July/Aug HomeWorks

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July/August 2019


COUNTRY LINES HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative

2019 Board Election Results

2018 Annual Report Inside Classroom Grant And Scholarship Winners Announced

Tip Toe Through

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In This Issue July/August 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 7

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives






Your photo could be featured here.


Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer

Follow Us On Instagram!

Design and Production: Karreen Bird Recipe Editor: Christin McKamey Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com countrylines.com


Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us

michigancountrylines This capture of a wave breaking in Lake Huron is the most brilliant @lensball capture we've ever seen. #gorgeous :@chase_gagnon

ON THE COVER The Tulip Time Festival is dedicated to honoring Holland, Michigan’s Dutch heritage, showcasing millions of tulips and celebrating the community today. This experience is so much more than tulips. With national and local entertainment, world-renowned Dutch dancers, artisan markets, fireworks, breathtaking sights just off the shores of Lake Michigan and some of the largest parades in Michigan, Tulip Time is truly an experience you don’t want to miss. Photography by Tyler Leipprandt

6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column Exploring The Frankfort Scene Christal Frost, Media Personality

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Festive Desserts To Celebrate Summer


18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column

The Turtle Race Tradition Jean Alexander, Great Lakes Energy member

Win $150 for stories published! Guest Column: Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column go to countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab.

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Enjoy a taste of the Old Country! This Dutch favorite recipe, Stamppot van Boerenkool: Curly Kale and Sausages, is shared with Tulip Time visitors from around the world. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 FEATURE Tip Toe Through The Tulips Emily Haines Lloyd

Best of Michigan CRAFT BEER: Give us your personal craft beer favorite. We will publish this member– recommended list in our September issue. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by July 20.















Justin “Zeke” Chambers stands (center) with his co-workers and family at graduation. His HomeWorks co-workers include, from left, Blanchard Operations Supervisor Bob Verhaar, General Manager Mark Kappler, Manager of Electric Operations Chris Reed, and to Zeke’s right, Portland Crew Leader Chris Vallier who, as an IBEW 876 union steward, serves on the JMAP Apprentice Committee. Zeke’s family includes his son, Seith (front), his mom and dad, Penny and Gary, and his girlfriend, Meagan Moore.

Portland office/Mail payments to: 7973 E. Grand River Avenue Portland, MI 48875 Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday Blanchard office: 3681 Costabella Avenue Blanchard, MI 49310 Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday Night deposit box available at both locations. Electric bill/account questions: 517-647-7554 or 1-800-562-8232 Pay by phone, anytime: 1-877-999-3395 Service questions/outages: 517-647-7554 or 1-800-848-9333 (24 hours for emergency calls) Tri-County Propane: 1-877-574-2740 HomeWorks Connect 1-800-668-8413 homeworks.org Email: tricoenergy@homeworks.org

Safety First

Board of Directors

Starts With Education

District 1 — John Lord 2276 Plains Rd., Leslie, MI 49251 517-974-2518 jlord@homeworks.org District 2 — Jim Stebbins 7139 Peddler Lake Rd., Clarksville, MI 48815 616-693-2449 jstebbins@homeworks.org District 3 — Luke Pohl Chairman 15560 W. Hanses Rd., Westphalia, MI 48894 989-292-0427 lpohl@homeworks.org District 4 — Kimber Hansen 6535 N. Wyman Rd., Edmore, MI 48829 989-506-5849 khansen@homeworks.org District 5 — Corinna Batora Vice-Chairman 7655 N. Watson Rd., Elsie, MI 48831 517-256-5233 cbatora@homeworks.org District 6 — Ed Oplinger Secretary-Treasurer 10890 W. Weidman Road, Weidman, MI 48893 989-644-3079 eoplinger@homeworks.org District 7 — Shirley Sprague 15563 45th Ave., Barryton, MI 49305 989-382-7535 ssprague@homeworks.org Editors: C harly Markwart Jayne Graham, CCC

Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/homeworks.org 4 JULY/AUGUST 2019


Mark Kappler, General Manager

e often point out that in our line of work, our field employees work with an extremely dangerous product: live electricity. (By the way, that goes for our propane field employees as well.)

