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7 ............Year-round Christmas 9 ............Oh Christmas tree 11 ..........Gallery of history 12..........Plow proof 14..........Hots spots for fun 20..........Why your support is critical 22..........Masterminds behind our trails 23..........Instrument of Peace 25..........Pond hockey on the bay 26..........Measuring success 27..........From Tim's kitchen

The

Guide

covering the counties of Alcona, Arenac, Crawford, Gladwin, Iosco, Ogemaw, Oscoda and Roscommon December 2011/January 2012 Volume II, Issue 8 Published by: Info Northeast Jerry Nunn, editor (989) 780-0900 jnunn@infonortheast.com Contributing writers: Kristy Mortham, Jerry Nunn, Casey Ressl, Jon Paul Roy Contributing photographers: Dave Kunze, Kimberly Miller, Kathy Neff, Jerry Nunn, Scott Nunn Advertising sales and design: Scott Nunn (989) 245-7140 snunn@infonortheast.com Layout and design: Kathy Neff (989) 848-0787 kneffphotographics@mac.com Winner of the 2010 O.B. Eustis Environmental Awareness Award

The

Guide

There are few things The Guide appreciates more than a little cooperative endeavor. Here in Northeast Michigan, where human resources are hard to come by and financial means seemingly non-existent, teamwork can make the difference between success and failure. No doubt, because of our small population and apparent lack of wealth, examples of collaborative efforts are easy to find in our neck of the woods. Take for instance the Corsair Ski Council. That Iosco County group's work with the U.S. Forest Service resulted in an exemplary trail system that greatly expands access to the Huron National

Forest. Using public land, coupled with private dollars and local volunteers, the Ski Council built a year-round attraction for hikers and what many consider to be the Mid-West's premiere Nordic ski experience. Even those who shun the outdoors stand to win from this public/private partnership. A main focus of the Ski Council's fund-raising plan is the Corsair Concert Series, a musical event that for 19 years has brought our nation's best up-andcoming bluegrass and Americana bands to the shores of Tawas Bay. You'll read about both the ski council and their concert series later in this issue. And readers also hear

A Christmas Carol at Kirtland Community College

Holiday music, caroling, seasonal refreshments and a moving presentation of the classic story of redemption, performed by Kirtland Community Theater. Saturday, December 10 at 7 p.m. Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices $16 and $12, available from the KCPA box office to from these area non-profits and community service organizations: Grace Center, Grayling – (989) 348-2544 Masonic Lodge, Lewiston – (989) 786-4692 Optimist Club, West Branch – (989) 473-2893 River House, Inc. – (989) 348-3169 Rotary International, Houghton Lake – (989) 366-1437 THE GUIDE •DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

Cooperative endeavors

from Casey Ressl, AmeriCorp coordinator for Huron Pines. In the Huron Pines regular installment to the Conservation Corner, Ressl hits on the idea of cooperative spirit from a nonprofit point of view. Here again, as Ressl explains, it's hard to find a loser. In Huron Pines case, you might think of the organization's revenue stream as, well, just that – a stream. If local volunteers and financial donations are the smaller tributaries, the funds all flow towards the same point, meeting up and growing larger along the way. Eventually, those smaller streams of local donations meet up with the main branch, where the organization leverages the larger dollar sources that flow to here from outside our region. As Ressl points out, the formula is non-selective; in principal most large non-profits can do the same. In any case, the benefactors are those smaller local donors who see their dollars grow from a little to a lot in short order. Now, lest you consider those examples old school – after all, Huron Pines and Corsair have been around long enough to win recognition for their partnership efforts – realize too, that the idea of cooperative spirit is put to work in new ways all the time. Case in point: Kirtland Center for Performing Arts, where Coordinating Director Jomarie (continued next page)


Gurnow recently teamed up with area non-profits and community service organizations to sell tickets to an upcoming performance of A Christmas Carol. For each $12 ticket an organization sells, they keep onehalf of the money for their own coffers. Does KCPA lose? Not by a long shot. Driving attendance to Kirtland’s out-of-the-way venue has proven difficult in the past. Now, with teams of non-profit supporters turned ticket-selling street vendors, with the added incentive of turning a buck in the process, Gurnow holds great hope that the shared effort will prove profitable for all. Like she says, full seats earning $6 make a lot better sense than empty seats worth $12. That area community service organizations and local non-profits stand to earn half of the ticket price makes good business for all, Gurnow figures. In the end, those with the most to gain are theater goers – those from the college community and beyond who get a low cost evening out among friends, see a theater production performed by neighbors, all the while secure in the knowledge that their good time earned much needed money for a charitable cause. Now that is cooperative endeavor that The Guide can stand by.

