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A few reasons when we only need one

By Adam Droscha Contributing Writer Two weekends ago during Charlotte’s annual Frontier Days Parade watchers likely noticed many usual sights — marching bands, horses, tractors, fire trucks, children waving from their floats,...

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Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

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Eaton Rapids Photo club meets Jan. 14

A video titled “The President’s Photographer, Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office” will be presented at the Jan. 14 meeting of the Eaton Rapids Photography Club (ERPC). This video, presented by National Geographic, includes film clips on keeping U.S. presidents safe and secure. It then follows the president’s photographer, as he captures a behind-the-scene look at the everyday life of the American presidency and a chance to see what it’s like to cover the most powerful man in the world.
At the club’s November meeting, Paul Wegner entered a winning photo of a hand with a class ring into the “aging” category. Wegner’s black and white photo of a tree was a winner in the “open” category.
The Eaton Rapids Photography Club holds their meetings on the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Eaton Rapids Public Safety Building located at 101 Line St. in Eaton Rapids. Photo contests are also held each month, with categories provided by the club. Meetings also include presentations designed to inspire and motive those who have an interest in photography.
Anyone interested in photography is invited to attend, and all skill levels are welcomed. For more information, contact Charlene Shumaker at 269-763-3457.

Article submitted by ERPC.

Mason

Mason

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Mason

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Mason DDA hosts Chocolate Walk through downtown

Thursday, May 11, from 2 to 5 p.m. residents and visitors are invited to Mason for a Chocolate Walk through downtown. The Mason Downtown Development Authority is putting on the event to bring attention to the unique businesses and opportunities that exist all within a short walking distance in the downtown area.

Walkers will start at Mason City Hall, receive a map and a chocolate-collecting bag, and start the trek through downtown. With 37 stops along the way, walkers will consume and take home a variety of chocolate treats, as well as special gifts and offers from the participating businesses.

“(This may) give them a reason to come back to Mason,” said Jamie Robinson, chair of the Mason DDA.

As owner of a couple Mason favorites, Bestsellers Books and Coffee Co. and the Vault Delicatessen, Robinson knows the great potential the downtown has for attracting newcomers. A chocolate walk through some of Mason’s finest businesses combined with a special gift or discount for products is a sure to bring visiting walkers back to the historic town, according to Robinson.

The idea of the chocolate walk came from one such event held in Old Town Lansing. Robinson and others saw the kind of crowds and enthusiasm the Old Town chocolate walk brought to one historic district, and brought the idea back to Mason.

“Chocolate is appealing to a vast majority of people,” said Robinson.

Walkers will be fortunate to have a variety of finely made chocolates from Hanover’s Michigan Mints, Fabiano’s Candies, and more. Although chocolate will be the primary treat for the event, walkers can look forward to a number of other delicious delights as well.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to view new spaces in the Mason downtown. One stop along the chocolate trail will be the new Dart Bank building, in which walkers will get a tour of the lobby area. Another highly anticipated stop will be the Michigan Barn Salvage, where walkers will get a sneak peak at the new business.

Tickets to the Mason Chocolate Walk are $25 with advance order and $30 on the day of the event. Readers can buy tickets online at the Mason DDA website, or buy tickets at Bestsellers Books and Coffee Co, or purchase tickets at Mason City Hall the day of the event.

For more event information readers can visit masondda.com.

DIMONDALE

Dimondale

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Dimondale’s Dimes Brewhouse marks anniversary

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Last month, Chad Rogers and his wife Michelle, owners of Dimes Brewhouse, celebrated the second anniversary of the opening of their small brewpub in downtown Dimondale.
Around 60 percent of new restaurants fail within the first year. Chad Rogers said Dimes Brewhouse not only survived its first year but is thriving after two years in business and is ready to grow even more.
Lindsay Peters of Eaton Rapids said the couple has contributed more than just beer to the local community.
“It’s great to see Chad and Michelle succeed,” Peters said. “Not only do they make excellent beer, but they are also wonderful for the community as well.
“They support local events such as 5Ks and host fundraisers, including Rotary’s ‘Pints for Polio.’ When my friends want to meet up, Dimes is our go-to spot.”
The anniversary was celebrated with the introduction of two new beers on tap. One is Ursus Polaris White Stout, made with coffee and cocoa nibs. The other, Imperial Ursus Polaris, is a maple-bourbon, barrel-aged version of Ursus Polaris.
The establishment seats almost 50 people, and there is outdoor seating for up to 40 more people during the warmer months. The brewpub occupies an important historical spot in Dimondale. The building is on the site of the Flagler Hotel, which opened in 1883. In 1885, it was renamed as The Dimondale Hotel. In the 1930s it changed over to a restaurant, The Island Inn. The original building, almost 100 years old, was torn down in 1986, and a small flower shop was located on the site.
Dimes offers up to 22 different beverages in their tap system, all made on site. Along with beer, they serve various other beverages that they create onsite — including wine, mead, cider, kombucha, sodas and a sparkling green tea.
“We are excited to add food to our menu for 2020,” Rogers said. “This will round out what Michelle and I envisioned in our plans and dreams for Dimes.”
He explained they currently use local food trucks two days a week to be able to offer food to their customers.
They are also looking forward to increasing their staff, adding a general manager and kitchen workers to open the kitchen with a limited menu.
“We really have an excellent staff here. They are reliable and competent. Find the right group of people, treat them right, and they’ll treat you right.”
Rogers said one of the most interesting beers he’s made was a beer “smoothie.” This is a beer made with fruit and with lactose, or “milk sugar.” This results in a thick, six percent-alcohol beer which resembles a fruit smoothie. To make 120 gallons of the beer smoothie, 40 gallons of fruit were used. It was a very popular blend and will be a seasonal offering in the warmer months.
Calach Peters of Eaton Rapids said that Chad and Michelle Rogers are great about giving back to the homebrewing community.
“They have been members of Red Ledge Brewers since before they started Dimes, and they opened their doors to the club when our old meeting place closed,” Peters said. “They care about the craft and share their expertise with homebrewers.”
Dimes is located at 145 N. Bridge Street in Dimondale. They can be found on Facebook and at dimesbrewhouse.com. Business hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday from 3 to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. They are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Eaton County

