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Month: June 2014

Fern Persons students forgo free time to help other children

When you’re BFFs (Best Friends Forever) and in elementary school, you tend to do everything together. For eight exceptional first graders at Fern Persons Elementary School in Olivet, being a large group of BFFs is no different. Following the lead of two students in the group, Ellie Cooper and Lila Nowak, the girls spent a week’s worth of recess making bracelets, necklaces and rings to sell to their classmates. On the service it seems like a very entrepreneurial activity, until you learn the reason behind it. “We wanted to help kids,” said Elizabeth Freed, another member of the group...

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Wine tasting becomes regular part of Third Thursday at Michigan UnTapped

A great way to build a customer base is to allow people to regularly sample that which you have to offer, free of charge. Michigan UnTapped in downtown Charlotte has caught on to this concept in a fun way. The local specialty shop offers regular wine tastings as part of the shop local effort — Third Thursday. The next Third Thursday wine tasting will take place June 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. “Couples, best friends, mothers and daughters come,” said Dawn Sneckenberg, who helps organize the wine tasting events for the shop. “Sometimes friends who live a distance apart will use our shop as a meeting place, drink wine and catch up with each other.” Sneckenberg said each event is different though they usually open red and white wines, dry to sweet, so that there is something for people of all tastes to enjoy. “We offer free snacks during tastings so customers can try some of the specialty foods we offer too,” Sneckenberg said. Michigan UnTapped, owned by three Charlotte women — Amanda Wildern, Wendy Wildern and Karen Anderson — has been involved with the Third Thursday effort since the fall of 2013. A handful of local businesses stay open past normal business hours and offer special deals each third Thursday of the month. In addition to Michigan-made wine and specialty foods, Michigan UnTapped features a wide variety...

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Relay For Life of Charlotte opens Walk of Fame June 20

The celebrities may be slightly less well known than those you’d find on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but those you’ll find at the June 20 and 21 Relay For Life of Charlotte should be more celebrated. The theme for this year’s event is the Relay Walk of Fame and its celebrities are those who have survived the fight against cancer, those who are in the midst of the fight of their lives and all those that have come out to show united support. The Relay For Life of Charlotte committee has set its sites high this year, establishing a fundraising goal of $80,000. Local teams have been raising money for months and all of their hard work culminates with the 24-hour event that takes place at Charlotte High School’s track. The action begins at 1 p.m. as teams will set up tents and booths and representatives begin the 24-hour trek on the track. Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. with remarks from the committee and an always-inspiring speech from the Honorary Survivor. Opening ceremonies also include the Survivor’s lap, where the track turns into a flowing sea of purple shirts. Themed laps are held throughout the event. The mood will be a little more somber around 10 p.m. as the lights around the track are turned off and the luminaries around the track are lit. Names of those...

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Charlotte residents bringing Intl. Coleman Collectors Club to town

Nearly every nook and cranny in Dave DeFrates’ Charlotte home now contains a piece of Coleman history. For the past few months, DeFrates and Joy Mogg have been preparing his home to be part of the International Coleman Collectors Club annual convention, which takes place June 26, 27 and 28 at the Eaton County Fairgrounds in Charlotte. DeFrates and Mogg are attempting to take the convention back to its roots, giving this year’s event a Small Town USA theme. DeFrates said the conventions typically take place in large metropolitan areas, though they began in the early 90s as fairground...

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Meet the Celebrate Charlotte team

By Curt Scott Chairman – CanDo! Celebrate Charlotte Committee   Celebrate Charlotte is this Father’s Day weekend. As the advertisement in this paper shows, there will be music, food, ridiculous fun, and lots of artistic genius downtown. It will be different this year because the committee that planned it is different. The Celebrate Charlotte Committee is indicative of the ever-expanding accord of individuals deeply committed to a thriving downtown Charlotte. Garrett Bensinger, President of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, leads the Celebrate Charlotte Committee. Garrett is Vice President, Community Banking for Independent Bank, connected to LEAP and CanDo! Julie Kimmer is president of the CPS School Board, and represents Courthouse Square Association, the icon of Charlotte. Bryan Myrkle is Community Development Director for the City of Charlotte. Bryan’s job is to improve things, clear hurdles, think outside the box. This year’s Celebrate Charlotte is outside the box. The city is also represented by the Honorable Carrie Burch, Mayor of Charlotte and adamant advocate for music and fun downtown. Chamber Vice President, Jeana Rohrs, is also committed to gathering for fun. As Chamber Ambassador she is a gatherer.  Grace Boehmer is the Executive Director and public face of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.  She too is everywhere. Bridging CanDo! and the Chamber of Commerce is Tim Reed – Vice Chair for CanDo!, Treasurer for Chamber. As Senior VP and financial...

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