At HomeWorks Tri-County, we have committed to a culture of Safety First. We hold each employee accountable for following the highest safety standards. We also provide the resources—tools, training, and outside help— they need to work safely. One of those resources is the Joint Michigan Apprentice Program (JMAP), a partnership between Wolverine Power Cooperative, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 876, and Northwest Lineman College. JMAP’s training center, near Cadillac, features indoor classrooms, a hands-on training lab, and outdoor climbing facilities to help apprentice lineworkers learn their trade. HomeWorks’ first JMAP graduate is Justin “Zeke” Chambers, part of our Blanchard operations team. Zeke has finished his classroom training and now needs to continue working to meet the time requirement that will make him a journeyman lineman. With his JMAP training and the on-the-job supervision he’s getting from the rest of our team, Zeke is getting a great start on a long, safe, productive career serving you and your neighbors.

Lord, Batora, Sprague Re-elected


hree members of the HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative Board of Directors were re-elected to serve members for three-year terms in May. Balloting was completed through a combination of mail and in-person votes. In District 1, which includes Eaton, Ingham, and Jackson counties, John Lord (incumbent) of Leslie received the most votes. The other nominees were Anne Hudgins of Mason and Greg Perry of Mason.

John Lord

In District 5, which includes Gratiot and Saginaw counties along with Bingham, Duplain, and Greenbush townships in Clinton County, and Bloomer, Crystal, and Evergreen townships in Montcalm County, Corinna Batora (incumbent) of Elsie was re-elected against Steve Sopocy of Bannister. And in District 7, comprised of Mecosta and Osceola counties, Shirley Sprague (incumbent) of Barryton won re-election over candidate Mark Klumpp of Stanwood.

Corinna Batora

Shirley Sprague

Ballots, with candidate information, were mailed to all members in these three districts with the April issue of Michigan Country Lines magazine. Members who did not cast a mail-in ballot were able to vote at their district meetings in May. In 2020, elections will be held for the District 2 and 4 board seats, currently held by Jim Stebbins of Clarksville and Kimber Hansen of Edmore. Watch Country Lines magazine and homeworks.org for more information on the nomination process, which begins in January.

Local Students Enjoy Youth Tour Zac Carlson of Charlotte, Rylee Warchuck of Blanchard, and Cade Vallier of Portland represented HomeWorks TriCounty Electric during the 2019 National Rural Electric Youth Tour June 15–20 in Washington, D.C. The tour stopped at Gettysburg, shown here, before making it to the capital. Students had the opportunity to visit several historic sites, meet with Michigan's senators and representatives, and interact with other Youth Tour students from across the country, among other activities.




MI CO-OP Community

Road pin’ Trip With Christal Frost



very time I travel back to my Benzie County roots, I marvel at how everything feels both exactly the same and somehow very different. I graduated from Benzie Central High School 21 years ago and as I drive through the hilly terrain toward Frankfort, I can’t shake the notion that, although the route hasn’t changed, everything along the way seems to have grown up—including me. Downtown Frankfort is just waking up as I make my first stop at Crescent Bakery for a welcomed cup of coffee, delicious breakfast panini and the bakery’s world-famous fritters. Fueled by caffeine and sugar, it’s time to journey to Frankfort’s pride and joy, the Point Betsie Lighthouse. With views of the Manitou Passage, the Point Betsie Lighthouse is rumored to be the most photographed lighthouse of all time. The views are unparalleled, and it still stands today as a beacon of beauty and direction. Although Point Betsie still functions as a navigation aid, the majestic lighthouse also regularly hosts museum tours and weddings. Curious visitors can even rent the Keeper’s Quarters— available from late May through October. No visit to Frankfort is complete without a stop at Crystal Gardens. Crystal Gardens has been the source for gardening supplies for more than 40 years. However, Crystal Gardens has evolved to give visitors more of an experience, including a rock shop filled with unique gifts made with Petoskey stones and geodes, the Barn Swallow antique store—and even the Nature Exhibit which boasts peacocks, butterflies, a fairy garden and a gigantic stone turtle. My absolute favorite at the Gardens, though, is an entire greenhouse, called Mom’s House, which is fully dedicated to the hardy geranium.

