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Tag Archive | "rockford"

LOUIS T. GRYKA


Louis T. Gryka, age 90 of Rockford, passed away on Monday, December 3, 2018. Louis was born on December 21, 1927 in Algoma Township, the son of George and Helen (Pawlowski) Gryka. He graduated from Rockford High School in 1945 and was a Veteran of the United States Army. Louis was a member of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Belmont. He retired from Wolverine World Wide Tannery in 1990 and also had snow plowing and landscaping business. Louis was preceded in death by his parents; his sons, Larry, Eric and Tom Gryka; his brother, Walter Gryka; and his sister, Josephine Hikade. Surviving are his wife of 67 years and best friend, Maude (Fessenden) Gryka; his children, Paul (Terri) Gryka, Anne (Steve) Rowloff, Nicholas (Lynne) Gryka, Helen Metzger, Jennifer Kwiecinski, and Christina Clonan; daughters-in-law, Mickey Gryka and Cheryl Gryka; 21 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; brother, George (Rosemary) Gryka; sisters-in-law, Della Fessenden, Beverly Leys, Sharon Jacobson and Laurie (Douglas) Potter; and many nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 7, 2018 at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Belmont with visitation one hour prior to the service at church. Military Honors will be rendered at church with burial at Assumption Cemetery to follow. Visitation will also be held from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N Monroe Street in Rockford. The Praying of the Rosary will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home Thursday.

Arrangements by Pederson 

Funeral Home, Rockford

Posted in Church Connection, ObituaryComments (0)

Holiday happenings


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

CEDAR SPRINGS

Dec. 1: The Cedar Springs area Chamber of Commerce presents Mingle with Kris Kringle from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The day starts with a Jingle Bell Fun run/walk. Registration at 9 a.m. and registration at 9:30 a.m. The event is a senior all night party fundraiser. Families can make and take Christmas ornaments and crafts at the Cedar Springs Library from 9-noon. You can also enjoy a story time with Mrs. Claus from 2-3 p.m. at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more. Hang ornaments and pictures with Red Hawk cheerleaders at 3 p.m. at the corner of Ash and Main Street where the downtown tree is; visit the petting barn and bake sale at 4 p.m. at Ash and Main; and at 4:15 p.m. there will be caroling at Ash and Main. The Kris Kringle parade will start at 4:30 p.m. from the corner of Maple and Main and travel to Main and Ash, where Santa will light the tree at 4:45 p.m.; and there will be a live nativity there at 4:45 p.m. Afterward walk over to the American Legion Hall where you can get photos with Kris Kringle, and write a letter to Santa and do a coloring activity while waiting. You can also purchase baked goods from the ladies auxiliary.

Dec. 4: 6th grade band concert Tuesday, December 4 at 7 p.m. in the Cedar Springs High School auditorium.

Dec. 6: 7th/8th grade band Winter Concert, Thursday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cedar Springs High auditorium.

Dec. 8: The 2018 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce from 3-5 p.m. Come out and have some holiday family fun. Admission tickets are $3 per person. This is a family friendly event that gives local talent the opportunity to perform live on stage and create holiday cheer. 

Dec. 9:  The 2018 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) is scheduled for December 9 from 3-5 p.m. Come out and have some holiday family fun! Admission tickets are $3 per person. This is a family friendly event that gives local talent the opportunity to perform live on stage and create holiday cheer.  

Dec. 10: A Cedar Springs Christmas Carriage Rides Monday, Dec 10, from 5-8 p.m. This year the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce has a new addition to the “A Cedar Springs Christmas” event series: Christmas Carriage Rides with The Common and Gentry Carriage Co. There will be free hot chocolate and free carriage rides from the White Pine Trail Staging area to Main Street (via Maple Street) south to Ash Street, west to Second Street and back to the staging area.

Dec. 13: High school bands Winter Concert, Thursday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. Cedar Springs High School auditorium.

Dec. 16: The Story of Christmas (music & drama) will be presented on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Come and see #JesusChangesEverything at Hillcrest Community Church of God, 5994 18 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, Mich. 

For more info call 616.696.9333.

GREENVILLE

Dec. 7: Come join the fun in downtown Greenville on Friday, December 7. The Santa park party will take place from 4-5:30 p.m. at Lafayette park (210 S. Lafayette). Enjoy holiday treats, games, activities & holiday merriment, 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!

