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Author: Travis Silvas

Ann Garvey honored with Essence of E Award

To say Ann Garvey was surprised to receive the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Essence of E Award would be a bit of an understatement. Heading into the annual Chamber Awards Dinner, Garvey was under the impression the award would not be given out this year. She was only under that impression because she has served on the selection committee for several years and was informed there were no viable candidates this year … until the announcement was made Thursday, Jan. 23. “I see (the committee members) get up and I’m thinking, ‘I’m off the committee?’” Garvey joked after...

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Power of generosity best demonstrated when many come together

There are many reasons to attend the 3rd Annual John Gaedert Generosity Celebration, Friday, Feb. 7. First and foremost, proceeds from the event benefit the Charlotte Generosity Fund, which was established as a result of the generosity shown at last year’s event. This fund was established to generate grant money that is available annually to non-profit organizations regardless of their size. The Charlotte Generosity Fund fulfills one of the visions Gaedert had for the event. “John was so committed to the concept of the Foundation and encouraged us all to pool our resources,” said Christi Dutcher, one of the event coordinators. “John’s hope was that everyone in our community would come to learn that a small gift, when combined with other small gifts, has the power to create enormous opportunity.” This year’s event, which gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Eaton Area Senior Center will continue to build upon the momentum created by the Charlotte Generosity Fund. This past summer, the fund provided two $1,000 grants to local non-profits — Helping Hands and a consortium of Olivet College students, Housing Services of Eaton County and the Eaton County Treasurer’s office. The grant to Helping Hands was the perfect example of how pooling resources can do incredible things. Helping Hands director, Phil Grimwood said the grant was used to establish a personal care items project within the non-profit. The...

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Local youth ‘Crash the Crosswalk’ to identify potential programs

Despite heavy snow and wind chills in the negative 20-degree range, local students dropped in Monday, Jan. 27 to get the first look at the new Crosswalk Teen Center in Charlotte. The event, Crash the Crosswalk, was as much about getting a feel for local needs as it was about introducing the new teen center to the community. The goal was to gain input from local students as to the kinds of educational opportunities in which they would have an interest, said Crosswalk Teen Center founder, Rick Todd. “I have piles of ideas, but I’m not their age anymore,” Todd said. He estimates 25 or more students “crashed” the Crosswalk, a turnout he was pleased with given the fact that schools in most of Eaton County were closed due to the weather. He said he and the Crosswalk Teen Center board of directors will take the data collected Monday to design programming and establish a calendar before the center’s Feb. 11 grand opening. “We’ll identify priorities first,” Todd said. “Then we can connect with community volunteers to see how and where they can help.” Board of directors chair, Patti Abent said Crosswalk Teen Center is also working to establish a teen board, which will have representation on the board of directors. “We want this to be about the teens and for the teens,” Abent said. “They need to have...

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All the snow put to good use in Olivet

All of the snow that blanketed Mid-Michigan in late December, early January brought to mind some good memories for Danny LaPoint. He recalled building sledding hills at Olivet Schools some 15 years ago. He decided the recent snowfall provided the perfect opportunity to relive some of those memories. Only this time he figured he could give his sledding hills a more centralized location, working with his crew to form sledding hills at the city baseball park. Once finished, he invited community members to come and enjoy a sledding party. He enlisted the help of the Olivet Lions Club, which...

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Mini Math Camps at Fuller Street strengthen belief in personal mastery learning

MaryJo Fralick was in awe as she watched students guiding each other through the process of learning math. As part of Fuller Street Elementary School’s venture into Personal Mastery Learning, the school held Mini Math Camps Jan. 13 through Jan. 16 that teamed classrooms of different grade levels that allowed students to learn at their own level. “This is the most awesome way to teach,” said Fralick, who serves the district as a part-time mastery coach and part-time special education instructor. “I am very thankful Maple Valley is doing this.” Teachers served as facilitators as their students, grouped according...

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