Shopping Spree Raffle to benefit Grant Fine Arts
Ok, you’re at the starting line ready for the signal.
It’s a moment that has involved preparation along the way, developing a plan mapping a route, and making sure the legs are in shape.
Suddenly the word ‘Go!’ is heard and you’re off, forging ahead with the shopping cart in front of you and turning down the pre-chosen first aisle toward …….
That’s right. We’re not talking about the upcoming St Nick Kick, we’re referencing a different type of event. A 60 second shopping spree at Gene’s Family Market in Grant. One full minute to pack your cart with whatever groceries your hungry heart desires.
The 2017 Shopping Spree Raffle Drawing will be held on December 11, 2017. The lucky 1st place winner will have the opportunity to go on a 60 second shopping spree on Wednesday, December 13th; 2nd place is $200.00 cash and 3rd place is $100.00 cash.
There will be 1,000 tickets printed and sold for $10.00 each. Tickets can be purchased at either of the Gene's Family Markets, Grant or Croton. They can also be purchased from a member of the Grant Music Boosters or email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from the boosters will contact you.
Elliott and LaRissa Vanderlaan who purchased the store this past year see the ‘Spree’ as a way of showing their appreciation for the support they have received from the community
“We have been blessed with a great opportunity and platform to provide groceries and extra cash during this sometimes hectic, but wonderful time of the year,” said Elliott.. “During this season of giving, we wanted to create an event in between the holiday of giving thanks for what we have, and the holiday of giving gifts of things we don’t have.”
“The Grant Music Boosters, Charlie McKinley and Eleaze Farrell are responsible for providing us with this great opportunity,”added LaRissa “We look forward to hosting the Shopping Spree for one lucky winner!”
The money raised will help enhance Fine Arts in the community through support of the theatre, choir and the marching band programs at Grant High School.
For rules and information please go to
And you might want to start doing a bit of conditioning just in case it’s you toeing the starting line on the 13th.
Story and photo by Tracy Kehr
Stage Door Players in downtown White Cloud is proud to announce the Children’s Theater performance of Snow White by Tim Kelly, Directed by Beverly Guikema and Produced by Renee Krueger. There will be four performances beginning December 1 & 2 and 8 & 9 at 7pm.
Snow White had a casting call for all ages October 2nd and 3rd. Over 20 children of all ages came to the auditions over two consecutive nights. There were spots available for 18 actors and actresses and all places were filled with Newaygo County children from four to 18 years old. Jeanne Bock is playing the part of the Crone. Jeanne is a seasoned actress and well, her age is a secret.
The wonderful world of the Brothers Grimm is brought to life in this delightful adaptation of Snow White. All our friends are here – the lovely Princess Snow White played by Rachel Moore the mischievous Seven Dwarfs played by Christian Burns, Gabriella Dakin, Makenna Pierce, Wyatt Karnes, Autym Groenke, Wynter Groenke and Ace Stackhouse. The Prince will be played by Spencer White the Huntsman played by Keagan Kailing and the evil Queen played by Haley Rae Wireman.
Wait until you meet the hilarious palace Cat played by Charlotte Karnes and the Enchanted Vixen played by Natalie Walenga. In this version the Magic Mirror, played by Sophie Kehr not only talks – it walks! Shiver and shake as the scheming Queen transforms herself into various personalities like Esmeralda played by Summer Groenke, and an old withered Crone played by Jeanne Bock, so horrible even the Queen herself is terrified! Don’t forget the poisonous apple waiting for our heroine. Laughs and chases through the forest and more than enough stage magic to light up the box office will delight all ages in the audience.
This is one of the most popular tales of all time and it never fails to enchant and amaze! Stage Door Players welcomes you and your entire family to join us at one or all of our performances of Snow White! Tickets are $5 each or parents and their children for $15.
