Cherryland 2020

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May 2020


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

Pandemic-Sized Challenge

Stepping Up For At-Risk Youth Meet Our Youth Tour Students

DISTILLING COMMUNITY Michigan Distilleries Lend A Hand And Make A Difference


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May 2020 Vol. 40, No. 5



Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr GRAPHIC DESIGNER: 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: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.

CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: 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.

Michigan Country Lines, Your Communications Partner For 40 years, our co-op members have received Michigan Country Lines because it is the most effective and economical way to share information. Michigan Country Lines keeps members up-to-date about everything going on within their electric co-op. Issues contain news about co-op services, director elections, member meetings and management decisions that members need to know about as owners of the co-op. The magazine also includes legal notices that would otherwise have to be placed in local media at a substantial cost. Sending Michigan Country Lines helps the co-op fulfill one of its essential principles——to educate and communicate openly with its members. The board of directors authorizes the co-op to subscribe to Michigan Country Lines on behalf of each member at an average cost of $3.97 per year, paid as part of members’ electric bills. The current magazine cost is 49 cents per copy. Michigan Country Lines is published, at cost, by the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association in Lansing. As always, we welcome your comments at


6 A DEEP DIVE WITH CHRIS ROXBURGH. As a diver and history lover, Roxburgh has garnered online attention for his documentation of underwater wonders in Michigan waters. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Go meat-free with these vegetarian recipes.

Don’t you want to take this adorable white animal home as a pet? @kelli929kelli #whitedonkey Kelli Marshall

14 DISTILLING COMMUNITY Michigan distilleries join forces to make hand sanitizer during pandemic-driven shortage.

Be featured!

18 GUEST COLUMN Tom McWhorter recalls the thrill of a ‘50s-era train ride to Grand Rapids with his mother and grandmother.


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

Contests, reader-submitted content & more!





Up Next: Kid-Friendly Cooking, Easy Recipes Share your favorite recipes.

Up Next: Campgrounds Tell us about the Michigan campgrounds you like visiting best.

Submit your fondest memories and stories.

Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo.

Win a $50 bill credit!

Win $150 for stories published!

Win a $50 bill credit!

Visit for guidelines and submission information. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES








Board Of Directors

TOM VAN PELT President 231-386-5234 DAVID SCHWEITZER Senior Vice President 231-883-5860 GABE SCHNEIDER Secretary 517-449-6453 MELINDA LAUTNER Treasurer 231-947-2509 TERRY LAUTNER Director 231-946-4623 JOHN OLSON Director 231-938-1228 JON ZICKERT Director 231-631-1337 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 WEBSITE PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637 Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Follow us on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram. @cherrylandec

4 MAY 2020

Co-op Suspends Shutoffs, Waives Late Fees Due To Pandemic

Cherryland has voluntarily suspended shutoffs for nonpayment until June 1 to help members experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The co-op is also waiving late fees through June 1. Cherryland will continue to monitor the pandemic as time passes and assess its policies as information is released. Members experiencing financial hardship are encouraged to contact the member services department at 231-486-9200 or

Cherryland Cares Awards $8,600 To Three Nonprofits

At its first-quarter board meeting, the Cherryland Cares board awarded grants to Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, Grand Traverse Dyslexia Association, and The Dream Team—Traverse City. Cherryland Cares awarded $8,600 in grants to these area nonprofit agencies. The Cherryland Cares board is comprised of five volunteer Cherryland members. 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 emailing us at If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, secondquarter grant applications are due Friday, June 5. For more information, please call Shannon Mattson at 231-486-9234 or email at

Members Earn Rebates With Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Cherryland members are eligible to receive rebates for energy efficiency upgrades in their homes or businesses. Common upgrades include replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs and purchasing Energy Star qualified appliances. For a guide to our residential rebate program and a complete listing of rebates available on Energy Star qualified appliances, visit our website at

Cherryland Office Closed Memorial Day

The Cherryland office will be closed Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day. Normal business hours resume Tuesday, May 26. 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.

