n To Traverse City Area Public Schools for exploring new programs to feed students. The district is in the second year of a pilot federal program at Traverse Heights and Blair elementary schools that supplies breakfast and lunch free to all students regardless of family income. Cheers also to the new federal mandate that requires healthier foods and bigger servings in school lunches.
n To the Veterans for Peace Chapter 50 for organizing International Day of Peace events that were to be held Friday in Traverse City, including a sunrise greeting at Clinch Park, a proclamation of the day at the Governmental city by Mayor Michael Estes and a coalition panel discussion at the History Center of Traverse City.
n To Traverse City West Senior High School for being selected to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Mission 3, which asks 600 students working in teams to produce a "low- or no-gravity" science experiment. The best experiment will be tested on the International Space Station in May 2013. Physics and chemistry teacher Patrick Gillespie said the $20,000 cost will be underwritten mostly by public and private donors.
n To Nancy Shiffler, a Sierra Club volunteer, and the late Calvin "Rusty" Gates, founder of Anglers of the Au Sable, for discovering a 2003 drilling permit request from Savory Energy of Traverse City that would have allowed the clearing of five acres for a drilling pad, brine pit and processing equipment near the pristine Mason Tract along the Au Sable River in Crawford County. Savoy, which never intervened in the suit, recently withdrew its permit, ending a nine-year legal battle between the U.S. Forest Service and the two groups.
n To Cherry Bend Animal Hospital for hosting the second annual Spay and Neuter-A-Thon. Three veterinarians, staff members and volunteers spent 12 hours treating 55 cats and dogs for free. The event was launched last year by Dr. John Sheard, the hospital's medical director.
n To Cindy and Kelly Taylor, who bought the Ben Franklin Store on Eighth Street where Cindy has worked since 1974, when she was 15.
n To Grand Traverse County, Glen Arbor and Williamsburg for being among at least 40 Michigan communities that have obtained memorial girders from the World Trade Center's twin towers to honor the people who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
n To Traverse City's 3-year-old Three Swords Fencing Club, which was to host its first fencing competition Saturday.