By Sue Moore
Vicksburg is blessed with volunteers who give time and energy to special events throughout the year. The Rotary Club Showboat is in its 63rd year and going strong. The Boy Scouts just celebrated their 75th anniversary, The Lions Club Summer Festival (better known as the B&B) is in its 43rd season in July, and the Old Car Festival is 36 years old in June.
These events bring outsiders to the community and some dollars into the till. But more importantly, they coalesce the volunteers who work together for the greater good. Sure, there is some teeth-gnashing in order to get the job done. Volunteers have lots of other responsibilities to attend to, but together they triumph, almost miraculously. It’s what makes Vicksburg special. You might personify it as the greatest little volunteer town in America as people join together and have fun doing it.
Another aspect of the volunteerism is what is happening with the Vision Campaign. New volunteers to the village are planning the Speakeasy event in February to raise awareness and some money for the capital campaign. It’s rewarding to see a new set of recruits follow the folks who have been spearheading the well-known offerings. To put it even more in perspective, the mothers of Cub Scouts from Troop 251 are getting in the act with their annual “Cake Bake” in March that is meant to build the coffers a little bit more to send the kids to camp.
It’s a point of pride that a small town, off the beaten path, is willing to invite the outside world to savor its qualities and should someone just want to settle here, the welcome mat is out.
The first weekend in January brought dangerous driving conditions along I-94, causing car and truck crashes in the Van Buren County area. Loren Tarner, a sheriff’s deputy in our neighboring county, and a Vicksburg resident, was injured while on duty, helping to clear the roadway. He suffered a broken leg and is home recovering. He is a vendor at the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market each summer, selling his special brand of “Angry Mustard” that he makes himself.
Vicksburg Optometry, owned by Maria Shoop-Davenport, has moved her practice from the Village Market Place on Kalamazoo Avenue, to 124 E. Prairie in the Frederick Construction building. She has been very generous over the years in working with the Lions Club’s to provide free glasses to needy families.
Quilt Trail Event
Kitch and Hugh Rinehart have scored another coup for the quilt trail they have masterminded over the last four years. Their friend and author of the definitive quilt trail book, Suzi Perrin, will be visiting Vicksburg on Tuesday, May 17. She will be the first program on the Historical Society’s calendar of speakers. On the following Tuesday, May 24, she will conduct an evening seminar on “How to paint a barn quilt” at 7 p.m., possibly in the pavilion on N. Richardson Street. For those who love to quilt and those who have enjoyed the barn quilts, this is a must, so put it on your calendar.