First Methodist Church at its former site, 115 E. Dayton St., Fremont. Tabernacle building was built in 1874, then remodeled and enlarged in 1894, again in 1911, and the basement enlarged in 1922. Pipe organ was installed in 1946. The congregation moved to its current building at 351 Butterfield, Fremont, in 1956 and is known for its popular Ark Park play structure. Painting by Robert G. Woodring
By Sara Wolfsen
The roots of Fremont United Methodist Church were planted by Reverend William J. Swift during the warm summer of 1868. The Methodist movement began as part of the Hesperia circuit in the Brookside area (near the corner of 72nd and Green Street). Logs were rafted across Fremont Lake from the Darling Mill (now Branstrom Park) to establish a small church building. A few years later, as Fremont Center expanded, church leaders moved the congregation to town and erected a Tabernacle on Dayton Street (across from the current city offices). Several building additions were made to accommodate a growing congregation and, in October of 1956, the current church building on Butterfield Street was dedicated.
Over the years, the Methodists were known for their local service and global mission work, and its members were active in several community organizations including the Lions Club, Rotary and Young Life. And the church is proud to hold the Boy Scout Charter for the local troop. Our congregants have always held a strong emphasis on music, Christian education, mission and service. We delighted in hosting Chicken BBQ dinners during Old Fashioned Days, a Garden Tour each July, traditional Midnight Christmas Eve worship services, and, in 2014 erected an Ark Park area on church property for the community to bring a picnic and enjoy the playground and gaga pit.
We continue Rev. Swift's dream and God's work in the world today and will celebrate on Sunday, October 29th beginning at 9 a.m. with joyful worship and song through historic music, prayer, memories and special greetings from friends of the past. A collection of wedding photos will be on display during the day, and a tasty breakfast, prepared by our Men's Group, will be served following the worship service. If you were part of our past or would like to be part of our future, please join us Sunday, October 29 at 9 a.m. and stay for breakfast. To kindly RSVP for breakfast, contact the Church Office at (231) 924-0030.
"I still have that feeling the first time we met every time I see you.”-Jayson Edgay
“So, where did you two meet?”
Years ago I co-facilitated a couples therapy group and as a bit of introduction this was the question that generally got asked.
Is it important? Who knows.? But generally it makes a good story.
We all know those who met in school and stayed together until marriage and some who kind of knew each other but didn’t end up together until years later. Couples I have known over the years have met in bars and churches, grocery stores and workplaces, at parties and book stores, and while attending concerts, ballgames and fitness centers
There are set ups from friends, online services designed to match folks up and speed dating has apparently made a comeback in some circles.
The couples listed below have recently decided to sign on for the delightful duration known as marriage. Each has a story of how they met. Call it Chapter One
For any number of reasons that meeting led to the two of them showing up at the clerk's office.
And the opportunity to add many more chapters to the story of their relationship.
Katherine TenBrink, Fremont & Jake Frey, Grant
Matt Rheingans, Brooklyn NY & Sarah Zamler, Brooklyn NY
Dena Letot, Newaygo & Adam Gibson, Newaygo
Trevor VanDyke, Grant & Heather Stockwell, White Cloud
County Students Experience Tech Week
Photos by Julie Burrell
Newaygo County, MICH (October 4, 2023): In September, the Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership, powered by The Right Place, collaborated with Newaygo County school districts and local employers to host various Tech Week events.
Through a partnership with Tech Week Grand Rapids and funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, G-M Wood Products, Fremont Area Community Foundation and the Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership, over 620 students participated in Newaygo County events.
Julie Burrell, Economic Development Director, coordinated a career speaker series at each of the five Newaygo County middle schools. The event helped students answer the question, “What is a Tech Job?” and highlighted tech careers in manufacturing, healthcare, finance, education and agriculture.
This first-time event featured speakers from G-M Wood Products, Fremont Area Community Foundation, H&S Companies, NCATS, Family Healthcare, Choice One Bank and Riveridge Cider.
Riveridge Cider’s Enhancement Director, Jamie Kober, shared, “Riveridge regularly participates in opportunities that engage the community and educates on the good works of agriculture and the benefits of produce in a healthy diet. Tech Week allowed us to share that message with younger community members as well as point out career paths to our future workforce.”
