By STEPHANIE BEACH
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — Kathryn Holl, grief support services manager for the local Hospice of Michigan, wrote to thank the generous community donors who supported the recent Memories on the Manitou Sail.
This is the fourth year for the healing event, which was attended by 56 individuals grieving the loss of a loved one. Kathryn conducted a memorial service as the ship left the dock, which included reading the names of loved ones and poetry. Participants received white carnations as their loved one’s names were read and, after a moment of reflection, released the flowers into West Grand Traverse Bay. After the ceremony, the sails were raised and a picnic supper was served.
“One woman remarked that she came alone, but left in the good company of many who understand,” Kathryn said.
Kathryn went on to recognize and thank Mary and Dave McGinnis of Traverse Tall Ships, Dockside Party Store, Comfort Keepers, Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City Masonic Lodge #222 and The Blue Goat for making the grief support sail possible.
“It was a memorable evening of honoring loved ones, reflections and a breath of fresh air,” Kathryn said.
• For one week each summer, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church members and friends from other Benzie County and Traverse City churches lend more than 75 pairs of hands to home owners in the area who are unable to do needed home repairs.
The Beulah church’s mission project is called S.T.A.M.P. and concentrates all its efforts on making homes safe, warm and dry. This year, Benzie Area Christian Neighbors helped identify 20 homes to benefit from the program. In addition, several program recipients received a cloned champion tree or trees planted on their property donated by David Milarch of Archangel Tree Archives. The trees symbolically represent rebuilding in its most basic sense.
In addition to members of St. Andrews, members of the following churches volunteered their time or equipment: Northern Lakes Community Church, The First Presbyterian Church of Traverse City, Trinity Lutheran Church of Frankfort, St. Anne Catholic Church in Frankfort; Unitarian Universalist Church in Benzie County, Blaine Christian Church, First Congregational Church in Dundee, Ill., the Traverse City Methodist Church Tool Trailer, and the Congregational Summer Assembly in Frankfort.
Freedom Builders provided technical support as well as reclaimed materials and help also was provided by Smitty’s Tree Service, American Waste Management of Traverse City, and Betsy Valley Sales & Service in Benzonia.
Although actual repairs are completed in one week’s time, S.T.A.M.P. is an ongoing program at St. Andrews and proceeds from its Summer Concerts on the Hill series go directly toward funding the annual outreach program.