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Author: Travis Silvas

Local heroes make a difference during the holidays

Being a hero can mean many things. To 50 Eaton County children last Saturday, a hero was someone who helped make their holidays a little brighter. Meijer, in conjunction with the Eaton Area Senior Center and eight local police and fire agencies, held its annual Shop With A Hero event on Nov. 16. Local heroes from the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department, Eaton Rapids Township Fire Department, Michigan State Police, Charlotte Police Department, Potterville Benton Township Fire Department, Nashville Police Department, Vermontville Township Fire Department and City of Eaton Rapids Fire Department, spent the afternoon getting to know some local...

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Thanksforgiving Turkey Dinner brings in $14,500 for Bellevue pantry

There is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving in Bellevue. Community members, volunteers and Good Samaritans helped raise $14,500 for the Good Samaritan Food Pantry in Bellevue by participating in the annual Thanksforgiving Turkey Dinner on Monday, Nov. 4. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go towards helping local families make it through some rough economic times. “It’s beautiful,” said Good Samaritan director, Max Troutner. “For years the community and local organizations have backed us so well. Not that we don’t have to watch pennies, but their support makes our jobs a little easier.” Troutner said nearly 100 volunteers helped serve close to 1,200 people at this year’s event. He said the end result was a pleasant surprise for the pantry, which feeds 85 to 100 families living within the Bellevue School District a month. The Good Samaritan is a non-denominational food pantry located with the Methodist Church in Bellevue. It is open year ‘round and tries to provide each family with two weeks worth of food, once a month. The only eligibility requirement is that families must live within the Bellevue School District. Troutner said the annual Thanksforgiving event is a great fundraiser for the pantry, which relies heavily on the generosity of the local community and organizations. The pantry receives a grant from Red Cross and one grant from a private organization. The rest of...

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Defense leads Olivet to Division 5 District Championship

The Olivet defense needed just one look at the Parchment offense and the unit knew what needed to be done to shut them down. The Eagles gave up a touchdown on the first possession, but never surrendered another point en route to a 20-6 win and a Division 5 District title Friday, Nov. 8 in front of their home crowd. “Our kids came off the field and talked to coach Rohde about what they thought would work,” head coach Gabe Priddy said. “He started calling it and our kids made plays. It takes a total team effort to defend...

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Need for Holiday Food Baskets support continues to grow

The need for assistance continues to grow, even if the committee that runs the annual Holiday Food Baskets in Charlotte slowly dwindles. Fortunately for the group of four or five regular volunteers, Charlotte Assembly of God has agreed to partner with the local non-profit to try and reach more than 500 area families this holiday season. “There are only a few of us original committee members left,” said Ann Garvey, Holiday Food Baskets coordinator. “We were in real need for an organization to come in and help us and maybe take over. We’re fortunate to have Charlotte Assembly of God agree to help us again.” Garvey said the partnership with Charlotte Assembly of God is a good fit because the church has historically provided similar services during the holidays. “We found quite a few people we were reaching were the same,” Garvey said. Sheri Whitaker of Assembly of God said the church has provided a similar food basket program for at least the past 20 years. “We enjoyed working with the community last year, that’s why we decided to do it again,” Whitaker said. “The church brings a lot of volunteers, especially around the holidays, that love to help out.” Whitaker said Charlotte Assembly of God will continue providing holiday food baskets to those in need in the community, including members of their congregation that may be in need...

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Running leads to path of self-discovery for Potterville resident

Larisa Ballard’s life had been turned upside down a few years ago when faced with a devastating divorce. Looking in the mirror, she hardly recognized the person she had become. That’s when she decided to take the first step toward self-discovery. Only, at the time, she didn’t realize the kind of journey she was about to take. “I decided to go out for a run,” Ballard recalls. “It was the hardest mile I’ve ever run … it felt like it took forever. The steps hurt and I wanted to stop. My heart and my head kept fighting with my...

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