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Tag Archive | "Red Flannel Queen"

From refugee to Red Flannel Queen


Red Flannel Queen Mumina Ciise (left) is shown here on Red Flannel Day with 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 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 hid below deck in a ship that was transporting livestock so they wouldn’t be seen escaping. The family thought they were going to Italy, but wound up in Turkey, where they stayed a few years. While there, Mumina’s older sister Fatima died of an intestinal disorder, and Max’s health deteriorated. They then decided to try to come to America. And with the help of the U.S. Embassy and other organizations, they were accepted to come to the United States as refugees.

After a year in Lansing, the family came to Cedar Springs in 2010, and ended up living in a two-bedroom apartment in town. People from the school and community made the family feel welcome, and helped meet their needs in many ways. Then, in 2015, they realized the dream of owning their own home when the Inner City Christian Federation approved them for a home to be built on a vacant lot on Cedar Street.

Mumina is very happy here. “I have lived in Cedar Springs for longer than I have lived anywhere else. Cedar Springs is my home. My friends, school, teachers, and church are all here!” she said.

The help that teachers here have given her has

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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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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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The Post travels to Tucson


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The Post recently traveled to Tucson, Arizona with Darlene (Towns) Wirtz, of Ionia, to visit her sister Jean (Towns) Peterson. Jean and Darlene are graduates of Cedar Springs High School, and both were Red Flannel Queens. Darlene, pictured on the left, was RF Queen in 1949, and Jean, on the right, was the 1948 RF Queen.

Thank you, Darlene and Jean, for including us in your visit!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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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.

Head Start for Kent County

Apply today! North Kent Heat Start is a high quality preschool program at no cost to families. 3 year old – full day classes, family support – transportation (in most cases), nutritious meals and snacks, child health and development screenings. Accommodations for children with disabilities. Families must meet eligibility guidelines. Enrolling now! Complete an Application on our website www.hs4kc.org or call 616-453-4145. #22,23p

Summer Celebration Fireworks – View From the Hill

June 11: You are invited to enjoy the Rockford Start of Summer fireworks from the hill at Rockford Reformed Church, 4890 – 11 Mile Rd. NE on Saturday, June 11th. Popcorn, refreshments, and children’s activities provided. Please bring a chair or blanket, your family and friends and enjoy the beauty of the fireworks from the top of the hill at Rockford Reformed Church. Hope to see you there. #22,23p

Vacation Bible School @ Solon Center Wesleyan Church

June 12: Hey kids! Come for VBS beginning Sunday evening, June 12th from 6:30 – 8 pm. It’s family Night, so bring the whole family to enjoy the fun of the Double KK Petting zoo (weather permitting) and a hot dog roast. VBS continues through Thursday where you’ll make new friends, sing great songs, play fun games, experience Nazareth…where Jesus was a Kid and visit the market places of His home town. Monday through Thursday VBS is for children 4 years old through the 5th grade. Please pre-register by calling the church office @ 696-3229 or online at http://scwchurch.com/#/get-connected/vbs-registration. The church is located at 15671 Algoma Avenue, just north of 19 Mile Road. Come join the fun! #21-23p

Red Flannel Queen Pageant Contestants

June 12: Attention all young ladies living or attending school in the Cedar Springs School district who will be in the 11th grade in the 2016-17 school year. There will be a mandatory parent’s meeting for any interested young lady and her parents concerning the 2016 Red Flannel Pageant. The meeting will be Sunday, June 12th at 3 pm at the Springs Church (135 N. Grant St.) There will be a makeup meeting Sunday, June 26th at 3 pm at the Springs Church. For more information, you can contact pageant director Kaleigh Rosenberger at redflannelpageant@gmail.com. #22,23p

Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

June 12: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, June 12th at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). The message will be shared by Pastor Craig Carter from North Kent Community Church. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #23

VBS at Snow Bible Church

June 13-17: Snow Bible Church, 1877 – 18 Mile Rd. Kent City, will host Cave Quest Vacation Bible School June 13 – 17 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm for grades K-6th. Enjoy Bible stories, crafts and games. Any questions please call Vickie at 616-901-5274. #23

A Magic Show with Tom Plunkard

June 14: Tom Plunkard’s entertaining and hilarious show includes animals, audience involvement and tons of amazing magic. For families with children. Tuesday, June 14th at 1:30 pm at the Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #23

Flying Aces Frisbee team

June 15: You don’t want to miss the tricks, amazing feats, and the fun of seeing the Flying Aces Frisbee team in action on Wednesday, June 15, at 4 p.m. at Cedar Springs Middle School. This family program is part of the Cedar Springs Library’s summer reading program. #23

The Village Puppeteers

June 15: It’s a raucous comic romp, packed with silly antics and featuring a cavalcade of colorful puppets. Puss ‘N Boots, the Three Little Pigs, Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet and Rumpelstiltskin joined by a host of others, including a dazzling dragon. For families with children. Wednesday, June 15th at 6:30 pm at the Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #23

