Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 4, 2013

Northern Notes: 'Act of kindness' overwhelms woman

by Stephanie Beach
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Lori Jurgens of Bay City wrote to share a “profound act of kindness” that her disabled sister received.

Her sister, who lives in Traverse City, was at Tom’s Food Market at Division and 14th Street on Oct. 2 when her food stamp card would not work. She told Lori that “two gentlemen” behind her in the checkout line paid for her groceries.

“I am totally overwhelmed at this profound act of kindness, unselfishness and generosity,” Lori wrote. “I do not think I will ever find out who these ‘gentlemen’ were, but I hope they are reading this. Please know that she and her family thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are very, very special.”

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In 2011, Owen Eldridge and Carson Gravis, then second graders at The Children’s House in Traverse City, brought a proposal to their Head-of-School. Would the school agree to fund construction of a basketball court if the boys could raise the money necessary to purchase hardware for the basketball hoop.

“It feels great to be part of a school community where I can say ‘yes’ to requests like these,” said Michele Shane, Head-of-School at The Children’s House. “For two 7 year olds, it was a pretty big and expensive dream.”

For the next two years, Owen and Carson set their eye on the prize and went to work collecting hundreds of dollars worth of discarded bottles and cans and organizing a number of bake sales. Their efforts paid off to the tune of nearly $1,000, and construction of the outdoor court, started in the spring, was completed the first week in October.

“The ability of these boys to make their dream become a reality offers an incredible lesson: That hard work, perseverance and dedication is the recipe for making even impossible goals become a reality,” Michele Shane said. “It’s been a wonderful learning opportunity for the entire school.”

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Susan Ansorge of Traverse City learned recently that real people actually do win Internet contests, because she’s one of them.

Susan won a new Jeep Wrangler by casting a vote in the “Dial for Men” online “Muckdown” contest. The contest featured men involved in activities that had them covered in thick layers of mud. Those who submitted photos and those who cast votes were eligible to win prizes.

Ansorge voted for a Michigan contestant and, while he came in eighth, she won a random drawing of voters.

Susan said she was notified by email in July that she won the contest, but was skeptical. She became convinced when she received a package verifying her winning. She picked up her new Jeep at the Traverse City Bill Marsh dealership and drove off the lot saying she plans to enjoy it every day. Plus, her son ends up a winner too since he will inherit her current car.