Stage Door Players, a non-profit organization has been entertaining Newaygo County for 50 years. The theater group is supported through the efforts of volunteers and funded through the sale of memberships, support from local organizations and the generosity of audiences. Please consider a membership or sponsorship. Stage Door Players Memberships start at $15. Please see any board member, the ticket window upon entry or the director of the performance for details. Visit www.stagedoorplayers.org.
It’s that time again! Time to visit NCCA-Artsplace to shop for great personal holiday gifts! The Holiday Artist Market opens on Saturday, November 18 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Make your selections from handmade functional or decorative pottery, unique paintings, prints, textiles, candles, photography, wood turning, sculpture and jewelry. Decorate your tree this year with a variety of handmade ornaments or give them as the perfect holiday gift!
Whether you’re looking for fine hand made jewelry for the special someone, new ornaments for the tree or an original painting, you’ll find it all at NCCA-Artsplace Holiday Artist Market! And you can give the gift of creativity this holiday season with NCCA-Artsplace’s gift cards available in any denomination and can be used towards original art and classes.
The NCCA-Holiday Artist Market will be open through December 30. Regular hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For more information stop by or call NCCA-Artsplace, 13 E. Main, Fremont, 231.924.4022. www.ncca-artsplace.org
By N3 Entertainment Team
Don’t you love the name?
This will be a madcap performance blending some nifty acrobatics with a double dose of humor tossed in.
We watched their America’s Got Talent audition recently, an impressive display of,...well… talent of course that drew raves from none other than Howard Stern.
Without knowing quite what to expect, this seemingly outrageous twosome looks to be fun, funny and fantastic delivering a show that will appeal to anyone who enjoys superior showmanship and a good time.
Friday night (thats tonight for our timely readers) 7:30pm. See the ad on our home page for more details.
Tickets are just 15 bucks unless you’re 18 and under, because those folks can slide in for a mere fiver!
We’re assuming you might have hit an arts and craft show recently. From all accounts the Jingle Mingle drew some serious numbers once again and similar events across the landscape likely saw their share of shopper as well.It’s always kind of the first salvo fired in the local holiday shopping season when these opportunities begin to pop up.
Now get ready for the next step in the rapid climb culminating in a crescendo of Christmas week panic those last few days before the 25th.
The much heralded Artists Market opens Saturday at 10a.m at NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont.
If you have been here before when the gallery is transformed into a magical merchandising marvel with the substantial array of artistic goods spreading across a variety of genres…...well then I’m preaching to the choir.
But if you’ve never been and you want to find that truly unique item?
Here’s your place.
And speaking of choirs….. the newly named River Country Community Christmas Choir (or RC4 perhaps?) wants to add your voice to the mix for their annual concert coming December 10. From what we hear these are cool people who welcome anyone wanting to contribute to the seasonal sounds that will serve to celebrate the birth of Christ. Interested? Need a little more info? Call 231.652.6500
It’s coming on T-Day. That means shopping for the Big Meal will be at the top of the To-Do list for many of us. It’s a rite eternally attached to the holiday, finding yourself a few days earlier ensconced into the produce section of the local food store wondering where in the world all these people came from. Running into friends and neighbors, old classmates, former co-workers and nearly everyone else who lives in the area all looking to fill the larders with goods for the upcoming gastronomical gala. It’s like an impromptu reunion sometimes.
So here’s a bit of a plug. Next Saturday is Small Business Saturday right? This post-Black Friday (a day that has unfortunately crept well into Thursday in recent years) initiative shines a little light on shopping small which means much of that shopping would likely be local thus strengthening our community in more ways than one can possibly imagine.
When it comes to getting your grocery grub, your ‘feast fixins’ as it were, make a visit to one of our smaller local markets if you’re not already in the habit of doing so. I know the Mega Stores and warehouse type places out there have great deals on stuff particularly this time of year. However please consider the upside of saving on gas, gaining more time (a commodity we all crave), and avoiding temper taunting traffic since vehicular aggression seems to peak during pre-holiday periods.