Northeast Michigan Calendar of Events December 2011/ January 2012 nOVember 12-19

Tawas Area Art Walk, noon to 6 p.m. all around the Tawases. Info: (989) 362-5613

nOVember 19

Every attempt at accuracy has been made while producing this calendar of events. Nonetheless, events can change or mistakes can be made. Thus, it is never a bad idea to call ahead, before heading out on that three hour drive north.

Christmas Walk in Uptown Grayling, with entertainment, refreshments an and in-store specials at downtown merchants, historical displays, an art exhibition, a living nativity scene, carriage rides and a visit from Santa. Info: (989) 348-2921 Lakota Sioux Dance Theatre, 7 p.m. at Kirtland Center for the Performing Arts, featuring narratives, creation stories and video imagery of Indian traditions, with more than 20 sacred songs and dances. Tickets cost $20 and $16. Info: (989) 275-6777

St. Joseph Christmas Shopping Spectacular, with more than 30 local vendors set up inside St. Joseph Catholic School for 1 day only, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with raffles, pictures with Santa and lunch available. Info: (989) 345-0220. Christmas Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Rose City, with homemade craft items, baked goods and a luncheon. Info: (989) 6858203

nOVember 24

nOVember 25-26

Christmas Carriage Rides, 6:308:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Iosco Historical Museum, located on US-23 next to East Tawas City Park

Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner, nOVember 26 noon to 3 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Hall, Holiday Light Parade, at dusk in downSkidway Lake. Info: (989) 873-3340 town Mio. Info: (989) 826-3331 5th Annual Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Rose City Trinity United Methodist Church, 121 W. Main St., Rose City, events is free and features all the fixings. Info: (989) 685-8203

nOVember 25

East Tawas Annual Christmas Parade, tree lighting and sing along. Info: (989) 362-8643 Thanksgiving Night Midnight Madness, 10 p.m. all night long, at Tanger Outlet Center, West Branch with 25 stores open for your early Christmas convenience. Info: (989) 345-2594

Santa Parade and Tree Lighting, 5 p.m. in St. Helen. Info: (989) 389-3725

THE GUIDE • InfoNortheast.com

nOVember 29

CASA Wreath Auction, 6:30 p.m. at Fairview Bistro, at West Branch Country Club; tickets cost $25 to support Ogemaw County's Courts Appointed Special Advocates for children. Info: (989) 3450145

December 1

Tree Lighting in Houghton Creek Park, Rose City. Info: 685-2936

December 2 Open Mic Night, 6-8 p.m. at Flowers by Josie and Thanks A Latté, held the first Friday of every month. Info: (989) 348-4006

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December 2-3

Arenac County Historical Society Christmas Walk, Info: (989) 876-6468 Christmas Open House, at Ye Olde Courthouse in Omer. Info: (989) 8766468

December 3

Harrisville’s Christmas in the Village, a day-long celebration with in-store specials at participating businesses, bazaars at area churches, a visit from Santa, horse-drawn hay rides, cookie walk and other events; sponsored by the Huron Shores Chamber of Commerce. (989) 724-5107 Christmas Tree Lighting, 5:30 p.m. in Gladwin, at the corner of Cedar Avenue and M-18, with cartoon characters, hot chocolate and cookies. Info: (989) 4393272

cookie walk and more. Info: (989) 7245107

Oscoda Lions Club Children's Christmas Party, 11 a.m. at Oscoda American Legion Hall, with free lunch and photos with Santa. Info: (989) 739-3911 Holiday Art and Wine Walk in downtown West Branch, featuring art., wine, entertainment and plenty of hospitality. Info: (989) 345-5100