Your Board In Action March Board Meeting • Given the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the board opted to meet virtually for its March meeting. The co-op’s general manager reviewed with the board all the precautionary measures the co-op was taking to safeguard its employees and the public, including closing the lobby to the Grawn office to the public. • The board approved this year’s Election & Credentials (E&C) Committee and its alternates. The E&C Committee is comprised of volunteer co-op members and is responsible for tallying the votes of the 2020 Cherryland Board of Directors election at the Annual Meeting. • The board reinstated two co-op members, Karyn Thorr and Carlo D’Alessandro, to the Cherryland Cares board. The Cherryland Cares board is comprised of five volunteer Cherryland members. The funds distributed by Cherryland Cares are a result of members electing to round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar.

Pandemic-Sized Challenge Tony Anderson, General Manager


or 37 years, I have worked in the electric cooperative industry. I have battled for needed legislation. I have been challenged by members passionate about their beliefs. I have been hammered by weather events time and time again. But I have never been slapped upside the head by a pandemic and issued “stayat-home” orders like we did in March 2020. Through every battle, pounding and challenge over the decades, I have seen dedicated cooperative employees rise to the occasion. While I am not surprised, I am immensely proud that it happened once again. As the pandemic grew and our response became obvious (and later mandated), the Cherryland employee group came together like it was nothing more than a small disruption in their everyday lives. In an almost 24-hour period, we had every person who could work from home at home and functioning at a high level. Moving dozens of people to work remotely only happened because employees were prepared, willing and up for the challenge. Years ago, the ability to answer calls from home was put into place. Our automated meter reading system was installed 14 years ago. Remote control of our distribution system has been steadily increasing for the past several years. Supervisors have been dispatching crews from home every weekend and in every storm since I arrived in 2003. When I sat down with the Cherryland management team— Frank Siepker, Mark Wilson, Kerry Kalbfleisch, Jeff Puffer, and Rachel Johnson—there was no panic, no tension, and no “holy crap are we in trouble now.” It was a steady, measured checklist of items to cross off. The attitude was, “Yup, this is different, but it isn’t our first storm and won’t be our last. Let’s move.” Every supervisor rallied their teams,

and cooperative functions were dispersed to kitchen tables, living rooms, and basements throughout our region. After the stay-at-home order, field work was reduced to reliability and outage functions only. Metering continued to replace stopped meters based on daily reports from our automated system. Member services took calls as if we were open. For safety reasons, it was necessary to continue doing MISS DIG locates in the field. Accounting operated at home and also in the office when necessary to use printers and mainframe functions that just could not be moved off-site. Our IT team has always been able to work from anywhere at any time. Engineering, supervision, and administration were all dispersed from the beginning. At the headquarters in Grawn, we had one person in the office processing payments to keep cash flowing into our bank accounts. One person remained in the warehouse to take shipments and stock needed materials. A third, our mechanic, remained on-site to keep all the machinery ready to go at a moment’s notice. Just like that, we went from a workforce of 59 on-site to three (spaced very far apart!). As I write this, nobody knows how long this will continue, and it is about day 11 of our work-from-home period. Everybody seems to have settled into a “new normal.” Routines are finding their stride. Video meetings are commonplace. Nobody wants it to last, but everyone is prepared for whatever comes. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the Cherryland membership for its stellar response. We have experienced much kindness, support, patience, and words of encouragement from those we serve. This, too, is not surprising. Throughout all the storms and battles of the past, Cherryland members have always responded with grace and kindness when we needed it the most. We have always survived together, and we will come out of this pandemic together. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES




1979 Ford Pinto, aka the mussel car, Haserot Beach, Traverse City. Photo by Chris Roxburgh


s an electrical contractor, Chris Roxburgh spends his working days bringing light to dark areas. Perhaps it’s not all that surprising that Roxburgh spends his recreational time doing more of the same.

A few years ago, Roxburgh posted his first pictures from the depths of Grand Traverse Bay, revealing a 1979 Ford Pinto covered in zebra mussels. The photos quickly gained online recognition, and while it was the beginning of Roxburgh sharing the wonders beneath the waves, it was by no means the beginning of his love of water.


MAY 2020

Roxburgh has been obsessed with the water since he was a child growing up in Traverse City, Michigan. “Our family was always finding a way to the water,” said Roxburgh. “Every weekend we’d take out the boat and as I got older, I’d take a deep breath, and hand-overhand, I’d follow the anchor chain down as far as I could manage to hold my breath.”

