• To The Riverside Inn and Leland business community. The historic inn and upscale American-fare restaurant reopened Tuesday — 10 months and one day after a fire destroyed the kitchen and caused smoke damage throughout the rest of the building.

The Bluebird Restaurant & Tavern — located about a block away from Riverside — was one of several local businesses to offer Kate Vilter, owner and proprietress of The Riverside Inn, assistance after the fire. Skip Telgard, owner of the Bluebird, ended up taking on one of the bartenders as an employee for the summer.

Telgard also provided highchairs on opening night and The Leland Lodge, which also temporarily took on a Riverside employee or two after the fire, loaned martini glasses, since new ones for the inn hadn’t yet arrived, Vilter said.

“I think this restaurant has a special place in a lot of people’s hearts — whether it’s because it’s where they celebrate all the big events in their lives, or it’s where they meet to share drinks with friends,” Vilter said. “To not have that open for 10 months really left a void in a lot of people’s lives.”

  • To Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which has welcomed its 50 millionth visitor.
  • To the Mitten Brewing Company. One of the owners of Mitten Brewing, Chris Andrus, as part of the company’s nonprofit called the Mitten Foundation Inc. based in Grand Rapids, organized a donation of $2,700 to wipe out the entirety of Suttons Bay Public Schools’ lunch debt.

Joe Symons, a substitute teacher in Leelanau County and bartender at the Mitten Brewing Company in Northport, is set to begin as a student teacher for fifth grade at Suttons Bay when school starts next week. He said it was “a beautiful thing” to pay off that debt for those students and their families.

  • To Team Elmer’s and Thelma Oltersdorf, 91. Oltersdorf’s birthday wish was to ride in one of the Team Elmer’s trucks. She rode along in a gravel train Aug. 14.

“I am crazy about Elmer’s trucks,” she said. “The bigger they are, the better.”

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