June 2021 Cherryland

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June 2021


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

Residential Members Keep Lights On During Pandemic

Cherryland Beats EnergySavings Goal Life’s Crazy; Go For A Drive



Not hearing is believing.

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Contents countrylines.com

June 2021 Vol. 41, No. 6



Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr


RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd

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: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, 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


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.

Cover: Keenan Jackson fires a rocket two finger shot at Bataan Memorial Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

6 WILD ART With a couple of creative twists, Sherry Sanville turned mushroom foraging into a huge Instagram following. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Fruity Desserts: Make your summer even sweeter.


14 IT TAKES GUTS Guts, a Frisbee-based game invented in the UP, combines strategy and skill for players who have the fortitude to try it. 18 GUEST COLUMN Building a Backyard Bird Oasis: If a fondness for feeding birds makes Dawn Hovie an old lady, she’s okay with that.

I can see why they say “Leland Blues.” Every imaginable tone of blue is found in the rock, sky and water. @lexannrebecca (LexAnn De Weerd)

Be featured!

Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.


To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community


Win a $50 bill credit!

Up Next: Fish & Seafood, due July 1; Around The World, due Aug. 1; Instant Pot & Slow Cooker, due Sept. 1.


Win $150 for stories published! Submit your fondest memories and stories at countrylines.com/community.

Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.



cherrylandelectric.coop /cherrylandelectriccoop @cherrylandec BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tom Van Pelt, President 231-386-5234 tvanpelt@cherrylandelectric.coop

David Schweitzer, Senior Vice President 231-883-5860 dschweitzer@cherrylandelectric.coop Gabe Schneider, Secretary 517-449-6453 gschneider@cherrylandelectric.coop Melinda Lautner, Treasurer 231-947-2509 mlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop Terry Lautner, Director 231-946-4623 tlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop John Olson, Director 231-938-1228 jolson@cherrylandelectric.coop

Jon Zickert, Director 231-631-1337 jzickert@cherrylandelectric.coop General Manager: Tony Anderson Co-op Editors: Rachel Johnson, Rob Marsh

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m. TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.) ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637 PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637 Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

CO-OP NEWS Cherryland Reopens Lobby To The Public Cherryland has reopened the lobby of its Grawn office to the public. The drive-thru window and 24/7 bill pay kiosk will remain in operation as well. If you wish to enter the lobby, please adhere to current mask-wearing and social distancing protocols as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

83rd Annual Meeting At Turtle Creek Stadium To Be Held On June 10 Cherryland’s 83rd Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, June 10, at Turtle Creek Stadium, home of the Traverse City Pit Spitters. Join us for an evening of information, food, and baseball. Learn more about this year’s Annual Meeting on page 9.

Cherryland Scholarships Awarded To Local High School Seniors And Adult Learners Three high school seniors and two adult learners were awarded 2021 Cherryland Electric Cooperative scholarships. The three high school scholarships are worth $4,000 each—$1,000 per year for four years. The adult scholarships are a one-time award of $1,000 each. Student scholarship recipients: Ivy Halligan (Traverse City Central High School), Ellie Mugerian (Traverse City St. Francis), and Olivia Lowe (Leland Public School). Adult scholarship recipients: Garett Miller of Lake Leelanau and Yulin ChenLandvoy of Williamsburg.

Cherryland Cares Supports Local Nonprofits Cherryland Cares distributes funds to local nonprofit organizations in need of financial support. The funds distributed by Cherryland Cares are a result of members electing to round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. Members can contribute to the Cherryland Cares fund by calling 231-486-9200, signing up through SmartHub, or sending an email to cec@cherrylandelectric.coop. If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, please call Shannon Mattson at 231-486-9234 or email smattson@cherrylandelectric.coop. The deadline for second-quarter applications is Friday, June 11.

Co-op Office Closed Independence Day The Cherryland office will be closed Monday, July 5, in observance of Independence Day. Normal business hours will resume Tuesday, July 6. Line crews are on call to respond to any outages or emergencies. You can report an outage by texting OUT to 800-442-8616, logging into SmartHub, or by calling us at 231-486-9200. Visit our website’s Outage Center for more details.

