Betsy Mackey of Traverse City is very grateful for the help she received on Jan. 27 when she took her 94-year-old mother to Red Lobster for her birthday dinner.
Anyone who has ever had to help someone from a car into a wheelchair knows that the maneuver has to be well-coordinated or there is danger of the person slipping or falling. This is what happened to Betsy as she was helping her mother out of the car and into her wheelchair. Betsy was able to stop her mother from falling by gently pinning her against the car and then called for help. A couple responded by getting the hostess, who realized that she didn't have enough strength to help and got manager Josh Oberschmidt. He helped get Betsy's mom into the wheelchair and into the restaurant, where the mother and daughter enjoyed a nice birthday meal. Betsy said that when they were ready to leave, Josh went out with them and got her mom back into the car.
"It was a big thing to me and Josh saved the day," Betsy said. "Thank God for angels."
Joe Kuncaitis' wife, Claudia Joy, passed away on Dec. 8. Funeral arrangements had been made for visitation on Dec. 14, with the funeral on the following day and the intent was to hold the Celebration of Life service at Williamsburg United Methodist Church. During the week, it became clear many more friends and family members were planning to attend than the church could accommodate. The Rev. Jerry Micketti, pastor at Christ the King Catholic Church in Acme, heard about the family's problem and offered the use of Christ the King Church for the service and funeral meal.
"Father Jerry's offer became a godsend as nearly 500 family members and friends did indeed attend the service," Joe Kuncaitis wrote. "This showing of community awareness and Christian love turned a time of great concern into a very memorable part of the celebration of the life of my wife of 45 years. The Kuncaitis family wishes to publicly thank Father Jerry Micketti and his staff for their help and concern during that time."
M. Egan McGlynn, community resource coordinator for the Department of Human Services/Grand Traverse and Leelanau, wrote on behalf of the Grand Traverse and Leelanau Holiday Giving Partnership to thank Jack Sir and the entire Sir family, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Coast Guard staff and all the generous donors who helped make the Toys for Tots program so successful this holiday season.
The Holiday Partnership is made of up various organizations that work together to meet the needs of low-income families during the holiday season. Participating organizations include the Women's Resource Center, the Father Fred Foundation, the Salvation Army, the Traverse City Fire Department, Goodwill, the Department of Human Services/Grand Traverse and Leelanau, The Presbyterian Church and God's Love Tree. In 2007, these organizations collectively served more than 4,950 people.
The group will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Sept. 24, 2008, to begin planning for the 2008 holiday season. Any organizations that wish to work cooperatively are invited to become involved and can call the person in charge of the Holiday Giving Program at any of the above agencies.
The Peter Dougherty Society wishes to thank Steve and Glenda Keenan and their builder, Greg Shugart, for the generous donations that allowed the society to secure a period icehouse that is believed to be from the same time period as the icehouse that existed when William Rushmore operated the Dougherty House as an inn.
All the "Survivor" fans out there will have a chance to root for a Michigan guy beginning tonight on "Survivor: Micronesia Fans vs. Favorites." The show will premiere at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Erik Reichenbach, originally from Pinckney, is a senior at Eastern Michigan University, where he studies art and is on the cross country and track teams. His parents have a cottage in Benzie County and he trains in the summer near there. He also has competed numerous times in the Firecracker five kilometer race and knows many area runners.
Best wishes go out to Erik as he competes to "Outwit, Outplay and Outlast" nine other "ultra fans" and 10 former cast aways.
Items for this column may be sent to Northern Notes, Record-Eagle, P.O. Box 632, Traverse City, MI 49685-0632; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.