2011 and Earlier / News

Omena volunteers, businesses earn Conservancy honors

Congratulations to the Leelanau Conservancy docents who, as a group, were named the Conservancy’s Volunteers of the Year. Three Omena residents are among those honored — Marsha Buehler, Nana Kennedy, and Judy Smart. Congratulations also to Cammie Buehler and Andy Schudlich’s Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm, which was named Business Partner of the Year by the Conservancy.

At its annual meeting earlier this month, the Omena Historical Society named two new Board members and elected its officers for the coming year. Helen Putnam Bradley and John Ray are the two incoming Board members. Kanda McKee will serve her second year as president, Doni Lystra is vice president, John Ray is the treasurer, and Alice Littlefield is the secretary. The program at the annual meeting included a ‘team trivia’ game with questions about Omena history. One of the questions was, “Which is the oldest residence in Omena?” The answer is at the end of this column.

The Omena Women’s club had its August meeting last week. They started with a tour of Leelanau Cellars Winery. Manager Tony Lentych showed them the wine making facilities, including the fermenting and bottling operations. They then went to Marcia Biskupski’s home, where they elected officers for the 2011-2012. The new officers are President Judy Kuntz, Vice President Cate Varley, Treasurer Mary Tonneberger, Secretary Nana Kennedy and Email Secretary Kathy Turner.

Bill and Judy Knorp are enjoying having both of their children in town. Their daughter Becky Van Gundy is here from Prescott Valley, Arizona with her three year old son, Hunter. Their son Andy is here from Auburn, California — really to see Hunter, according to Judy. They all got together with Judy’s brother in Traverse City, and Hunter and his second cousin, May, 5, had a great time together. Judy’s sister came up from Detroit with her daughter and son-in-law and their two children to see everyone.

Claire Edgley has been enjoying her time in Omena. She had received an accordion for a high school graduation present and has been taking lessons in Cedar. Mike Biskupski, who was required to play the accordion as a youngster was amazed that she was taking it up voluntarily. Maybe we’ll hear them playing duets next summer.

It has been a busy summer for Judy and Bruce Balas. In late July their daughter, Allison, her fiancé, Tom, and their four children, Adam, Ashleigh, Alex and Isabella, ages 7, 8, 9 and 10 respectively, arrived from Murwillumbah, Australia.  The next day their son, Rob, and daughter-in-law, Erika arrived from San Francisco with their daughters, Anya and Emmy, ages 4 and 7. The day after that, their son, Steve, and daughter-in-law, Paula, arrived from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, with their son, Sam, 15.  The day after that another 28 Balases arrived from California, New York, Indiana, Wisconsin and various places downstate for the annual, week-long Balas Family Reunion that has been ongoing since 1976.  They had a great week of weather allowing for a trip to the Dunes, lots of swimming, beach time and catching up with the family. After two weeks of family fun, an exhausted but content Judy and Bruce are now ready to get back to “normal” and spend time with their friends.

Bea Kimmerly enjoyed visitors from Dublin, Ireland last week. They were in Traverse City to see their relative, who is Ann Kimmerly’s nephew, Eddie. Jack and Ann and a number of the Battle Creek Kimmerly’s also came up to see everyone.

John and Mary Helen Ray’s houseguests last week were her niece, Nancy Lynd Goodman and her husband Michael, from California. Michael Ray and his wife Samantha and their baby, Tatum, are in Omena for a visit.

Don and Penny Valmassoi’s guest this week is Marge Hilliard from Cincinnati.

The recent article in the Enterprise about Omena’s one-room schoolhouses led Be Fuertges to share her memories of teaching in one – actually two different ones. She grew up in central Illinois farm country, and taught kindergarten through eighth grade, all in one room. She said that wasn’t easy teaching that many different levels. Her mother and grandmother had both been teachers at one of the schools.

Helen Putnam Bradley just received news that her grandson Jack Bradley, age 9, completed his first triathlon last Sunday.  He ran the “Inspire Kids to Tri” in Cedar Park, Texas.  The race consisted of a 100 meter swim, 5K bike ride and a 1K run.  

The Alice Busby Miles for Mammograms is Saturday, Sept. 3 at 9 a.m. in Northport. The Walk is sponsored by the Zonta Club of Leelanau County, and is to raise money for mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women. There is a two-mile and 4.5 mile route.

The Omena Potlucks will be starting again in September. The first one is Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Firehall/Community Room in Omena. Everyone is welcome. Bring a dish to share.
Happy Birthday to Nancy Groesser and Diane Joyce.

The answer to the trivia question is the home of Walter and Beverly Gaudette. It was built in about 1853 and was originally the manse where the Reverend Peter Dougherty and his family lived. During the resort period in Omena, it was enlarged with two wings and was the Omena Inn. The Gaudettes were able to save and restore the central part as their home.

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By Leslie Disch
Phone/fax: 386-5686
email: phen.omena.2@gmail.com

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