Local resident with ties to the Bol-anon community organizes fundraiser
N3- Typhoon Rai, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Odette, was a powerful and catastrophic tropical cyclone that struck the Philippines in December 2021. The storm devastated the central Visayan Islands including the island where Spectrum Gerber Physical Therapist Ethel Lobrigas was born and where her family still resides.
Ms. Lobrigas is well known throughout the Newaygo County area for being an instructor in the art of Qigong/Tai Chi and has often volunteered her services for community events.
Though months have passed, the residual effects of the disaster continue to impact the lives of the Bol-anon community.
In an effort to provide much needed assistance to the people of the Bohol province Ms. Lobrigas has organized a benefit concert to be held at the Dogwood Center on June 10th. Proceeds will go to a Non Government Organization with expertise in survivor community led response for the rehabilitation phase of rebuilding and livelihood.
We caught up with Ms Lobrigas to inquire about the event.
Tell us a little about the island where you grew up.
Bohol is the 10th largest island of 7,000 islands in the Philippines. It lies in the heart of the Central Visayan islands. It is composed of 47 municipalities and 75 outlying islands surrounding the mainland. Thirty of these municipalities (62.5%) are situated along the coast. The rest are interior towns. Majority of the Boholanos are directly dependent on the coastal resources for food and livelihood. Tourism also plays a role in the island's economy. Bohol is famous for its Chocolate Hills. 1,200 uniformly cone-shaped hills named for the grass growing on the hills that turn brown in the summer, making the landscape look like chocolate mounds. They are hills made of limestone left over from coral reefs during the Ice Age when the island was submerged.
How did the typhoon affect the lives of the people who live there?
Supertyphoon Rai packed maximum sustained winds of 150 kph (93 mph) near the center with gustiness of up to 205 kph (127 mph). It made landfall in Bohol at 6:30 pm on Dec 16th 2021.
12 municipalities mostly in the northern part of Bohol were 90% affected where the center of the typhoon passed.
6 interior towns were between 75 to 90% affected.
12 towns including my hometown, Maribojoc was in the 50 to 75% affected.
17 towns in the southern part of Bohol were below 50% affected.
Everyone was a survivor except for over 100 lives lost.
Estimated families in the hardest hit area were 175 thousand. 87,583 houses were totally washed out and damaged especially among Bohol's 75 or so outlying islands either from storm surge, high winds and massive flooding.
My friends from elementary and high school who experienced the wrath of the typhoon, felt traumatized having to listen to the strong howling winds and take cover from the heavy rain for over 7 hours in the darkness of the night.
Next to shelter, livelihoods of the people are heavily devastated. Agricultural crops and livestock were lost including family vegetable gardens that were products of the previous year's Covid lockdowns and limited mobility.
You have family there. How has this impacted their day to day lives?
First we are grateful that the house our grandparents built in the 1940s is still standing and is serving a purpose of shelter from the elements. For a while there, work and hybrid school were suspended due to no power and school buildings were used as evacuation centers. Power was not fully restored until March 2022. So they were dependent on candles, oil lamps and generators. The line to get fuel from the pump took up to 3 hours until it was their turn. Water was delivered via scheduled water trucks.
I have 3 brothers who live there. One of them is a priest and this is his response:
“Growth and resilience. People are moving on with new challenges each day. And to think we survived a typhoon as strong as Typhoon Rai (Odette) and the earthquake in 2013, we are getting used to natural disasters. We have accepted the course of nature. We fall, we stand and move on. Learn lessons from the experience. Try to see it as an opportunity to become better persons.”
My niece said: “It brought back the sense of community because of no power and less screen time, it resurrected in-person sharing of experiences, hope and strength.”
How will the funds be used?
Funds will be forwarded to ECOWEB and Bangon Bohol 2 to benefit typhoon survivors in an outlying island community in the northern part of Bohol for shelter repair/reconstruction and livelihood recovery (fishing boats).
Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. (ECOWEB) is a Non-government and Non-Profit organization with expertise on community-based disaster risk reduction and management. ECOWEB’s programs and projects are focused in the marginalized and vulnerable communities to natural and human-induced hazards which also promotes integrated risk management through localized actions while doing national platforming. It works to localize response on climate change adaptation and to decrease the community’s vulnerability from both natural and human-induced hazards.
Bangon Bohol 2 is a consortium of Bohol-based civil society groups organized to undertake relief and rehabilitation in areas ravaged by super typhoon Odette (Rai).
What gave you the idea of a benefit concert?
