• To the Old Town Playhouse. Sixty seasons in, OTP continues to move forward in earnest. The anniversary season was to open Friday with a day-long celebration and a performance of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

As befits its diamond anniversary, the community theater has gone from a diamond in the rough to a polished gem.

Betsy Willis served as OTP development director from 2010 to 2019 and said she believes the theater is thriving not just because of the family nature of community theater but because OTP was able to purchase its own building and raise money to improve it over time — and because it made the transition from a community theater with a clubhouse feel and volunteer-driven board to a community business that produces shows for the public.

“A community theater changes when it becomes a true business — when we stop doing plays for ourselves and start doing them for the community,” she said.

  • To the Detroit Red Wings, who won the NHL Prospect Tournament with a 6-5 victory over the Dallas Stars at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City on Tuesday.

Detroit’s only other win in the tournament came in 2013, despite the Red Wings earning a championship-game berth in five of the last seven years.

  • To Carol Erickson, who retired in June after more than 30 years with Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools. She started at St. Francis High School, where she taught biology, psychology and environmental science and coached the cheerleading program. Her most recent position was at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School.
  • To Fife Lake Elementary School. What started as a first-grade social studies project on recycling efforts has led to a reduction in lunchroom waste at the school.

The school this year eliminated Styrofoam trays and plastic utensils, instead transitioning back to reusable trays and adding real silverware. The school also added a food-share bin.

“What the kids are doing is developing an understanding of public issues and the importance of taking action in a democratic society,” first-grade teacher Melissa Tengdin said.

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