BY STEPHANIE BEACH
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — April is National Volunteer Month and the Grand Traverse County Commission on Aging will celebrate its volunteers on Thursday, April 25, at the Traverse City Senior Center, 801 E. Front St.
“Amazingly, volunteers provided 11,341 hours of service in 2012, saving the Commission on Aging $233,965,” said Georgia Durga, Commission on Aging director. “Volunteers provided help with reception and greeting, mailings, senior center programs, congregate meals, holiday gift packages, board member service, home-delivered Northwestern Michigan College Barbecue (meals), and Senior Center building upkeep.”
Durga added that Deputy Director Lori Wells does a great job recruiting, working with and thanking the many volunteers who help out at the senior centers and notes that many of the senior center programs are run using volunteers who share their talents and knowledge. She also noted that the 13-member volunteer board donates countless hours of time.
“(Board) members share their expertise and skills to help senior citizens and to make the COA a better organization,” Durga said. “Board members have made a positive impact on our operations and have taken us to a higher level.”
In the summer of 2012, Cadillac hosted an exhibit of 11 life-sized bronze “people” created by world-renowned artist J. Seward Johnson of New Jersey. Because of the overwhelming success of the exhibit, the Friends of the Cadillac Wexford Public Library are sponsoring a second summer of fun. Ten new “characters” will inhabit the park and the streets of Cadillac during June, July and August.
“This display of art would not happen without the financial help of the community,” wrote Vickie Essenmacher, vice president/program coordinator for the Friends of the Library. “Credit is given to the Rotary Club of Cadillac, the Cadillac Downtown Development Authority and the Lakin/Weeks Fund for the Humanities. These three groups have committed to supply 50 percent of the cost involved in bringing the sculptures to our area.”
The Friends of the Library are still fund raising to make up the difference and would appreciate donations. Checks payable to the Friends of the Library may be mailed to 204 Locust Lane, Cadillac, MI 49601.
Third Level Crisis Intervention Center would like to send a heartfelt thank you to Laurie and George Wildman, owners of Federico’s Design Jewelers, and Anne Cole and Books A Million.
Federico’s donated five 5 percent of their December sales to Third Level instead of hosting their annual Christmas party.
Cole, co-manager of Books A Million, invited Third Level to participate in a book fair in January, with a percentage of the day’s sales going to the crisis intervention agency.
“We at Third Level are extremely grateful for the donations and support of the community,” said Ken Homa, Third Level executive director. “It is gifts like these that allow us to better serve those in need.”
Third Level has served northern lower Michigan for more than 41 years. It provides immediate, free flexible services including 24/7 crisis counseling, a free legal aid clinic, Pete’s Place youth shelter, youth and family services, street outreach, information and referral services and more. To learn more, visit www.thirdlevel.org.