My heart gave me the idea of the benefit concert. Because I am not able to physically be in Bohol to do volunteer humanitarian work at the moment, I was inspired to search for different campaign ideas to increase awareness and raise funds on this side of the world and support the boots on the ground crew who have the expertise. I came across an organization, Human Aid who coached me with this project and got blessed by musicians who volunteered to perform.
What do you want people to know about the event?
Come listen to great music and enjoy! Tickets are $20 at the door.
Featured main artist is Bob Wallis. Bob is a singer/songwriter and keyboard player based in Michigan. He has two independently released albums, one with a song featured on NPR's "Car Talk". He plays keyboards and sings backups for Kaitlin Rose and The Band of Thorns. Bob is my husband's nephew.
The opening act is Madeline Kraemer, an 18 year old solo artist from Southfield, Michigan. She is currently studying at Oakland University in Rochester. Maddie hails from a family who inspired her love for music. Maddie is Bob's niece. She has been making music for over 7 years.
There will also be a cameo of my niece and her partner covering the song Peace Train.
How can people donate if they can’t make it to the concert?
People can go to the URL link below and donate if they can't make it to the concert
Click here to support Benefit Concert at the Dogwood Performing Arts Center Fremont, Michigan USA by Mary Ethel Lobrigas
The Swingtooth Quartet will perform in the Dogwood Center's Black Box on Saturday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. Join us and you will experience great live music at the Dogwood!
Local guitar duo, Lee and David Middleman, known for their hand-built instruments, Swingtooth Guitars, and featured in past West Michigan Luthier concerts, make up a portion of the quartet. They are joined by Chris Cudworth on bass, and Pat Eickenroth on percussion, both sought after participants in several eclectic groups across Michigan. The synergy among the four is part of their own enjoyment in crafting new ways to express their favorite timeless material of early swing, bebop, sultry ballads and lively bossa nova.
Tickets are $12.50 and are available online at www.dogwoodcenter.com, at the Dogwood Box Office, or at NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or just 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.
Expanded Tuesday Evening Series Spotlights Local and Regional Talent in West Michigan's Most Beautiful Outdoor Venue
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is pleased to announce the lineup for the newly expanded Tuesday Evening Music Club, with a diverse schedule of live bands and programming ranging from jazz to indie, rock to folk, ballet and more. Now including concerts in June due to the growing popularity of the series, Tuesday Evening Music Club brings talented local and regional musicians to the Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater stage starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings—free to Meijer Gardens members and included with admission for other guests—throughout June, July and August. With beautiful, terraced lawn seating and spectacular views of gardens and sculpture, the 1,900-seat amphitheater is Michigan’s most unique and intimate outdoor concert venue.
Amphitheater plaza gates open at 5 p.m. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
2022 Tuesday Evening Music Club Lineup:
June 7: Jordan Hamilton + The Elijah Russ Collective
Jordan Hamilton: This cellist and poetic lyricist overlays his live instrumentals with samples and loops to formulate a distinct spin on hip-hop.
The Elijah Russ Collective: Primarily a fusion of soul and rock ‘n’ roll, with forays into blues, classical, funk, modern rock, country, and world music.
June 14: Kaitlin Rose & The Band of Thorns + Seth Bernard
Kaitlin Rose & The Band of Thorns: A singer-songwriter-storyteller, fronting a refined and versatile band and offering Americana with a fresh sensibility.
Seth Bernard: A legend of the Great Lakes music scene, this pop-folk artist and producer continues to win over audiences with his contagious spirit and master musicianship.
June 21: MOLLY
MOLLY: A singer songwriter with a smooth, emotive style, playing originals and covers that span rock, R&B, and soul.
June 28: Melophobix + Soul Syndicate
Melophobix: Horn-infused harmonic funk, with roots in reggae, ska, rock ‘n’ roll and soul.
Soul Syndicate: Pays high-energy, pinpoint homage to R&B and soul classics from various eras.
July 5: The Last Gasp Collective + Myron Elkins and the Dying Breed
The Last Gasp Collective: Reminiscent of The Roots and Hiates Kaiyote, thought-provoking rap and warm R&B vocals intertwine with jazzy melodies.
Myron Elkins and the Dying Breed: A mixture of hillbilly, bluegrass, rock, country-western and even metal, led by fiercely commanding vocals.
July 12: Whorled + CrossBow
Whorled: A contemporary twist on Celtic, jazz, Brazilian, and American folk, featuring violin, accordion, guitar, banjo, whistles, and didgeridoo.
