Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 13, 2014

Northern Notes: Students help with 'Secret Santa Shopping Day'

by Stephanie Beach
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Carol Rose, manager at the Women’s Resource Center Thrift Shop, wrote to thank all the volunteers, staff, and especially the students from West Middle School who served as Santa’s Elves at the Thrift Shop’s annual “Secret Santa Shopping Day,” helping all the children have a very festive time.

More than 100 children had a “very festive time” at the event. After visiting with Santa Claus, they received “Santa Bucks” to shop for a gift for their moms and dads.

“With the help of the West Middle School students, the children were encouraged to pick out whatever they thought mom and dad would want,” Carol wrote. “After careful selection, they had some very special elves help them wrap the gift so mom and dad wouldn’t peek!”

Carol added that the gift selection process got very interesting and she anticipated that there would be a lot of amused parents on Christmas morning!

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The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula hosted their annual Day of Caring in December as a way to support northern Michigan charities, northern Michigan wineries and celebrate the season of giving.

A total of $7,450 was raised during the event. Funds were distributed to AC Paw, the Father Fred Foundation, Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan, American Red Cross of Northwest Michigan, TART Trails, Traverse Health Clinic, and the Women’s Resource Center.

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The 18th annual Love Light Celebration had a little different format this year. Instead of lighting a “Love Light” tree, votive candles were used as a way to symbolize the Love Light part of the ceremony.

The event was held at Traverse City Art and Design Studio and drew more than 40 participants who viewed inspiring artwork, enjoyed the fellowship of others and took time to reflect on the lives of loved ones. The Rev. Homer Nye spoke during the service and encouraged participants to reflect back and also move forward in their lives, sharing that the first time he attended an event like the Love Light Celebration was after his wife died about 10 years ago.

“My life has moved on, but the touch that my wife Polly gave me is what allowed me to move on. And I wasn’t able to get in touch with that touch until I came to an event like this,” Rev. Nye said.

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Bill Marsh Chrysler-Dodge & Jeep helped raise $3,060 for the Traverse City West Senior High School football team with the Ram Truck brand’s Ram Gridiron Challenge program.

The fundraising event was held during the Tailgate Football Fundraiser in October. Participants earned a $20 contribution to the WSH football team from the Ram Truck brand by taking a brief test drive in a Ram truck.

“The Ram Truck brand and high school football are intricately linked through their connection to the tough, powerful and rugged American lifestyle,” said Mike Dragojevic, manager, Great Lakes Business Center. “Through the Ram Gridiron Challenge, we are able to give back to football organizations that provide students with a safe and engaging outlet outside of academics.”