4 JUNE 2021

Lights Left On Tony Anderson, General Manager


eople my age will remember the spokesman for Motel 6, Tom Bodett, who ended every commercial spot with a folksy, “We’ll leave a light on for you.” In 2020, this is exactly what residential members of Cherryland did in a big way. It has now been about 15 months since the beginning of the pandemic. It goes without saying that 2020 was a terrible year for all the reasons you have heard far too many times. However, residential meters were a bright spot to our bottom line during this dark time. Cherryland serves approximately 37,000 meters, with 95% of these belonging to residential homes of all shapes and sizes. While our commercial accounts are few, the electric sales they provide are quite large and have been very critical to our annual financial success in past years.

seen this coming. Everyone was forced to work from home, and then their kids were required to stay home too. How could sales not go up? It wasn’t a meteoric rise, but it was absolutely the saving grace in a very difficult year. Residential sales went up by almost 11% and were not affected with the openings and closings like the commercial side of the business. Think of just the workday hours. In a time slot when homes were historically dark across our system in previous years, the stay-at-home order had them buzzing with activity, lights, computers, hot water, heat and air conditioning in 2020.

“This ‘new normal’ could make the residential part of our business a continued and growing success story.”

Well, when the virus shuttered almost every business in March 2020, everyone at Cherryland took a collective gulp as commercial sales declined like no other time in our history. Small commercial sales in 2020 ended up almost 10% below 2019, while large commercial sales declined by nearly 16%. In reality, the large commercial drop would have been greater if not for one large data center (large computers in an empty building) that was not affected by the shutdown.

Month after month, the commercial decline continued until slowly, some businesses began to reopen. As you know, this was a bit of a roller coaster as we shut down and reopened more than once last year. Regardless, small and large commercial sales never quite got back to 2019 levels. The silver lining was indeed the residential members who kept multiple lights on for us. In hindsight, we should have

We have to give the weather some credit. The months of June through August were considerably hotter than other years while everyone was at home. This added to the meter spin and increased the good-news portion of our bottom line. Because we are a cooperative, this good news comes back to the membership. We gave back $2.5 million in the form of a bill credit in October 2020 and an additional $3 million in a capital credit retirement just two months later. In true co-op fashion, we kept what we needed and gave back what we did not.

In the future, I believe we will see more work-from-home jobs than ever before (obvious, I know). We have learned and adapted, and some people will not go back to the office. We are blessed to live in a region where people will always want to live and work from home. This “new normal” could make the residential part of our business a continued and growing success story. In the years ahead, I will join the chorus that sings songs of all the truly bad things that were 2020. Inside, I will be forever grateful that our residential members “kept a light on for us.” MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES




ushrooms are unassuming and hard to unearth sometimes, but totally worth the time and effort to bring out into the light. A little like the woman who spends her days foraging for these earthy gems and the beautiful art she makes with them.

By Emily Haines Lloyd || Photos courtesy of Sherrie Sanville

Sherrie Sanville, a member of the Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association, didn’t grow up with a passion for fungi. But her husband, who like herself, is from northern Michigan, grew up foraging morels, and he introduced her to the practice of wandering their 120-acre property in Delta County for glimpses of the mushroom equivalent of gold. On those walks, Sanville began noticing the wide variety of mushrooms that peppered the ground and trees all around her. “My husband took me to some of his morel ‘hot spots’ and I couldn’t even see them the first time,” said Sanville. “But then I started to notice all kinds of mushrooms—and I got hooked. Especially when you see these pops of color—purple, red, yellow—I became a little obsessed.” Sanville’s walks increased in volume, as did her identifying skills, although she’s quick to note she’s no expert, just an “enthusiast.” The enthusiasm prompted her to pull out her phone and start snapping pictures of some of the fungal treasures she happened upon. She’d then post them to Facebook for family and friends.


