mumina Ciise (top) and court members Madison Case (center) and Kaley Louck (bottom). Photo courtesy of Tim Hindenach.

What started out as a rainy, gloomy, Red Flannel Festival on Friday evening turned into a beautiful Red Flannel Day Saturday.

It was sprinkling during the Firefighter’s parade Friday evening, and rained Friday night and early Saturday morning. But the weather cleared by noon and people came out in droves to climb aboard the Red Flannel Express and experience what Red Flannel Day 2016 had to offer.

People partied into the evening, as there were several options for live music and adult beverages to keep people in town for the evening, including the Red Flannel Festival’s Grand Lodge, the Cedar Springs Brewing Company’s Festival tent, the American Legion, and other local pubs/taverns.

A big thanks to Tim Hindenach for the photo of the Red Flannel Queen, and Randy Tate for the photo of the crowd on the street.

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JACOB ARI BORNTRAGER


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Tony and Daneille Borntrager announce the birth of their son, Jacob Ari Borntrager.  Jacob arrived on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 10:34 am at Memorial Hospital, South Bend, Indiana. He weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and measured 20.5 inches in length. Maternal grandparents are Dan and Donna Clark of Cedar Springs.  Paternal grandparents are Larry and Mary Borntrager, with loving mention of Meredith, deceased mother to Tony . (Onesie pictured was a gift from the Red Flannel Festival to celebrate new grandson of 2016’s Grand Marshal, Donna Clark)

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From the Superintendent’s desk


 

Laura VanDuyn

Laura VanDuyn

Dear Cedar Springs Public Schools Families:

It is my hope you are enjoying our transition to the early days of fall. I was born and raised in the great state of Michigan and I’ve always LOVED this time of year. We especially love this time of year at my father’s house in the U.P. as the crisp weather means great bonfires, preparing for deer season and generally loving being outside in the peaceful surroundings. This is a wonderful time of year for children, especially after getting into the routine of the school year and enjoying the traditional Cedar Springs Red Flannel Festival…not to mention the thrill of Halloween!

As we head into this refreshing season at the start of our year together, it’s important to share the ways in which we communicate with all of our constituent groups. It is greatly important to me and to our Board of Education that we keep you apprised of happenings in the district.  Following are just some of the many ways we communicate with our staff, students, parents and community:

• Our new website

• Board of Education meetings (recorded and uploaded to YouTube)

• Newsletters

• Phone calls

• Emails

• The Red Hawk Review (electronic and sent via email to every CSPS family and any community members who request it as well as it being posted on our new website)

• The Cedar Springs Post articles and school pages

• Parent-Teacher conferences

• Open Houses

• Weekly folders

• Meetings with the superintendent at our local cafes (10/7 is the next opportunity)

• Facebook

• Teacher Web pages

• Twitter

• Progress Reports and Report cards

• Office announcements

• Face-to-Face meetings with the superintendent

• Annual State-of-the-School-District address

• Michigan Association of School Board workshops (November, 2015 and April, 2016)

• Strategic Planning Process

• School improvement process

I am grateful to all who ask the questions about what is happening in our district. I continue to extend an opportunity to meet with anyone wishing to meet so that any and all questions about our district, our Board of Education, etc. can be answered. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to share some of the great work that has been shared at Board meetings, as we know not everyone can attend…which is one reason we publish them on YouTube.  It’s been refreshing to have so many staff, students, parents and community members meet with me to ascertain how we are progressing as a district.

csps-conversation-with-the-superintendentAs you know, especially from the many ways we communicate with our staff, families and community, I want every citizen, staff member and parent of Cedar Springs to ask questions and to be well educated about all that is happening in this great district.  We are proud of the forward motion we’ve made and will continue that trajectory.  I would love an opportunity to get to know you, to learn how I might support your wishes or to answer any questions you may have.  I encourage you to schedule a meeting, call or drop by for a visit as I enjoy getting to know our students, families and community members. I can assure you, you’ll be enlightened to hear about the terrific progress we are making to serve our students well!