Rolling through town, I spot the A&W Restaurant, in addition to hot dogs, burgers, fries and root beer, A&W


sells nostalgia; and I am definitely buying! I pull up to a drive-in spot and am served by a friendly waitress. Staying in the car, I turn on ‘50s music and pretend I’ve gone back in time. The next stop is Main Street. I marvel at the historic Garden Theatre, the gem of downtown Frankfort. I then make my way into Frannie’s Follies, a must-stop shop for tourists and anyone looking for a t-shirt or trinket. Sunbeams of Promise catches my eye next, and there I find a huge variety of local stones, including the elusive Leland Blue. Our final stop leads us to Elberta, Frankfort’s port city sister, just two miles away. In fact, this tiny town was once known as South Frankfort. My tour ends at the Cabbage Shed, a building that has more history and character than any other place in the county. First built in 1867, the shed offers over 70 varieties of Irish whiskey and the longest running open mic night in Benzie County. If you leave the Cabbage Shed without trying the Drunken Beans, you will never forgive yourself. Only a 45-minute drive from Traverse City, Frankfort has managed to hold on to its small-town charm. And, it welcomes you, like a hug from an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Christal Frost is a media personality who can be heard on Today’s Country MusicWTCM, The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580-WTCM AM.






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See Frankfort In Action

Christal Frost filmed her Frankfort adventure, now available on countrylines.com. For behind-the-scenes footage, see the “Road Trippin” story highlight album on our Instagram @michigancountrylines.


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• Garden Theatre • Frannie’s Follies • Sunbeams of Promise

A& W

Nearby on Main Street:



Enjoy Summer And Stay Cool While Saving Energy


hen it gets hot and muggy outside, your home air conditioning system is your refuge. The hottest months can really run up your energy bills. These few smart energy-saving habits can help you save money, too! Limit Device Time—Turn off your electronic device and enjoy the outdoors. Being active outside can boost your mood, decrease stress, improve physical health and allow you to connect as a family. Close Window Treatments—During summer days, about 76% of the sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat, so close draperies on windows receiving direct sunlight. For natural light, open coverings of the shaded windows. Grill Out—Cooking in the oven and on the stove uses energy and warms the house—and you might be inclined to turn up the air conditioning to cool off the house. Take

your cooking outside! Grilling is one of the joys of summer and a way to save money. Set the thermostat—Adjust your thermostat to keep your house warmer when you are away. When you are home, lower the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C). Air conditioning controls humidity and will make your home comfortable without needing to set the thermostat too low.

Heat& Save Beat the

Stay cool this summer while saving energy. Here are a few tips to help: ▪ Turn off and unplug electronics, and head outside.

▪ Use shades, blinds and drapes to keep out the heat.

▪ Grill outside to reduce heat generated by the stove or oven.

▪ Use ceiling fans to create a cooling breeze. ▪ Turn fans off in unoccupied rooms— fans cool people, not rooms.

michigan-energy.org | 877.296.4319

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.

Snap Shot 1


Four-Legged Friends





Upcoming Snap Shot Contest Topics And Deadlines

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

1. Morgan Begeman from Weidman took this photo hiking with two-year-old Alaskan Malamute Odie at Forestview Natural Area in Midland.

“Sunrise/Sunset,” Deadline: July 15 (September issue)

2. Janae Pike of Charlotte reports that Beulah is a guard dog in training, here shown watching over her chickens!

“Ugly Christmas Sweaters,” Deadline: Sept. 16 (November–December issue)

3. Monica Ketchum of Big Rapids shared this photo of son Zeke with French Bulldog puppy, Barbie. “Puppy kisses are the best!”

Go to homeworks.org and select Country Lines under the Electric tab to submit your photos and see additional themes. It’s fast and easy. To send by mail: include your name, address, phone number, photographer’s name, and details about your photo. Mail to Attn: Country Lines Snap Shots, 7973 E. Grand River, Portland, MI 48875. Photos will not be returned. Do not send color laser prints or professional studio photos.

4. Tracy Kleynenberg from Vestaburg says, “I don’t know who enjoyed that ice cream cone more, Oscar or his roommate, Chuck Kleynenberg. Both would agree that it was lip-smacking good.” 5. Sue Mills from DeWitt caught Lefty enjoying a cat nap under the clematis on her front porch. 6. Stephanie Schafer of Westphalia caught this moment when Izayis Sevenski and his four-legged friend, Olive, took a quick break from doing chores at Grandpa’s farm (the farm of Chris and Patty Simon).