JUNE 2021

While some of her audience was less than impressed with what some considered “gross,” her dear friend, who was also a forager and gardener, planted an idea on how Sanville might share her fascinating finds. “She was like ‘you should totally post these to Instagram! You might find some like-minded folks there,’” recalls Sanville. “I barely knew what a hashtag was, but I trusted her. I named my account @shroom_momma

because that was the nickname my daughters gave me after I became interested in mushrooms.”

“For people who are worried about overpicking mushrooms, there’s no need,” says Sanville. “Mushrooms are the fruiting body; the mycelium is still there. It’s like picking an apple from an apple tree. It will refruit again and again.”

To say that there were more than a few “like-minded folks” could easily be called an understatement. What began with quick snapshots in 2018 of her quirky finds on daily walks became something altogether different as Sanville tapped into her artistic side. However, she humbly argues she’s not an artist. Sanville began shooting gorgeous compilations of mushrooms she would gather, along with flowers and other found objects. Her following skyrocketed to an impressive 60,000 followers. It’s no wonder a company reached out to turn one of her images into a puzzle, while others have used some of her shots in greeting cards. “I recently spoke with a mushroom magazine and they asked me how it felt to be an ‘influencer,’” said Sanville. “I just don’t consider myself that. It’s almost funny. I’m just a lady who walks in the woods and takes pictures.” Sanville’s Instagram account is as organic as her topic and attracts people from all over the world, who crop up much like the mushrooms she features. If people are attracted, they are likely drawn in as much by her authentic curiosity and behind-the-scenes foibles as by the fascinating subjects she shoots. There’s a delightful post on a gorgeous pumpkin fairy house tableau she designed—that went up in flames thanks to the interior candle. Sanville shows the honest, sometimes cringing, truth behind the “Instagram-worthy” process. So, it’s not surprising that she not only has fans worldwide, but that she’s made friends with people from across the globe.

Find Sherrie on Instagram


“I never thought the mushrooms in my yard would lead to friends from all over the world,” said Sanville. “When you’re passionate about something, it’s amazing how you will always find a community that joins in with you. That has, for sure, been the best part of this whole process.”



Cherryland Surpassed EnergySavings Goal In 2020

4,519,255 kWh saved in 2020

By Tammy Haworth, Energy Use Advisor

Through our state-mandated Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) program, we exceeded our energy-savings goal in 2020. This was achieved in two ways. First, in exchange for rebates, members opted to become more energy efficient through specific state-approved measures, including replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs and purchasing energy-efficient home appliances. Second, the co-op distributed energy efficiency kits to members in need via area food pantries, assistance agencies, and our Grawn office.

Percent of Rebates Claimed by Category in 2020 4%

1% Low income

12% 12% 15%

Interested in energy efficiency rebates? Visit our website at cherrylandelectric.coop/rebates.


residential and business members received rebates



Appliances HVAC

Refrigerator/freezer recycling Solar

It’s time to breathe easier. Receive a $50 rebate for the purchase of an Energy Star-rated air purifier.

Learn more at cherrylandelectric.coop/rebates and claim your rebate.

Join us at our

83rd Annual Meeting

Thursday, June 10 Turtle Creek Stadium, Traverse City Gates open. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 p.m. In-person voting available. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3–4 p.m. Business meeting begins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Concessions open. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. First pitch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6:35 p.m. Enjoy an evening at the ballpark with complimentary food and beverages and a Traverse City Pit Spitters baseball game! Come to the business meeting and hear updates about the co-op, witness the results of the board of directors election, and, perhaps, win big in the raffle. And for those at home, the business meeting will be broadcast live on Cherryland’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. facebook.com/cherrylandelectriccoop youtube.com/user/CherrylandElectCoop

Note: In-person attendance at the Annual Meeting will be limited to four (4) people per membership and available on a first-come, first-served basis due to pandemic gathering restrictions. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is a Cherryland member at all times. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


MI CO-OP Recipes

Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey

FRUITY DESSERTS Make your summer even sweeter.