CrossBow: A favorite of Celtic festivals throughout the Midwest, they interweave the traditional sound with a highly infectious modern flourish you have to move to.
July 19: The 6 Pak
The 6 Pak: A legendary all-girl band, originally formed in 1967, performing the grooviest hits from that era.
July 26: The Samuel Nalangira Trio featuring Sharon Katz
The Samuel Nalangira Trio featuring Sharon Katz: A native of Uganda, Samuel is a folk/world master of multiple traditional instruments, accompanied by percussionist Carolyn Koebel, bassist Nathan Durham, and special guest guitarist Sharon Katz, a former cultural ambassador for Nelson Mandela who uses her music to promote peace and social justice throughout the world.
August 2: Lana Chalfoun + King Possum
Lana Chalfoun: An award-winning, 17-year-old singer-songwriter often compared to Adele and Taylor Swift, performing pop ballads and breakup anthems as well as songs that explore relevant modern topics.
King Possum: Led by Michigan musical fixture and multi-instrumentalist Mark Lavengood, this band serves up a stew of rock and soul evocative of old-time jukebox music.
August 9: The Accidentals with Kaboom Collective Studio Orchestra
The nationally renowned, Michigan roots, multi-instrumental songwriting power trio The Accidentals teams up with Kaboom Orchestra, a one-of-a kind orchestra comprising some of the most talented young people in the country, for a tour to promote their collaborative album REIMAGINE.
August 16: Franklin Park
Franklin Park: Classmates from 1969 perform spot-on renditions of The Beatles, The Byrds, The Rascals and many more ‘60s hits. If you’re a fan of The 6 Pak’s Tuesday evening performances, you’ll love this throwback band!
August 23: Ralston & Friends
Ralston & Friends: Local music icon Ralston Bowles shares the stage with friends and collaborators, from the community and beyond.
August 30: Grand Rapids Ballet
Michigan’s only professional ballet company presents an evening of classical and contemporary ballet, designed to be enjoyed by all ages. The program will feature the full company of 26 dancers in George Balanchine’s ethereal classic work Serenade, with music by Tchaikovsky; Off the Canvas, a contemporary ballet from choreographer Katarzyna Skarpetowska; an excerpt of Artistic Director James Sofranko’s Romeo and Juliet; and more.
Visit MeijerGardens.org/involved/membership to become a member or renew a membership.
Tuesday Evening Music Club is generously sponsored by Meyer Music, WYCE and Corporate Live.
NHS Students spruce up their city
This past Friday (the 13th of course) while wandering about the River City downtown area we noticed a veritable sea of green...as in the shirts worn by waves of high school students from NHS who were busy beautifying the area.
Having spotted Coach Nate Thomasma crewing a group we asked him for a bit of info on the cleanup crew.
“It was our Lions United Day at the school where our kids do community service for the city. My group put up the 20+ no parking signs behind the Post Office in Newaygo. The kids did amazing work. Dug holes 24-30 inches deep. Wasn’t easy. We only had 7 to start and a few of us (mostly me!) were running out of gas.
"Thankfully we had other kids that came over from different groups to help get us past the finish line. Their attitudes and effort were great. I took them all to WESCO for slushies because they work their tails off.
"Very proud of our kids from Newaygo."
As are we, Coach T, as are we.
“When we all lend a hand in helping in the community we improve everyone's quality of life.”- Germany Kent
Raion Taiko Japanese Drumming at the Dogwood Center on May 15
Raion Taiko Japanese Drumming will perform on the Dogwood Center Main Stage on Sunday, May 15 at 3:00 p.m. The drumming ensemble will get your heart racing with an exciting and unforgettable performance of deep thunderous sounds.
Raion Taiko is an ensemble of performers sponsored by the Great Lakes Taiko Center. Their programs are a variety of authentic, modern and traditional taiko, performed on authentic taiko drums imported from Japan’s Asano Taiko, the world’s most famous taiko maker.
The Great Lakes Taiko Center is located in Novi and offers taiko drumming classes, educational presentations, workshops and performances for all ages. Learn more about the Taiko Center at www.michigantaiko.net.
“Taiko” in general is often used to mean the relatively modern art of Japanese drum ensembles (kumi-daiko), but the word actually refers to the taiko drums themselves. Literally, taiko means “fat drum”, although there is a vast array of shapes and sizes of taiko. Within the last fifty years since kumi-daiko was created, it has seen phenomenal growth to the point where there are over 8,000 taiko groups in Japan by some counts. Borrowing on thousands of years of traditional, taiko groups are now taking the style worldwide.
Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $5 for children 18 and under. They are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com or just click here! For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
NBFF Parade to feature generational honorees
The National Baby Food Festival is seeking nominations for the Grand Marshal of the National Baby Food Festival Grand Parade, themed Celebrating Family!!!
The nominees must be Newaygo County residents.
Four or Five Family Generations preferred, with family members that live in the area.
Nominees can be current or life-long residents.
If you would like to nominate a four or five generation family please provide the Nominees name and address and why the family should be nominated to be Grand Marshal and submit entries to :
Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce
7 E Main St, Fremont MI 49412
or email email@example.com.
Dogwood Summer Youth Theater Auditions – May 5 and 7
The Dogwood Summer Youth Theater will be holding auditions on Thursday, May 5 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. or Saturday, May 7 from 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Dogwood Center for Performing Arts for their summer production “The Hunchback of Notre Dame: The Musical” for youth ages 12 years and up. Please have prepared a 1-2 minute song to sing acapella.
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" has a sweeping score and powerful story makes it an instant classic. The Dogwood Summer Youth Theater will be directed again this summer by Casey Webb. The performance dates will be July 28, 29 and 30. This program is funded in part by the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
For more information please contact the Dogwood Center at 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
“If profanity had an influence on the flight of the ball, the game of golf would be played far better than it is”-Horace Hutchinson
We are moving into the golf season and with links lovers itching to begin hitting the courses N3 put out a survey asking folks where their fave place to play might be and why.
Waters Edge edged out Village Green for the top spot with The Falls at Barber Creek finishing third. Pilgrim’s Run and Northwood tied for 4th.
Here are some of the comments
The course is getting better every year. The layout has changed and has some very challenging holes. The restaurant is a great place to sit back, relax, have a pizza and a drink.
Beautiful setting on two Lakes. Challenging but playable.
Nearest, and also that course is well maintained, improvements have been great with more coming.
Not a cooler spot around!
It’s beautiful. In good condition.
They have made improvements and it’s got the best views.
Beautiful , well maintained course. The course is challenging yet fun.Staff is friendly and helpful.
It’s the best course in Newaygo County
The course is always well maintained! Also their food is delicious for a small restaurant.
Close by and great people
Larry Range is a great guy and runs a professional and challenging course.
A very well maintained course with a staff that appreciates your business. The back nine is a challenge but it keeps you humble. A nice little cafe next to the pro shop where you can get a coffee or adult beverage or a meal at an affordable price.
Closest to home and challenging.
The Falls at Barber Creek
Gorgeous course well kept.
They’ve done a great job with the course.
It's beautiful, challenging and close to home.
Always perfect. No waiting on tee boxes. Challenging. Fair
Every hole is secluded and beautiful, just a great and well maintained course in every aspect!
Friendly and great course for all levels.
It's in my backyard!
"Golf is like a love affair. If you don't take it seriously, it's no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart."- Arthur Daley
AND HERE'S A CHANCE AT SECURING A SPECIAL PUTTER AS WELL AS A CONVERSATION PIECE FOR THE DESCRIMINATING GOLFER.
A very unique piece of golf equipment is being raffled off. A putter made completely out of hemp wood. Some of the proceeds will go to a couple of different charities. One of them being the kids golf program at 517 Golf group. Tickets for the raffle are $10 each and can be purchased online at
www.bluelakecbd.com or www.cbdstoremi.com
or at CBD Store of Michigan 37 East Main St., Fremont, MI 49412
The drawing will take place Dec. 17th 2022.
For more information visit www.cbdstoremi.com or www.bluelakecbd.com
Mandy Barnett will perform on Friday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dogwood Center.
Spend an enchanting night of timeless music with one of today’s premier vocalists with her “Nashville Songbook” show that appeals to music fans of all types—who will undoubtedly want to sing along to some of the best-loved tunes of all time!
Barnett has built a reputation for her commanding voice and unwavering devotion to classic country and popular standards. Barnett has enchanted listeners around the globe with her world-class vocals and musical chameleon qualities.
We caught up with Ms. Barnett to pose a few questions
N3-When did you begin performing?
I started singing when I was about five and began performing not long after that. I grew up around music, mostly on my mother’s side. My Mom, grandmother, grandfather, aunts, and uncles…many of them sang and played instruments, especially in church. And I’d join in. Later on, my mother would take me to local country fairs and venues to sing. I was known as the little girl with the big voice!
