By Sue Moore
Residents of Vicksburg and Schoolcraft choose to live in a small town, often because they like the quality of life. It’s reflected in knowing their neighbors and helping each other out when there is any kind of emergency or special need. It’s what binds us all together.
Those who don’t like it that everyone knows everyone else’s business find small town life too unsettling and are more likely to move to a more anonymous location. For those who don’t, with the slower speed of daily life come responsibilities to neighbors and friends. That includes fundraising for all kinds of needs, such as Generous Hands, the Eagles Nest, athletic boosters, service clubs, band boosters, the libraries, the schools and United Way. Donors in Vicksburg and Schoolcraft have been very generous over the years, supporting these endeavors handsomely.
Now comes the “mother of all capital campaigns,” that the Vicksburg Downtown Development Authority is inaugurating in this issue of the South County News. The request for funds goes straight to the heart of why we live in a small town. The $2.3-million request would match grants that will help build another extension of the trail through the village of Vicksburg. It will also match other grants being sought for beautification and livability of the downtown and further development of the business district.
At this point, the citizens, businesses, manufacturers in the Vicksburg area can choose one of two courses. Support the campaign with hard earned dollars, as has been evident in the past history of the community, or pull back and “leave it to Beaver,” so to speak.
The condition of the downtown reflects the values residents have for their village, thus the need to keep reinvesting. Residents also need to shop in the village to support the local merchants so they can in turn, beautify their buildings and offer even more items for sale.
If we rise to the occasion, this village has a bright future. If we shirk our duty, it’s possible the downtown will deteriorate even further. That would not be the best reflection of the pride we feel in our community. It’s time for all of us to put our money on the line for the quality of life we enjoy. Please give generously when your neighbor comes calling.
Another example of human kindness cited by Ron Gammill of Schoolcraft
“I’ve been on the road since 10 a.m. yesterday. Left Grand Rapids at 12:15 headed to Atlanta. Got to Atlanta without a problem. Flight to Columbus … canceled a record 3 times. So at about 11:30 last night we take off to the “Quality Inn”, a real rat trap. I am traveling with a cane due to a couple of knees that need replacing. So, not knowing how far I had to walk to find the hotel transport I ask a young man sitting next to me, who I had been talking to, if I could tag along with him. Long story short….helped me last night and when we met this afternoon at the gate, he continued to offer a helping hand. Matt is a student at State and is headed to MSU’s Veterinary school upon graduation. What else is interesting about this young man, he’s an Eagle Scout.
Meet the new sports writers for the South County News
Travis Smola and Sean Budlong will be covering Vicksburg and Schoolcraft sports respectively, during the fall season. It’s helpful to your editor to have them working with the coaches and players so the newspaper can provide more in depth coverage than we have been able to do before. Smola is a Western Michigan University graduate in journalism and lives in the Decatur area. He started with the South County News a year ago as a stringer. He was able to parlay that experience into a job on a daily newspaper in Cody, Wyoming for six months. It turned out to be a bad experience for him but a helpful one for the SCN. He has returned a seasoned veteran and looking for more work. He loves geocaching which is a sport that isn’t widely known.
Sean Budlong is an advertiser in the South Country News through his affiliation with Edward Jones investment firm in Schoolcraft. He has past experience writing for MLive as a stringer for sports activities, particularly KOHA hockey when his son was playing. Now his daughter is on the volleyball team in Schoolcraft, and Budlong will be covering that championship team along with football, soccer, and cross country this fall.
Another new contributor is Liz Weddon, with the story about Parys Gonzales. Weddon is a VHS graduate this year and headed to KVCC on a scholarship to play basketball. She had already been supplying the News with photographs while in high school and now is taking up the written word.
Vicki Ackerman, also a VHS graduate a few years back, has penned the story about Kids Hope. She is the director of the program for Lakeland Reformed Church on Sprinkle Road, and writes about the program each month in the Lakeland Light newsletter. She volunteered to provide her insights on how the program came into being.
You will find a terrific article by the News’ resident physician/writer, Dr. Schriemer, who describes the human condition as well as anybody else in the profession.
Our restaurant reviewer, Sheryl Oswalt, requests a level of anonymity so she can fairly evaluate each eating establishment we send her to. Here’s a hint, her day job is for a national lending bank headquartered in New York state while still living on a farm near Vicksburg.