In November, interested students who participated in Tech Week events will have an opportunity to visit the Newaygo County Career Tech Center, to learn about 3D Printing, programming robots and how to attend the center’s Tech Program once they are in high school.
These events were hosted in partnership with Tech Week Grand Rapids. The second annual Tech Week Grand Rapids occurred September 18-23, 2023. The week-long “unconference” was home to more than 40 events, 45 community partners, and more than 13,000 attendees. One of the goals of this year’s Tech Week Grand Rapids was to highlight regional collaboration; events took place in Kent, Newaygo, Ottawa, Barry, Ionia, Montcalm, and Muskegon counties.
The Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership has prioritized fostering education and industry collaboration in its new strategic plan. Tech Week is one of several initiatives planned for the next three years.
The Jan Rademacher Memorial Quiz Bowl Invitational
Article by Stephen Smith
Photos Courtesy of Isabel Karnes, IK Photos
So, we’re back at it once more with brisk autumn climes, changing colors, falling leaves, and all things quiz bowl. While there’s a chill in the air, the thrill of the mid-October classic, the Jan Rademacher Memorial Quiz Bowl Invitational, is certainly here, too. The academic showcase was held under the aegis of White Cloud Public Schools on Saturday, October 14, 2023, marking the 21st iteration of the tournament first held in 2003.The field of competition was quite impressive with 13 different schools, hailing from both Michigan and Indiana, and featuring 29 entries in total. Of the 13 schools that entered the fray, all were last year’s state finalists and national qualifiers. Matches for the day were excitingly close, certainly entertaining, and sensationally thrilling for everyone involved in the academic fanfare that is quiz bowl.
Returning this year as the defending state champions, and competing in their first tournament of the season, the White Cloud Varsity A Quiz Bowl contingent (7-2) battled for victories all morning and afternoon. The team triumphed over Ionia B (310-40), White Cloud B (255-50), East Grand Rapids B (300-65), Roscommon A (255-145), Holland A (285-110), Roscommon B (200-55), and Kalamazoo Christian B (330-80). In a highly anticipated rematch, the Varsity Indians faltered in the last minutes of the match to Kalamazoo Christian A (125-165), the previous year’s state runner-up. White Cloud fell in a heartbreaker 205- 215 on the final tossup question of the match to John Adams B, the eventual finalist for the grand championship of the tournament. Even still, the efforts over the course of the day paid off brilliantly, and the team qualified for the State Competition for the 35th time, an all-time Class C-D record in Michigan. Perhaps even more astounding and extraordinary, the team also qualified to Nationals for the 27th time in the school’s history.
Now examining individual exploits, the Varsity A quartet was led in scoring by two-time All-State senior Captain Brian Schaefer, the recipient of the prestigious Brian Derks Award for most points scored by a White Cloud player with 480 points. Wyatt Karnes erupted for an additional healthy portion of 250 points. Sam Viher heaped on another impressive 130 points, and Jarrett Warlick chimed in with 75 points. Exhibiting a tremendous all-around incredible effort, the team gained 2,265 total points in the tournament and averaged an astonishing 277.91 points per game.
Growing in membership, knowledge, and experience, White Cloud currently fields four additional teams. Focusing on the White Cloud Varsity B, the contingent picked up two quality wins against Kalamazoo Christian B (115-70) and Ionia B (155-100). Leading the squad in scoring with an outstanding number of points was Anna Mohr with 165. Captain Annie Feldpausch added in a substantial point total of 90. Charlotte Karnes and Samantha Kukal contributed 60 and 55 points, respectively.
In JV divisional action, White Cloud’s Junior Varsity A competed valiantly earning two victories over Roscommon JV (225-20) and White Cloud JV B (190-10). Captain Liam Povey led the team in scoring with a remarkable 260 points, followed by Tyler Higgins’s solid 105 points. Landon Edwards added 30 more still. Leah Vining helped out her team with bonus questions. The Junior Varsity B acquired an enormous amount of gameplay knowledge with Trysten Tancock leading the pack with 35 points, Captain Arsyn Balke had 25 points, Rhoen Wade notched up 20 points, and Kacie Kailing pitched in with 10 points. The Junior Varsity C team demonstrated their academic prowess by winning three matches against White Cloud JV A (140-30), White Cloud JV B (190-5), and Roscommon JV (145-50). In a scoring barrage, Captain Mason D’Lamater marked up an astounding 315 points, which led the team. Brain Loveless revealed his depth of knowledge by gaining 130 points. Brayden Perdue tallied up 45 points, and Annabelle Bird grabbed up 10 points for the day. Quin Rose was a morale booster and assisted on bonus questions.