We have a flock of fine local/regional markets in our midst and whether you might be a Newaygoite, Fremontonian, Crotonaire, White Cloudian,or of the Grantish folk there’s a food market nearby that will fulfill or supplement the culinary requirements for a finely set table.
Besides you just might run into that old acquaintance you nearly forgot.
By Megan Wirts
Ahh…November. It’s the time of year when we crave pumpkin pie, turkey and cranberry sauce. When people, around here at least, put on their camouflage and hunter’s orange and sit in the woods waiting for the big one. The weather turns colder, and we might have even already had snow on the ground. Which means it’s the time of year that I bundle up in around 4 layers of clothing, sit underneath a heated blanket, sip hot coffee, have Hallmark Christmas movie marathons all day every day and contemplate moving to a warmer climate. It is also the time of year when people become reflective and remember all the things that they are thankful for.
This past weekend I was reminded of how wonderful and amazing my life is. I had the opportunity to see a dear friend from high school play her music and share her stories of being on the road and living in a big city. Her being in town brought out people that I hadn’t seen in 20 years and it was a fun trip down memory lane. We recounted tales from our youth and laughed about the crazy things we had done. It was a weekend filled with great music, interesting people, laughter and reconnecting with old friends.
Seeing these people from my past got me thinking about the choices that I have made, all the things that have happened to me that were out of my control, and how much it has all changed me. When I was 16 years old I was incredibly naïve, insecure and wanted people to like me so much that I allowed them to use me and treat me badly just so that I could be included. It took me years to realize that I was worthy of true love and friendship. I am so thankful for the family and friends that are part of my life now.
When I met my husband, I was 18 years old. I was a freshman in college, still insecure, not quite as naive and I wasn’t looking for anyone to date. I had just decided that I was going to be an independent woman that didn’t need no man! Then, I got an e-mail from a cute boy that I had a crush on in the 3rd grade and well…I emailed him back. I decided I could be an independent woman and maybe go on a date with this cute boy. That was 18 years ago, which means I have been with my husband for over half of my life and these last 18 years have been the best years so far. Not to say that my childhood was all bad, but some of it was not that great either. I was hurt by people that were supposed to love me the most. I was bullied and made to feel stupid and insignificant by people that said they were my friends. There was a lot of pain that I endured and needed to overcome.
I could have easily gone down a different path in my life. I could have ended up with someone that tried to control me, manipulate me and call me terrible demeaning names because that is what I chose in the past. When I started dating my husband and he treated me with kindness, gentleness and showed me what unconditional love was I thought for sure it was too good to be true. I was terrified, and I was certain he would eventually leave me, but he hasn’t. We have now been married for 15 years, we have two smart and talented children, a warm and comfortable home and we love each other so much.
Our life together hasn’t been perfect. We have experienced our own tragedies and struggles. Big things like losing babies to miscarriage, losing our home to a fire and me being diagnosed with a disabling illness. Sometimes we annoy each other and push each other’s buttons. We have had fights about who got to sleep in last and whose turn it was to get up with a crying baby. We might disagree on what to eat for dinner or how to load a dishwasher, but we always love each other. I am so thankful that I emailed that cute boy back and that we have loved each other ever since.
Next week when we sit around the table on Thanksgiving Day stuffing our faces with pumpkin pie, I will be thinking about how grateful I am for this beautiful, messy, love filled life that I have. I am thankful for so much in my life! I am thankful that I get to witness old friends living out their dreams. I am thankful for the friends that have become my family and that I am “Auntie Megs” to their sweet children. I am thankful that they in turn love my children like they are their own. I am thankful that my teenage daughter tells me that she thinks I am cool and likes to hang out with me still. I am thankful that my son is becoming such a funny, caring and hardworking young man. My life is filled with amazing and wonderful people and I am I so thankful for where I am and who I am today because of all of them.
