Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 3, 2014

Northern Notes: Two go 'overboard' to help Acme resident

by Stephanie Beach
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Norbert Lerch of Acme was driving home Jan. 31 and decided to pull into the Bamboo Gardens for dinner. When the 87-year-old came out of the restaurant, his rear tire was flat.

“I thought, ‘I can change that,’ but I didn’t have the strength,” Norbert said.

Norbert said the restaurant owner came out and offered to change the tire for him. He struggled with it for about 25 minutes before he finally got the lug nuts off and the spare tire on. The next day, Norbert stopped at Juniors Tires to get the tire fixed. After the job was done, Norbert was told it was “on the house.”

“Two people went overboard to extend their help,” Norbert said.

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Peg Dunn, Emilie Kimpel, Barb Rich, Ann Holm, Frances Larson, Rosemary Tanner, Liz Crawford, Joan Currier and Nancy Marshall from the Dorcas and ACTION guilds assembled at Trinity Lutheran Church in Frankfort recently to quietly work on colorful quilts, hats, tote bags and a host of other items that were donated to local charities like Benzie Area Christian Neighbors and Lutheran Social Services, which serves Michigan’s lower peninsula.

“The volume of work is always amazing,” Peg Dunn, facilitator for ACTION, said. “In four months’ time over 1,151 volunteer hours were logged and hundreds of dollars of value created. We are honored to be able to serve our community and Lutheran Social Services this way.”

David Abeel, director of development for Benzie Area Christian Neighbors, added that the organization has received a number of these “treasures” in the past and often uses them to help raise funds or as a drawing prize for volunteers or “Neighbors” who participate in a survey or evaluation project.

“Bright, colorful, beautiful, warm; we hear this every time we bring a quilt out,” David said. “It is a wonderful prize during an extra cold winter like this one (and) a great example of a caring community of neighbors helping neighbors.”

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More than 100 people tasted and voted during the Crystal Lake Community Business Association’s WinterFest chili contest.

Individual contest winners were: first place, Kathy Englebertson for her five bean chili with meat; second place, John Darien for his mountain man chili; and third place, Steve Kelly for his four-bean chipolte chili.

The business award went to Crystal Mountain Resort and Jeremy Ursam for its Thistle Signature Sirloin Chili.

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Clay Burch, a third-grade student at Franklin Elementary School in Cadillac, was the state winner in the National Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program.

Launched nationally in 2002, the program exposes children to agriculture and demonstrates through hands-on experience where food comes from. It awards a scholarship to one student in each participating state. At the end of the season, teachers from each class select the student who has grown the “best” cabbage based on size and appearance and submits a digital image of the cabbage and student online. That student’s name is then entered into a statewide drawing.

Clay’s cabbage was selected from 19,355 state entries by the Michigan Agriculture Department and he will receive a $1,000 savings bond toward his education from Bonnie Plants.