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Tag Archive | "Sara Magnuson"

Yard sale find brings treasure back home


Inside the Polish prayer book.

A peek inside of the Polish prayer book.

By Judy Reed

It was a chance finding at an area yard sale, but one that intrigued Pam Hacko. The treasure? A 100-year-old Polish prayer book. And she was determined to find the family of the original owner and return it.

According to Sara Magnuson, youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake Library, Hacko, who is a patron at the library, used clues she found in the book, and with the help of the librarian and KDL’s Ancestry.com, she found Linda DeVries, a relative of the original owner.

DeVries, of Manistee, said she thinks the Polish prayer book belonged to her uncle. “He most likely received it for his First Holy Communion,” said DeVries. “Communion is handwritten in Polish on the front and back covers of the book, which would have been when he was eight years old, in approximately 1923. My uncle was born in 1915 in Manistee, Michigan and lived in Manistee his entire life.  He passed away in 1991. He would have had the prayer book for sixty-eight years.” 

Linda DeVries (left) holds the Polish prayer book found by Pamela Hacko (right). Courtesy photo.

DeVries explained that Manistee had a large population of Polish immigrants, and they established St. Joseph Church (now renamed Divine Mercy Parish) and School. “The children were taught their prayers only in Polish. Most of my Manistee ancestors belonged to the Polish Church and attended the Polish School. My mother, who passed away in 2007, like my uncle had a Polish prayer book and could only recite her prayers in Polish. I suspect he, like my mother, used the same prayer book his entire lifetime, explaining it’s worn condition.”

She said that her uncle had only one son, who inherited the family home and possessions, after her aunt died. The son, (DeVries’s cousin) died in 2013. His wife had already passed away, and he had no children. “It was the end of the line of that family and a sister-in-law inherited everything,” she said.

DeVries went on to explain that the sister-in-law had an auction company come in and sell all the family possessions. “And, there were so many possessions. A lifetime of collecting things. Small items like books, dishes, knickknacks, etc. were boxed up and auctioned off by the lot. So people would bid on a box and have little idea what it contained. I suspect that is how the prayer book ended up in some random person’s yard sale downstate.”

DeVries is thankful to have this one small memento of her uncle. “I am extremely grateful to Pamela for making the effort to find our family and return this little treasure,” she said. “It is so thoughtful and kind of her. I attended the auction with my niece and we both found it to be a heart-wrenching experience. It appears the prayer book was meant to remain in Manistee and in our family, for although it journeyed to a distant place, it made it’s way back home again.”

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Celebrating 20 Years of First Grade Readers


CSPS-Library-Event

CSPS-Library-night-teachers-CTDonna Clark, Cedar Springs Library

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre, to celebrate “March is Reading Month.”  The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Lego Batman.”   Invitations were for March 6 and 7 at 6pm.   The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 81 over the two evenings.  Family members, who shared the fun, numbered in at 258.

2017 marked “20 years of celebrating first grade readers”  since the inception of the program in 1997, when Library Board Member, Mike Metzger, put his idea in motion.  As a part of this year’s celebration, Mike, at the request of Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark,  sponsored a free book giveaway for all first graders.  Students had the choice between “Pirate’s Treasure,” “The Great Gumshoe,” and “Medieval Quest”, all by Cedar Springs Children’s Author, Amanda Litz.  Amanda and her two teens, Sierra and Jacob, were there both nights to celebrate.  Kent District Youth Librarian from Nelson Township, Sara Magnuson, and Mary Shallman, Youth Paraprofessional from Spencer Township brought several items for first graders to take home, as well.

Cedar Springs first grade teachers Mrs. Doncis, Mrs. Brussow, Mr. Avink, Mrs. Sendler, Mrs. Holtrop, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Boggiano, Mrs. Upham, Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Tiffany, and Mrs. Schmidutz, welcomed their students with hugs, while keeping track of attendance for the libraries.

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First grade library card celebration


Mike Metzger, who founded the First Grade Library Card drive 20-plus years ago, is shown here with two of the attendees of the March is Reading month celebration at the Kent last week. Courtesy photo.

Mike Metzger, who founded the First Grade Library Card drive 20-plus years ago, is shown here with two of the attendees of the March is Reading month celebration at the Kent last week. Courtesy photo.

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre last week to celebrate “March is Reading Month.” The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Lego Batman.” Invitations were for Monday and Tuesday nights,  6 pm on March 6 and 7. The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 81 over the two evenings. Family members, who shared the fun, numbered in at 258.

(L to R): Sara Magnuson (Youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake branch of KDL); Mary Shallman (Youth Paraprofessional at Spencer Township branch of KDL); teen Sierra and her mom, CS author Amanda Litz; CS Librarian Donna Clark; and Mike Metzger, found of the First Grade Library Card roundup. Courtesy photo.

(L to R): Sara Magnuson (Youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake branch of KDL); Mary Shallman (Youth Paraprofessional at Spencer Township branch of KDL); teen Sierra and her mom, CS author Amanda Litz; CS Librarian Donna Clark; and Mike Metzger, found of the First Grade Library Card roundup. Courtesy photo.

This year marked 20 years of celebrating first grade readers since the inception of the program in 1997, when Library Board Member, Mike Metzger, put his idea in motion.  As a part of this year’s celebration, Mike, at the request of Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark, sponsored a free book giveaway for all first graders.  Students had the choice between “Pirate’s Treasure,” “The Great Gumshoe,” and “Medieval Quest,” all by Cedar Springs Children’s Author, Amanda Litz.  Amanda and her two teens, Sierra and Jacob, were on hand both nights to celebrate.  Kent District Youth Librarian from Nelson Township/Sand Lake, Sara Magnuson, and Mary Shallman, Youth Paraprofessional from Spencer Township, brought several items for first graders to take home as well.

First grade teachers Mrs. Doncis, Mrs. Brussow, Mr. Avink, Mrs. Sendler, Mrs. Holtrop, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Boggiano, Mrs. Upham, Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Tiffany, and Mrs. Schmidutz all welcomed their students with hugs, while keeping track of attendance for the libraries.

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