Christmas for Kids Auction, 1 p.m. at Jerry's Joint tavern in West Branch. Info: (989) 345-8312 Ogemaw Heights High School Music Boosters Craft Sale, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the school. Info: (989) 312-0959

December 4

Christmas Tree Lighting, Houghton Creek Park, Rose City. Info: (989) 6852103

Roscommon's Christmas in the Village, December 7 featuring parade, arts and craft show, Diabetes Support Group Christmas community concert, carolers, Info: 989Luncheon, noon at the St. Mary's of 275-8760 Michigan Standish Hospital dining room. 6th Annual Northern Lights Parade, Preregistration required at (989) 8466 p.m. in downtown Oscoda. Info: (989) 3430 739-7322 Free Pancake Dinner, 5-6:30 p.m. the Festival of Lights Night Time Parade, first Friday of every month at Rose City 6 p.m. in downtown Gladwin; with balTrinity United Methodist Church, with loons from Detroit's Parade Company, cakes, sausage and refreshments. Info: fireworks, and Santa Claus. Info: (989) (989) 685-8203 429-6565 or www.Gladwin.org Au Gres-Sims High School Christmas Christmas in the Village Bazaar, 9:30 Concert, 7 p.m. at Au Gres-Sims High a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Maria Hall, HarSchool in Au Gres. Info: (989) 876-7150 risville.. with hayrides, kids activities,

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Breakfast with Santa, at the St. Mary's The Community Support Team Annual of Michigan Standish Hospital dining room. Info: (989) 846-3445 Auction, at Jerry’s Joint, West Branch. Info: (989) 345-0500 Free Nordic Ski Clinics, weather permitting, every Saturday, 4 p.m. at Cross December 9-10 & 16-17 Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon. Farming by Lantern Light, 6:30-8:30 Arrive early if you need rentals. Info: p.m. at Wellington Farm Park, Grayling. (800) 832-2663 Visit a depression-era working farm and interpretive museum, to see how the December 10-11 work continued after lights out; $7.50 A Christmas Carol, at Kirtland Center adults, $5.50 seniors and students, $27.50 for the Performing Arts, with perforfamily. Info: 989-348-5187 or www.Wel- mances at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. lingtonFarmPark.org Sunday, with holiday music, caroling, art displays and family fun. Tickets cost December 10 $12 and $16, available at the KCPA box Children's Christmas Party, Mio office or through area non-profits. Info: Moose Lodge. Info: (989) 826-6081 (989) 275-6777 or www.KirtlandCenter. com Christmas Parade of Lights, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, West Branch. A Walk to Bethlehem, 4-7 p.m. at Hale Info: (989) 345-2821 United Methodist Church, with bussing

December 8

Ogemaw County Child Protection Council Annual Cookie Fundraiser, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Senior Center, $5 buys 18 Christmas cookies and a cookbook, with a silent auction, raffles, door prizes and activities for kids. Info: (989) 345-6222

to the live off-site stage show depicting the time of Jesus' birth. Hosted by the Body of Christ in Hale; event is free, donations appreciated. Info: (989) 728-9522

December 10 & 17

Pet Pictures with Santa, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ogemaw County Humane Society, located on M-33 just north of M-55. Info: Children’s Christmas Party, 1-3 p.m. at (989) 343-7387 Richland-Logan Fire Hall, Skidway December 12 Lake. Info: (989) 873-6409 Look Good… Feel Better, an American Cookies On Parade, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cancer Society presentation, at St, Mary's 4th Street Gallery, presented by the West of Michigan Standish Hospital west conBranch Creative Arts Association. Info: ference room; information on cosmetic (989) 836-2932 advice to women with cancer, including

