Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 31, 2012

Cheers: 12/31/2012


---- — - To the many Community Meals Program volunteers who helped prepare and deliver more than 1,000 Christmas meals in the Traverse City area. They also served about 300 meals at Trinity Lutheran Church.

- To Jen MacArthur and adopted son Robert who turned a two-year "respite" foster care placement into a permanent adoption a year ago. They recently received an award from Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan for their unusual success story as well as their determination to make the foster care placement work. Robert, who had experienced two failed adoptions, said all he wanted for Christmas last year was a puppy. MacArthur gave him adoption papers. "He was already my kid. Why not give him the last name?" she said. Robert, 18, is now a senior at Traverse City West Senior High School.

- To 8-year-old Ada Maas and her family, who donated more than 250 scarves to Safe Harbor and the Goodwill Inn to distribute to area homeless. The total includes 230 hand-knit scarves received from all over the country, thanks to a short letter Ada sent out in the summer. This was the third year that the Willow Hill Elementary School third-grader has directly helped area homeless. Two years ago, it was socks. Last year she raised money and gave cake mixes, frosting and candles to the Goodwill Inn when she learned that children staying there did not celebrate birthdays with a cake and trimmings.

- To the annual Toys for Tots campaign in northwest Michigan for collecting 21,000 toys that were distributed to an estimated 7,000 children throughout the region. The campaign provided toys to 17 human service agencies in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Kalkaska and Antrim counties.

- To Michelle Smith, of Boardman Township, who permanently adopted a 23-year-old malnourished quarter horse called Lil' Bit several months ago after it was neglected by its owner and helped it regain 300 lost pounds. Smith is a volunteer for Horse North Rescue in Kingsley.

- To Georgetta "G.G." Galla for making 75 pillows as Christmas gifts for rehab patients at Tendercare Traverse City Center after spending several weeks at the facility this year while recovering from a broken femur.

- To Traverse City officials and Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails volunteers for working together to clear snow along the TART Trail. TART volunteers are clearing prioritized sections using equipment and fuel provided by the city. Sections include Carter Road to Bunker Hill Road in Acme when at least three inches of snow accumulates; Murchie Bridge underpass; the Boardman Lake pedestrian bridge and the Mall Trail from 14th Street to South Airport.