By Ken DeLaat, N3
Courage takes as many forms as the fears that demand it.
On Thursday afternoon I attended a poetry reading at Flying Bear Books in downtown Newaygo. The session was part of a program funded by a grant from the Fremont Area Community Foundation. A program aimed at giving voice to the creative work of our young people. Allowing an atmosphere for the words they have written to be read aloud, by them and in front of others. To expand their expression beyond writing by adding a performance piece to the poem.
The concept known as slam poetry took root some 40 years ago when a Chicago poet named Marc Kelly Smith, having felt poetry had lost its passion, began organizing events allowing any and all to read their work in a public setting. To allow the emotion behind the poems to be articulated by the author. Slam events grew and spread throughout the country and other parts of the world as well and have been known to take place in the downtown Newaygo bookstore that hosted the student session.
But on this day it wasn’t a slam. It was preparation for an upcoming slam-like competition called Spotlight Poetry that would culminate in the final readings at the Grant Fine Arts Center on May 17th.
And if what they unleashed during this peer review is any indication of what this innovative catalyst for creativity will be bringing forth, the finals should be nothing short of awesome.
As part of the program each of our county high schools has an educator designated as the ELA (English Language Arts) Poetry Champion who is working with the aspiring poets from their district. Newaygo ELA instructor Donna Grodus who is the Project Coordinator set the tone for the peer review as she described the process about to unfold and finished with “Who wants to go first?”.
After a short pause the first poet took to the front of the gathering and shared his work. When he finished there was a pause before the first feedback came through from one of the other poets.
Soon others chimed in offering both support and suggestions. Ms. G. and the Poetry Champions present also delivered some input.
Then after an encouraging ‘who’s next?’ another young poet delivered her work and received the subsequent reaction from the audience..
And so it went on as each of the 11 poets, some reluctantly but dutifully, entered the fray.
Their work was raw, emotional, humorous, dramatic, comedic, adventurous and even a bit painful at times. They played with metaphors, toyed with symbolism and rolled out rhythmic riffs. These young word artists poured out their life on paper then mustered the courage to not only allow others to hear their words but actually inviting them to critique their work, no small feat.
I was moved not only by these shared glimpses into their lives but by their resolve in taking the risk of putting those words out for all to see. They listened to the suggestions, vowed to make some of the changes in their manner of presenting and seemed to form a strong collegial spirit with the others in the group. The participants were rewarded with a gift certificate for the bookstore and provided with a table loaded with an appealing array of good eats as well. All part of the effort to encourage involvement and participation.
But on this occasion it wasn’t the snacks or the gifts they received that brought these blossoming poets to the book store.
It was a desire to have their work heard by others. To use their words in expressing their inner thoughts and feelings with honesty and clarity.
The five finalists (one from each school) will be selected by their designated instructor and their work will be submitted to Ms. Grodus. Each finalist will have a 1-on-1 virtual stage performance workshop with a coach experienced in preparing people for such events.
And while each finalist will receive $100 for their efforts one poet will also take home a $1000 grand prize for their winning performance.
Yes, we said $1000.
The Modern Spotlight Poetry Project is an impressive program aimed at tapping into the inspiration held by our local youth and developing their artistic talents. It is hoped the program will continue to grow and plans are already being discussed for future initiatives.
But for this year, anxious to see the results of the mentoring being done by Ms. Grodus and the other educators, I plan on settling into a seat at the GFA Center next month.
And, poetry fan or not, if you want to get a glimpse of yet another example of the creativity our local young people bring to the table?
Please join me.
Watercolor, Fitness Classes, Book Swap, Author Talk, & More at Fremont Library
The Fremont Area District Library is planning to host several fun and educational events in April for the whole family. These events are FREE, as always.
Local writer Susan Zerlaut King, author of Out of the Wilderness, a History of Sitka, Michigan, will be at the library to speak about what led her to write her newest novel, Crabtree. Susan will also have books available to purchase and will be signing. In Crabtree, Patrick Crabtree and his sister Janet are faced with the task of going through their father's belongings and preparing the family farm for sale after his death. The difficult relationship they had with their father, especially after the loss of their mother, was always going to make this a painful task. What they discover in the process, however, changes everything they thought they knew about their family. This event will take place in the library’s Community Room on Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 p.m.