Deanne Keegan Quain, Great Lakes Energy 2 ½ 12 ¼ 16 3–4 20 18 ½ • •



energy bill credit!

10 JUNE 2021

Fish & Seafood due July 1 • Around The World due Aug. 1 • Instant Pot & Slow Cooker Favorites due Sept. 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. Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.

cups graham cracker crumbs cup unsalted butter, melted ounces cream cheese, at room temperature cup granulated sugar ounces whipped topping, divided bananas, sliced ounces crushed pineapple, drained well ounces fresh strawberries, sliced cup walnuts, chopped chocolate syrup maraschino cherries

Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until crumbs are evenly moistened. Spread into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Refrigerate while preparing filling. Mix together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in 8 ounces (half) of the whipped topping——spread mixture on top of graham cracker crust. Arrange banana slices on top of cream cheese filling. Top with an even layer of crushed pineapple, then a layer of strawberries. Cover with the remaining 8 ounces of whipped topping. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, then drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with a maraschino cherry on individual servings. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos


Michele Cochrane, Great Lakes Energy 1 prepared white cake mix (can also use pound cake or angel food cake), cut into 1-inch cubes 4 cups prepared vanilla pudding 16 ounces whipped topping

RHUBARB BUTTER CRUNCH Mary Jean Troyer, Cherryland

4 cups diced fresh rhubarb ¾ cup sugar 3 tablespoons + 1½ cups flour, divided ¾ cup brown sugar 1 cup rolled oats ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup butter

2 cups each fresh strawberries (diced), blueberries and raspberries Use a clear bowl and layer ¹⁄ ³ of cake mixture, pudding, whipped topping, and fruit. Repeat to create three layers. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight, then serve.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease an 8x8 pan. Combine the diced rhubarb, sugar and 3 tablespoons flour, and add to the baking pan. Combine the brown sugar, rolled oats, remaining 1½ cups flour, and baking soda. Cut the butter into the mixture. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the rhubarb mixture. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. This is an old-fashioned family recipe that has stood to be a prized dish in the spring.

DANISH APPLE PIE MaryAnn Ogden, Great Lakes Energy

½ cup all-purpose flour (or oat flour, which is oatmeal pulverized in blender or food processor) ¹⁄ 8 teaspoon salt, optional 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ –¾ cup sugar 1 cup diced apples ½ cup chopped walnuts 1 egg, slightly beaten Preheat oven to 400 F. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Add diced apples, chopped walnuts, and egg and stir. Pour into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 20–25 minutes. This is delicious with ice cream or whipped cream.




TO BEAT THE SUMMER HEAT As summer temperatures continue to go up, there’s no need to let the heat get you down. There are several ways you can keep cool this summer—without wreaking havoc on your home’s air conditioner! Use these four simple life hacks to beat the summer heat.

Make aloe vera cubes.

Whether you’re nursing a sunburn or just wanting to cool off, aloe vera cubes will offer some relief. Simply fill an ice tray with aloe vera gel, freeze it, then place the cubes on your body’s pulse points, like the neck and wrists, for a quick cooling sensation.

Try a cooling pillow.

If you’re willing to spend a little, a cooling pillow can help you feel more comfortable on those muggy summer nights. Prices range from $27 (like Plixio Pillows) to $180 (like the Technogel Pillow), so you can determine how much you’re willing to spend.

Just add mint.

Menthol makes our bodies feel cool, so by adding spearmint essential oil to products like body wash and lotion, you can get an instant cooling effect. Essential oils can be purchased at most drugstores or online.

Spend a few bucks on a handheld fan mister.