While the White Cloud Quiz Bowl Team enjoyed an overabundance of success on Saturday, it is important to recognize, remember, and honor those who have contributed to the team’s accomplishments. First and foremost, it is imperative to remember Jan Rademacher, longtime volunteer assistant coach and namesake of our tournament who passed away August 23, 2003, and to honor Brian Derks, leading scorer, and state and national qualifier for White Cloud. He died tragically in Iraq on August 13, 2005, as he was serving his country and his God.
Additionally, Coach Stephen Smith and assistant coaches Allison McPhall, Arnie Baker, Dallas Dowling, and Cameron Karnes wish to thank the following people for making the Jan Rademacher Memorial Quiz Bowl Invitational the major success that it was.
David Hewitt and Inside Newsletter
Ken De Laat and Near North Now
Rich Wheater and Times Indicator
Sally (Derks) Thomas
Electronic Scoring Officials:
Signage / Technology:
Dee Burkle, Awards and More
Quiz Bowl Banner:
Brian Scarbrough, Lakeshore Signs LLC
Business Management Team:
Isabel Karnes, IK Photos
Sally (Derks) Thomas
WMJ Custodial Staff:
White Cloud High School Student Council:
Courtney Dolan, Adviser
Student Council provided food for all volunteers for the event! Thank you!
John Rosenberg and the White Cloud Food Service
Ashley Robinson, Subway
Kickstart to Career Newaygo County, the children’s savings account program operated by Fremont Area Community Foundation, will undergo changes beginning this fall.
Since Kickstart to Career was created in 2018, the program has opened more than 3,000 children’s savings accounts for Newaygo County kindergartners with $50 seed deposits from the Community Foundation. The Community Foundation Board of Trustees recently decided to fulfill its commitment to the first five-year cohorts but not add additional students in the future. Instead, funds will be redirected to other educational grants.
Students who started kindergarten in 2022 will be the final Kickstart cohort, with no additional accounts being created. Students who already have Kickstart to Career accounts will still receive their promised incentive deposits—up to $650 per account—but at an accelerated rate over the next three years. During this time, students, families, and friends will also still be able to make deposits into the accounts at a Newaygo County ChoiceOne Bank location.
Once final incentive deposits have been made in 2026, the funds will be available to be withdrawn for eligible education expenses. Students’ parents or guardians will be notified of available funds and how to request withdrawals at that time. Accounts will remain deposit-only until the Community Foundation approves disbursements.
The Community Foundation extends its sincere thanks to ChoiceOne Bank and the staff, educators, and other partners who have supported Kickstart to Career over the last five years.
For more information about program changes and accounts, please contact Lindsay Hager at the Community Foundation at 231.924.5350.
Left to Right) Julie Chapin, director of MSU Extension’s Children and Youth Institute and state leader for Michigan 4-H Youth Development, recognizes Alice Kempf, of Newaygo County, among 12 4-H alumni inducted into the 2022 class of the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society, along with Jodi Schulz, interim associate director of MSU Extension’s Children and Youth Institute and interim associate state leader for Michigan 4-H Youth Development, and Matt Shane, associate director of MSU Extension and a 4-H alumnus.
Newaygo County 4-H alumna Alice A. Kempf, of Holton, is among 12 4-H alumni inducted into the 2022 class of the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society. Kempf was recognized on Sept. 30 during the Michigan 4-H Legacy Awards Celebration hosted by Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Foundation in East Lansing.
The Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society honors former Michigan 4-H members whose professional leadership and community service reflect the ultimate outcome of 4-H membership – extraordinary use of an individual’s head, heart, hands and health to make communities, the country and the world better places in which to live. This recognition is provided by Michigan 4-H Youth Development with support from the Michigan 4-H Foundation.