It is an honor to serve as your CSPS superintendent.  I take great pleasure in knowing that at CSPS, students come first and that this great district is moving along in an excellent way, with a lot of support, to serve students and families.  On behalf of the CSPS Board of Education, administration, teachers and support staff, thank you for partnering with us to provide the very best education for our students.

Warmly,

Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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Red Flannel royalty chosen for 2016


The new 2016 Red Flannel Queen is Mumina Ciise (center), and court members are Kaley Louck (left) and Madison Case (right). Photo courtesy of the Red Flannel Festival.

The new 2016 Red Flannel Queen is Mumina Ciise (center), and court members are Kaley Louck (left) and Madison Case (right). Photo courtesy of the Red Flannel Festival.

The Red Flannel Festival is officially underway, and the traditional crowning of the Red Flannel Queen is a big part of the excitement. This year was no different, as more than a dozen girls competed for the coveted title on Saturday, September 24, at Cedar Springs High School.

“We had 15 contestants looking to be crowned the 2016 Red flannel Queen. They did a wonderful job and didn’t make it an easy decision for the judges,” said Pageant Director Kaleigh Rosenberger, who was the 2007 Red Flannel Queen.

Crowned Queen this year was Mumina Maxamed Ciise, daughter of Max and Maryan Ciise. Her court members are Kaley Louck, daughter of  Roger and Amy Louck; and Madison Case, daughter of Marissa Shaw and Anthony Shaw.

This year there was a tie for Miss Congeniality, which is voted on by the contestants themselves. This year they chose Autumn Hinton, daughter of Timothy and Kelli Hinton; and Myla Umphrey, daughter of Michael Umphrey and Mistie Bowser.

Emcee for the 72nd annual Red Flannel Queen’s Scholarship pageant was Dave Stuart Jr., a well-known and loved Cedar Springs High School teacher. “He did an excellent job assisted by the 2006 Red Flannel Queen Rebecca Tackmann Cronin,” said Rosenberger.

Local resident Missy Armstrong, who is also a national bluegrass recording artist, provided entertainment.

The Queen and her court will appear at activities all throughout the Red Flannel Festival, and will represent the RFF at activities throughout the coming year. They will also each receive a portion of the scholarship money donated by community members to use for the college or continuing education of their choice.

The 2016 Red Flannel contestants. Photo courtesy of the RFF.

The 2016 Red Flannel contestants. Photo courtesy of the RFF.

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Red Flannel Festival to see change in leadership


Michele Tracy, President Emeritus of the Red Flannel Festival (front right), with the 2015 Red Flannel Festival Queen Bailey Lachniet (front left), and her court (back row left to right) Jessica Plowman and Megan Zinn. Courtesy photo.

Michele Tracy, President Emeritus of the Red Flannel Festival (front right), with the 2015 Red Flannel Festival Queen Bailey Lachniet (front left), and her court (back row left to right) Jessica Plowman and Megan Zinn. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

 

Michele Tracy has been the guiding hand and president of the Red Flannel Festival since she joined the organization 15 years ago. But she is now easing out of that role after a recent move to Hershey, Pennsylvania to work for Penn State University, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

She is still active on the RFF board, however. “I’ve been voted in the position of President Emeritus (Past President), a non-voting member of the Board,” Tracy explained. “I am extremely active this year,  ‘virtually’ helping new President Randy VanDuyn transition, and am honored to stay in that position as long as the Board decides they benefit from this advisory position,” she said.

The Red Flannel Festival has blossomed under Tracy’s leadership, adding many new events and drawing 40,000-plus annually to the unique celebration. The RFF also broke away from the prior Cedar Springs Chamber of Commerce and became a non-profit organization in its own right, and purchased its own building on Maple Street, and another on Main Street a few years later.

Her tenure, however, has not been without controversy. Most notably was when the RFF board threatened to sue the city over its use of the logo, and the city voted to no longer be called The Red Flannel Town. With new leadership in place at City Hall, the two entities have since come to an agreement over that issue.