Sure, you may feel a little silly carrying around a tiny fan, but you’ll be more comfortable than everyone else—and they’ll probably ask to borrow it. You can typically find these at big box stores like Walmart or Target, or you can order one online. 12 JUNE 2021

Go For A Drive

By Rob Marsh, Marketing & Communications Specialist


have a confession to make: When I look at a large stack of firewood, I shudder. It’s alright. I don’t need a psychiatrist’s help quite yet. However, I can say that I have plenty of childhood experience in loading, unloading, stacking, and (for some reason) restacking firewood, thanks to my dad. Each of these memories is the same. On some Sunday afternoon, my dad would tell me that it was time to get firewood. Before I could make up an excuse, we’d be in his truck driving to our firewood destination. These drives were nothing special. My dad asked me questions about school, I tried to crack a few jokes, and both of us hummed along to the radio. Once we got there, we would load the wood up, return home, and stack our mountain of dead trees until my arms would fall off. This happened for many years. I can’t say that I really enjoyed moving all that firewood, but I did enjoy those drives with just him and me. Let’s fast-forward a couple of decades. I’m the father of two young girls and the days are often chaotic. On one particularly crazy day, I offered to take our oldest with me to the hardware store so my wife could have a break. Admittedly, this wasn’t my first choice given my dream of some peace and quiet, but hey, “teamwork makes the dream work,” right?

going on in her own imagination. Our trip to the hardware store quickly became less about the task at hand and more about the connection I was making with her. When we were finished, we had plenty of time to continue our conversations as I made sure to take the long way home. It’s a bit cliché, but life does get crazy at times. But just because life gets crazy doesn’t mean that you can’t bring your loved ones along for the ride.

However, once we got a few miles under our belts, something interesting happened.

I don’t remember every game, performance, or vacation I spent with my dad, but I remember those drives together to get firewood. A drive can create the perfect opportunity for some one-on-one time. Our loved ones deserve that kind of attention. And we deserve that chance to connect.

The questions stopped, and we just started talking. We talked about the items we were going to get, the projects we would tackle “together,” and the occasional adventure

So, I’m sure at some point, the hardware store won’t be as exciting for my daughter as it is now. But that’s not the point. It’s all about her, me, and the drive.

Our drive started with lots of questions. “What are we doing, daddy? Where are we going, daddy? Is this your truck, daddy?” she repeated over and over. I began mentally preparing for the worst a toddler could bring.

“A drive can create the perfect opportunity for some one-on-one time. Our loved ones deserve that kind of attention. And we deserve that chance to connect.”


Father/son duo Mark Banghart and Michael Banghart of the Boomtown Saints chase down a disc that's been deflected by teammates.



ou’ve got to ask yourself—what does it take to stand in a line with four other people while someone with a steely gaze just 14 meters away throws an object at your head at a speed upwards of 80 mph? And not hit the deck, but instead, try to catch the flying object?

Ryan Scott of the Boomtown Saints fires a forehand shot at his opponents.


At the very least—it takes Guts.

“lost decade” in the ‘90s. Guts was being played before its better-known counterpart, disc sports, became big. Ultimate Frisbee and disc golf have found devoted audiences, with ultimate appealing to the physically fit crowd willing to run lengths of a soccer field and lay out to catch a toss. Disc golfers are more inclined to pack up their drivers and putters and walk courses at a leisurely pace with friends or family.

It might sound like a crazy thing to do, but for the men and women who have discovered the little-known sport of Guts Frisbee, it’s an adrenaline high wrapped up in a family reunion.

“Guts is a great combination of the two,” said Klemmer. “It’s got the quick action and adrenaline of ultimate and the strategy piece of disc golf. It’s just happening simultaneously while someone throws an 80-mph disc at you.”

Guts was invented in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by the Healy family, who were looking for a backyard game using items they had around, as well as one that allowed them to hold their beverage of choice at the same time. Enter a couple of lines of people, a Frisbee, fast-flying throws, and one-handed catching. Its rules are simple, if not a little brutal sounding.

In 2007, Guts made a bit of a resurgence at the International Frisbee Tournament’s (IFT) 50th anniversary meet. What started with a mostly Michigan crowd has grown to other states and has good showings internationally. While sports enthusiasts may not have heard of Guts, it maintains a small but devoted following, allowing for the opportunity to play around the world at the highest levels.

