Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — - To Cantus, the top group of Northwestern Michigan College Children’s Choir, which took home a grand prize in New York City. Cantus earned a gold medal for its performance at the Festival Competition at the College of Staten Island. The group also was named Grand Champions of the entire competition — the festival’s highest honor. Cantus, made up of fifth through ninth graders, competed against middle school and high school choirs, bands, and orchestras from around the country.
- To members of Traverse City Central High School’s student senate for sponsoring their first Spring Splatter 5K run to raise awareness of child abuse. Proceeds from the April 20 race benefited the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center.
- To United Way for organizing its fourth annual One Day Without Shoes event. Participants walked barefoot through downtown Traverse City to raise awareness of those in need for whom small items, such as shoes, can make a tremendous difference.
- To the 27 members of the Traverse City Rotary Club who traveled to Honduras, where they installed 195 water filters over three days. The filters are three-foot plastic barrels with a PVC pipe and spout on the outside, and gravel and sand on the inside. They cost $100 and can last 10 years or more. The sand and rocks filter the water to make it drinkable.
- To organizers of and participants in the 24th annual Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade which was to be held Saturday through downtown. The theme this year was “Seeds! Awesome Vessels of Power.” Volunteers spent months constructing puppets and masks for the parade. Northwestern Michigan College was also to hold its second Dirt Fest, which was to feature workshops on gardening, composting and fermentation.
- To Traverse City Light & Power, which was to celebrate its 25th year of distributing free Eastern White Pine seedlings in honor of Earth Day. The city-owned utility has given away over 140,000 seedlings since 1988.
- To the League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area and Traverse City Area Public Schools for sponsoring a public forum on proposed changes to the way Michigan funds public schools. The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Traverse City West Middle School.
- To the Michigan Senate, which approved a bill to crack down on the owners of blighted and neglected property who don’t pay their fines. The tougher penalties can include potential jail time. The bipartisan bills now head to the House.