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Solon spaghetti dinner raises funds for township park


A spaghetti dinner and dessert auction last weekend raised over $1,000 for Solon Township’s Velzy Park.

A spaghetti dinner and dessert auction last weekend raised over $1,000 for Solon Township’s Velzy Park.

By Vicky Babcock

The mood was warm and festive, the company, in turns, warmly supportive and fiercely competitive. It was a gathering of friends, family and community motivated by a common cause—to eat—and to aid in the culmination of a dream. It was Solon’s second annual spaghetti dinner/dessert auction fundraiser for Velzy Park.

The community came together in support of Velzy Park. With mood music created by Courtney King and tables dressed in Valentine splendor, about 80 area residents sat down to a buffet style supper of spaghetti, garlic bread and salad cooked in house by our own Annette Ellick.

The atmosphere changed when the first desserts were brought out to be auctioned, however.  Friends and neighbors vied for their choices of desserts from the huge array of donated items. It was good-natured rivalry, with some desserts reaching upwards of $50. Many of the desserts were shared table to table and there was plenty left to take home for later. Desserts ruled, but they were not the only choice for bidding as a growler fill and tee shirts donated by David Ringler also shared the auction table.

The event was made possible by the Park Committee, its many volunteers, both in service and donated desserts and other related items. It was a community effort enjoyed by the community.  The event brought in over $1,350 with about $1000 for the park realized after expenses.

The creation of the park will help fill a gap in the Township’s infrastructure. While Long Lake Park—a County Park—is located within its boundaries, Solon has no structured parks of its own. The Township envisions a green area with a soccer field, baseball diamond and playground area, as well as picnic tables and a walking trail. With the North Country Trail planning a route through the park, it will become an important pit stop from the West as it makes its way into Cedar Springs.

Velzy Park is the collective dream of a number of citizens, an area where the community can come together for social events and play, both structured and unstructured. The park will be open to everyone and will not rely on tax dollars. Look for groundbreaking on the trail this spring or summer as the committee continues fundraising efforts. For more information or to donate or volunteer, please call the township office at 616-696-1718.

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Ricker family fundraisers


The Ricker Family

The Ricker Family

Various groups are putting on fundraisers over the next couple of weeks to help pay for medical bills for two teen brothers in our community that are battling cancer: Brison and Preston Ricker. Brison has an inoperable brain tumor (DIPG) and Preston recently had surgery for thyroid cancer. They are the sons of Brian and Kim Ricker, of Nelson Township. These are the ones we know about:

Varsity basketball fundraiser

FEB. 17: Please join the Cedar Springs Girls and Boys Basketball programs this Friday, February 17, as they host Forest Hills Central in a #rickerstrong game. Many activities are planned for the evening, which starts at 5:30 p.m. with the boys game. Please pack these stands and bring your wallets as we come together to raise money for this awesome family that is battling cancer! We will have a 50/50, raffling off these fabulous corn hole boards that Steve Elliston made and painted by hand and donated, as well as some half time shooting. It is also Senior Night-the last night these senior boys and girls will suit up and play in the Red Hawk gym.

FFA Silent Auction

FEB. 17-24: The FFA at Cedar Springs High School is holding a series of fundraisers for the Ricker family, in conjunction with National FFA week. The first is a silent auction at both Family Farm and Home and Quality Farm and Fleet, and starts this Friday, February 17 and runs until February 24. Several businesses have donated items, and the FFA will also include some of their own homemade maple syrup and pancake mix in the baskets. They hope to have a couple of tables set up at each store, so stop in at both stores and bid on your favorite items.

Movie at the Kent Theatre: Miracles from Heaven

FEB. 22: The FFA is sponsoring the movie “Miracles from Heaven” at the Kent Theatre on Wednesday, February 22, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $3. All proceeds from ticket sales and a portion of concession sales will go to the Ricker family. A donation jar will also be set up for anyone wishing to donate more to the family’s medical expenses. The movie, starring Jennifer Garner, is based on the true story of a young girl who was miraculously cured from her illness.

Spaghetti dinner 

FEB. 26: Classic Kelly’s Family Restaurant, 356 N. Main Street, Cedar Springs, is holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Ricker family on Sunday, February 26, from 6-8:30 p.m. They will provide either a sit down or take out dinner for $10 each, with all proceeds going to the Ricker family. #Rickerstrong t-shirts will also be available to buy that night.

Dinner at Culver’s

FEB. 28: The FFA is holding a fundraising dinner for the Rickers at Culver’s of Comstock Park, located at 4280 Alpine, on Tuesday, February 28, from 5-30-8 p.m. Ten percent of proceeds will go to the Ricker family.

Other things the FFA is doing to support the Ricker family include selling bracelets at the high school that say  “Farming for a cause #rickerstrong” and running a “Kiss the Pig” contest in classrooms. For the Kiss the Pig contest, 24 piggybanks have been set up in various classrooms. According to teacher Larry Reyburn, the top five classrooms that collect the most change will win, and those lucky teachers will get to kiss a baby pig supplied by the FFA. Paper money doesn’t count, so if they don’t want to kiss the pig, they can stuff the piggyback with dollar bills. Fun stuff! FFA students Heather Beverwyk and Kate Hall have been in charge of organizing the current FFA fundraisers for the Ricker family.

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Fundraiser for fire truck restoration


ENT-firetruck

The Cedar Springs Fire Department is having a spaghetti dinner at Big Boy on Wednesday, April 10, to raise money to help restore its antique Model A fire engine. The 1929 engine is used for special events such as parades and community events, usually with the Keystone Kops at the helm.

Dinner tickets are $10 for adults, and $6 for children, and are available at Big Boy or from any Cedar Springs Firefighter. You can also call the station at 696-1221 and leave a message.

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