Free diving, also called skin diving, is when the diver holds their breath until resurfacing. Roxburgh may not have been familiar with the distinction as a child, but that didn’t keep him from building the skill. Roxburgh’s free diving continued into adulthood and he used this method to get a closer look at the shipwrecked George Rogers tugboat, located in Grand Traverse Bay at the northern tip of Leelanau County. Roxburgh and his wife Bea had been stand-up paddle boarding when they saw the wreckage below

“I hope to shine a light on how we can all do our part.” –Chris Roxburgh

Drone footage over the Alva Bradley shipwreck, North Manitou Island. Photo by Dusty Klifman

Eber Ward shipwreck in the Straits of Mackinac. Photo by Chris Roxburgh

Chris Roxburgh with his new Sony a7 III camera with Aquatica deep dive housing. Photo by Dusty Klifman

scuba school to see if they would let him get his that winter. With a rented 7mm wetsuit, in 36-degree weather, Roxburgh spent three wintery days with instructors to complete his open water certification. It was the beginning of more than a hobby, but a passion.

Chris Roxburgh on the Francisco Morazan, South Manitou Island. Photo by Bea Roxburgh

the water’s surface. A couple of days later, Roxburgh came back with photographic equipment and his wetsuit to free dive the sunken treasure. “I was so excited by that dive. I became obsessed with the history,” said Roxburgh. “I knew right away that I wanted to get my scuba certification and I couldn’t wait any longer.” And Roxburgh didn’t wait. While most divers get their open water certification in the spring and summer, Roxburgh reached out to the local

Over the course of his new obsession, Roxburgh crossed paths with another Michigan diver who had a similar interest in shipwrecks and history as well. “When I met Dusty [Klifman], things really kicked off,” said Roxburgh. “We had a similar inquisitive mindset and we were gung-ho to explore more.” Klifman, who had been open water diving for 20 years, while Roxburgh had two under his belt, worked as a lineman for an electric company. Their mutual love of water and exploration has led to some epic adventures including the Alva Bradley, a schooner in the Manitou Passage; the Jane, a small freighter off the shore of Arcadia; and the Typo, a schooner that was crashed into by a steamship in Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay. The two have a massive wish list for

the coming year, including the Thomas Hume in southwest Michigan and the Newell A. Eddy in Cheboygan. In the meantime, groups like the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society have invited Roxburgh to share his experiences. Hundreds of people have come to hear Roxburgh’s thrilling stories, as well as witness his testimony as an environmental and conservancy advocate. Roxburgh has seen how pollution, dumping, and everyday littering have impacted the Great Lakes. “I want future generations to have a chance to explore what I’ve been able to experience,” said Roxburgh. “I hope to shine a light on how we can all do our part.”

Follow Chris’s diving adventures: Visit to accompany Chris on an underwater video tour of the Eber Ward shipwreck in the Straits of Mackinac. @chris_roxburgh_



Following the tragic death of her son, Cathy O’Connor (pictured here with her children) founded Step Up Northern Michigan to help local at-risk youth in need of support and encouragement.

STEPPING UP For At-Risk Youth By Rob Marsh


pair of shoes. A bag of groceries. A bike. To the naked eye, these items are trivial. But to at-risk youth, these items are the difference between surviving and thriving. When Cathy O’Connor and her family moved to the Grand Traverse area in 2012, she learned that approximately 500 local public school children were struggling with homelessness. This statistic rocked her to her core. “I couldn’t believe it,” O’Connor said. “You think everything in Traverse City is great, but you start digging a little deeper, and you see there is a significant population of families that are fragile.” Motivated to help, O’Connor began looking for ways to make a difference. As PTO president at Old Mission Elementary at the time and a former principal and teacher, she used her experience to connect with schools and form relationships with staff. She began fulfilling needs as they came about, including planning food and clothing drives. “It was very informal to start; just do-gooding little things. It became this loose network of friends and parents doing things like that,” O’Connor said.