Watercolor Fun for Kids will be in the Children’s Department during Spring Break on Wednesday, April 6th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. We'll have all the supplies you need to make a fun watercolor creation. Come anytime between 1:00-3:00 p.m. While your kids are hunting for books in the Children's Department the week of April 11th-16th, they might find some Easter eggs hidden to take home too! Eggs will be hidden by the Easter Bunny all week. Storytimes run until April 14th. Toddler Storytime, for babies and toddlers up to age 3, will be held on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m., and Family Storytime for children up to age 5 will be held on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. Saturday Storytime, for children up to age 5 will be on April 30th at 11:00 a.m. in the Community Room. Masks are recommended at all Storytimes during this time. We’ll also be showing an Afternoon Movie on Thursday, April 21st at 3:30 p.m. The movie title is to be determined, and will be announced at a later date. Snacks will be served, and all are welcome.
A Homeschool Curriculum: Browse & Chat event will take place in the Community Room on April 12th between 6:00-8:00 p.m. Come and see what other local homeschoolers are using to educate their children. Browse through curriculum and chat with other homeschoolers to get your questions answered. Come anytime between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and we will also have an area set aside near the end of the event to place curriculum anyone can take for free. Junk Journaling for ages 10 and up will take place on April 14th anytime between 3:00-5:00. This is a scrapbooking and journal hybrid. Use up what you have and supplement with found, recycled, repurposed and thrifted items. Materials provided. In honor of Earth Day, we’re having a Spring Fling Book Swap. Let's practice "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" by bringing in books in good condition you'd like to part with, and swapping them with books that others bring in. Just bring your books to the Community Room between 2:30-4:30 on April 22nd, let us know how many you're swapping, and then pick out your "new" books for free! All ages are welcome, and snacks will be provided.
We’re excited to announce that we will be hosting some fitness classes at the library on Mondays and Wednesdays from April 18th-May 25th from 12:00-1:00 p.m. Fit for Life is a functional movement class designed to move the whole body through a series of seated and standing exercises that will increase strength, muscular endurance, balance, and flexibility. Class is low impact and great for ALL levels of fitness who are interested in working on their overall health. This class will be instructed by ACSM- certified personal trainer Megan Dickinson. Megan earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with minors in psychology and nutrition from Central Michigan University. She has been working in the fitness industry for 9 years and enjoys working with all fitness levels.
The Wednesday Readers Book Group will meet on Monday, April 11th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, and the Daytime Book Group will meet on Thursday, April 28th at 12:30 p.m. (title TBD). Anyone is welcome to join these book groups. Books for these groups are available at the library’s front desk ahead of the meeting if you’d like to check out a copy and join the group.
For more information about any of these events, please contact the library at 231-924-3480 or visit www.fremontlibrary.net.
Free Kids Program in White Cloud
Where: The Youth Center Of White Cloud Inc.(501(c)3
Address 847 East Adda St.
White Cloud, Michigan 49349
Who: Children Age 6-12 years old (5 and under m-u-s-t be accompanied by an adult 18 and older at a-l-l times.)
When April 4th-8th
Giveaways, Outdoor Activities, Indoor Game Table Coemption
New theme daily food and fun
Royal Garden Party
Fun Around the World
Any questions you may call (231) 689-1156 Deb R. Frisbey Contact Person
Find us at the Web: https://www.facebook.com/TheYouthCenterOfWhiteCloud
Sponsors: The Youth Center Of White Cloud Inc. 501 (c)3, Small Business Association Michigan, Word Of Life Fellowship Inc.- Camps, Local Church Ministries, Word Of Life Bible Institute
Children’s Christian Youth Center Offering Hope
The two-year COVID-19 pandemic hurt young children. Help is on the way.
Geared for kids, ages 6-12, there is a Christian After-School Program right here in White Cloud. Located 2 ½ blocks from the schools at 847 E. Adda St. In a residential home.
It offers a program, Mondays through Fridays, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The first fifteen minutes is Free Play with table games like pool and air hockey, board games like chess, and connect four. Next, it’s 15 minutes of Chapel. On Mondays, it’s Prayer Time Focus. Tuesdays are Bible Story Time. Wednesdays we say Pledges to the American Flag, Christian Flag, the Bible, and a Once-A-Month Service Project. Thursdays is the Review of Bible Story from Tuesday and Praise and Worship. Finally, Fridays is Scripture Memory like AWANA Bible Clubs. Then, after Chapel, a snack is provided. Thursdays is Homemaking Day where the kids are instructed to make home-made chocolate chip cookies, fruit kabobs, Chex mix, etc.
