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Memorial Day reflection

I wasn’t always aware of the purpose of Memorial Day. For a long time it was simply a holiday on which my mother would tell me I was born. When I was in junior high and high school it was another parade opportunity for marching...

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Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

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Eaton Rapids Area Chamber dinner an evening of fun, anniversaries, and celebration

Thursday, May 3, the Eaton Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual spring dinner at The English Inn. The evening was split into socializing, passing out awards, and enjoying interactive, dueling pianos.

Several awards were passed out during the event. The Ted Oliver Award was presented to Morgan Scarbro of Morgan’s Hugs for her contributions to the community through her charity work. Morgan is a high school student at Eaton Rapids Public Schools who has organized several charity events to provide school supplies for students in need, items for wounded veterans, and more.

The Doug Stevenson Award was presented to Deb Malewski, who is the director of the Jean Bradford Kline Senior Center. Malewski not only has helped seniors stay active and connected at the center for the last few years, but she’s also expanded the scope of their activities and made the center a place where all seniors can feel welcome.

This year another award was given to Jaime and Tracy Lawson, owners of Your Creative Escape. The Dynamic Duo award was presented to the couple for their “past and continued support of making Eaton Rapids a better place to be by donating time, money, and talents.” Your Creative Escape has provided direction and materials for many of Eaton Rapids’ creative community efforts like the mosaic tiles.

Several chamber member businesses and organizations also hit some big milestones in 2018, which were honored at the event. Darb’s Patio celebrated 10 years of business, Old Mill Furniture 70 years, CRG Directories 25 years, Michigan Plumbing 25 years, and Skinner Funeral Home 65 years. Eaton Rapids Medical Center was also recognized for opening their new wing of the hospital, which accommodates the family care, redicare, physical therapy, behavioral health, and more.

Robin Platt was also introduced as the new ERACC director. Chrystal Murphy also officially announced that she was stepping down as president of the chamber, and Chelsie Swaynie is stepping in as her successor. With many things to celebrate, remember, and look forward to, the ERACC dinner was simply a gathering of caring community members. They’ve chosen to plant roots, invest in, and celebrate Eaton Rapids for the amazing place it is.

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

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Dimondale Subway is the village sandwich shop

Fresh bread, sliced meat, melted cheese, are the beloved scents of any deli or sandwich shop. Walking in the door is half the experience at beloved local eateries. But what if the eatery isn’t so local? What if it’s part of a large chain? Does it necessarily lose its charm?

I know I’m guilty of knocking major chain restaurants over smaller, locally owned establishments. I’m always looking for an experience just as much as I’m looking for quality food and welcoming service. While I’ll always enjoy my time with good company wherever I am, it’s still nice to try something new, something small.

Subway doesn’t exactly fit the parameters of what one might look for in a local deli. But how does that take away from its charm? In the end we’re looking for something that’s filling, something made well, and something that catches the senses. Every Subway I’ve ever walked into does exactly that, and Dimondale Subway is no different.

Part of the Dimondale Express Mart, the Dimondale Subway is like many other gas station/Subway pairs. Swing in, fill up the gas tank, grab a quick sub, then head off down the road. But in a village the size of Dimondale, sometimes restaurant options are limited. How many places are there for a lunch stop during the workday? What kind of variety is there?

Subway not only has options for any kind of eater, it fits many of the desired categories for a local stop. It’s close, it’s fast, and it grabs the senses. There are seasonal specials that the dedicated customer waits for throughout the year. During the winter months, customers can enjoy pastrami, or corned beef. For the vegetarians it’s easy to construct a filling veggie sub. More than many locally owned places, Dimondale caters its subs to the customer’s palate.

Located just around the corner from the main strip of the village on Bridge Street, the Dimondale Subway is a moment’s drive or brisk walk from the hub of activity. Thirsty customers at Dimes Brewhouse can take a break and soak up some of the beer with a turkey sub, or an Italian BMT. With residential neighborhoods surrounding it, the Subway is a close hangout for teens, or a meeting spot for retired seniors.

The Dimondale Subway is centrally located and is more than the regular road trip Subway off the highway. It’s the spot for the local worker looking for a lunch trip on a slow Tuesday afternoon, as well as the fast grab on a busy Monday. It’s a place to run into a neighbor, or to recognize a familiar face who’s serving behind the counter.

One can be hard pressed to find one place that fulfills so many roles in a community. Not many restaurants simultaneously act as the local favorite and the big name on the block, but Dimondale Subway acts as the connecting point of both. The smells of fresh bread, sliced meat, and melted cheese can make one feel at home wherever they’re found.