HOWARD CITY

Dec. 1: Holiday Home Tour. Advance tickets $10.00. Tickets include a reception at the Timothy C. Hauenstein/Reynolds Township Library and drawing for door prizes from 4-6 p.m. Purchase tickets at the library, The Edge Café, and Howard City Floral.

KENT CITY

Dec. 8: Wreath make and take from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center. Wreath: $10 Non-Members / $5 Members. Make and Take: $5 Non-Members / $3 Members. Make this year’s wreath with foraged cuttings and personalize it with trimmings. Everything supplied, including refreshments. While you enjoy your wreath making, let your children (5 and over), participate in holiday crafts. This event will be held at Camp Lily’s at 530 20 Mile Road.

ROCKFORD

Nov. 30: Join us for a ceremony to light up downtown Rockford for the Holiday Season at the Rockford Dam Overlook. This includes carols by the Rockford High School choir, a message of peace, and a final countdown to the flip of the switch to turn on all the lights! Free carriage rides will be available after the ceremony from 6:30-8:30pm at the Rotary Pavilion.

Dec. 1: Join us for the 75th Annual Santa Parade through Rockford. This parade is great entertainment for the whole family! Starting at 11 a.m. the floats and parade participants will go through downtown Rockford. After the parade, make sure to visit Santa in the Pavilion and enjoy a free carriage ride.

Dec. 5: Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to town! Come see them at the Rotary Pavilion from 6-8 p.m. Enjoy cookies and hot chocolate and a goody bag from Santa!

Dec. 6, 7, 12, 13: Presented by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, enjoy free Holiday Carriage Rides through town from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. to see the holiday lights and decorated storefronts. These are first come, first served and will begin at the Rotary Pavilion.

Dec. 12: Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to town! Come see them from 6-8 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion with their reindeer and some elf friends. Enjoy cookies and hot chocolate and a goody bag from Santa!

SAND LAKE

Nov. 25: Sand Lake Tree Lighting and Caroling. The Village Churches and Sand Lake Chamber invites you to come out on Sunday Nov 25th from 5:30-6:00 pm for a Caroling and Tree Lighting at the SE Corner of the Park. Special Music by Resurrection Lutheran Preschool. Come early for Children’s Games and Face Painting and Hot Dog Fund Raiser at Mary Queen of Apostles Hall beginning at 4:30 pm.  Hot Dog Fund Raiser will be 4:30-7:30 pm. Proceeds go to United Methodist Hall Repair. #46,47b

Nov 25: Hot Dog Fund Raiser 4:30-7:30 pm. At Mary Queen of Apostles Hall.  Proceeds go to United Methodist Hall Repair. #46,47b

Nov. 30: Live Indoor Nativity – Our Free Gift to You  Friday Nov 30th  6:00-8:00 pm & Saturday Dec 1st  1:00-3:00 pm. Shepherds watching, Angles singing, Wise men searching and the Christ child. Live animals will greet you. Enjoy the refreshments & Stay as long as you like at the Sand Lake United Methodist Church. #46,47b

DEC. 8: Sand Lake Family Christmas Celebration. Join us at the Sand Lake VFW for a visit with Santa. Bring your camera for photos with our favorite jolly guy! Make crafts to celebrate the season and enjoy cookies and cocoa. For families. Saturday, December 8, 9:30–11:30 a.m. at the Sand Lake VFW.

Dec. 14: Christmas Bake Sale at Independent Bank Sand Lake on Friday, Dec. 14, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Homemade goodies for your Christmas gatherings or just for your sweet tooth. Offered by Sand Lake United Methodist Women.

Dec. 15: Gingerbread Lane at the Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library. Jump into the holiday spirit with some family-friendly festivities. Listen to season music while each child builds their own simple gingerbread house. Registration required. 

SPARTA

Dec. 4: Santa Party 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Maddie LaRoue’s. Crafts, snacks, and visit Santa.

Dec. 8: Santa and Mrs. Claus visit the Sparta Library, 80 N. Union, from 10-11:30 a.m. Cookie decorating, a craft, and take your own photos with Santa.

Dec. 15: Santa in the Santa House, 80 N. Union. 10:30 a.m. until noon. Bring your own camera. Trolley from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dec. 20: Santa in the Santa House, 80 N. Union. 5-7 p.m. Bring your own camera. Trolley from 5-7 p.m.

Dec. 21-23: Living Nativity at Ballard Church of Christ from 7-8 p.m.

