— To a trio of Kalkaska boys who collected nearly $3,000 in returnable bottles and cans and used the money to buy a dozen pairs of glasses designed to help colorblind students better see the world’s complete rainbow of shades.
Brent Grody partnered with classmates John Buck and Nolan Ferguson, all 14, and the three eighth-graders raised the money to purchase the special glasses from California company EnChroma as their community project. They went door-to-door to collect returnable bottles and cans during the depths of winter and traded the loot for cash at area grocery stores.
“My brother is colorblind and I wanted him to see all the colors,” said Grody.
— To Kingsley United Methodist Church’s Fuel 4 Fire program. Pastor Colleen Wierman leads a group of 10 volunteers that churns out 200-225 sack dinners that are quickly grabbed by hungry high-schoolers as soon as school is dismissed at 3:05 p.m. and are gone some 180 seconds later. The sack meal contains a turkey or ham sandwich with cheese, a mini-bag of chips and a treat such as a small bag of cookies or fruit chews.
“Our goal from the beginning was to serve as many as we could, even if the kids didn’t need it,” Wierman said. “We just want them to know that, A, they’re cared about and someone is thinking of them; and B, they could get something to eat before they go to work, go to sports or just to have something to eat for dinner.
“We wanted to meet the needs of the kids that are on free or reduced lunches.”
— To Traverse City Central High School students Annabelle Arends, Morgan Davis, Lauren Fleming and Emlin Munch, who were named finalists in the 25th annual Italian Songs and Arias Vocal Competition.
— To the Zonta Club of Traverse City, which awarded $27,500 to 10 northern Michigan nonprofits during the Hats Off to Women Luncheon. Grant recipients include Munson Medical Center's Neonatal Unit, the Grand Traverse Dyslexia Association, TCAPS Tech Girls, Norte, Grand Traverse Pavilions, Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore, the Women’s Resource Center, TART Trails Recycle-A-Bicycle, Peace Ranch and Reining Liberty Ranch.
— To the Traverse City Junior Golf Association. The TCJGA College Scholarship program began in 1994 and over the past 24 years has given more than $325,000 in college educational funds to the TCJGA membership. This year 12 local golfers were chosen to receive scholarships, both those about to graduate high school and those currently attending college.