“Favorite Costumes,” Deadline: Aug. 15 (October issue)

Submit Your Photos!

Contributors whose photos we publish in 2019 will be entered into a drawing. Country Lines will choose two winners for a bill credit of $100 each on their December electric bill, due in January 2020! MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Festive Desserts Celebrate summer with these delectable recipes. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Frosty Lemon Pie Rita Schuette, Midwest Energy ¾ ¹⁄³ ¼ • 3 2 1 •

cup sugar cup lemon juice cup butter, cubed dash salt eggs, slightly beaten pints vanilla ice cream, softened and divided graham cracker crust (9 inches) whipped topping, fresh mint and lemon peel for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice, sugar, butter and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat till sugar is dissolved and butter melted. Whisk a small amount of the sugar mixture into the eggs several times. Return all to the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture reaches 160 F or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Refrigerate till cool. Spread half of the ice cream in the crust. Freeze for 1 hour or till firm. Cover with half of the lemon mixture and freeze for 1 hour——repeat layers. After the 2nd layer of lemon mixture, cover and freeze several hours or overnight. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish if desired. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos 10 JULY/AUGUST 2019

Grandma’s Scottish Shortbread Gail Gurnee, Great Lakes Energy 1 cup softened butter ½ cup sugar 2½ cups flour Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugar together. Gradually knead in flour until well blended. Place in 9-inch ungreased cake pan and roll or press dough in until smooth. Press the tines of a fork around the edges and prick the middle of the dough. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn down oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 50 minutes until nicely browned. Run a knife around the edge to prevent cookies sticking to pan. Cut into short little squares immediately before cookies harden.

Lime Ice Cream Dessert Joyce Tamminga, Great Lakes Energy


Crust: 1½ cups Ritz cracker crumbs (about 34 crackers) 4 tablespoons sugar 5 tablespoons melted butter

GUEST CHEF This traditional Dutch favorite is shared with Tulip Time visitors from around the world. Enjoy a taste of the Old Country!

Filling: 2 quarts vanilla ice cream (½ gallon) 1 quart lime sherbet Topping: 4 tablespoons lime or lemon juice ²⁄³ cups sugar 2 eggs, well beaten 6 tablespoons butter Mix cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; press into 9x13 inch pan. Chill. Soften ice cream and sherbet enough to mix well and spread over crust. Freeze. Mix topping ingredients in a heavy

saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until thick. Cool completely. Spread the topping on the ice cream. Keep frozen. Note: This can also be made with orange sherbet and orange juice in the place of lime sherbet and lime juice.

Raspberry Delight Pound Cake Tracy Fisher, Thumb Electric 1 1 4 1 ¹⁄³ ½ 2 ¼ 2 2 •

French vanilla or yellow cake mix small instant vanilla pudding mix large eggs cup water cup oil cup sour cream cups raspberries fresh or frozen cup water tablespoons sugar tablespoons raspberry jello (powder) cornstarch, to thicken

Preheat over to 350 F. Mix cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and sour cream according to cake mix directions on the box. Pour into prepared Bundt pan. In large saucepan, cook remaining ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Thicken filling

Stamppot van Boerenkool: Curly Kale and Sausages

with cornstarch and water. Drop filling by spoonfuls over top of unbaked cake. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn cake out onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar or serve with whipped cream.

Venison: due August 1 Christmas Cookies: due September 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

2–3 3 • 1 4

lbs. curly kale lbs. cut-up potatoes Milk, salt, and pepper lb. smoked sausage tbsp. oleo

Strip, wash, and cut kale very fine. Boil kale in water with salt about 40 minutes. Add peeled, cut-up potatoes and sausage and enough water to prevent burning. Cook 30 minutes. Remove sausage from pan. Mash kale and potatoes and stir in boiled milk until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Read the full story about the Tulip Time Festival on page 14, and find this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.