Dec. 22: Santa in the Santa House, 80 N. Union. 10:30 a.m. Bring your own camera.

SPENCER TOWNSHIP

Dec. 13: Gingerbread Lane at the Spencer Township Library. Jump into the holiday spirit with some family-friendly festivities. Listen to season music while each child builds their own simple gingerbread house. Registration required. 

Dec. 20: Ready for Reindeer at the Spencer Township Library. Traveling all the way from the North Pole (via Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farms), live reindeer will visit the library. Dress warmly and don’t forget the camera.

Posted in Home for the Holidays, NewsComments (0)

Former Rockford rowing coach sentenced


Timothy Warren Vallier

Timothy Warren Vallier

A former Rockford rowing coach that admitted recording videos of female athletes changing their clothes will spend 22 years behind bars.

Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Byerly Birge announced Thursday, May 18, that Timothy Vallier, 31, of Plainfield Township, was sentenced on charges of attempted sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Gordon J. Quist imposed a sentence of 22 years. In addition to the prison term, Vallier was ordered to serve 5 years of supervised release, to pay restitution, and to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

On September 28, 2016, Vallier pled guilty to producing approximately 86 hidden camera videos of girls changing clothes at two high school facilities: the Rockford rowing team’s boathouse and the Rockford Freshman Center. He made these videos between January 2012 and April 2016 while he was the rowing coach at Rockford High School. The charges followed an investigation by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, the Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Homeland Security Investigations.

Rockford Public School Superintendent Mike Shibler contacted the Kent County Sheriff Department on the morning of July 8, 2016, after receiving a call from one of the crew (rowing) parents informing him that a video camera had been found in a crew vehicle with inappropriate footage.

Two assistant coaches in the vehicle reportedly saw the camera, and when one of the girls got curious and looked at it, found footage of two female athletes changing their clothes inside the changing room area of the Rockford Crew House located at 5501 Jupiter Ave., in Plainfield Township. Vallier was then arrested on July 10.

State charges were later dismissed since he was being prosecuted on federal charges.

“While no amount of prison time can adequately punish a child predator, this sentencing will hopefully begin the healing process for those impacted by Mr. Vallier’s depraved acts,” said HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis. “This was an excellent collaboration between HSI and its partners at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police to bring this predator to justice.”

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196. Information concerning suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST. For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the suspect alerts page.

Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Childhood in West Michigan, including resources for children and parents, visit: http://www.justice.gov/usao/miw/programs/psc.html.

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MSP Troopers recognized for outstanding patrol and investigative efforts


Troopers that win the Mapes award have the first opportunity to drive the new special edition black and gold patrol cars, painted to resemble the MSP’s iconic 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car.

Troopers that win the Mapes award have the first opportunity to drive the new special edition black and gold patrol cars, painted to resemble the MSP’s iconic 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) is pleased to announce that several troopers from the Rockford, Lakeview, and Mount Pleasant MSP Posts are recipients of the Cpl. Samuel A. Mapes Criminal Patrol and Investigation Award. They were recognized at a ceremony in Lansing on Jan. 11, 2017.

Corporal Mapes, an early pioneer in criminal patrol and investigation, was killed in the line of duty during the prohibition era. The annual award honors the top five percent of troopers in each district for looking “past the traffic stop” to excel in proactive criminal patrol and criminal investigations closed by felony arrests.

The 2017 Col. Sam Mapes Award recipients are:

Trooper Cory Zimmerman

Trooper Cory Zimmerman

Trooper Jim Yeager

Trooper Jim Yeager

Trooper Ben Stadler

Trooper Ben Stadler

Lakeview Post:

Trooper Ben Stadler, with five years at Lakeview

Trooper Jim Yeager, with 23 years at Lakeview

Trooper Cory Zimmerman, with five years at Lakeview.

Mount Pleasant Post: (no photos available)

Trooper Dillard Hayes, at Mount Pleasant 1-1/2 years

Trooper Michael Zeilinger, at Mount Pleasant six years

Trooper Brent Haag, at Mount Pleasant two years

Rockford Post: (no photos available)

Tpr. Chris Boven

Tpr. Jordan Lohman

Tpr. James Luttrull

Tpr. Adam Keasler

Each award recipient receives a special service ribbon to wear on their uniform. It includes seven blue stars in honor of Corporal Mapes, who was the seventh MSP trooper to die in the line of duty.