The Youth Center, based on membership with Word of Life Youth Ministry Bible Clubs, has been in existence for 18 years. The charity ministry started to fix a problem facing Rural America-lack of places for children to congregate when they’re not at school. I know the challenge is real because I grew up in White Cloud and came from a solid two-parent Christian home. My friends were always asking where we could go to have fun without paying money. We were told there is no place and why that is the case. I came back from my two-year college Word of Life Bible Institute in NY and saw the problem still existed. In 2004 with less than $10 in my pocketbook I set out to solve this problem by starting a Bible Club program very similar to Rural Bible Mission Clubs. The program was to be a once-a-week mentorship program but, very rapidly within months, morphed into 5 days a week program. The Youth Center is unique, even to the average Word Of Life Youth Ministries Bible Club program, Awana Clubs that are hosted by First Baptist Church of Fremont and First Baptist Church of Newaygo in Newaygo which meet once a week.
We have a School year program that is Monday- Friday and a Summer Day Camp program held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Throughout the year, we have three community events that are as follows: 1 Day Mid-Winter Break Children’s Snow Camp, Spring Break Staycation outreach call the Spring Break Carnival, and the Fall Time before Halloween a Children’s Royal Ball where the children may dress up like a princess, knight ninja, just no costumes that has anything to do with death, gore, darkness or violence or celebrating bad behavior associated with that day.
To round out this article we at the White Cloud Youth Center would like to invite all the children ages 6-12 years of age to the Spring Break Carnival happening next month.
Comedian Jeff Allen at the Dogwood Center on March 31
Comedian Jeff Allen performs at the Dogwood Center on Thursday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. for an evening of top-shelf comedy! Allen is regarded as one of the premier clean comedians working today. Most of his humor centers on marriage and living with teenagers – material to which almost everyone can relate.
Performing comedy for over four decades, his work has been seen on every cable comedy show in the U.S. including Comedy Central’s Premium Blend and VH1’s Standup Spotlight. His one-hour special, Happy Wife, Happy Life aired on the Odyssey Channel and Family Net. He has been featured on the Grand Ole Opry, the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen and the Montreal Just for Laughs International Comedy Festival – the world’s most prestigious comedy venues.
Allen’s sidesplitting comedy drives home the humor in everyday family life, the ups and downs of marriage, the challenge of raising children, the bliss of the empty nest (followed by the unexpected returns to said nest) and the joys of being a grandparent. He combines clean, hilarious humor like no other comedian working today. Allen regularly appears on television, radio, and venues across the country.
Tickets are $25.00 and are available online at www.dogwoodcenter.com, at the Dogwood Box Office, or at NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or make it easy and click here!
The Dogwood Center Box Office is open Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. For information, phone 231.924.8885.
Review by Steve Bonter
Photos by Jill Hansen-Aune
We were treated to a high energy performance by a New Orleans style Jazz Band Thursday night. The Kanola Band from West Michigan gave us a rousing version of many old favorites at the Fremont Library. The audience was engaged, and enthusiastically joined in for some numbers that included favorites like “Down by the Riverside”, the Louisiana State Song, “You Are My Sunshine”, “All On A Mardi Gras Day”, and “Iko, Iko”. They closed with a typical New Orleans funeral dirge used as the casket is taken to the cemetery then broke into a celebratory version of “When the Saints Go Marching In”.
Band members include Trumpeter and lead singer Benje Daneman, Matthew Fries on keyboard, Jeff Moele on drums, Nathan Durham on Tuba, Rufus Ferguson on Guitar, and on Tenor Sax Eddie Codrington.
Three things you don’t want to miss and none cost money.
Making a Splash?
How cool would a local splash pad be?
That’s right, very very cool.
The staff at N3 World Headquarters often stop at the Clam Lake Brewery in Cadillac and park in back where a frequently used splash pad is awash (pun intended) with kids while the parents sit on the edges watching the fun and having conversations with other parents between the usual interruptions for questions or toweling off. It looks relaxing and fun and there are few of the usual fears sometimes associated when it comes to little kids and water.
We’re reminded of a line from the movie Field of Dreams, because when it comes to a splash pad?
Build it and they will come.
Wednesday, March 23rd at 6:30 pm in the community room at the Fremont Area District Library a guest speaker will talk about how Grand Haven worked at getting the splash pad in their community.
Live on a Lake? Play on a Lake? Just curious about lakes?
Don’t miss the Healthy Lakes Forum this Tuesday March 22 from 6-8pm.
