n To Jessie Williams, an eighth-grader at Pathfinder School in Leelanau County and the Grand Traverse Regional Spelling Bee winner, who represented the area at the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Jessie went out in the second round. Her parents, Liz O’Toole and Dave Williams, went with her.
n To the staff of Traverse City Central High School’s student newspaper the Black and Gold, who garnered a Spartan award from the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association. The Spartan is the highest award a student publication can receive in Michigan. It was the fourth time in five years the Black and Gold won the award.
n To the Oryana Natural Foods Market, which received the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Hagerty Small Business of the Year Award. The market, located on East 10th Street is known for its loyal customer base. The business started 41 years ago as a tiny grassroots buyer’s club. Sales in 2013 passed $14 million and Oryana now employs 132 people.
n To Traverse City Central High School for adding emergency preparedness to its annual fire, wind and lockdown drills. Members of the school’s crisis management team will now participate in cardiac arrest drills to be prepared to act in the event of a heart-related emergency.
n To the village of Kingsley for creating Kingsley Area Memorial Park at Elm Street and M-113. The park is to honor the Kingsley area’s fallen soldiers, veterans and members of the armed forces, It was to be dedicated June 6.
n To the late Al Lien, better known as “Poppy the Popcorn Man,” who with Linda Barry entertained every week at the kids’ matinee at Traverse City’s State Theatre. Dressed in his red-and-white “Poppy” ensemble, Lien would stand stubbornly at the door determined to “sticker” late-arriving kids. He would later take the stage to announce kids’ birthdays. Alvin Thorwald Lien, 71, died April 21 after being pinned between his pickup truck and a gravel truck at his home. Lien, who spent two years with Second City in Chicago, played many roles with the Old Town Playhouse and the Leelanau Players.