N3-What was on your playlist as a 14 year old?
Oh, gosh, my playlist was all over the place--country, rock, gospel, pop standards... And I had already started recording country music at that age, so some of the emerging country artists at that time were on my radar.
N3-Who have been your mentors and influences along the way?
I've had such diverse influences. As a child, I spent a lot of time with adults, like my relatives, who had eclectic tastes in music. They listened to classic country, traditional pop, gospel, and R&B; and I listened along with them. Probably, though, my biggest influences were female stylists like Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, and Sarah Vaughan. The way they sang--their phrasings and emotions--resonated with me. And Linda Ronstadt has always been someone I’ve admired. Like her, I enjoy musical variety and exploration.
My list of mentors is also pretty eclectic. Owen Bradley--producer of Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee, and producer of my I've Got A Right To Cry album--and his brother Harold Bradley, who was an amazing guitarist, certainly come to mind. Both Country Music Hall of Fame members. The wonderful Seymour Stein, the founder of Sire Records, was another mentor. And when I started recording and touring, certainly many of the other female artists I met always shared good advice.
N3-You’ve performed at the Opry many times and last year received the honor of becoming a member. Can you tell us what it was like the first time you were on that iconic stage?
Even as a young child, the Opry seemed so magical. I had been backstage a bit when other, older artists invited me. And my first real performance on the Opry was during the initial run of the musical Always...Patsy Cline at the Ryman Auditorium, when I portrayed Patsy. I was a teenager and was nervous, but also felt at home. Performing on the Opry is a huge honor that I’ve never taken for granted. Every time I walk onto the Opry stage, I feel so privileged to be there. Even after more than 500 performances, it never gets old. Becoming a Grand Ole Opry member was a lifelong dream come true!
N3-You’re hosting a dinner party for any five people (living or dead) from the music industry.
Who’s occupying the chairs?
I don't think I could limit it to just five guests! All of these names are swirling around in my head as possibilities! But I do have to say that Patsy Cline would be there. I'd like to think that she and I would have a grand time together. I'd thank her for allowing me to honor her music so much.
N3-What should people expect when they come to your concert?
I'll be performing my "Nashville Songbook" show, which features songs and artists that made Nashville famous. We'll be doing plenty of country songs, honoring the great classic country songwriters and artists, but also some of the amazing, enduring pop classics that were written or recorded in Nashville. So, the set list generally includes songs by the likes of Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, and Brenda Lee, etc., but also Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, and other non-country icons.
N3-Your role as Patsy Cline at the Ryman production of “Always…Patsy Cline'' was lauded by critics and fans alike. Will we be hearing any Patsy music at the Dogwood this Friday?
Yes, we'll be doing some Patsy music for sure. "Crazy" and more!
Tickets are $35.00 with reserved seating for this 7:30 p.m. main stage performance. Tickets are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or just click here. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
Photo and Story by Jewel Brink
Publisher’s note: My decades of being perpetually perplexed by the orphaned shoes found along the road (with remarkable frequency I might add) has led to folks occasionally sending me photos of various shoe situations they’ve encountered. One such missive arrived this past week from N3 reader Jewell Brink. After confirming that even N3 Editor Alexis Mercer,who has long spent hours running the trails in our region, was unaware of the locale we pressed upon Ms. Brink to supply us with a bit of backstory.
Here is her reply.
That Sunday was raining off and on and we waited til late in the afternoon to start. We started hiking the NCT on Sunday afternoons during Covid to get out of the house and explore a bit. That turned into a goal of hiking all of the NCT in Newaygo County. We finished that and are now going back to favorite NCT sections or in this case a section that's a spur off of the regular trail.
White Cloud Campground has a spur trail connecting to the main NCT and we wanted to do that portion. The XC shoe tree is on the spur closer to the High School where the White Cloud XC team trains and has a course for their meets. If you park at the High School you can pick up the NCT spur just beyond the front parking lot and the cemetery. The XC course is marked by yellow flags that loop around on the NCT and a power line. We stayed on the NCT and found the tree about a mile from where we started.
I wonder if the White Cloud XC team appreciates what a great trail they have to train on right next to their school. Some high school teams have to drive to get to such nice running trails and spend more time running along a paved road for practices. Having raised high school XC runners we found the shoe tree amusing and could definitely relate to kids throwing the old torn and smelly training shoes and racing spikes up in the branches when done for the season.
There's also a 2-seater outhouse near the shoe tree, although 2 seats and no door puzzles me as to usefulness.
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