n To Traverse City East Middle School eighth-graders Ru Ferguson and Abigail Fox, who are heading to the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest in June to present a documentary on this year’s theme: Rights and Responsibilities in History. The two researched the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and created a nine-minute film called “Closing the Golden Gate.” The annual contest asks students to choose a historical topic and create a paper, exhibit, performance, website or documentary.
n To the dozens of supporters who came together to help Carol Clous and her 21-year-old daughter, Kelsey, who underwent a life-saving surgery May 14 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Donors gave more than $6,000 to an online campaign to help the Clous family defray more than $250,000 in outstanding medical bills accrued during Kelsey’s five-year struggle with an “unknown clotting disorder.” The effort is continuing at www.plumfund.com/pf/9cux8.
n To the employees at Leelanau Pie & Pastry who came together recently to keep the family business running while its owner, Gene Peyerk, 49, recovered from open-heart surgery. Peyerk has undergone a handful of surgeries since a physical examination 14 years ago found a leaking valve on his heart. The most recent surgery put Peyerk’s children Kaylin and Geno in charge of the business alongside employees Grace and Mike Hubbell and Mike Sawyer. They operated the business with some leadership from Peyerk’s wife, Joan.
n To the organizers of the Empire Asparagus Festival that was to be held over the weekend despite the fact that the festival’s usual asparagus supplier, Harry Norconk of Norconk Farm, didn’t yet have an asparagus crop. The long winter and cold spring conspired to slow northern Michigan’s asparagus crop, so ample local produce won’t be ready until around May 20,