Kempf has been a Newaygo County 4-H’er since the day she was born. Kempf family members, including Alice Kempf’s grandmother, mother, and today, Alice herself, have served as volunteer leaders for the Happy Hustlers 4-H Club for decades. This Newaygo County group is the oldest continuously operating 4-H club in the state, with more than a century of history. The club’s name dates back to the time when the four H’s in 4-H were head, heart, hands, and hustle.
Today, the club is still hustling, with Kempf holding weekly meetings and encouraging youth to take advantage of state, national, and international 4-H travel experiences. Kempf herself traveled to Venezuela with 4-H in 1969 and later to Jamaica with the International 4-H Youth Exchange, or IFYE, program. As a young adult, Kempf served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic and Belize, helping to establish an educational library and adopting two children from Belize when she left the country.
“4-H gave me the knowledge to try and do anything,” said Kempf. “I have learned the 4-H motto well and share it with our 4-H’ers. They are our future. With 4-H around the world, I do believe we have a bright future.”
In addition to her club leadership roles, Kempf is president of the Newaygo County 4-H Council. She has been recognized many times for her 4-H service, receiving the Newaygo County 4-H Leader of the Year Award and the Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions’ Volunteer of the Year Award. In 2021, Kempf was recognized by MSU Extension for her 50 years of volunteer service to the Michigan 4-H program.
In addition to being a committed member of the 4-H community, Kempf owns a successful organic hay farm. She has served on the Newaygo County Agricultural Fair Board for more than 20 years, serving as a fair superintendent and on many fair committees. Kempf also helped start a program that requires youth exhibitors to donate at least three hours of community service a year to the fair. Through the program, the fair benefits from hundreds of hours of youth service each year.
The Michigan 4-H Legacy Awards Celebration was hosted and emceed by MSU Extension Associate Director Matt Shane, a Kent County 4-H alumnus and 2014 4-H Emerald Clover Society inductee. Also inducted into the 4-H Emerald Clover Society Class of 2022 were: Gail R. Frahm, Saginaw; Larry J. Gould, Morenci; Jon D. Hausserman, Fenwick; L. Janel Horrocks-Boehmer, Williamston; Karen Kolberg Kietzer, Stevensville; Dian M. Liepe, Pullman; Sarah J. Pion, Cassopolis; Rachael N. Ramirez, Birch Run; Melissa A. Souva, Bronson; Schawna M. Thoma, Anchorage, Alaska; and Mary J. Yeomans, Midland.
Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society members are inducted every two years. The inaugural class of 62 members was inducted in 2002 to coincide with the national 4-H centennial. For more information on the 4 H Emerald Clover Society and its members, visit www.mi4hfdtn.org/ecs.
3 Conservation Officers honored for lifesaving efforts in Newaygo County
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers Tim Barboza, Brandon Benedict and Jeff Ginn were recognized with DNR Lifesaving Awards for their efforts in two separate incidents in Newaygo County. The honors were handed out at Thursday’s Michigan Natural Resources Commission meeting at Bay College in Escanaba.
In May 2022, Barboza responded to a motorcycle-vehicle accident at East 1 Mile Road and North Sycamore Avenue in Lincoln Township. The motorcycle operator, Richard Wilson, 30, was lying on his back, with visible, life-threatening injuries.
Barboza immediately applied a tourniquet to Wilson’s injured leg which slowed the loss of blood, while continuing to assess and care for other injuries.
Wilson was transported by Aero Med to the hospital, where, pre-surgery, doctors said his odds of surviving were less than 25%. Thankfully, Wilson beat those odds.
“It took a large team to save my life, but CO Barboza’s quick action was instrumental to my survival, and myself, my wife and my three children are all so grateful,” Wilson said.
Wilson told the DNR earlier this year that he was walking with a prosthetic leg and preparing to return to work.
“The calm conversation Barboza had with Mr. Wilson while providing first aid was instrumental to keeping this family of five together, which the DNR is extremely grateful for and proud of Barboza,” said Chief Dave Shaw, DNR Law Enforcement Division.
Barboza, Benedict and Ginn are credited with saving the life of a 21-year-old man who, in January, broke through the ice of Blanch Lake and spent about 30 minutes in the freezing water.