Eaton County

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Charlotte’s Camp Frances, and fans, are true treasures

Douglas M. Hoy
Contributing Columnist

Its name is Camp Frances and let me re-introduce you to this marvelous local facility, part of the past and the caretakers of its future. These two women are lifelong residents and are involved with its past and where the future may lead.
Mary Hall is a multi-decade Camp Frances board member and volunteer to many young women who have grown up in Charlotte. Likewise, Cathy Bogner also has lived in Charlotte all her life, been part of the Camp Frances heritage and is a devoted board member.
When Charlotte leased the land in 1954 to build Camp Frances, Mary Hall was not a member. Fortunately for the facility, in 1962, Mary sensed a need, became involved and would become one of the most-revered active board members. She originally was a volunteer as her first, then her second, daughter became a member of the Camp Fire Girls. Many young girls benefited from the facility during the time period from the mid-1950s to the early 1980s, as the Camp Fire Girls were a very sustainable organization in Charlotte.
I asked Mary where she obtained this overwhelming desire to help young girls. She quickly relayed the story of her time attending one of our, then local, country schools. Her graduating class consisted of six kids. Upon attending the seventh grade at our downtown “large” high school, she felt lost as the security of knowing everyone in her small country school was gone. Those early days of the seventh grade never left her. She always felt the isolation – not belonging to the larger student mass. This was a terrible feeling she did not want any young woman to experience.
Listening to Mary speak of her beloved camp, it was easy to become captured by her enthusiasm. It was easy to tell of her passionate caring for young women during that time period. And, in the end, all the stories came back to the young women. Many times she became lifelong friends with those girls whom she had helped. Being active and on the board of almost any worthwhile organization, these types of enduring bonds are just bound to happen.
Of course, the most heartbreaking recollection of her time connected with Camp Frances was the 1971 fire, which totally destroyed the building. However, in life much good can come out of such a terrible occurrence. As an active member of Camp Frances, she helped seek the backing of the most supportive Charlotte citizens, donations from various sources and help from local contractors. The new building was approved and built in record time.
Time moves forward and personnel naturally change. Cathy Bogner is the new chair of the Camp Frances board. Her roots and heritage are firmly ensconced within Charlotte. Cathy wants to keep the momentum moving, as the camp is constantly trying to achieve and maintain viability. As times have changed, the Camp Fire Girls Organization, along with the United Way, are no longer affiliated with our local hidden treasure.
Cathy also gave me an exceptional tutoring of the history of Camp Frances. But it’s the future where her interest lay. Like all other entities, the facility has bills to pay. The main source of income now comes from renting the building, the grounds, at a most reasonable price. Over the past few years, the area campgrounds located in Bennett Park have become most popular. This growth in Camp Frances’ reputation is not confined to just the summer months, as winter bookings are now becoming popular.
Cathy speaks of the future for the camp in most eager terms. She knows it will take work and a constant promotion, but that is simply what is required. It will not be easy, but Cathy says it will be done.
The board has much to promote. There is a 1,200-square foot building fully equipped with a full basement sitting on about three acres of land located in our own unique Bennett Park. For the rental fee, it is a most exceptional value. It is still thriving, thanks to women such as Mary and Cathy.
The Camp Frances Educational and Recreational Center can be found online at campfrances.org.

Onondaga

Onondaga

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Onondaga

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Charlotte

Charlotte

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Charlotte

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Dance Studio takes on Detroit

Isabelle Whiting
Contributing Writer

The Dance Studio from Charlotte will travel to Detroit to dance pre-game at the Detroit Pistons game on Jan. 11, at 7 p.m., for the third year in a row. This year, the theme of their dance is “music” with their costumes half black and half white to look like the keys on a piano. There are 16 total dancers ranging in age from 11 to 25.
Bella Trevino, a freshman dancer, has been with The Dance Studio for nine years and said she loves going on trips with other dancers.
“I have gone on at least six trips with the studio, including Disneyland, Cedar Point, Sugar Bowl and all three trips to Pistons games,” Bella said. “I enjoy going on trips because it makes me fall in love with dance all over again.
“It is also a good way to get new experiences and, in some cases, work with other teachers to get someone else’s perspective. The best part of trips is the people you do them with. You get a chance to get to know other dancers and get closer to the ones you already do know.”
Abigail Bauer, a sophomore dancer, started dancing at the studio this past fall and is going on her first trip with the studio.
“I like the dance studio because it’s a very nice and open environment that is a place to express who you are while being able to have fun,” Abigail said. “I’m not really sure what the best part of going on the trips are because I’ve not been on a trip with the Dance Studio yet, but I do think that one of the best parts is dancing with people my own age and being able to mess around with them and hang out with them before and after we perform.”
The dancers started rehearsing in early November to put the dance together. They spent an hour and a half to two hours every Sunday to learn and fix the dance. They even spent a whole rehearsal learning how to do their own black and white, music-themed makeup.

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