Information For All Members Of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Your Cooperative offers a program called the Tri-County Electric People Fund, which is funded through the voluntary rounding up of your monthly utility bill to the next whole dollar amount. An all-volunteer board of directors appointed by the member-elected board of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative is charged with distributing the funds throughout the Cooperative’s service area to support charitable efforts in and around the communities we serve. Funds from the People Fund have been distributed to educational programs, fire departments, medical emergency groups, recreational organizations, senior organizations, numerous local charities, and many local families and individuals. A copy of the People Fund’s annual report detailing contributions is available and has been highlighted in previous issues of this Country Lines magazine. All grants made are also listed at our website at homeworks.org. Your participation in the Tri-County Electric People Fund is VOLUNTARY. If, at any time, you wish to discontinue participation in the People Fund, please let us know and we will be happy to remove your account. If you are participating, your monthly bill is rounded up to the next whole dollar amount. If your bill is $78.42, it would be rounded up to $79. The 58 cents would then be contributed by HomeWorks on your behalf to the People Fund, to be used as explained above. A member’s average annual contribution is approximately $6. Your annual contribution to the People Fund is tax-deductible and is reported on your monthly statement in January of the following year. For additional information regarding the Tri-County Electric People Fund, you can contact the Cooperative office by mail, or call 1-877-466-3957, extension 1272.

Your Board In Action Meeting at Portland on May 20, your board of directors: • Reviewed the first week of District Membership Meetings. • Recognized HomeWorks employee Nick Rusnell for becoming a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture. • Authorized staff to continue with the statewide Energy Optimization collaborative through 2021. • Agreed to contribute $2,000 from the 2019 CFC patronage capital refund to the Cooperative System Integrity Fund. • Discussed and accepted Board Policies 201 – Safety and 501 – Communications, as updated. • Learned there were 95 new members in March. • Acknowledged the May safety report, listing employee training as well as minor employee and public incidents involving electric, fiber optic, or propane.

Time Set Aside For Members To Comment Before Cooperative Board Meetings The first 15 minutes of every board meeting are available for members who wish to address the board of directors on any subject. The next meetings are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday, July 22, at Blanchard, and Monday, Aug. 26, at Portland. Members who need directions to the meeting, or wish to have items considered on the board agenda, should call 517-647-7554.

People Fund Helps Food Pantries Meeting May 29, the Tri-County Electric People Fund Board made five grants totaling $6,655, including: • $855 to the CCOF Food Pantry, Mount Pleasant, to purchase a new freezer; • $500 to Greater Jackson Habitat for Humanity to help in remodeling a home; • $2,000 to Community Christian Action Group of Eaton Rapids, to purchase food vouchers to redeem at a local grocery store for perishable items such as meat, milk, cheese, and eggs; • $800 to Ferris Church of Christ, Vestaburg, for an automated external defibrillator (AED) and wall mount; and • $2,500 to an Ingham County family to put in a new well. These grants are made possible through the continuing generosity of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric members who round up their monthly energy bills to the next dollar, so that the spare change can then be donated to the People Fund. Rounding up and donating are voluntary, and any member can start or stop by calling 800-562-8232. Donations are tax-deductible.

How To Apply For A Tri-County Electric People Fund Grant The Tri-County Electric People Fund provides grants to individuals and organizations in the Co-op’s service area for food, shelter, clothing, health, and other humane needs, or for programs or services that benefit a significant segment of a community. Write to 7973 E. Grand River Avenue, Portland, MI. 48875, for an application form and grant guidelines, or visit the People Fund tab at homeworks.org. Note: Applications must be received by Aug. 20 for the August board meeting, or by Oct. 1 for the October board meeting.


Students Earn Touchstone Energy Scholarships Fifteen local high school seniors will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to the college of their choice this year through the Touchstone Energy scholarship program offered by HomeWorks Tri-County Electric. Congratulations to these students:

Joshua Case Lakeview H.S. Planning to Attend: Michigan Tech Planning to Study: Mechanical Engineering Parents: Steven Case & Allison Kwiatkowski

Breanna Eldred Chippewa Hills H.S. Planning to Attend: Grand Valley State Planning to Study: Accounting Parents: Bruce & Mary Eldred

Tricia Feldpausch Fowler H.S. Planning to Attend: Saginaw Valley State Planning to Study: Physical Therapy Parents: Roy & Patty Feldpausch

Jaden Gavenda Ashley H.S. Planning to Attend: Northwood Planning to Study: Marketing Parents: James & Traci Gavenda