Henna with Harsha Gohil

June 20: Experience the intricate art of henna tattooing with Harsha Gohil. Choose your own design for application and learn how to apply the henna yourself! For teens. Pre-registration is required, 877-243-2466. Monday, June 20th at 1:30 pm at the Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #23

VBS at Cedar Springs UMC

June 20-23 & 25: Catch the Wave of God’s Amazing Love at Surf Shack – 150 Vacation Bible School! June 20-23 from 6 – 8 pm. Grades K-6th are invited to Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., to discover how to surf through life with God and others! New this year, as we celebrate our 150th year in this community – 150 Field Day on Saturday June 25th from 1 – 4 pm at Morley Park! Register online at www.cedarspringsumc.org. For more information, please call the church office at 616-696-1140. #23,24

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Red Hawks Athletic Director resigns


Autumn (Waite) Mattson. Phnoto by K. Alvesteffer

Autumn (Waite) Mattson. Phnoto by K. Alvesteffer

By Judy Reed

All Autumn (Waite) Mattson has ever wanted is to live and serve in the community that she grew up in—a community she loves. So it was with a heavy heart that she turned in her resignation to Cedar Springs Public Schools on February 11, after 14 years of working with kids. “I didn’t want to leave,” she said.

Mattson, a former Red Flannel Queen, attended all 12 years of school at Cedar Springs, and graduated in 1997. Except for the four years she went away to college, she has spent her entire life here. “My family has been here since 1892, and my kids are the 8th generation to attend Cedar Springs Public Schools,” she explained. “My husband and I chose to come back here to live because this is a community that cares about kids.”

When an athletic secretary position came open in July 2002, Mattson jumped at the chance. She later coached both Girls JV and Varsity basketball for several years, before becoming athletic director in July 2006. “My kids were brought up in the gym,” she said with a chuckle. “I had both of them a week after basketball season ended.”

Mattson earned two AD awards in 2014 when she was named Regional Athletic Director of the Year by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association (MIAAA), and Athletic Director of the Year by the West Michigan Officials Association.

She has also been active with the MHSAA, serving as a conference presenter on Women in Sports Leadership, and serving on various committees.

In addition to being AD, Mattson also served as Dean of Students at Cedar Springs High School for two years, until this past January. “I had some of the greatest growth of my career as Dean of Students,” she remarked. “It gave me a chance to work with other staff and students that I would not have had a chance to work with in athletics. That opportunity opened my eyes to what Cedar Springs is all about.”

Many of the students she worked with in that capacity are not happy to see her go. “Last week I had kids come up to me asking who are they going to talk to now? It really made an imprint on my heart. These are kids I wouldn’t have a had a chance to meet otherwise.”

One of her proudest accomplishments is as founder of the Athletic Leadership Council. It started out as student-lead group in 2008 with 14 members, and now has 62 high school athletes in grades 9-12. Their mission is to unite the students, staff, and community and promote Red Hawk pride. They develop leadership growth through bi-weekly meetings, doing community service projects, presentations to peers, community groups and collaboration with leadership professionals. For the second year in a row, they will be present at the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association conference, where Mattson was asked to be a presenter. She has spoken at the conference the last two years about the Athletic Leadership Council. “More schools want to know about it,” she said.

Mattson also founded the Red Hawk kids club, a weekly program that partnered with elementary administrators. The mission of the program is to have High School athletes guide elementary students to uphold the Red Hawk creed.

We have the most amazing kids,” she remarked. “They are thought provokers, listeners, inspiring. They always thank us, but they are the ones that inspired me.”

If Mattson loves her job, and the kids, and the staff, why is she leaving without having a new job to go to?

This is the third superintendent I have worked under, and a lot has happened during that time. I was able to stand behind the things that happened. I loved that we had a real culture of learning, of love, and that it was ok to think outside the box. Teaching and learning was at the center of everything we did. That culture of being able to recreate yourself every few years is not there anymore. I just didn’t feel I could be my best self anymore,” she explained.

Mattson said she noticed a shift in teaching and learning when administrator Steve Seward left, and saw a change in the system with due process, when Jennifer Harper was put on leave. “The culture was changing,” she explained. Other events impacting her decision were when the board president read the letter at the October 12 board meeting that upset many staff members, and former associate superintendent Dave Cairy leaving. Her athletic assistant Tyler Wolfe also resigned in December.

Me leaving is a way that I feel I’m standing up for kids,” she said. “I’m always trying to instill in them to stand up for themselves. I had a student tell me, ‘Not many adults have the trust and respect from the students that you have. You alone brought a united family atmosphere to CSHS and the way you have chosen to make a career change, as much as I would love to see you stay, only make me realize that putting yourself first is not selfish, but the most important thing you can do. Thank you for letting me be a part of your legacy.’ To have that come from a student is amazing.”

Leaving was tough on Mattson. She said working that last day and then leaving for the last time was the most emotional thing she’s ever done. But it wasn’t just hard on her; her family feels it, too. Her kids asked to go with her to the last ALC breakfast so they could say goodbye to the athletes.

