Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — - To the 400 or so volunteers who make Northwestern Michigan College’s annual Barbecue go and the thousands of area residents who flock to the annual fundraiser, which has raised more than $1.5 million over 57 years. The 2013 version raised an estimated $60,000. The Barbecue was the brainchild of Gerald Oleson of Oleson’s Food Stores, who was also a founder of the college.
- To state lawmakers considering bills that would give some disabled Michigan veterans tax relief. Two different bills aim to provide property tax exemptions for veterans who are disabled as the result of their military service. Backers say the legislation will ensure disabled veterans don’t lose their homes.
- To those behind Peace Ranch, a faith-based organization located in the Hoosier Valley area that works with children and adults with various disabilities by exposing them to therapy horses. The herd at Peace Ranch, trained by volunteers, is comprised of 13 rescued and unwanted horses. Grooming and caring for the horses can be extremely satisfying, even transformational, for clients and volunteers alike, organizers say.
- To Buchan’s Blueberry Hill and the Traverse City Parrothead Club for hosting an Ice Cream Social and Family Fun Day from noon to 6 p.m. June 8 at the farm on Nelson Road. Proceeds will benefit United Way of Northwest Michigan’s community grant efforts. The event will include a petting zoo, bounce houses, lawn games, kids crafts projects, food, and more.
- To the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association, which raised more than $4,000 for its Winemakers Scholarship Program during its recent Spring Sip & Savor wine tour. More than 1,000 visitors attended. The scholarship will provide financial assistance to students interested in pursuing careers as winemakers and vineyardists.
- To Dennis Downes, who has traveled 200,000 miles over three decades to locate Indian trail tree markers around the Great Lakes, including one at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center and another at a Washington Street residence. He recently returned to the area with Hilda “Little Fawn” Williams, the daughter of Oklahoma Chief Thunder Cloud, an Ottawa Indian born in Leelanau County.
- To area educators recognized with the Outstanding Educator Award. Honorees include: Dave Clark, TBAISD school psychologist; Don Freed, Traverse City Area Public Schools Central High School counselor; Marge Gatzke, TCAPS Interlochen Elementary School kindergarten teacher; Shane Harrison, Pathfinder School science teacher; Monique Mansfield, TBAISD school-based occupational therapist; Ginny Newman, Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School counselor; Marci Perthes, TCAPS East Middle School counselor; Kim Prisk; TCAPS West Senior High School business and accounting teacher; Margie Tropf, Northport Public School kindergarten teacher; and Fred Wille, Suttons Bay Public Schools teacher consultant.