8 MAY 2020

Sadly, as her efforts were gaining momentum, tragedy struck the O’Connor family. In 2016, O’Connor’s 22-year-old son committed suicide following a battle with depression. As she and her family were reeling from the tragedy, their friends came to their aid. “Our son fell through our hands in a supportive family,” O’Connor explained. “We had all the resources possible, and he had everything going for him. This just made me recognize how hard it is for kids who don’t have that. This tragedy brought about a desire by so many of our friends and people we knew to do something and help.” In that same year, O’Connor started Step Up Northern Michigan, the nonprofit organization that formalized her efforts to help at-risk youth over the past several years. What separates Step Up Northern Michigan from other organizations is that it has not limited itself to supplying just food. O’Connor and her dedicated volunteers help fulfill any need a child and his or her family might have. Over the years, this has included providing clothing, beds, a set of tires, a bike chain, and even a therapy dog. “We have not had to say no to any request we’ve had so far. It’s such a beautiful thing,” O’Connor said. O’Connor attributes the organization’s ability to meet these needs to the connections she’s made and the generosity of the greater community. “It’s all about the relationships, quite honestly,” she explained. “If a kid is in need of something, I have a list of people I can ask. And whenever I get an opportunity to speak to someone about the program, they want to help.” For instance, Step Up Northern Michigan and local students

Students from Old Mission Charter School hold a sock drive for fellow children in need.

“These kids have holes in their basic foundation. They’re constantly moving, and things are always changing. We want to try to eliminate barriers to getting where they want to go.” The nonprofit partnered with a local thrift shop to provide hands-on retail training to at-risk youth.

held a simple fundraising garage sale at Double Edge Thrift Shop in Traverse City last year. The garage sale idea manifested into a work-study program with Traverse City High School that created an opportunity to teach at-risk youth retail skills through hands-on experience. The shop even created a dedicated section, aptly named “Maverick’s Corner” after the students’ school mascot, in which the profit from the items sold is given back to the school.

Step Up Northern Michigan has been able to fulfill even the most unique needs, including Traverse City High School’s therapy dog, Maverick.

“We have so much here in our community,” O’Connor said. “We always have enough to give.” While the relationships with charitable individuals and businesses are important, it’s O’Connor’s selfless dedication to the children that remains at the heart of the organization. Despite her busy schedule, she still takes time to help children one-on-one. This can be as simple as visiting a teen at his or her place of work to say “hi,” to spending a month driving a teen from agency to agency to help attain forms of identification. “These kids have holes in their basic foundation. They’re constantly moving, and things are always changing. We want to try to eliminate barriers to getting where they want to go,” O’Connor said. Looking into the future, O’Connor recognizes that Step Up Northern Michigan has opportunities to grow and weighs those opportunities as they arise. But for right now, she is going to do what she does best. “Later today, I’ll drop something off for a kid, see another kid in need, and we will figure out what we can do to help,” she said.

To learn more about Step Up Northern Michigan, visit or visit its Facebook page.



MI CO-OP Recipes

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

VEGETARIAN Go meat-free with these healthy recipes.


SWEET POTATO AND QUINOA BURGERS Katie Schneider, Midwest Energy & Communications

2 large sweet potatoes 1 cup uncooked dry quinoa (makes 2 cups cooked) ½ medium red bell pepper, finely chopped ¼ small red onion, finely chopped ½ cup kale, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 tablespoon oil

Win a


energy bill credit!

10 MAY 2020


Kid-Friendly Cooking due July 1 • Easy Recipes due August 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 for more information.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake, boil, or microwave the sweet potatoes until soft. Discard skins; then mash and allow to cool. Cook quinoa as per packet instructions; cool. In a bowl, add the mashed sweet potato, cooked quinoa, bell pepper, onion, kale, garlic, thyme, and pepper. Mix everything well. When cool enough to handle, take ½ cup each of the mixture and form into patties. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the patties liberally with oil of choice, then place them on the baking sheet and bake until the patties are deeply golden on the outside, about 35–40 minutes, flipping halfway. Patties can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen for fast meals.