The Mattson family has had amazing adventures in that stadium, in that gym. They made us. I’m excited to explore my passions to see what my next adventure is,” she remarked.

Mattson asked for an exit interview with the board of education, which is not routine, so was denied. She appealed that decision, and was waiting to hear from the board when this paper went to press.

In her absence, teachers Justin Harnden and Julie Weiler will run the ALC. The new baseball coach, Michael Schaub, will serve as interim Athletic Director, and Deb Williams will be athletic administrative assistant.

Cedar Springs Public Schools will be posting a position for a full-time athletic director,” said Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn.

We wish Ms. Autumn Mattson the very best in her new position,” said VanDuyn. “Autumn served our district for 14 years in a variety of capacities. We know that countless students, staff and families will remember her work and passion for athletics and for Cedar Springs Public Schools. She did a fine job establishing and presenting to others the Athletic Leadership Council, which many of our high school students enjoy. All our best to you, Autumn! ”

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Red Flannel Queen, court spread the love at Metron


N-Red-Flannel--Queen_Court-at-MetronThe Red Flannel Queen and Court visited Metron on Sunday, Feb. 14 to personally hand out homemade Valentines cards to each of the residents. Shown here is Jessica Plowman (Court); Baily Lachniet (Queen) and Megan Zinn (Court).

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Queen and Court Sighting at the Cedar Springs Library Booth


 

N-LibraryRed Flannel Queen Melissa Maguire and Court Kaleigh Keech and Ellie Ovokaitys, stopped by the Cedar Springs Library booth Community Night, April 16, to see which of the library’s 25 Summer Reading Programs set for June 8-August 5 would suit their fancy as volunteers.

Each year since 2001, it has become a tradition that the Red Flannel Queen and Court would be the Library’s featured guests at one of their many programs. Courts of the past have done everything from reading stories, sharing what it’s like being Red Flannel Royalty, and helping other entertainers out with dance moves or crafts.

This year’s Queen and Court plan to help out on Opening Day of the Library’s annual Summer Reading Program, Monday, June 8, starting at noon. Normally around 600 people come to the library that day to register, get their reading logs and free ice cream and free book bags stuffed with goodies.

Double “K” Petting Barn will be there, as usual, with their cool animals, assisted by students from Animal Junction 4H Club. The Friends of the Library always say, “600 people?! Let’s have a book sale!” All funds go to build a new library in Cedar Springs! And did we mention that the Cedar Springs Fire Department will also be there?

This is one event you will not want to miss, along with the other 24 exciting programs this summer!

You will also want to save the date, August 5, Wednesday from 2-5 for the Finale Reading Celebration Carnival at Morley Park. This year the Kent County Sheriff’s Department will be in the parking lot at the Museum with their various vehicles, including an armored car, their mounted police, robot and more. Giveaways include a bike and helmets!

For more details on this year’s CS Library summer reading program, turn to our Beat the Boredom section on page 13.

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Community Night reels in residents


The Red Flannel Queen and Court and the Cedar Springs Fire Department  were both present at Community Night last week.

The Red Flannel Queen and Court and the Cedar Springs Fire Department were both present at Community Night last week.

There was a lot to see last Thursday, April 16, at the annual Community Night, sponsored by the Community Action Network. Their partnership with the school to also make it a Fine Arts night has added another dimension to exploring what the Cedar Springs area has to offer.

Amanda Gerhardt, of CAN, estimated 1,000 to 1,500 people visited the event. “We felt like it was a great turnout, especially going at the same time as the Hazel Soccer game,” she said, referring to the purple game played in memory of former teacher and coach Scott Hazel.

A martial arts demonstration was performed by students of American Martial Arts.

A martial arts demonstration was performed by students of American Martial Arts.

Community Night featured various businesses, churches, and other non-profits in the community, demonstrations of martial arts and Zumba, music and artwork of Cedar Springs students, face painting, the Cedar Springs Fire Department, Red Flannel Queen and Court and more.

N-Community-night3If you missed it, be sure to join us next year!

 

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Tree lighting brings holiday spirit downtown


By Judy Reed

 

The annual “Mingle with Kris Kringle” in downtown Cedar Springs gets a little bigger every year, and is starting to become a tradition for families in the community.

Last Saturday’s event, sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, was a day-long affair, and kicked off with about 40 kids and adults showing up at the library to make decorations to hang on the tree. Perry Hopkins, who organized the event for Chamber, said there was also a great turnout for the story time with Mrs. Clause at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas and more, and the Christmas Puzzle time with Santa’s Elves at Alpha Omega Coffee and Games.

There was one glitch—the parade started a half hour late because Santa was running later than expected. But on the bright side, the parade had more participants this year, with the American Legion walking in it, and the cheerleaders leading Santa. Mayor pro-tem Pam Conley also walked in the parade, and helped Santa with his countdown for the tree lighting.

The Red Flannel Queen and Court mingled with residents near the tree, while waiting for Santa, and there was also a petting zoo, and a live nativity by Calvary Assembly of God Church.

The Cedar Springs Historical Society held a tour of the museum after the tree lighting (see page 2).

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