Eli Kea Mount Pleasant H.S. Planning to Attend: Central Michigan Planning to Study: Marketing & Multimedia Parents: Jeffrey & Anne Kea

Isabel Murphy Farwell H.S. Planning to Attend: Mid Michigan College Planning to Study: Business Management Parents: Thomas & Penny Murphy

Cade Oberlin Jacob Pung Lakeview H.S. Portland St. Patrick H.S. Planning to Attend: Planning to Attend: Michigan State Grand Valley State Planning to Study: Planning to Study: Pre-med Manufacturing Engineering Parents: Shawn Oberlin Parents: Chris & Janet & Jennifer Schwandt Pung

Christy Sopocy Ovid-Elsie H.S. Planning to Attend: Michigan State Planning to Study: Interior Design Parents: Steve & Theresa Sopocy

Evan Thelen Pewamo-Westphalia H.S. Planning to Attend: Ferris State Planning to Study: HVAC Parents: Michael & Amy Thelen

Peyton Thompson Portland H.S. Planning to Attend: Ferris State Planning to Study: Human Resources Parents: Scott & Amy Thompson

Katie Wilson Isabella Waite George Wilson Academy Big Rapids H.S. Planning to Attend: Planning to Attend: Western Michigan Michigan State Planning to Study: Planning to Study: Product Design Dairy Management Parents: Earl & Jennifer Parents: Michael & Waite Christine Wilson

Abigail Wohlfert Fowler H.S. Planning to Attend: Alma College Planning to Study: Pre-med Parents: Gerald & Lorinda Wohlfert

Zoey Zeneberg Beal City H.S. Planning to Attend: Central Michigan Planning to Study: Marketing Parents: Craig & Marsha Zeneberg


By Emily Haines Lloyd Photography by Tyler Leipprandt


or the past 90 years, the first week of May has been a time when Michiganders dust off the cobwebs of winter and look for the first signs of spring. In Holland, Michigan, the first signs look like millions of tulips bursting through the soil to delight locals and visitors alike. Tulip Time was once a local beautification project that started with 100,000 bulbs in 1929. Today it has grown to become an international hot spot for travelers from all around the world to engage in Dutch history while tiptoeing through nearly five million tulips.

In May 2019, Michigan Country Lines teamed up with Tyler Leipprandt of Michigan Sky Media for an Instagram takeover to cover Tulip Time. Leipprandt, an expert at drone photography, captured images that showcase why Tulip Time is just the kind of adventure you can start dreaming of for next spring. “Tulip Time is an opportunity for people to come and marvel at the spectacular tulip gardens and displays,” said Tulip Time Executive Director Gwen Auwerda. “But it’s also the perfect time to explore the beauty of Lake Michigan living.” If the views are saturated with bright pops of flowering color, the history that the event brings to the streets of Holland is equally rich. City officials, volunteers, and even residents don their historically accurate costumes—


complete with real wooden shoes—providing a glimpse into life during the late 1800s and early 1900s. These traditions are proudly passed down through generations, as spectators will find local high schoolers performing traditional Dutch dancing, called Klompen, at demonstrations, as well as through the streets in multiple parades which are scheduled during the week-long event. Along with the themed-parades (Volksparade/ People’s Parade, Kinderparade/Children’s Parade, and Muziekparade/Music Parade), there are dancing demos, flower walks, and an artisan market. At Windmill Island Gardens, visitors can marvel at not only tulip gardens, but “De Zwaan,” the last Netherlands-built working windmill in the United States. Folks can take the four flights up to the windmill for a historical tour, then look at the Amsterdam

street organ, ride on the antique carousel, or purchase some fresh-milled flour to commemorate the visit. Over the years, the charm has never left Tulip Time, but new attractions have been added—a lively carnival sets up annually at the Civic Center, craft and art shows are displayed in the park, festival-goers can try yoga in the tulips, and many food and beverage demos are also featured. The latter is unsurprising, as the food and beverage scene has never been stronger. In fact, Holland boasts a variety of eateries for all preferences and a vibrant beer and spirits scene—including several breweries and distilleries who all participate in hosting the 500,000 people the festival brings in annually within a short, nine-day period.

