Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 13, 2013

Northern Notes: Sixth-graders sew 'heartfelt' gifts

by Stephanie Beach
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — For the past three years, students in Rebecca Walters' West Middle School sixth-grade Creative Living Class have sewn and delivered heart-shaped pillows to the Webber Heart Center open heart surgery unit. This year is no exception.

Kara Classens, A2 Cardiothoracic Unit resource nurse clinician, wrote to send cheers to the more than 75 students who recently delivered handmade pillows for heart patients to use for support and to ease pain. Although unable to visit the unit, the students heard a presentation on how the pillows are used. In the past, former heart patients also have taken the time to come and talk to the students about what their gifts mean to the patients.

"Instead of doing something not very meaningful I found that there was a need for the heart pillows," Rebecca said. "It's of great value (when the students) can see how it's helping people."

The Grand Traverse County Senior Center Network was chosen by Kennemetal employees for their United Way Day of Caring project. Employees were onsite for an entire day cleaning, painting and sprucing things up at the Senior Center on East Front Street. The Senior Center Network also received a $1,000 donation from the Kennemetal Foundation.

"Never in a million years did we expect them to make a donation as well," said Senior Center Deputy Director Lori Wells.

"The Senior Center is a grateful recipient of a Day of Caring Project team every year and Lori encourages other county departments to identify projects that volunteers like those from Kennemetal can help with.

"They are worth their weight in gold," Lori said.

In celebration of Professional Pet Sitters Week, Pet Sitters Network North (PSNN) hosted a dog walk in March at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center.

The event attracted 62 registrants and more than 70 dogs. Donations were collected to benefit Cherryland Humane Society's efforts to help dogs currently held at Animal Control. PSNN received $1,060 in donations and matched the first $200 for a total donation of $1,260.

"Cherryland Humane Society greatly appreciates the donation ... and the opportunity to discuss the Animal Control contract," said Dr. David Burke, president of the CHS Board of Directors. "Plus it was a very well organized and fun event."

The contract would allow CHS to house strays picked up by Animal Control. County strays currently are housed at Animal Control and if not picked up by the owner may face being put down. Transferring them to CHS would give them the chance to be adopted.

PSNN views the pending agreement as a benefit to everyone, but most especially to the homeless dogs in the county. They also would like to thank everyone who came out and joined them for a fun day and helped them support a great community cause.