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at

FALAFEL WITH FETA SAUCE Sondra Harr, Great Lakes Energy

FALAFEL: 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 clove garlic 3 green onions • juice from ½ lemon 1 bunch parsley 1 teaspoon cumin ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 egg ¹⁄ ³ cup flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder • flour tortillas or pita bread • oil for frying

FETA SAUCE: ½ cup feta cheese ½ cup Greek yogurt, plain 2 tablespoons milk 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 garlic cloves, minced To make falafel, place all falafel ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate for ½ hour. Roll dough into balls and lightly flatten. Fry in hot oil for 3 minutes per side. To make feta sauce, combine all ingredients and chill until ready to drizzle over falafel. Serve in a warm tortilla or pita bread with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and sliced cucumber.



Shelley Ehrenberger, Cherryland RICE CRUST 1½ cups cooked rice 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened 2 tablespoons onion, chopped 1 egg EGGPLANT FILLING 1 medium onion, chopped 1 large green bell pepper, chopped 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 1 (8-ounce) can tomato paste 1 cup hot water 1 medium/large eggplant, quartered and sliced ½ -inch thick ½ to 1 pound mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. To make rice crust, combine rice with butter, chopped onion, and egg. Press into bottom and sides of greased 9-inch pie pan. To make eggplant filling, sauté onion and green pepper in butter until transparent. Add tomato paste and hot water, and bring to a boil. Add eggplant; simmer for 10 minutes. Spoon half of eggplant mixture into crust. Add half of cheese. Add the remaining eggplant mixture, and top with remainder of cheese. Bake for 30–35 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting.

2 teaspoons olive oil 4 cups sweet onions, thinly sliced 3 ounces goat cheese (can sub with cream cheese) ¼ cup skim milk 6 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow-tie pasta) 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons dry white wine (can sub with vegetable broth) 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh sage (or sub with ½ teaspoon dried) ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons chopped, toasted walnuts Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook slowly until golden and caramelized, about 20–25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Combine goat cheese and milk in small bowl; mix until well blended. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Add garlic to onions in skillet; cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add wine, sage, salt and black pepper; cook until moisture is evaporated. Remove from heat. Add pasta and goat cheese mixture, stirring to melt cheese. Sprinkle with walnuts. Serve immediately. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Find Your Place In The Sun Renewable energy is important to you. It’s important to us too. That’s why we’re proud to offer our renewable energy program. Designed to help members meet their renewable energy goals, the program offers an array of solar energy options to fit your needs. Start small by getting a solar panel subscription for $10 a month, or go big by building solar generation of your own, in which case we’ll buy the output from you. Either way, we’ve got you covered. Visit or give us a call at 231-486-9200 to find out what option is right for you.

Virtually Attend

Cherryland Electric Cooperative’s

82nd Annual Meeting!

Thursday, June 11, 2020, 5:30–6:30 p.m. Join us live on Facebook and YouTube from our headquarters at 5930 US-31 in Grawn. Hear updates about the co-opʻs financials, witness the results of the board of directors election, and learn more about the co-op you own. Rest assured that this Annual Meeting format is only temporary, and we fully expect to return to our normal format in 2021. This was not an easy decision, but it’s our job to do what’s best for the membership in the best and worst of times. Please email or call 231-486-9200 if you have any questions. Don't forget to ask questions in the comment section during the broadcast!

As a social distancing measure, we highly encourage you to attend the Annual Meeting virtually to help protect fellow members and co-op employees from the coronavirus (COVID-19). If you still wish to attend in person, we will have seating available if it is allowable under current social distancing rules.


Every June, we sponsor two students from local high schools to represent Cherryland on the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour; a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expensespaid leadership travel opportunity to Washington, D.C. While this year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, learn more about these two students and what made them exceptional candidates.

Ryleigh Frisbie

Ellie Mugerian

Meet Cherryland’s

Where do you attend high school?

Where do you attend high school?

What extracurriculars are you involved with?

What extracurricular activities are you involved with?

Why do you want to attend Youth Tour?

Why do you want to attend Youth Tour?

I am a sophomore at Benzie Central High School.

