2018-08-23 / Columns

Saving Birds plans big fundraiser

By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686


JACK JOYCE, son of Bob and Diane Joyce of Omena, was the top fundraiser in the country in the American Heart Association’s ‘Jump Rope for Heart’ fundraiser. Joyce was tops in the nation raising more than $25,000. He is pictured here with Julie Neuhaus, regional director for the American Heart Association. JACK JOYCE, son of Bob and Diane Joyce of Omena, was the top fundraiser in the country in the American Heart Association’s ‘Jump Rope for Heart’ fundraiser. Joyce was tops in the nation raising more than $25,000. He is pictured here with Julie Neuhaus, regional director for the American Heart Association. The Omena Women’s Club (OWC) held its August meeting at Saving Birds Thru Habitat’s (SBTH) Discovery Center. SBTH Executive Director Kay Charter gave a very informative presentation. Susie Goldman was the hostess, and Kathy Miller was co-hostess. Kathy Turner spoke for many OWC members when she paid tribute to Trudy Lewis, who died earlier this summer. Kathy recalled that Trudy was the person who set up OWC’s first visit to SBTH. Trudy was a passionate naturalist who was involved with SBTH early on. Trudy had been a teacher, a profession she loved, and she carried that love of learning, volunteering and sharing knowledge with others into her retirement years in Omena.

Kay talked about how she and her late husband, Jim, became aware of the plight of songbirds who were disappearing in the area due to lack of habitat. Over the years, she has learned how interconnected the bird population is with much of the insect world, particularly bees, butterflies and moths. And how interconnected all of these species are with the plants and trees, and, more importantly, with humans.

Kay talked about the importance of native plants and trees to our native birds, providing both food and shelter that many non-native plants do not.

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There is an opportunity Saturday to learn even more about this subject when Steve Holmer, vice president of policy for the American Bird Conservancy, will be the special guest speaker at SBTH’s Annual Fundraiser. Steve has over 25 years of experience working to conserve endangered wildlife. He was first with The Wilderness Society and then was campaign coordinator of American Lands Alliance, where he worked to conserve habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet. Steve currently directs the Bird Conservation Alliance, a network of over 200 conservation groups that builds Congressional support for bird conservation programs.

The event is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. at the SBTH Discovery Center on Putnam Road. In addition to being educational, the fundraiser is a lot of fun with refreshments and a silent auction. Reservations can be made by going to savingbirds.org, or calling 271-3738.

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Congratulations to Dale and Joan Blount’s daughter, Kristen Brown of Mt. Pleasant, who won her bid in the Democratic primary election for State House of Representatives. She will run against the incumbent Republican Roger Hauck.

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The Blounts also received more good news this week as their granddaughter, Erica Brown, is doing well after open heart surgery at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids Monday on Aug. 13. The operation to repair three congenital defects was successful and she is recovering at home in Mt. Pleasant after 5 days in the hospital.

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It is always a summer highlight when families gather, and Omena was home to a number of these recently. Ellie and Cathy Stephenson were very busy during the past two weeks with their family gathering. Ellie was born a Buell in Detroit and had a sister, Bizzi, and brother, Joe. For the past several summers, the Buell Family has enjoyed a wonderful family reunion of multiple generations. This year, four cottages housed all the family members. Ellie’s youngest daughter, Janet Stephenson and her youngest daughter, Madeline Carlock, came from W. Lebanon, N.H.

Bizzi Drinkaus came from Salt Lake City, and was joined by her daughter Lawrie Arias and Lawrie’s three children, Jacku (17), Wyria (15) and Sacha (12). Bizzi’s son Phill, wife Rebecca and their 6-year-old twins, Maren and Mason, came from Oklahoma City, OK.

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In the mid-60’s, Joe and Sandy Buell built a cottage on Singing Sands where they and their three boys enjoyed 10 + years in Omena. That cottage is now owned by Ann Leathery. Joe has passed away, but Sandy came from Lake St Louis, Mo., with her son Pearson and his, wife, Lisa and their daughter Brynne and her husband Bryson Cramer with their 2-year-old daughter, Calah. Pearson and Lisa’s son, Josh, flew from Washington, D.C. Joe and Sandy’s oldest son, J. Buell, came from Chicago, and their youngest son, Burr, came from Atlanta with his girlfriend, Bree Elliott and her two sons, Trent (17) and Luke (15). The maid of honor in Pearson and Lisa’s wedding, Kathy, drove from her small town in Iowa to stay for a couple of days.

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Cousins Betsy and Jack McCormick of Grosse Pointe Farms and their son, Ryan, of Chicago, further added to the family fun. Betsy and Ellie’s fathers were brothers.

Family members explored much of the county, driving the back roads, visiting wineries, catching frogs, barbecuing and cooking for a crowd, swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding, laughing, telling stories old and new, playing games, taking pictures and just reveling in the joy of being together as a family.

Kim and Linda Kemper have been enjoying family members over the past several weeks. Everyone was grateful for the lovely Omena weather that we’ve had. Will, Carolyn, Ellie, and Ryan Welch were here from Illinois where unusual weather has brought flash flooding. Kim’s sisters, Linda and Tracy, from Taos, NM, and Manitou Springs, CO, respectively, along with the Boschen Family from Salt Lake City spent all their time in the water. Other Westerners included Linda’s kids from southern Oregon - daughter Leigh Dove and her husband Jared, and son Ward Welch and grandson Jack. The Oregonians especially enjoyed the clean Leelanau air and water, in contrast to the constant smoke coming they’re experiencing from the California fires. We have a lot to be grateful for here in Omena!

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W Truman Hosner will be showing Saturday and Sunday at the Village Arts Building in Northport. The Gallery Exhibit from Monday to Sept. 9 will feature Florence Winans, Debra Howard, Debra Welty, Tom Woodruff, Barbara Waddell, and Sherie Waddell.

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The Omena Presbyterian Church on Sunday welcomes the Rev. Dr. Jane Lippert. Jane is pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Traverse City. Special music will be provided by Steve Gilbreath of the Prevailing Winds. Jane Yamazaki will be at the organ. Everyone is welcome to attend worship service from 10-11 a.m.

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Happy Birthday to Georgie Disselkoen and Nancy Groesser. August is still a beautiful month for weddings. Happy Anniversary to Dave and Cathy McDowell, Si and Judy Nahra, and Roger and Karen Edgley.

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