So how does Tracy feel about her time on the Festival board?

“The Red Flannel Festival truly has been a labor of love for me,” she remarked. “Quite simply, I love the Red Flannel Festival! It’s been such an honor and privilege to be a part of the 77-year tradition of all of the volunteers that have made this Festival great. It truly is the heart and soul of Cedar Springs and the pinnacle of our community pride. I’m hoping Grace and Nina would be proud of my service, as I always tried to have them in mind. I am confident the current Board of Directors, Matt Andres, Laura Nozal, Lea Drake, Rick Knapp Jr., Liz Thorington, Mark Laws, and Andrew Bartoszek, with the outstanding leadership of new President Randy VanDuyn, will continue the legacy in all of the great traditions! Of course, I’ll ALWAYS be home for Red Flannel Day!”

For some of the Red Flannel events coming up next week, turn to pages 8-9.

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Red Flannel decoration contest


Last year’s Red Flannel Decoration Contest winner was Gary Nead.

Last year’s Red Flannel Decoration Contest winner was Gary Nead.

The Red Flannel Festival is right around the corner, and what better way to show some Red Flannel pride than by decorating your home or business?

“Show your Red Flannel pride in the 2016 Decoration Contest, which is open to homes and now businesses,” said Trey Reed, Chair of the event. “This is the perfect way to welcome in all of the festival guests and participants to Cedar Springs.”

There will be two categories—home and business—and winners will receive cash prizes. Applications and information are available online at redflannelfestival.org. Judging will take place between September 21 and 23.

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All aboard!


 

N-RFF-theme-LogoThe Red Flannel Express Steams into Red Flannel Town for the 2016 Festival 

The all-volunteer Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors has worked hard to provide fresh new events for the 77th “All Aboard the Red Flannel Express” Festival celebration, on Saturday, October 1, 2016. They recently released their new theme’s logo, which was designed by local artist, Lloyd VanDuyn, father of Festival First Vice President Randy VanDuyn. “We’re so grateful to have this beautiful logo,” said Randy.

“This board is extremely dedicated to ensuring the Red Flannel Festival is the biggest and best ever,” said Festival President Michele Tracy. “The comments about the old fashioned steam engine train theme have been very positive.”

In keeping with the theme, the Festival will debut a large model train show in Red Hawk Elementary Gymnasium this year. Also, the Grand Lodge will be hosting live music for two weekends, with Tribute bands the first weekend. The Firefighter Memorial Parade will return this year after a few years hiatus.

Returning this year is the Red Flannel Open Golf Tournament, hosted by Whitefish Lake Golf and Grill. The Red Flannel Art Review, Red Flannel Town House Decorating Contest, Trolley to provide transportation, and the Giant Arts and Craft Fair, Carnival and Marketplace will also return.

“Of course, the traditional events are still in place,” said Tracy. “The Car & Tractor Shows, Museum Open House, Rotary Chicken BBQ, Lion’s Lumberjack Supper, Queen Scholarship Pageant, Bed Races and Grand Parade are wonderful traditions.”

The Festival will partner with 95.7 FM in Grand Rapids, for radio commercials; and an expanded number of television commercials will begin on Charter Cable Channels in September. The 36-page full color “Official Red Flannel Press” will be distributed after Labor Day, thanks to Festival Business Patron Sponsors and “Friends of the Festival,” a donor program designed exclusively for individuals.

For a full schedule of events, or to download all event applications, visit www.redflannelfestival.org, visit the Red Flannel Festival, Inc. Facebook page or email president@redflannelfestival.org

The Festival was granted 501c3 non-profit status and all donations are tax deductible. The Festival is an independent, all volunteer organization with volunteer openings for individuals, families and groups to be involved. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information on how to donate, volunteer or get involved with the Red Flannel Festival, call 616-696-2662 or visit www.redflannelfestival.org.

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