THE GUIDE •DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012


nail care and free cosmetics, with trained and licensed cosmetologists. Event is free. Registration deadline is November 28 at (800) 227-2345

ing. To learn more call Corsair Ski Trails in Tawas at (989) 362-2001 or Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon December 31 at (800) 832-2663. By email: www.NNew Years Eve Special Bingo and SPort.com or www.Cross-Country-Ski. Party, 6 p.m. at Three County Club Skid- com December 15 Christmas Dinner, 4 to 6 p.m. at way. Info: (989) 873-3025 Crawford County Commission on Aging, 3rd Annual New Year’s Eve Potluck, 7 Free Nordic Ski Clinics, weather permitting, every Saturday, 4 p.m. at Cross Grayling. Info: (989) 348-2841 p.m. through midnight, at Trinity United Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon. Thunder Bay Audubon Christmas Bird Methodist Church in Rose City, with Arrive early if you need rentals. Info: Count, dawn until dusk, in and around games, refreshments and an 11 p.m. (800) 832-2663 or www.Cross-CountryHubbard Lake, field and feeder bird church service. Info: (989) 685-8203 Ski.com counters cover a 15-square-mile area of Gently Read Book Sale and Re-Gifting January 6-8 Alcona County. Info: (989) 727-4703 Event, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tawas City Library; $2 to enter and trade as many December 17 Hale YES! Winterfest, in downtown items as you like. Info: (989) 362-6557 Christmas Fantasy, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Hale and all around town, featuring a or (989) 362-6437 downtown West Branch; featuring Santa bump and run derby, outhouse races, and Mrs. Claus, live reindeer, horse and fishing derby, vintage snowmobile January 12 carriage rides, hot cocoa and more. Info: show and swap, chili cook-off, snow Folk singers Ann Rowland and Kelly (989) 345-5226 sculpture contest, and more; buttons Shively, 1 to 2 p.m. at Crawford County for entry cost $5 in advance or $7 at Kids Visit with Santa, 1-3 p.m. at the Senior Center, event is free, gratuthe door and many events are free. Skidway Lake Chamber of Commerce. ities accepted. Join us for lunch, $2.50 Info: (989) 728-2525 or www.HaleYes. Info: (989) 873-4150 60-and-over, $5.25 under-60. Info: (989) org 348-7123

December 20

Candlelight Church Service, 7:30 p.m. at Stittsville Church, on Wellington Farm, a depression-era working farm and interpretive museum; $7.50 adults, $5.50 seniors and students, $27.50 family. Info: 989-348-5187 or www.WellingtonFarmPark.org

December 24

Candle Light Christmas Eve Service, 8 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church

in Rose City, located at 125 West Main Street. Info: (989) 685-8203

January 7

6 Hour MI-Cup Team Relays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hanson Hills Recreation Area, freestyle race event with men, women and co-ed divisions, relaxed start, most completed laps wins; cost is $45 per team. Info: (989) 348-9266 or HansonHills.org

January 16-20

Silver Streak Week, at Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon, where skiers 60-years-and-older get a free facility pass, use of skis or snowshoes and coffee or cocoa. Info: (800) 832-2663

January 19

Winter Picnic Day, 4 to 6 p.m. at CrawWinter Trail Days, free skiing for those ford County Senior Center, serving BBQ who've never skied before at participating Ribs. Suggested donation is $2.50 for ski resorts. Try your hand at Nordic ski-

THE GUIDE • InfoNortheast.com

60-and-over, cost for under 60 is $5.25. Info: (989) 348-7123

January 20-21

Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet Nordic ski races, at Hanson Hills Recreation Area, featuring a free kid's race, 30k and 15k Michigan Cup Division competition, 8k Juniors and an 8k Citizen Skate/Classic Division, with chip timing, custom gift, awards and a banquet dinner, cost varies. Info and registration: (989) 3489266 or www.GraylingNordic.com

January 20-22 &26-29

Over the River and Through the Woods, by Tawas Bay Players, a multigenerational play by Joe DiPietro with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. all other showings at 7 p.m. Info: (989) 362-8373 or www.TawasBayPlayers.com

January 21

Rockin' Acoustic Circus, a Corsair Concert Series performance, Tickets cost $15, show at 7:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church Family Center, on M-55 in Tawas City. Info: (989) 362-2001 or www.RockinAcousticCircus.com

January 26

The Joy of the Image, 1 to 2 p.m. at Crawford County Senior Center, with photographer Ken Wright, free to all seniors. Info: (989) 348-7123

