Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

June 23, 2014

Northern Notes: Community steps up to the plate to support Kohler

John McPeake called to say he has been amazed by the Grand Traverse community’s generosity in supporting the fundraiser he organized to benefit the son of co-worker Amanda Kohler.

McPeake, a corrections officer for Grand Traverse County, said he knew he had to do something when his fellow officer’s son Christopher, 15, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor this year.

“We just wanted to do something to help the family with what they are going through,” said McPeake, who coordinated a silent auction and softball game between Grand Traverse County corrections officers and the KLT Ball Busters earlier this month.

The benefit raised more than $7,600 to help the Kohler family with the cost of regular trips to DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, where the Suttons Bay student has been undergoing tests to determine a course of treatment.

“People came forward with items for our silent auction and really got behind the effort. When (ex-NHLer) Dallas Drake found out that Christopher was a big fan, he came to throw out the first pitch, with his hockey stick,” McPeake said.

McPeake said he hopes to make the fundraiser an annual event to benefit families in need.

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Students from the eighth grade class at East Jordan Middle School voted to donate $682, raised during their annual Enterprise Day in May, to the East Jordan Freedom Festival board.

“The contribution will be a tremendous boost to the events budget needs,” said Freedom Festival board president, Shannon Fender.

This year’s East Jordan Freedom Festival will be held June 24-28. The festival board has increased the fireworks budget and has added an additional day to this year’s schedule.

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Haley Breniser, executive director of Grass River Natural Area, Inc., would like to thank the Dockside — Torch Lake Restaurant and staff for helping to raise $2,196 in support of their mission “to manage the Grass River Natural Area, conserve and protect its watershed, and provide opportunities that increase knowledge, appreciation, and community-wide stewardship of the natural environment.”

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