“Guts had become quite popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s when superteams were formed to win the prize money being offered,” said USA Guts Communications Director Donny Klemmer, Jr., who plays for Buck’s Brigade out of metro Detroit. “My first experience was actually with my mom, who was playing while pregnant with me.” It’s that sort of hardcore grit and commitment to the game that has seen it through even tough times like its 14 JUNE 2021

Ryan Scott, who plays for the Boomtown Saints out of Lansing and is considered one of the top players in the sport, has traveled around the world with Guts. “Never in my life could I have imagined when I started playing this sport, it would take me to London, Vancouver, and Japan. I’ve gone to Columbia to teach Guts, and just

Carter Nettell of Shottlebop unleashes his wicked left-handed thumber shot.

GUTS went to China to play in 2019,” said Scott. “When you travel for a purpose, you get a chance to experience not only the place but the people in a really unique way.” With such an impassioned group of folks playing the sport and the promise that it’s accessible to those of all ages, it begs the question of why folks from around the country, if not the world, aren’t taking up this relatively inexpensive sport?

Takayoshi Suda of Japan travels to Michigan annually to compete in Guts tournaments.

By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of Barb Thornton and Ginger Leach

“ T he

t r u t h is,

Guts can look intimidating at first, but once you get in there, you realize how much the folks are there to support you. We want to get as many people as possible to have the experience not just of the sport, but the community.” —D

onn y K lemmer

“The truth is, Guts can look intimidating at first, but once you get in there, you realize how much the folks are there to support you,” said Klemmer. “We want to get as many people as possible to have the experience not just of the sport, but the community.” Scott echoes the sentiment and notes that if people reach out to the organization, Klemmer will put some discs in the mail (some traveling as far as Rwanda and Thailand) and try to find other Guts players in the area who can run an impromptu clinic. This sort of grassroots outreach makes a good case that this little-known sport could find another boom down the road. “It would be great to see Guts featured on ESPN,” said Klemmer enthusiastically. “In fact, I’d love for it to become the first team sport on the X Games.” Who knows, if these athletes keep showing up with the same level of passion, energy, and well, guts, it just might be.

Guts tournaments attracted thousands of spectators in the '70s and '80s to a festival-like atmosphere.






Dad & Me 1. “Daddy and Mini” by Jennifer Flohe-Payne  2. “The best kisses are unexpected!” by Karl Tessin  3. “Daddy’s home!” by Laurel Riley  4. “Have you ever seen a prouder dad?” by Elizabeth Rucki  5. “Swimming with dad” by Leslie Raetz


Most votes on Facebook!



4 Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Submit Your “Water” Photos!

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. Our June theme is Water. Photos can be submitted through June 20 to be featured in our September issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest, visit cherrylandelectric.coop/photo-contest or visit facebook.com/ cherrylandelectriccoop and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2021, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2021 bill. 16 JUNE 2021



Your Board In Action April Board Meeting • The board welcomed Mark Ames, Marc McKellar, and Vicki Olsen, candidates in the upcoming board election, at the beginning of its meeting. Every year, candidates are encouraged to meet with the board during its April meeting to ask questions about Cherryland and cooperative board governance.

99.999% H

How Did We Get So Reliable? ave you lost power recently? Not likely. We’ve always prided ourselves on being your trusty electricity provider.

This year has gone exceptionally well so far. We’re proud to report that our reliability percentage through March is sitting at 99.996%. As a matter of fact, we hit a whopping 99.999% in February! How did we reach this feat? Certainly, Mother Nature needs to cooperate, but there are a couple of other key factors. The first is our right-of-way (ROW) maintenance program. Trimming and removing trees that pose a threat to our lines ensures that the lights stay on. At any given time, up to seven crews are trimming trees throughout our system’s ROWs. They complete an entire loop of our 3,000 miles of line every five years. The second is an investment in our infrastructure. Investment into the co-op’s system has a direct impact on our reliability as an electric provider. The more aggressive we are at keeping our infrastructure in tip-top shape, the better we are at keeping outages to a minimum. Needless to say, we take service reliability seriously. So, rest easy. And in the off chance you do experience a power outage, know that we’ll be on it (and we’ll keep you up to date with our outage text alerts!).