Eaton County

Eaton County

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Art of Charlotte to unleash community’s wealth of talent

It may be a surprise to some to learn that both the state and national Main Street organizations identified arts and culture as a key strategy to downtown Charlotte’s revitalization efforts. Through extensive research, both organizations concluded the arts and culture have a big presence in Charlotte.

But, how many people are aware of all of the talent in the area?

A group of local community members, including representatives from CharlotteRising, CanDo!, Windwalker Underground Gallery, and Charlotte High School students have formed to show that art really is at the heart of downtown Charlotte.

The group created Art of Charlotte, a five-hour celebration of the arts that will take place in the parking lot behind Windalker, located at 125 S. Cochran Avenue, from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. The event will feature a live performance by folk trio, Whoa Nelly!, which kicks off Windwalker’s popular Open Mic Night format that will keep people entertained throughout the night.

In addition, local artists have been given the opportunity to set up shop around the perimeter of the parking lot to display and sell their work. Families can also walk away with their own work of art, thanks to Crosswalk Teen Center, which created small wooden key chains featuring the Art of Charlotte logo. Each key chain can be custom painted by participants and taken home free of charge. The evening will close with a “Fire Flow” led by local flow artist, Nat Spinz.

“It’s always been a part of my dream to be able to have a great big party like the city’s never seen before,” said Richard Turbin, owner of Windwalker Underground Gallery.  “I’m as excited as all get out. It’s an opportunity for everyone in the community to come have fun. It’s things like this that are really why I do what I do.”

All of this is offered to guests free of charge, thanks in large part to a mini-grant from CanDo!’s 2017 Charlotte Soup event. The idea behind Art of Charlotte was created during Charlotte Soup, and received the second-most votes from those in attendance that night, earning a $300 grant.

“As we have preached for some time now, arts and creativity remains at the forefront of downtown’s growth,” said Dillon Rush, executive director of CharlotteRising. “To see student and community leaders come together to celebrate ‘Art of Charlotte’ is just amazing and I look forward to more creative activity like this in the near future.”

In the case of inclement weather, Art of Charlotte will be moved inside Windwalker Underground Gallery.

More information can be found on the Art of Charlotte event page on Facebook.

Onondaga

Onondaga

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Charlotte

Charlotte

Featured Story

Art of Charlotte to unleash community’s wealth of talent

It may be a surprise to some to learn that both the state and national Main Street organizations identified arts and culture as a key strategy to downtown Charlotte’s revitalization efforts. Through extensive research, both organizations concluded the arts and culture have a big presence in Charlotte.

But, how many people are aware of all of the talent in the area?

A group of local community members, including representatives from CharlotteRising, CanDo!, Windwalker Underground Gallery, and Charlotte High School students have formed to show that art really is at the heart of downtown Charlotte.

The group created Art of Charlotte, a five-hour celebration of the arts that will take place in the parking lot behind Windalker, located at 125 S. Cochran Avenue, from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. The event will feature a live performance by folk trio, Whoa Nelly!, which kicks off Windwalker’s popular Open Mic Night format that will keep people entertained throughout the night.

In addition, local artists have been given the opportunity to set up shop around the perimeter of the parking lot to display and sell their work. Families can also walk away with their own work of art, thanks to Crosswalk Teen Center, which created small wooden key chains featuring the Art of Charlotte logo. Each key chain can be custom painted by participants and taken home free of charge. The evening will close with a “Fire Flow” led by local flow artist, Nat Spinz.

“It’s always been a part of my dream to be able to have a great big party like the city’s never seen before,” said Richard Turbin, owner of Windwalker Underground Gallery.  “I’m as excited as all get out. It’s an opportunity for everyone in the community to come have fun. It’s things like this that are really why I do what I do.”

All of this is offered to guests free of charge, thanks in large part to a mini-grant from CanDo!’s 2017 Charlotte Soup event. The idea behind Art of Charlotte was created during Charlotte Soup, and received the second-most votes from those in attendance that night, earning a $300 grant.

“As we have preached for some time now, arts and creativity remains at the forefront of downtown’s growth,” said Dillon Rush, executive director of CharlotteRising. “To see student and community leaders come together to celebrate ‘Art of Charlotte’ is just amazing and I look forward to more creative activity like this in the near future.”

In the case of inclement weather, Art of Charlotte will be moved inside Windwalker Underground Gallery.

More information can be found on the Art of Charlotte event page on Facebook.

Potterville

Potterville

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Vermontville

Vermontville

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