We Need New Names Book Review
By Alexis Mercer
I never anticipated becoming a reporter for a newspaper. It wasn’t on my radar. Many years ago I taught journalism as an elective at Newaygo High School. And while it was one of my favorite classes to teach, cuts in funding meant I was needed to teach more core classes. And I have been the yearbook adviser since I started teaching at the high school. But never did I think my own experiences would include being a member of the mainstream media.
Then one day, Ken DeLaat saw me at a district soccer game. I knew Ken through my coaching experiences. And also for his coverage of the NPS bond issue as his first breaking story at Near North Now. I had my camera snapping photos for the yearbook. He said hello and then said “hey, since you’re taking pictures anyway, want to send those to me and maybe do a writeup?” So it began…
Since that day my involvement with Near North Now has become more extensive. I help when I can with technology and online issues. I cover sports and even have a MHSAA tournament badge that gives me entrance into all the games. When my kids want to go to an event, I’m usually in my journalist frame of mind, thinking of how I could cover the story.
I’ve also had a shift in thinking about how I can use this experience as a contributor to Near North Now to highlight the many amazing events and businesses in Newaygo County that I enjoy and hope others can, too.
Which is how a new partnership was born. One I hope will benefit readers of my book reviews and a small business in Newaygo alike.
Beginning with this book review, Flying Bear Books in downtown Newaygo will be carrying each of the books I review. When the review is posted, readers can head that same day into the store and pick up a copy of the book.
If you haven’t been to Flying Bear Books, it truly is a treasure. Not only does the store carry countless thousands of titles, but the staff will order anything you’re looking for at the drop of a hat if it isn’t already on the shelf! Their children’s and teen sections are phenomenal.
In case you’re wondering - I don’t benefit from this monetarily. It is my hope that my love of books and this store both can be shared with all of the readers. It is also my hope that my involvement with Near North Now as a contributor can be positive and helpful to our wonderful community that has given me so much.
So here you go….my next book…
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo was chosen as our next Book Club story. I’ll admit I had never heard of the title. Nor the author. I was clueless going in what to expect.
“We are on our way to Budapest: Bastard and Chipo and Godknows and Sbho and Stina and me. We are going even though we are not allowed to cross Mzilikazi Road, even though Bastard is supposed to be watching his little sister Fraction, even though Mother would kill me dead if she found out; we are just going. There are guavas to steal in Budapest, and right now I’d rather die for guavas.”
Immediately, from this first paragraph on the very first page, I was intrigued. What was I getting into?
Darling is a ten-year-old growing up in a poverty stricken part of Zimbabwe. She and her friends wander the streets, engage in conversations, and play games that are typical of any group of young, curious children. But their living in Zimbabwe makes the story unique. Unlike my own experiences.
There are memories of the times before the poverty. Before the hunger. Before the wars. Most of which Darling is too young to remember, but not too young to hear.
Partway through the book, Darling is forced to leave for America with her relative. Ripped from all she knows, but with the promise of greatness in America, Darling’s story changes drastically. From stealing guavas from the “rich” neighborhood trees in her hometown to learning to assimilate in the country that presents hope.
Through Bulawayo’s writing, I was able to feel Darling’s pain of growing up with two worlds. Wanting to go back, but not wanting to go back. Loving her new home, but loving her old home. Not being understood in her new world, but not being understood by her once inseparable friends at home.
NoViolet Bulawayo’s novel was intriguing, fascinating, heart-breaking and challenging. All in a good way. I found it easy to be transported to a time and place that is absolutely nothing like my own thanks to her flowing writing style. I found it heart-breaking to place myself in the shoes of Darling, and therefore any immigrant, who faces this reality.
This book is exactly why I love being part of a book club. I never would have known about this title if it weren’t chosen for me to read. It was a powerful story that made me think and grow. A definite read for anyone looking to step into someone else’s shoes for a while.
You can pick up your copy at Flying Bear Books today!
Deny all you want you perpetual procrastinators who populate our parts but truth is the shopping season has kicked off and nowhere is this more evident than the proliferation of bazaars, fairs craft shows,etc. making their appearance across the landscape.