To be held in the Board of Commissioners Room at the County Administration building in White To join via the internet, ask for the Teams link from email@example.com
Or click here to join at 6pm on March 22:
You will learn Inland Lake Management in Michigan
Keeping the waters fresh.
Lakeshore best practices.
Healthy shorelines=Healthy plants and healthy fish.
Watershed Activities for Lakes, Sustainable Solutions.
Hear from the experts: Mark Tonello, MI DNR; Eric Calabro, MI EGLE; Erick Elgin, MSU Ext.
For info call NC Drain Commission: 231-689-7213
Kanola Band is coming to the Fremont Library Thursday, March 24 at 7 PM. This group brings together some of the most experienced and diverse musicians in the midwest US jazz scene to pay tribute to the great music and heritage of New Orleans. Dipping into the city's diverse musical history. Their repertoire includes Dixieland, Zydeco, Soulful Funk and more. Audiences of all ages will leave feeling just a bit happier than when they came so bring your dancing shoes, leave your worries behind and be ready for some fun, because Kanola Band is always a good time!
Located in the Community Room. Free
By Katie Clark
The first time I saw the movie, ON GOLDEN POND, I knew I wanted to one day live on a lake where I would listen to the beautiful call of the loon. When my husband and I started to look for a place to retire, we found a small lake in Newaygo County, Petit Lake. Just out from the beach on the lot we were thinking to purchase, swam two loons. I knew this was where I wanted to live.
Now, 7-years later, I’ve been assigned the lake’s Loon Ranger. No, this isn’t a joke. Petit Lake has become a member of Michigan Loon Preservation Association, which is a non-profit organization “whose mission is to preserve the Common Loon as a breeding bird in Michigan through public education, research, and the protection and management of loons and their habitat”.
Did you know that Michigan loons are endangered? There is an estimated population of less than 500 loon pairs. Unfortunately, the development of homes on lakes lead to the elimination of nesting places for loons and the use of motorized watercraft can scare them away. However, we at Petit Lake have decided to be a part of the LOON WATCH. We have large areas of natural lake shoreline and commit to keeping a safe distance from the loons when out enjoying the lake.
Check out the protocols we are taking to protect our loon pair: https://sites.google.com/view/pettitlakeloonsanctuary/home/loon-watch.
If you know of a lake that has a loon pair or pairs that may like to be a part of protecting these beautiful, endangered birds, contact :
Save The Loons
10181 Sheridan Road
Millington, MI 48746
By Megan Wirts
LionHeart Productions is back for its 25th year with “Clue: On Stage”! Two years ago this show was set to open in March 2020, but then everything shut down and we all experienced the ups and downs of the pandemic. After a few cast changes and date changes, the show is finally set to go on. “Clue: On Stage” is a hilarious, campy good time! Based on the popular board game and the 1985 film, the classic murder mystery will have you giggling and wondering “Whodunit?”.
The cast is full of familiar LionHeart alumni along with a couple newcomers. The ensemble is comprised of Melissa Bass as the Cook (and a few other roles), Shannon Carpenter as Mrs. White, Devon Conley as Professor Plum, Anette Deters as Miss Scarlet, Jamie Evans as Mr. Boddy, Searrah Herendeen as Yvette, Anita Jaimes as Mrs. Peacock, Jim Jenkins as Wadsworth, Travis Webb as Mr. Green and Charles D. Zeldenrust as Colonel Mustard. Under the direction of Ron Jenkins, they come to life as the quirky characters whose wild antics will have you laughing throughout the night. Each cast member shines in their roles, but it’s when they are all together in the midst of controlled chaos that they shine the brightest.
Murder and mayhem are prominent throughout the night. Was it Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with the dagger? Or Professor Plum in the library with the rope? Or maybe it was none of them at all! You will have to come to the Grant Fine Arts Center on March 18 at 7:30 pm, March 19 at 7:30pm and March 20 at 2:30pm, or catch it at the Dogwood Center for Performing Arts in Fremont on March 25 at 7:30pm and March 26 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are available at the for the show in Grant at https://grantfac.booktix.com// and for the performances at the Dogwood they are on their website at https://dogwoodcenter.com/events/
Tickets are $15 for Adults and $10 for Students and Seniors (60+)
Don’t miss this hilarious show or your chance to support a fantastic community theater!