I am involved with my school’s volleyball and softball teams. I volunteer during AFSN (Adoptive Family Support Network) events that are held around the state for foster, adoptive, kinship, and guardianship families. I’m also a member of my church’s youth group and started a Bible study group. Recently, I was nominated by my cabinmates at a regular week of Senior High Camp at Lake Ann Camp to participate in a leadership camp called Reborne Rangers. When I was a baby, I was adopted by my grandparents. My mother has been working with legislators in Lansing to create new bills to help kinship caregivers navigate the role of parenting again. I have been involved in this advocacy work with her. I want to help create change for other families who have been created the way mine has. My experience as an adopted child, along with an older brother, helps shed light on some of the problems these families face when trying to access services. I think that being in Washington, D.C., will help me strengthen my leadership skills to do more work in my community.

I am a junior at Traverse City St. Francis High School.

I am a member of the St. Francis marching band, concert band, vocal music program, and musical theater program. I also participate in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church’s youth group. In addition to volunteering for several causes, I am the founder and leader of a student-run organization focused on involvement in and service to the Traverse City community called Fun With A Purpose. I have an interest in government, economics, politics, and U.S. history. This experience will be very valuable and help enrich my interests in these areas even more. I will enjoy spending time in D.C. this summer, learning more about the country, and meeting new people!



“Craft distilling in the U.S. is actually quite a tight-knit community.” –Chad Munger

“As a small business, we’re used to pivoting and adapting quickly.” –Kent Rabish

DISTILLING COMMUNITY Michigan Distilleries Lend A Hand And Make A Difference By Emily Haines Lloyd


“We started hearing stories of distilleries in the northwest of the United States who were starting to make hand sanitizer on their stills.”

flattening the curve of the impact of the virus. They noted that in lieu of soap and water, hand sanitizer was also effective.

“Craft distilling in the U.S. is actually quite a tight-knit community,” said Chad Munger of Mammoth Distilling.

The country began to prepare for an anticipated influx of people contracting the virus and the pressure that would be put on the health care and first responder communities. Gaps began to appear in supply chains. Protective gear like face masks and gloves was in short supply. Medical professionals, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) all noted that hand washing was a critical step in

“You don’t realize just how much sanitizer is needed in health care and for first responders,” said Kent Rabish of Grand Traverse Distillery. “From reception areas, to disinfecting each exam room, to having on ambulance rigs for each call. And now suddenly, the country realizes, we are going to need even more.”

raft spirits in Michigan is an industry that speaks often about creativity, a sense of community, and of course, good times and fellowship. After the nationwide outbreak of COVID-19, Michigan distilleries, along with the bulk of their hospitality brethren, found themselves displaced, with dining and tasting rooms closed and the bulk of their workforce suddenly without income or purpose. It seemed like the good times were becoming a distant memory.

14 MAY 2020

Michigan distilleries quickly launched into action. Initially, they delivered or



“We rolled up our sleeves and got to work. I think that’s what our distilling community is all about.” –Chris Fredrickson

“We are here to serve our communities.” –Howard Tuthill

gave away the sanitizing runoff they had on hand, which is the byproduct of producing alcohol.

now adapting to a learning curve by distillery workforces who were grateful for a way to pitch in.

“Our employees were dropping off sanitizer to local firehouses, municipalities, and hospitals, just to support our community,” said Chris Fredrickson of Traverse City Whiskey Co. “It was a quick and easy way to step into a strange situation and find a way to help.”

“So much of our industry is about community,” said Howard Tuthill of Iron Shoe Distillery. “We are here to serve our communities. And when we suddenly weren’t able to share moments in person, it felt good to be able to reach out to our community in another way.”

Suddenly, the creativity, ingenuity, and adaptability of this craft industry kicked into high gear. Calls were made to source materials, ensuring they had the federal “recipe” for allowable sanitizer, and distilleries across the state began trading in corn and wheat for ethanol and glycerin.

Dozens of distilleries around the state and country have stepped into this space and are now producing hand sanitizer as quickly as they can acquire the supplies.

“As a small business, we’re used to pivoting and adapting quickly,” said Landis Rabish of Grand Traverse Distillery. “We stay nimble and adapt to new circumstances constantly. This is second nature to us.” Buildings that once hummed and produced handcrafted libations were

“We took the first step, simply because it was the right thing to do,” said Fredrickson. “We had the infrastructure to help people in a really unusual and weird time. This wasn’t a moment to sit back and watch things happen. That’s not who we are as a business. It’s not who we are as a team. So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. I think that’s what our distilling community is all about.”

