Barbara Duwe was driving to work when she hit a spare tire that was lying in the middle of Hammond Road. This happened during one of the recent blizzards northern Michigan has experienced this winter.

Barbara stopped at the Speedway at Four Mile and U.S. 31, where a very kind man noticed that the tire was still lodged under her car and made several unsuccessful attempts to dislodge it. Another man saw what was going on and offered his jack to lift Barbara's Jeep and remove the tire.

"Both of these kind men were flat on the ground on the coldest, snowiest of mornings, with gale force winds coming straight off the bay. They were also most likely on their way to work, but they did not hesitate to offer me assistance and I would like to thank them very much," Barbara wrote.

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Shortly before the holidays, Adell Maksimowicz's pastor posed the question of how Christ had come to them and she wrote to share how Christ came to her in the form of a dear friend and a good neighbor.

David Basler, after working long hours at his day job, willingly and lovingly came to Adell's home to stay with her husband who, because of health problems, can't be left alone. This allowed Adell to spend some time with other friends.

The couple also have a very large, very heavy Christmas tree and were seriously considering skipping the tree this holiday season.

"My heart was made very happy when our good neighbor Scott Haselton set the tree up and made sure the lights were all sparkling," Adell wrote.

"How blessed we are to have these friends in our life. How did Christ come to you today? Or did you go to someone in need?" Adell asked.

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In December, students from Traverse City High School hosted a benefit party to raise money for students experiencing homelessness.

The benefit was a great success, due to the students' efforts, the efforts of Traverse City High School staff, Bill Watson and the Youth Corps, and generous donations from Wal-Mart, Pepsi Cola, Annie's and Traverse City High School's former principal, Ron Hoth. The students were able to present a check for $836.47 to the Students in Transition Empowerment Program (S.T.E.P.)

The free program, offered by Traverse City Area Public Schools, provides supportive education-related services to students ages 3 to 17 who do not have permanent housing. The goal is to work with parents, regardless or their residential status, to ensure their school-age children's regular attendance and academic success at the same school for the entire school year. S.T.E.P. also advocates for linking parents of young children with early childhood learning experiences beginning at birth. For the 2006-07 school year, there were 400 TCAPS students in kindergarten through 12th grade who were identified for the program.

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St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Beulah raised $9,490 through its Concerts on the Hill series, which featured performances by jazz pianist David Chown, Song of the Lakes, and Emilie Sargent, Jim Bekkering and Margaret Sargent. The funds were given to Benzie Area Christian Neighbors and Dental Clinics North to help Benzie County residents who have dental care needs.

The Benzie County Ministerial Association contributed $500 toward this community fundraiser, while individual sponsors covered the costs of the series, which allowed all donated funds to be given to the designated charities. Special thanks go to Mary Robling and Ray Nichols who spearheaded the series as part of the mission program at St. Andrews.

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Michigan Community Blood Centers recently acknowledged the following blood donors for reaching new gallon levels.

They are: one gallon -- Ian Bock, Kelly Caughell, Nathan Farrier, William Ganzak, Michelle Greve, Joseph Harris, Diane Heger, Andrea Hoose, Julie Hull Modjeski, John McIntyre, Linda J. Porter, Rochelle Provencher, Jessica Rickard, Melissa Small, Gordon Smith, Marcia Spitzley, Loree Sprawka, Brian VanAlstine, Jessica Velez, Gerald Weiss, and Ryan Whiteford; two gallons -- Lee Cobb, Janet Connolly, Janet Crawford, Howard Everts, Bonnie Lautner, Brenda Mead, Kyle Monteith, Judith Oien, Kathie Peters, Jenny Strait, and Steven Winters; three gallons -- Cathy Bechtel, Debra DeGrandchamp, Carolyn Denny, Pamela Erickson, William Garcia, David Gibson, Richard McCullough, Sandy Piotrowski, Richard Probst, Jeannette Ruediger, Evelyn Sehl, and Marge Waclawski; four gallons -- James Berg, Elizabeth Gallinger, and Jane Hutchinson; five gallons -- Gertrude Bresnahan, Joanne Corcoran, Mark Hilliard, Karl Rylands, Melvin Tahtinen, and Patricia Treece; six gallons -- Jack Niesen, James Roos, and Carl Yost; seven gallons -- Gary Gardner and Gary Money; nine gallons -- Jill Hayes and Raelene Warfield; 10 gallons -- Bruce Lassila and Connie Stevens; 14 gallons -- Wallace Hibbard; 17 gallons -- Robert Ford; and 20 gallons -- Buddy Bothwell.

Items for this column may be sent to Northern Notes, Record-Eagle, P.O. Box 632, Traverse City, MI 49685-0632; e-mail sbeach@record-eagle.com.

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