Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 19, 2014

Northern Notes: Church mission teams seek Creole instructor


---- — Each year churches in Traverse City and the surrounding counties send mission teams to various areas in Haiti. Those teams vary in size from two to three to several dozen participants.

Central United Methodist Church has sent two teams each of the last several years and the make-up of the teams varies depending on the intended purpose of the trip — medical, construction, public service, education, etc. But one thing all the team members who go frequently have in common is the realization that a basic understanding of and fluency in conversational Haitian Creole would be beneficial, even though the teams have access to translators.

Staton Lorenz wrote on behalf of the Central United Methodist Church mission teams seeking someone who might have the skills to teach Creole to what he described as a “steady supply of eager adult students interested in paying for the service.”

“I contacted Julie Doyal at NMC about this problem, since she is involved with language classes at NMC, but she has no instructional personnel to draw from when it comes to Creole,” Staton wrote.

Anyone with the skills and interest in helping the mission teams with this should contact Staton, 492-2121 or


United Way of Northwest Michigan is collecting new and gently used books for children of all ages.

The book drive continues through the end of May and the books will be distributed in the five-county region during United Way’s week-long Days of Action event, which will be held the week of June 16.

Books can be dropped off at the United Way office, 521 S. Union St.; at any Chase Bank branch location; or at participating Traverse City Area Public Schools’ elementary schools. Individuals wishing to drop books off at a school should call first to make sure the school is participating.

To learn more, call Michelle Gallagher, 947-3200, ext. 201.


During the off-season, the Grand Traverse Yacht Club boat crews and other club groups host culinary nights. The groups prepare a meal for sale to other club members, replacing the usual kitchen staff.

When it came time for Yacht Club members Kim Marian and Libby Tomlinson, who own and race the all-female boat “Knockout,” to serve a meal, they had one mission in mind, to help the most in-need food pantries in the region.

“We chose to theme our evening ‘Knockout Hunger: A Soup Kitchen’ and served a variety of soups and grilled cheese sandwiches to our fellow club members,” Kim said. “To complete the theme, we collected both funds and food for Food Rescue Northwest Michigan, offering a discount on the meal as thanks for any food contributions.

The event was a huge success and the crew served dinner to nearly 100 people. According to Food Rescue’s Bob Cullen, the ladies of Knockout also generated nearly 500 pounds of food to help feed the hungriest families in the community.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the success of this event,” Kim said, adding that they also put out collection canisters which generated cash donations as well.

And finally, with permission from the Yacht Club Flag Officers, the club also planned to make a financial contribution equal to the proceeds generated from the sale of meals that evening.