Ginn also received a DNR Distinguished Service Award for the incident. During the rescue, Ginn also broke through the ice and at one point was able to climb out, but jumped back into the water to keep the man afloat.
“Officers Barboza, Benedict and Ginn displayed courage and selflessness by quickly responding to a very dangerous situation, which became even more threatening when Ginn fell into the freezing water,” said Shaw. “They relied on their training and worked as a team for a successful outcome – their acts of heroism are inspirational to us all.”
Ginn, who has been a CO since 2006, and Barboza, a CO since 2018, both patrol Newaygo County. Benedict, a CO in Shiawassee County, was hired in 2022 and was being trained by Ginn at the time.
Michigan conservation officers are fully licensed law enforcement officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety, and protect residents through general law enforcement and conducting lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more about the division – including updates on the DNR’s current training academy – at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.
Baldwin, Mich– Family Health Care recently added three new behavioral health therapists to its clinics in Newaygo County.
Julie Gallivan, LPC, joins the Family Health Care clinic at 11 N. Maple St. in Grant. She has extensive experience in counseling individuals, families, and children. Gallivan earned a bachelor's degree in professional counseling from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and received a master’s degree in human services with an emphasis on marriage and family counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The school-based clinics in Grant and White Cloud will also benefit from additional behavioral health therapists.
Kat VanEss, LLMSW, will work with students at the Child and Adolescent Health Center at White Cloud Elementary School. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from Ferris State University and completed her clinical rotation at Family Health Care.
Ashley Carpenter, LLMSW, will provide behavioral health services to students at the Child and Adolescent Health Center at Grant Middle School. Carpenter has a Master of Social Work degree from Ferris State University. Her clinical internship was completed at Lakeview Community Schools in Montcalm County.
“We are excited to be able to expand access to behavioral health services in Newaygo County,” said Rebecca London, LMSW, chief of behavioral and integrated services at Family Health Care. “The nation faces a mental health crisis, and the impact is also being felt locally. By adding additional therapists to our team, it will make it easier for individuals to get the support they need at our main clinics and our school-based clinics throughout the area.”
To learn more about behavioral health services at Family Health Care, visit www.familyheatlhcare.org/behavioralhealth.
Walk-in Clinic coming to Newaygo this Thursday
District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is announcing their upcoming COVID-19/Flu vaccination clinics and reminding residents that the new Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is now available for anyone ages 6 and older. The new vaccine is available at all DHD#10 offices and at participating COVID-19/Flu walk-in vaccination clinics and is covered by most insurances.
DHD#10 is hosting a public COVID-19 and Flu walk-in clinic at the following location:
Newaygo Congregational United Church of Christ
432 Quarterline St
October 12, 9am-11am
The anticipation is building for National 4-H Week, during which millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni across the country will be celebrating everything 4-H. The theme of this year’s National 4-H Week is I LOVE 4-H which highlights how 4-H provides opportunities and encourages kids to take part in hands-on learning experiences in areas such as health, science, agriculture and civic engagement. The positive environment provided by 4-H mentors ensures that kids in all parts of the US ̶ from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities ̶ are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles and are empowered with the skills to lead in life and career.
Newaygo County 4-H will observe National 4-H Week this year by showcasing the incredible experiences that 4-H offers young people and will highlight the remarkable 4-H youth in our community who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them. By engaging in innovative pursuits through 4-H projects and activities, field trips, and community service, youth get the opportunity of expressing themselves in a positive, tangible, and meaningful way while instilling a sense of achievement and pride, boosting their self-confidence all while developing life skills.
4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 110 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving nearly every county in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries.
Newaygo County 4-H alone reaches nearly 600 youth participants with 90 volunteers involved in 40 community and SPIN (special interest) clubs annually. In addition, Newaygo County 4-H provides youth programming to approximately 2500 youth annually in Newaygo County, through the in-school and community programs.
To learn more about the Newaygo County 4-H Program, contact Laurie Platte Breza, 4-H Program Coordinator, at email@example.com or by calling 231-928-1056. 4-H is open to all youth, ages 5 – 19. Age is determined on January 1 of the current year.