Christmas for SCCS patrons

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Fire Chief Tracy McMillan, at right, was joined by Vicksburg Police Chief Scott Sanderson, on the left. They greeted their luncheon guests at the church standing next to Diane Durian who organized the events. Seated on the left is Otto Decker and Jim Boers on the right.

Serving the public when there is a fire or an emergency is usually when people meet the South Kalamazoo County Fire Authority personnel. During the month of December, the staff took time to meet the people by sponsoring free meals for patrons of South County Community Services (SCCS) at the Fulton fire station, Pavilion Township office and the Vicksburg United Methodist Church which is right across from fire station number two.
Several of the police and firefighters took part in the SCCS Shopping with a Hero event at Meijer’s Thrifty Acres store near Schoolcraft.

Their big contribution to the Christmas in the Village parade was decorating their firetrucks with thousands of lights and winning first place in the fire truck division.

Activities for Kids at the Vicksburg District Library

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Nisajwen Topash loves to visit the Vicksburg District Library, especially during Christmas break.

By Eric Hansen

There are numerous opportunities for young people to enjoy socialization and learning at the Vicksburg District Library, said library Director John Sheridan. In December alone, the library offered 16 programs for children and youth from pre-K through teen years. Another seven programs at the library were managed by outside presenters, including two local Girl Scouts troops.

On each weekday, the library provides computer access to students who come after school to play video games and access the Internet. Other groups of teens and pre-teens come to socialize quietly or study before they go home for the evening. “This makes the Vicksburg District Library a safe and educational stopover for young people who need to wait for a ride home or must wait for a parent or guardian to come home from work,” Sheridan said.

One of these young people, Nisajwen, an 11-year-old sixth-grader, explained that he “likes the wide selection of books and using computers to learn things and play games.” Nisajwen’s mother also likes the way that he is involved with our Bulldog Break program that includes Wii U games, socialization, and snacks, and with other programs for kids. That family offers service back to the community by volunteering to work in the obituary collection, while also having the benefit of the pleasant social environment full of stories and information, Sheridan pointed out.

Other families, such as the Veldermans, are part of Vicksburg’s significant homeschooling community and use the library’s books, DVDs, and MeL interlibrary loan resources to educate their children. Kate, Louisa, Luke, and Will Velderman described their favorite school subjects, listing science, math and history. Luke shared that his current project was writing an essay about University of Michigan football.

The library’s homeschooling assistance extends to Stephanie Willoughby’s book club for homeschooled students. This monthly meeting provides social value while augmenting homeschooling – it is meant as an opportunity to discuss books outside of students’ homeschool curriculum with other young people. “It fosters strong social relationships while students discuss books they love,” Willoughby said.

Willoughby, the youth services librarian, also purchases compelling graphic novels and books for different age groups. She and other staff assist young people in learning by using their skill set in dealing with children and prior experience working in college education. Willoughby is eager to receive suggestions for purchasing new books and resources that prepare young people for the future. Even though it is not possible to fulfill every purchase request, the library staff enjoys learning what youth in the community need in order to succeed.

SHS Students Place in Junior Achievement Titan Challenge

More than 120 high school students competed in the Junior Achievement Titan Challenge on December 15 at Western Michigan Haworth College of Business, including a team from Schoolcraft and one from Vicksburg.

JA Titan is a web-based business simulation that encourages savvy decision making and day-to-day operation of a virtual company. The first place team was Comstock High School. Second place was Schoolcraft High School, with SHS team members Zach Engel, Mitchell Simonds, Cam VanZile, and Matt Wright. The third place Schoolcraft High School team was the Eagle Claws, with team members Audrey Balcom, Jonah Moan, Adrienne Rosey and Trevor Smith.

All three teams will go on to compete in the National Competition in May 2018, as the overall winner of the JA Titan Challenge. “I want to give a special thanks to all of the corporate sponsors and for the teachers and volunteers who prepared the students for the Titan competition,” said Junior Achievement coordinator Doris McDivitt.

Walther Farms Enlists Young Potato Testers

potatoesElementary students in Schoolcraft were taste testing potato varieties from Walther Farms as part of a science project for each classroom. The third and fourth grade students sorted, washed, cleaned and the staff cooked the different varieties. They invited the Kindergarten, first and second graders to come into the cafeteria to grade the results. This experiment will help Walther Farms decide which special variety of potato to plant this spring. The students will be making a presentation of their findings in January at a Walther Farms gathering at the Radisson Hotel in Kalamazoo.

Your Estate Outlet Warehouse in Schoolcraft

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Lexi Gunderson (right) and Pam Hinson (left) staff the Estate Outlet filled with items for sale from various estates.

By Linda Lane

With a wide variety of merchandise, an enormous antique warehouse has been operating for three years on XY Avenue two miles south of Schoolcraft east of US-131.

“New estates are brought in weekly and there are always new things coming into this store,” said Lexi Gunderson. She manages the warehouse store of Your Estate Outlet for Jason Hadley, who owns and operates the warehouse and a full-service estate sale business. It’s a family run business, with almost everyone working in the business somehow related to Hadley. Gunderson is his niece.

Hadley also offers “move out” services, where he will help clear an estate out of a person’s home. He purchases the entire estate from the owner looking to liquidate their items. He moves everything into his warehouse and offers the items for sale to the public. He manages approximately two estates weekly, providing new merchandise in the antique warehouse every week.

There are eleven different rooms in the warehouse, each with a theme: Vintage Toy Room, Electronics/Media, Paper Memorabilia, Kitchen, Apparel, Children’s (including toys, clothing and games), Linens, Antiques, Crafts, Home Decor and Tools. Each week, a special deal is offered in one of the rooms; one week might provide 30 percent off the Vintage Toy Room. A larger warehouse area has kitchen appliances, a holiday loft, sports gear, and lighting.

Anyone looking to liquidate an estate can contact Jason Hadley at 269-207-5827. The Antique warehouse is open Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. It is located at 15401 Industrial Drive off XY east of US-131.

Nana D’s Attic is a Place for Vendors to Sell Select Items

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Donna Sangsland, owner of Nana D’s Attic, a resale shop in Schoolcraft.

By Linda Lane

“You name it, and we have it!” Donna Sangsland, owner of Nana D’s Attic exclaimed.

Nana D’s Attic is a resale shop with 45 individual vendors whose spaces range in size from a table or shelf to a larger booth. The shop at 13210 US-131 is located northwest of VW Avenue in Schoolcraft. Items in the store change every week with new things coming in daily, she pointed out.

“Merchandise moves quickly, so you better buy it when you see it!” Sangsland said. For example, in late October she had over 100 oil lamps for sale; now they are down to only 10 left in the store. And almost everything in the store is a one-of-a-kind item.

There is a huge variety of items offered for sale, some new, gently used or vintage items. Some items are handmade; some vendors offer arts and crafts they have made. There is clothing, furniture, new children’s toys, antiques, paintings, lighting, home decor, cards and even candy for sale. One vendor has a car theme; everything in the booth is related to cars. There are knitted and crocheted items, sewn items, handmade cards and framed art.

There’s a DVD room with more than 4,000 movies for sale. Sangsland recently purchased 1,600 movies to add to the room. The DVDs are a bargain at $2 each or seven for $10. Sangsland will also purchase DVDs from customers.

Nana D’s Attic is also the only store in Schoolcraft to accept South County Community Services vouchers to purchase used clothing for sale in the shop, according to Sangsland.

The store’s hours: noon-5 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and closed on Monday.