January 27-28

46th Annual Snow*Drift Rally, high performance road race headquartered

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in Atlanta, running through Lewiston, Hillman and all across Montmorency County. Info: (734) 421-8614 or www. Snow-Drift.org

January 28-29

Snowshoe-Lacing Workshop, at Hartwick Pines States Park; make-and-take a pair of Green Mountain bear paw-style shoes, cost is $175; limited to 10 participants, registration deadline January 20. Info: (989) 348-2537 or email burgr@ michigan.gov

January 20-22, & 27-29 62nd Annual Tip-Up-Town U.S.A., with fishing contests, carnival rides, snowmobile races and a vintage sled show, giant ice skide, family tent, beverage tent, polar bear dip and more. Info: (800) 676-5330

February 3-5 62nd Annual Perchville U.S.A., on the shore of Tawas Bay, featuring a family tent, chili cook-off, Polar bear swim, beer tent and more. Info: 989362-8643 Winter Fun Days at Hanson Hills Recreation Area, Friday Dollar Night, outdoor DJ, marshmallow roast, free lift tickets, trail passes, big air competition, chili cook-off, sled box race and more. Info: (989) 348-9266 or HansonHills.org

Camp Warm Hearts, a weekend camp for youngsters 5- to 15-years-old who've experienced the loss of a loved one. Presented by Hospice of Helping Hands and MidMichigan Home Care. Info: (800) 992-6592

February 12

22nd Annual Snow Box Derby, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Orchard Park, to the theme of “Down on the Farm,” featuring decorated sleds of cardboard and papier machè, offering prizes in categories of business, family, young adult and child. Info: (989) 739-7322

THE GUIDE •DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

February 17-18 Higgins Lake and Roscommon WinterFest, featuring Nordic skiing, crazy cardboard sled race, chili cook-off, broomball competition, ice slide and more. Info: (989) 275-8760

February 19

Hanson Hills Classic, Nordic ski race, 10 a.m. at Hanson Hills Recreation Area, a 12k race with interval starts based on age. Cost is $15 in advance, $20 late. Info: (989) 348-9266 or HansonHills.org

February 25

Sinbad, stand-up comedy and actor, 7 p.m. at Kirtland Center for Performing, tickets cost $36 and $32. Info: (9989) 275-6777 or www.KirtlandCenter.com

February 25-26

Snowshoe-Lacing Workshop, at Hartwick Pines State Park; make-and-take a pair of Ojibwa-style shoes, cost is $175. Limited to 10 participants, registration deadline February 17. Info: (989) 3482537 or email burgr@michigan.gov

February 26

20th Annual Junior Muffin Pursuit Races, 10 a.m. at Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon; a Michigan Cup event with junior and senior 8k pursuit race, other races in various categories. $10 for senior level racers 13-yearsand-older, includes pig roast. For others pig roast costs $5. Info: (800) 832-2663 or www.Cross-Country-Ski.com


The holidays come exceptionally early for one Alcona County farm

knew nothing at all about Christmas trees, Szuber turned to the loan company that sponsored his uniform and asked to borrow $260. “They gave me the loan but it was strictly on faith. I didn't have two dimes to rub together.” When it came time to select the trees he would sell, the novice Szuber went with a heavilysheared style of thick, full tree that was unheard of in that early era. Turns out he was ahead of a curve in Christmas tree fashion. American mobility had

Detroit was $2.88 a tree,” Szuber said, explaining that prices back then were generally set by larger retailers. “I put ‘$5, Your Choice,’ on my sign.” People stopped to browse, but then they’d move on. “Thirty minutes later they were back, sheepishly, and they’d say ‘I’ll take that one over there.’ I had something no one else had,” Szuber says. Eight days later, his trees sold out. “I made money that first year, I made money my second year, and I’ve been in the Christmas tree business ever since.” While the retail Christmas tree market gave Chet Szuber his start in