Of course there is the Jingle Mingle known by area aficionados of such events as ‘The Big One’.
This arts and crafts extravaganza comes to the Fremont Middle School Saturday from 9am-3pm and if ever a place is to be known as a One Stop Shopping venue for all things Christmas and beyond, this is it.
The staff of N3 World Headquarters and Impending Christmas Decor Emporium are well acquainted with the JM. Few years have passed without the vehicle used to transport N3WH CEO Lil to the event returning packed to the gills with items acquired from the myriad of vendors that fill FMS each holiday season.There is a definite system to her JM shopping and I learned long ago to not attempt small talk or engage in distractions that might deter the strategy being employed to maximize vendor exposure.
So if you see a tall, aging gentleman with questionable posture as well as dubious clothing choices standing all alone holding several items and striving to refrain from wandering too far from the assigned spot?
Stop and say hello.
Fremont Christian Church, Cornerstone Christian Academy, and the White Cloud Fire Department are among the other places holding similar, if smaller, events.
The Gift Shop at the hospital is holding their annual open house from 10am-3pm. If you have never paid a visit to this little shop of wonders that resides in the confines of Gerber Memorial Saturday would be a great time to make your acquaintance.The inventory shifts continually and provides some great gifting opportunities from the major wrapped up in ribbon and bow presents to stocking stuffers sure to please those on your list.
Speaking of shopping we will once again look to feature local venues ready to help you complete your shopping list no matter how big or small that list might be. If you’ve a favorite shopping destination that involves a local zip code let us know and we will check it out.
And to spur along the whole Shop Local thing grab a bite at one of our fine local eateries this weekend. You can visit your favorite spot, scan our Nibbler section for options, or visit a heretofore unexplored establishment. Keeps you out of the kitchen, provides a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life and gives you and your companion a chance to chat a bit in between checking messages on your phone.
Review: Jeff Daniels and the Ben Daniels Band
By Ken DeLaat
Photos by Mike Gesler
Lucky ticket holders poured into a sold-out Dogwood Center on a chilly Monday night as Jeff Daniels made a most welcome return to town.
His last appearance at the Dogwood two years ago was a huge hit with concert-goers.
That evening my Lifetime Spousal Companion Lil (a woman of unfathomable patience) and I attended along with our guest, Lil’s Mom (equally patient toward a somewhat eccentric son-in-law).
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew his movies and had listened to some of his music. I’d also heard his concerts were pretty well thought of by folks whose opinions on such things I tend to value.
Well, it was a romp. From the time he walked onstage to the encore finish Daniels beguiled the crowd. He charmed, cajoled and thoroughly entertained us. It was a show that would be talked about long after the evening ended.
So when word got out about another visit?
Unfortunately, Lil could not make it and neither could her Mom but there was no way I wasn’t going.
Many of the regular N3 contributors were there as well making it an even more pleasant atmosphere since they and their companions are each seriously fun people.
When showtime arrived we settled in and soon Daniels walked out to make his Dogwood return.
And what a return it was.
This time he arrived with the Ben Daniels Band a talented troupe of musicians led by his son (Ben, go figure) and the result was an outstanding evening of entertainment that left a pleasing afterglow on a most approving crowd.
Daniels strolled out first and opened by playing a couple of imaginative tongue-in-cheek narrative songs, each rife with the poetic humor his lyrics convey. His son Ben wandered out and they played the first of a couple of duets before welcoming out the other members of the group. Tommy Reidel provided a flawless backbeat bass, vocalist Amanda Daniels (married to Ben and decidedly with child) displayed a substantial range and an ability to harmonize seamlessly and Wesley Fritzemeier was stunning on the mandolin as well as showing obvious expertise on the violin. Having the star power of Jeff Daniels sharing the stage does not daunt this band who are able to deliver a strong musical message in their own write.