In addition, top award recipients have the first opportunity to drive special edition black and gold patrol cars, which were recently added to the MSP patrol fleet in honor of the department’s 100th Anniversary. Fifty fully equipped 2016 Dodge Chargers are painted to resemble MSP’s iconic 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car.

For more information about the MSP’s 100th Anniversary, visit www.michigan.gov/MSP or follow the conversation on social media using #MSP100.

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Grant woman dies in crash


Christina Perales, 35, died in two-vehicle crash last weekend. Photo from the gofundme page set up to provide food, clothing and Christmas for her boys.

Christina Perales, 35, died in two-vehicle crash last weekend. Photo from the gofundme page set up to provide food, clothing and Christmas for her boys.

A 35-year-old Grant woman died last weekend when the car she was driving collided with a pickup truck.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 12:05 p.m. on Saturday, December 17 in Alpine Township.

The investigation showed that a 2015 Ford F150 pickup truck was headed westbound on 6 Mile Rd NW, and a 2002 Chevy Malibu was headed south on Baumhoff when they crashed. Police said it was undetermined if the Grant woman, the driver of the Chevy Malibu, had rolled through the stop sign, or made a complete stop and then pulled out into the intersection. The pickup truck had the right of way.

The driver of the Malibu, Christina Lenora Perales, 35, of Grant, died at the scene. The front seat passenger, Brent Thomas Aishe, 39, of Grant was taken to Spectrum Butterworth with serious injuries, including a broken left hip, cranial bleed, and abrasions on his elbow. One of the back seat passengers, Melinda Marie Lynch, 20, of Fremont was taken to Butterworth laceration to her forehead. The other back seat passenger, Dylan Rogers, 17, of Grant, was taken to Butterworth with a cranial bleed.

There were three occupants in the pickup truck, all from Essexville, Mich. The driver, Brent Joseph Raap, 45, was not injured. Passenger Benjamin Matthew Raap, 15, sustained a minor injury and was taken to the hospital by private transport, where he was treated and released. The third passenger, Judith Louis Mcelhinny-Raap, 45, was not injured.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

Assisting at the scene was the Walker Police Department, Alpine Fire Department, Walker Fire Department, Aeromed, LIFE, Rockford, and AMR ambulance services.

The crash is still under investigation.

Christina was a single mom, and there is a gofundme page set up to help with food, clothes, and Christmas for her three boys. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-these-boys.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Construction impacting White Pine Trail use


 

From Friends of the White Pine Trail

OUT-White-Pine-trail-construction

In the southern area of the tail, in Plainfield Township, there will be trail disruptions during this summer and fall.

In Comstock Park there will be equipment in and adjacent to the trail due to sewer line work for the next few weeks, and possibly into the fall. Please be very careful in this area and do not interfere with the construction activity. If you encounter someone directing you around construction, please follow their directions.

Between Belmont and Rockford there will be some equipment on the trail for the next month or longer.  There will be persons directing traffic whenever there is equipment on the trail – please cooperate with these folks that are doing their best to keep the trail open, you safe, and get the project done. The Trail Will Not Be Closed For Extended Periods in this area unless there are unforseen circumstances.

If you have questions regarding trail conditions please contact us. We will do our best to keep everyone informed.

Check our FaceBook page for up-to-date information.

If you see any problems that you feel needs attention please contact us as soon as possible—we need your help!

In Howard City Area, Montcalm County

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials announced that construction of the Rice and Tamarack Creek bridges on the White Pine Trail in Howard City will begin Monday Aug. 8.

The White Pine Trail is actively utilized by non-motorized users throughout the year and snowmobile users in the winter months. Bridge construction will include abutment replacement and pier removal, as well as the placement of a 60-foot-prefabricated bridge over Rice Creek and a 84-foot-prefabricated bridge over Tamarack Creek.

The White Pine Trail has been temporarily re-routed to Federal Road bypassing both bridges. The detour is posted. Construction is anticipated to be completed in November.

Questions about the trail closure may be directed to Scott Slavin, DNR unit supervisor of White Pine Trail State Park, at 231-775-7911 or slavins@michigan.gov

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Amazing race on snow


 

Largest winter adventure race in U.S. to take place in Rockford

ENT-Amazing-race-in-snow1The Michigan Adventure Race: Winter Edition will be held February 7, 2015, at Camp Roger in Rockford. Registration is now open. Last year’s race drew 300 participants, making it the largest winter adventure race in the U.S.