• The board approved the list of members to serve on the 2021 Election & Credentials Committee. Overseen by the cooperative’s general counsel, this committee of volunteer members is responsible for collecting and tallying board election ballots submitted in person on the day of the Annual Meeting. • Cherryland’s 2020 net margins were reviewed. The total amount of last year’s margins to be assigned and allocated to members is $2,434,618. • The cooperative’s engineering and operations manager addressed the board on Cherryland’s transportation plan and how it affects annual budget preparation. When the cooperative needs to replace specialized, heavyduty trucks, it can take more than a year from the date they are ordered to be assembled and delivered. Members have the opportunity to provide input to the board prior to any regularly scheduled board meeting. To have your comments included in a monthly board packet for review, please submit them to Board Assistant Secretary Shannon Mattson at smattson@cherrylandelectric.coop a minimum of three business days before the monthly board meeting.


MI CO-OP Community

Guest Column

Building A Backyard

Bird Oasis

By Dawn Hovie, Great Lakes Energy member


arlier this month, I was sitting in the lunchroom trying to think of something to add to the usual lunchtime banter. “Oh, check this out! I had some yellow finches at my new feeder!” I excitedly showed the video from my phone of four birds happily enjoying the seeds out on my back deck. “So now you’re that person who takes movies of her bird feeder?” my friend jokingly asked. Wow, did I suddenly feel old. I don’t know why taking movies of my bird feeder classified me as the old person in the room. I have always liked birds. My grandma was an avid bird watcher and had many feeders in her backyard, along with her “Pocket Guide to Birds” book and binoculars next to the window. I’m not that bad yet. But I have fond memories of visiting my grandma in Vicksburg, Michigan, and sharing her love of birds. She would tell me about how blue jays are the “bullies of the backyard feeder.” I always enjoyed watching her yell “Shoo!” at those pretty birds. For the last few years, we’ve always had some sort of feeder in our yard. I half-heartedly filled them with whatever birdseed I found in the garage. It was usually the same stuff I threw in the chicken coop. However, this year, I became interested in getting more serious about my bird attraction at my home outside of Charlevoix. I ordered an oriole feeder and then read an article about how to attract them (with oranges). And what not to feed them (grape jelly—contrary to popular belief). I had already used a gift certificate to buy a cute yellow finch feeder to replace the thistle seed socks I hung around the yard last winter. I just love yellow finches. They are probably my favorite bird. That feeder is on my deck railing, hanging to the outside of the deck so that my cats won’t mistake it for a lunch buffet. This year I also decided I was going to make an effort to attract not only orioles and finches, but also robins.

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Robins are so quintessential to spring in Michigan that I just had to have them in my yard, too. I did some reading about what they like to eat, which prompted a Saturday trip down to Traverse City, resulting in a new eco-friendly feeder and some songbird mix, complete with raisins and dried mealworms. My new hobby seems to be paying off. Just tonight, there were about 50 little birds that I have never seen before, going crazy over my finch feeder. After a quick search on my computer, it turns out they are called common redpolls. I have never even heard of those, but they sure are pretty. So I guess what I am saying is that I’ve turned into my own grandma, and if that makes me the old lady in the lunchroom, so be it. Just don’t be surprised if I whip out my phone and show you a video of the orioles when they finally make their way to my feeder.

Dawn is a reading specialist at Charlevoix Elementary School and writes a monthly column for the local papers, Petoskey News-Review and Charlevoix Courier. She likes to spend her free time working in her backyard and playing Frisbee with her dog.

Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.

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Pre-voting in the 2021 Board of Directors election closes on June 9 at 12 p.m. Visit our website to learn more.


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