One of the many highlights in this engaging evening of entertainment was when Doug Sherman of Newaygo was called on stage to perform some background percussion on a train whistle. Sherman executed his task admirably drawing rave reviews from the crowd as well as the band.
It was a storytelling kind of night. Some of the stories were spoken and some were sung but each told a tale that touched a chord with those of us fortunate enough to be in the house.
Jeff Daniels opened the show by making us laugh and closed the show with a bit of the same along with expressing his appreciation to the audience.
An appreciation so obviously reciprocated by an enthusiastic Dogwood crowd
Arts & Craft Fair coming to Fremont Middle School
The Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to the 4th Annual Jingle Mingle Arts & Craft Fair. The fair will be held on Saturday, November 11th from 9 am to 3 pm at the Fremont Middle School at 500 Woodrow Street.
Organizers say that attendees will find many unique handmade gifts and crafts. Shoppers will discover vendors that have: homemade jelly from craft beer, diffuser jewelry and essential oils, hand painted holiday ornaments, handcrafted jewelry, fused glass jewelry and plates, ceramics, Victorian-Shabby Chic items, aprons, hand woven scarves, hand painted wooden signs, retro wooden toys, clothing for American Girl dolls, quilted table runners, lighted bottles, and flower pins made from men’s silk ties are just a few of the booths that you will find at the show. Shoppers will also find homemade soaps and lotions. Christmas books and holiday cards will be for sale too. This show features vendors with unique handmade craft items that our shoppers will enjoy giving this holiday season!
Fresh baked goodies, candies, peanut brittle, fudge and hand dipped chocolates, dips and spices, jams and jellies will be offered for purchase as well. Everyone’s favorites will be here too – the homemade butter cakes and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church’s cheeseballs! Jane Lee’s Glazed popcorn is back! Fudd n Doug’s famous salsa and Pam’s Pantry with her dips to help make all your party treats taste fantastic!
Attendees will line up at Ooostema’s Florals to purchase gifts for holiday giving or decorations to make your home holiday ready! Hennie is one of the favorite vendors from past craft shows. Their booth will feature floral/holiday wreaths, swags, decorations and centerpieces. Local artists Jane Stroschin, Renee Wallace, and Kate Streichhirsch will be selling their artwork too!
Visitors at the Jingle Mingle are invited to have lunch while you are shopping. We will offer five different food vendors with a variety of food for everyone to enjoy. Camp Newaygo will be serving hot soups, FHS 2018 Senior Escape will have hot dog meals, Fremont Rotary will be serving pulled pork sandwich meals, Two Hot Tamales has their famous tamales and tacos and our local Boy Scout troop will have pizza.
The Fremont Middle School is located at 500 Woodrow Street, Fremont. Easy directions to get there from Main Street are turn south on Gerber Avenue, which is the corner where Pizza Hut is located, follow Gerber south and it will turn into Woodrow and Fremont Middle School will be located on the south side of the street.
Come start your holiday shopping early at the 2017 Jingle Mingle Arts & Craft Fair! We look forward to seeing you there!
KamiKaze FireFlies will perform on the Dogwood Center main stage on Friday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. Rob Williams and Casey Martin perform for audiences all over the world. The show is a mix of comedy and circus including juggling, hula hoops, a German wheel, and whip cracking!
On America’s Got Talent Season 9, they received a standing ovation and Howard Stern said, “Fantastic. Captivating. You’re funny. I was sucked into this thing. It was wonderful. I can’t wait to see more!” The Seattle Times said they gave a “near riotous end to the show.”
After their huge success on America's Got Talent, the Kamikaze FireFlies heard from the world of cruise ships and just recently completed multiple dates on the Crown Princess and they are scheduled to return to the Princess Cruise family with future tours. Corporate events, theaters and festivals fill out their performances during the year.
Tickets are $15.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 18 and under. Tickets are available online at www.dogwoodcenter.com, at the Dogwood Box Office, or at NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont.
The Dogwood Center Box Office is open Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. For information, phone 231.924.8885.
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