Helpful hare hints
By Kristie Bulger
“Even the smallest one can change the world.” Peter Rabbit
Most everyone enjoys Easter. It means spring has finally arrived. But this is a story about a not so happy side of Easter. Every year folks in rescue plead with people not to give bunnies, ducklings or chicks as Easter gifts. I thought if I wrote about it and just one animal is helped….well then, it would be a very good thing indeed. This article will focus on rabbits.
First, I’d like to say that there are some wonderful, heartwarming stories out there about families who have gotten bunnies for Easter and who have kept those pets for their entire life. These people have done their research so they can give their rabbits good care. Unfortunately though, these stories are quite rare. Most rabbits that are given as Easter presents do not fare so well. Rabbits can live for 10+ years. They have grooming needs, special dietary requirements, need to be exercised and need their nails trimmed. When rabbits are raised with lots of human interaction they can make wonderful pets. Here is a link to some great information about caring for your pet rabbit. https://rabbitangelsrabbitrescue.weebly.com/rabbit-resources.
The problem is that most rabbits given as gifts do not receive the care and attention that they need. When the child loses interest, the daily care (and it should be daily) falls to mom and most moms do not have the time or interest to take care of their kid's pet rabbit. While it might be possible to find a farmer who will take your Easter chick, finding a home for a now boring rabbit is darn near impossible. Lots of times people are tempted to just let the rabbit loose in the backyard. They are under the false impression that domesticated rabbits can be released outside to live happily ever after with their wild cousins. Nothing could be further from the truth. The same is true for the ducklings that are released in a local pond. Domesticated animals do not know how to survive in the wild. Released rabbits and ducklings face slow, painful deaths from starvation, freezing, attacks from animals and getting hit by cars. Letting pet rabbits loose is a certain death sentence. Please….don’t do it.
So what to do about Easter? Consider a stuffed animal. They come in all sizes, colors, don’t poop and require absolutely no upkeep. When a child grows bored with their new Easter toy, just put it on a shelf. If you feel that your child is truly interested in owning a rabbit and your family wants to make that kind of commitment, please consider adoption. It’s a wonderful opportunity to teach your child about helping those who are less fortunate, those who need rescuing. When you adopt an animal from a rescue it opens up a space so that the rescue can help another pet in need. Here are links to two rescues that have rabbits:
You can also go to https://www.petfinder.com to find rabbits nearby. If adopting is not an option, maybe your child could make a small monetary donation. It is a lesson that will stay with them for life.
The photo here is of Andi and Flop, a mother and daughter, who are (besides looking incredibly fashionable) looking to be adopted from
I hope everyone has a glorious Easter. I hope your Easter is filled with friends and family and a ton of candy. But I also hope everyone will think long and hard about giving bunnies, ducklings and chicks as gifts. I wish them a Happy Easter too.
Here’s a link to our FB page "Friends of Newaygo County Shelter” where you can see all our available animals:
The adoption fee for dogs is $90.
This fee includes spay/neuter, deworming, heartworm test, rabies & DHLPP shots, flea & tick treatment and license.
The adoption fee for cats is $65
This fee includes spay/neuter, rabies vaccine, feline distemper combo vaccine, FIV/FELV testing, deworming and flea/tick treatment.
Newaygo County Animal Shelter
78 N. Webster
White Cloud, MI 49349
Monday - Friday 11-1
Appointments welcome and available upon request
Barley Saints at the Dogwood Center on March 19
The Barley Saints will perform in the Dogwood Center's Black Box on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. Join us and you will experience upbeat, Celtic rock live at the Dogwood!
The Barley Saints specialize in a mix of Irish pub tunes, up-tempo Irish folk songs, and fast paced traditional dance tunes, supported by driving rock beats.
The West Michigan band was founded in 2017 by Ray Veen and Scott Sheldon. Originally called “Knotwork”, the band coalesced around the rough idea of playing up-tempo Irish tunes for pubs and parties. Then, the band’s good friend Dan Seabolt of the Oat-Bran Boys, suggested they contact one of his former fiddle students, Hannah Kroll. After joining the guys at one practice, Hannah brought a fresh perspective, a youthful exuberance, and pure, unadulterated talent. With a renewed sense of hope and energy, the band re-invented themselves as The Barley Saints, and began booking shows in earnest. Other band members include Justin Brady on guitar and mandolin and Will Vauters on percussion.
Check out their website at www.barleysaints.com for a taste of their music! Tickets are $15.00 and are available online at www.dogwoodcenter.com, at the Dogwood Box Office, or at NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or make it easy and Click Here!
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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