full time work,” Szuber says. A guided tour of Szuber's evergreen stands begins just north BLACK RIVER – The of Harrisville, at the summer home progressively earlier start of Szuber shares with his wife, Jeanne, Christmas each year appears to and the farm’s bustling production becoming tradition. This year, trick- and sales facility. or-treaters had barely removed their Out back masks when holiday promotions you'll find a appeared in the stores and Christmas mixed stand of songs started playing on the radio. cut-your-own Chester “Chet” Szuber and the pine and fir folks at Alcona County’s Huron tucked aside View Tree and Berry Farm should raspberry bushes have it so good. and strawberry Meticulous care of Huron View's fields. Soon, 80 acres of trees begins with snow the tour leads to melt in the spring and carries right distant locations through to Christmas, while onscattered about site production of grave blankets, the 400-acre wreaths, garland and kissing balls family farm starts the first week of October. and eventually “Taking care of Christmas trees is to pine-dotted year-round work,” Szuber said. “You hilltops have to control the grass and weeds, overlooking Chet Szuber and the crew of Huron View Tree and Berry Farm stay busy all year tending Christmas trees and begin full time production of evergreen Christmas ornaments in early October. you have to control pests, you have the home that to shear them at the proper time. Szuber was born From the time they wake up in the introduced people to a wider variety the industry, the family farm laying in, where his son, Bob Szuber, the spring until they go to sleep in the fallow Up North provided further of Christmas trees than were ever farm’s year-round caretaker still fall, you've got to stay on them.” opportunity. When heart disease available regionally. When folks lives. Thinking otherwise results forced him into early retirement, pulled up roots in one area of the Christmas trees are a labor of in the overgrown Christmas tree Szuber was given the incentive to country, they still expected to find love that Szuber discovered out of enter the Christmas tree industry full plantations abandoned by folks who financial necessity in 1959. At the the type of Christmas tree that time in 1981. thought they'd discovered a quick time he lived in Berkley, just outside fulfilled their traditions, according “Well, we had this property up and easy money maker, Szuber says. Detroit, where he worked in sales to Szuber. In addition, Hollywood’s “You get people who think they here and it seemed like something and where he and Jeanne, a secretary portrayal of a fuller Christmas tree can be weekend warriors, who had folks turning away from the less to do. Four walls were closing in for Berkley School District, were figure they'll plant some Christmas dense but more natural looking trees on me. I had to get out, to find starting their family. trees and come back in seven years something to do,” Szuber said. And that had been popular up until then. “Christmas was coming up, I and make a million dollars. If you Back then, Szuber set up his tree- while the Christmas tree industry was broke and I still hadn't paid for believe that, I have some property I'll last Christmas yet,” Szuber recalls. reaches a peak of frenzy this time of sale shop in empty suburban lots. sell you just west of Hawaii. This is A Federation Baseball player who year, he credits the more laid-back “The going price that year in

By JERRY NUNN editor

THE GUIDE • InfoNortheast.com

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lifestyle of agriculture for helping restore his health. “I really think that Christmas trees saved my life,” he says. While Christmas comes earlier each year for all of us, it never really ends for Szuber and folks at Huron View Tree and Berry Farm, according to Carol Cantor, the manager who oversees Christmas production. In addition to Christmas trees and evergreen ornaments, the farm sells landscape and fruit trees, produces raspberries and strawberries and sells fresh produce through Alcona Farmer’s Market in Harrisville. A recently planted stand of asparagus plants should be ready for commercial production in 2013. Cantor, who supervises the berry and produce production as well, says the Christmas tradition is hard to set aside. “The first year I worked I did it for extra Christmas cash,” she says. “It was a hoot, so I came back.” Rattling off the things they do at Huron View Farm – Christmas trees, landscape and fruit trees, raise vegetables, produce U-pick berries, as well as produce a wide range of natural Christmas decorations – has Cantor nearly running short of breath. “It’s a challenge,” Cantor said. “We’re busy around here most all the time.”

Brad Szuber works making 100-foot ropes of evergreen garland at Huron View Tree and Berry Farm. Each year, thousands of feet of garland are sold through the farm and at Detroit's Eastern Market.

— Patti's gift — To say that Chet Szuber puts his whole heart into Christmas would be a misnomer. Itʼs not Chetʼs heart that beats in his chest. Itʼs his daughter Pattiʼs. