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Author: Travis Silvas

Grant money generated from Generosity Celebration reaches across Eaton County

A part of John Gaedert’s philosophy on generosity was about many people coming together in a small way to make a difference in the lives of many. Part of his love for the newspaper industry was its ability to affect so many people in a positive way. One of the first Charlotte Generosity Fund grants, generated from the annual John Gaedert Generosity Celebration, is the perfect example of how John’s philosophy can be brought to life. A collaborative effort among the Eaton County Treasurer’s Office, Housing Services for Eaton County (HSEC) and Olivet College is helping to reach residents in Eaton County who are at risk of tax foreclosure. The collaborative received a $1,000 grant from the Charlotte Generosity Fund this past year, which helped pay for postage to send out mailings to at risk citizens. The mailings provided information on how people could get help to avoid tax foreclosure. “The collaboration with the Generosity Fund has been a big part of our efforts,” said Eaton County Treasurer Bob Robinson. “These funds were used to inform people about the free services that are available in Eaton County.” Denise Dunn, executive director of HSEC said the partnership with the Treasurer’s office has helped the non-profit reach individuals at risk of tax foreclosure. Previously, her office dealt primarily with mortgage foreclosure issues. “We didn’t have a resource to reach people on...

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Staff at Bellevue Elementary shows students exactly what a fox says

Students at Bellevue Elementary School had no idea what was about to take place when they filed into the gymnasium for the annual Holiday Hoopla on Dec. 19, just before Christmas break. Things were just getting underway when a familiar tune started pumping from the speakers. The song, What Does The Fox Say — a viral sensation that has flooded the Internet this past year — grabbed their full attention. As if the music wasn’t enough, staff member after the next, each donning the appropriate animal costume, came flying into the gym. By the end, 23 staff members had performed a full-on flash mob style rendition of the song that had students standing up to dance along. “We do different things throughout the year … monthly Jr. Broncos celebrations,” said Scott Belt Bellevue Community Schools superintendent and Bellevue Elementary School principal.  “I’ve always had the philosophy that you work really hard and there is a time to play too. Kids need to see that.” The staff certainly played hard during the assembly. Following the lead of At Risk parapro Shawn Holt — who also teaches dance and physical fitness classes — all but two teachers participated in the choreographed dance number. Holt said she came up with the idea to do something fun for the kids after she offered to run a physical fitness boot camp for teachers after...

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City to establish sustainability advisory board

Charlotte City Council voted Dec. 23 to move forward with the creation of a sustainability advisory board. Specifics outlining the framework of the board will be established through a city ordinance that will still need to be approved by council. Councilmember, Branden Dyer said he brought the idea of sustainability to council’s attention because he sees an opportunity to get citizens involved in creating a more attractive community. “This is about saving people, not just saving the environment,” Dyer said. “Sustainability is about making this place better for generations to come.” Dyer said his vision for the advisory board is a collaborative effort between the city and citizens. He said the board should serve to educate the community about programs and policies that will create a shared vision of sustainability within the city and surrounding communities. “I’m excited about the possibilities,” said Mayor Carrie Burch. “It’s really progressive compared to other communities and I think it will be a positive addition to the community.” The board will consist of 10 to 11 members, including four city residents, representatives from City Council, the Downtown Development Authority, Charlotte Area Recycling Authority, as well as a potential representative from Olivet College. “My plan is to follow the Michigan Municipal League’s Green Communities Challenge Program,” Dyer said. “We can use the program to establish goals that are in line with a community like...

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CPS Education Foundation awards more than $900 in teacher mini grants

The Charlotte Public Schools Education Foundation announces the release of four classroom mini grants for the 2013-14 school year, totaling more than $900. Grants were awarded to teachers at four different buildings within the district. Charlotte High School special education teacher, Mike Baker received a $270 grant from the William Garvey Memorial Fund for technology needed to post lessons online for students. The lessons will allow students to access geometry lessons outside of regular class time. Parkview Elementary School teachers Abigail DeBack, Diana Bartolacci, Rachael Eye and Tyne Sanders also received a William Garvey Memorial Fund grant in the...

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Senior Center asking community to help reach a ‘Quarter Mile’

As the executive director of a non-profit, Cindy Miller is always brainstorming ideas on how to raise money. So it should come as no surprise when inspiration for the Eaton Area Senior Center most recent fundraiser struck in the middle of the night. Presented with the challenge of raising nearly $16,000 to replace the carpet at the Eaton Area Senior Center, it dawned on her that she knew exactly how to raise the money. She harkened back to her time working for a non-profit in Lansing when she took part in a quarter drive. She had done the math before — a quarter is almost exactly an inch in diameter and there are 63,360 inches in a mile. By collecting a mile of quarters, she could raise $15,830 — almost exactly what is needed to replace the carpet. For the past year, Eaton Area Senior Center has been on a mission to reach that mile, one quarter at a time. “It’s been a lot fun,” Miller said. “It’s been done mostly through people donating their change.” The fundraiser was given a big boost early on through a donation from Eaton Federal Savings Bank, which pledged to match the first $1,000 in quarters donated. Currently, the fundraiser has raised more than $10,000. Donations can be made at the Eaton Area Senior Center, Eaton Federal Savings Bank and Custom Home Interiors....

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