If you are still looking for hand sanitizer, check out the American Distilling Institute website,, for the most up-to-date listing of distillers who are producing it.

For more information, please visit their websites and follow these distilleries on Facebook and Instagram.



Most votes on Facebook!






Photo Contest Submit Your “Festivals and Fairs” Photos! Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

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 May theme is Festivals and Fairs. Photos can be submitted through May 20 to be featured in our July/August issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest, visit and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2020, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2020 bill. 16 MAY 2020

On The Farm 1. “Getting my licks in” by Mandy Schram 2. “Take me to the farm” by Kristina Hinds 3. “All horses deserve to be loved by a little girl” by Kim Kroupa 4. “Farm kids will be farm kids” by Anne Grant 5. “Generations of farming” by Lauren Dreves

Access To Rules And Rates Please be advised that the following information is available to Cherryland Electric Cooperative members:

Fuel Mix Report The fuel mix characteristics of Cherryland Electric Cooperative as required by Public Act 141 of 2000 for the 12-month period ending 12/31/19.

Comparison Of Fuel Sources Used

1. Complete rate schedules;

Regional average fuel mix used

2. Clear and concise explanation of all rates that the member may be eligible to receive;

Your co-op’s fuel mix

Fuel Source Coal 23.30%

3. Assistance from the cooperative in determining the most appropriate rate for a member when the member is eligible to receive service under more than one rate; 4. Clear and concise explanation of the member’s actual energy use for each billing period during the last 12 months. The information can be obtained by visiting or contacting Cherryland Electric Cooperative at 231-486-9200.





Gas 15.03%





Nuclear 42.39%


Renewable Fuels 17.19%











Solid Waste Incineration









NOTE: Biomass excludes wood; solid waste incineration includes landfill gas; and wind includes a long-term renewable purchase power contract in Wolverine’s mix.

Your Co-op’s Fuel Mix

Regional Average Fuel Mix

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Emissions And Waste Comparison lbs/MWh

Type Of Emission/Waste

Your Co-op

Regional Average*

Sulfur Dioxide



Carbon Dioxide



Oxides of Nitrogen





High-level Nuclear Waste

*Regional average information was obtained from the MPSC website and is for the 12-month period ending 12/31/19. Cherryland purchases 100% of its electricity from Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc., which provided this fuel mix and environmental data.


MI CO-OP Community Guest Column

Last Train Ride

Lake Odessa to Grand Rapids, Circa 1956 By Tom McWhorter, Cherryland Electric Cooperative member

y grandmother lived in Lake Odessa and sometime in the mid-’50s, she took a train to Grand Rapids. She needed to see a medical specialist and wanted our mother to accompany her. My mom took me, as she wanted me to experience a train ride. She said that I could tell my children about it one day, as she did not think passenger trains would be around much longer.


Lake Odessa was on the Pere Marquette Railway (PMR) line. PMR was sold to Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) and is now operated by CSX. Passenger service was, in fact, discontinued from Lake Odessa in 1971. We went down to the depot, purchased our tickets and waited for the train to arrive. I was excited, I had seen trains from a distance but had no idea of how big and powerful the engine was up close. I am sure that I was filled with both amazement and fear! Unfortunately, I do not remember anything specific about the ride itself. We would have arrived at the old Grand Rapids Central Station, which was demolished in 1961 in order to make way for the construction of U.S. 131. After my grandmother’s appointment, we walked around downtown Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids was for sure the biggest city that I had ever been to, large buildings and department stores with strange names such as Herpolsheimer’s and Steketee’s. After some shopping, we went back to Lake Odessa. So, thank you to my mom and grandmother for giving me this story to tell a mere 64 years later! Tom McWhorter is a retired state employee who grew up in rural Eaton County and now lives with his wife Wendy in Leelanau County. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and his interests include history, writing and traveling.

Win a


energy bill credit!

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo on the left by May 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at March 2020 Winner! Our Mystery Photo contest winner from the March issue is Aaron Wiers, a Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as the Silverdale school building in Ogontz, located on the Stonington Peninsula in Delta County. Photo courtesy of Kelli Marshall Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

18 MAY 2020 18

Hybrid Geothermal

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