“ Tulip Time is an opportunity for people to come and marvel at the spectacular tulip gardens and displays. But it’s also the perfect time to explore the beauty of Lake Michigan living.” — Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time Executive Director

“We have over 800 volunteers along with city workers and businesses who make this more than an event,” said Auwerda. “Tulip Time is a part of the fabric of our community.” Over the years, while Tulip Time continues to grow and provide wonderful new experiences for attendees, it’s the quaint charm that has been a constant. So next spring, as the tulip bulbs once again sprout their brightly colored petals, make plans to visit Holland’s Tulip Time. Those sweet flowers are a reminder of spring’s hope, but also a proud past that one little town along Lake Michigan is keeping alive. Photo courtesy of Tulip Time.



$47,000 in S.T.E.A.M. Grants Awarded to Local Schools In conjunction with Touchstone Energy, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric was able to award a total of $47,000 in S.T.E.A.M. grants to 31 classrooms across our service area this year. Here, our District 2 director Jim Stebbins (far left) presents a $2,000 grant check to Portland High School teacher Sarah Honsowitz (far right) and her students, for the purchase of a 3D printer.


Robert and Linda Kral of Ashley celebrated the official certification of their family farm as a Michigan Centennial Farm in May. The 80-acre farm was originally purchased by John and Mary Kral in 1912. Today, Robert maintains the farm and produces corn, soybeans, wheat, and lumber.


Which Zone Are You In? We’ve decided to divide our larger zones of Sleepy Hollow, Meceola, Clarabella, and Lakes into many smaller zones. This helps you! To see a full map of our service area broken into zones, visit Join.HomeWorksConnect.org.


With the smaller zones, it’s easier for us to tell specifically which neighborhoods are most interested in HomeWorks Connect high-speed fiber internet. The smaller zones also allow us to focus our crews in a more condensed area, making it possible to move more efficiently through each zone. The increased efficiencies will hopefully allow us to reach the most interested areas more quickly. Although we now have more zones, we didn’t actually add any more area to our project, which means that our timeline remains unchanged. We still have a 5-year projected completion of our rollout, and we are on track to reach that goal. If you’ve already pre-registered, you’ve automatically been reassigned to your new zone. You can view your zone by logging in to your user dashboard at Join.HomeWorksConnect.org. If you haven’t pre-registered, you’ll be assigned to a zone when you do so. To pre-register or to learn more about our high-speed fiber internet project, visit Join.HomeWorksConnect.org!

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Learn more today at Join.HomeWorksConnect.org! This service is not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

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MI CO-OP Community

The Turtle Race Tradition By Jean Alexander, Great Lakes Energy member


very summer since 1986 our family travels to Six Mile Lake cottage for a week of simple, but magical, lakefront family fun and an interesting tradition—Turtle Races. The morning of departure from Indiana brings together: three sisters, one niece, four nephews, and grandma. Loading the car is always a hoot, as we fit suitcases, extra food, linens, treats for the trip, and even bicycles. The usual eight or nine passengers somehow all fit in, too.

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by July 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the May issue is Elsa Oja, an Ontonagon County REA Co-op member, who correctly identified the photo as historic downtown Calumet. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

What fun upon arrival it is assigning beds, cots and blow up mattresses. Our lakefront offers a playground with sand, boats, a dock, badminton, floats, fishing rods, and a shallow lake. Days are spent fishing, swimming, floating on rafts, baseball games, catching crawdads, laughter, and days of splendid family togetherness. Of course, one day is always chosen for the famous “Turtle Races.” We scout for turtles along the lakeshore, spray paint the start and finish lines and assign everyone a turtle. Each turtle is then named. We hold many races—some long races, some short runs, “a sprayed box-shaped form” where turtles go in all directions to cross lines and continue racing has even been created by grandma for the day. The longest and last race always ends with turtles racing back into the lake, and we bid our turtles goodbye. Our adventure then culminates with prizes being awarded to all the winning “turtle coaches.” Each summer we are reminded how strange it is that turtles never seem to move in a straight path, but wander around going nowhere specific except to the water. But, hopefully, next year we will each get a better, bigger and wiser turtle. Jean enjoys sports, nature and going “up north” to Michigan as often as possible.

May 2019

Photo by Cody McClellan @codyjmcclellanphotography


“We are reminded how strange it is that turtles never seem to move in a straight path, but wander around going nowhere specific except to the water.”

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