Two-person teams will set out at 9:30 a.m., running through the woods to hidden checkpoints pre-marked on a map, collecting as many points as they can within three hours. They’ll encounter Amazing Race-like challenges throughout the area along with short snowshoe and fatbike/snowbike sections. Snowshoes and fatbikes will be provided.

Newer racers find that the challenges and checkpoint hunting give them just enough of a break in between the running sections to catch their breath. Experienced adventure racers looking for a greater challenge will face several intermediate level orienteering checkpoints, requiring good map reading and basic compass skills (free clinic on January 31; details on the website).

ENT-Amazing-race-in-snow2“West Michigan has a culture for challenging outdoor sports like adventure racing and trail running that does not exist in many other areas in the nation. These races draw more people than Chicago, Indianapolis and other larger cities do to similar events,” says Mark VanTongeren, race director. “We always get a great turnout because of this. Racers are also looking forward to a new venue, Camp Roger, which gives us beautiful terrain and a warm place to hang, get a free massage and eat pizza after the race.

Friends, family and the general public are welcome to experience the race, although keeping up with the racers in the snow is an adventure in itself. Spectators can get copies of the race maps that will direct them to the challenges, many within easy walking distance.

The charity partner selected for this edition of the race is Camp Roger. Camp Roger offers a weekly overnight summer camp experience for young people and serves 10,000 participants in the fall, winter, and spring.

For more information about the race and to register, go to www.MiAdventureRace.com and visit www.facebook.com/MIAdventureRace to join a growing community of adventure racers.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, FeaturedComments (0)

Rockford men injured in crash


 

Three young men were injured in an accident in Cannon Township last week. Photo from WOOD TV8.

Three young men were injured in an accident in Cannon Township last week. Photo from WOOD TV8.

Three young men from Rockford were seriously injured last Thursday when the car they were riding in crashed into a tree.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, deputies responded to a personal injury accident at 9 Mile and Young Avenue in Cannon Township about 6:02 a.m., December 4, involving a passenger car and three occupants. Police said that the driver, Jacob Taylor, 21, of Rockford, lost control of the vehicle and crossed the centerline and struck a tree.

Taylor suffered critical injuries and was transported by Aeromed to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital. The front seat passenger, Bret Bailey, 21, of Rockford, also suffered critical injuries, and was transported by Rockford Ambulance to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital. The back seat passenger, Mitchell Fabro, 22, of Rockford, suffered serious injuries, and was also transported to Spectrum Butterworth by Rockford Ambulance.

 

 

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Three northern Kent County residents hurt in Lowell crash


A Rockford man is in critical condition and a Cedar Springs couple is in stable condition after a traffic accident in Lowell Township Sunday morning, October 26.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Joseph Kelly, 66, of Rockford, was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Prism southbound on Segwun Avenue, about 9:26 a.m., when he failed to stop at the stop sign at Cascade Road. He was hit by an eastbound 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by David Ladd, 65, of Cedar Springs.

Both vehicles drove off the roadway and into a field. Kelly was not responsive at the accident scene and was transported by Aeromed to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital. He is in critical condition at this time. Lad,d and his wife, Vickie,63, were transported by ambulance to Spectrum. They are in stable condition.

The accident is still under investigation at this time. Neither Alcohol nor speed appear to be factors.

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Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford


Annual 5K race raises awareness, support for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Each year, Mitchell Peterson’s parents, Steve and Sandy Peterson, are amazed at the support they receive from the community. Over 100 volunteers help to make Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford go smoothly and to bring awareness and money to be donated to Parent Project MD, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by parents of children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford has more than doubled in size and scope since the Petersons established it in 1999. Since then, the event has raised over $600,000, all donated to PPMD in the name of their son Mitchell Peterson, age 15 of Rockford. This year will be the 13th annual run.

“After our son was diagnosed, my wife and I wanted to make a difference. We’re thrilled this race has helped to raise awareness and support, at least in our neck of the woods. More people now know about Duchenne MD, which is important because this disease can happen in any family and currently affects many boys and their families here in West Michigan,” explains Steve Peterson.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday August 20 at 8:30 a.m. in downtown Rockford. The race starts at the bridge and travels along the scenic White Pine Trail and Rogue River.

The Kids for Kids K starts at 9:30 am. This is a competitive race but also a family event featuring a silent auction during and awards ceremony following the race.  For more race details, visit: www.mitchellsrun.org.

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