Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 26, 2012

Cheers: 11/26/2012


---- — -- To Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan's Goodwill Inn, which annually provides temporary shelter to hundreds of homeless people from around the region. Facilities such as the Goodwill Inn are a sad fact of life in these trying economic times, as witnessed by steady increases in the number of people who've had to turn to the Inn for safe shelter since the economy crashed in 2008. Homelessness is a troubling aspect of life in northern Michigan. The Goodwill Inn and other such facilities help shield families and individuals from a more harrowing existence.

-- To a new board game crafted in part by some of Goodwill Inn's residents and supporters. Home Sweet Homeless is a game developed to educate both homeless people and the public. Lynn Cifka, 56, helped design the game in 2010 when she found herself without a home. It will be available to public display Dec. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the City Opera House during photographer Alan Newton's photo exhibit of local homeless people.

-- To the Grand Traverse County Probate court for holding its annual Adoption Day, this time at the Hagerty Center so more people could attend. Twenty-one adoptions for children of all ages were finalized. If old enough, each child was allowed to ceremoniously bang the gavel for his or her adoption.

-- To organizers of the annual Toys for Tots drive, which kicked off when the U.S. Coast Guard escorted Santa to the Great Wolf Lodge Nov. 17. More than 100 Toys for Tots collection boxes are located across the five-county region. For details call 933-0344 or visit

-- To organizers of the Traverse City Winter Comedy Festival (the Winter WowFest name was dropped), which will return for Presidents Day weekend 2013, Feb. 14-17. Presented by the Traverse City Film Festival and the National Cherry Festival, the comedy extravaganza will feature still-to-be-announced nationally known comedians performing each night.

-- To design expert, HGTV star and Traverse City celebrity resident Carter Oosterhouse, who renovated a Traverse City fire station for an HGTV holiday special. This year he offered his design expertise to a life-size gingerbread house at Great Wolf Lodge. Guests can view the house for a $20 donation, which goes to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

-- To the Michigan Land Use Institute, which has received a $100,000 United States Department of Agriculture grant to increase efforts to get local produce on school lunch trays. The money will enable the hiring of two more people to conduct cafeteria tastings and classroom curriculum and school garden activities and buy equipment.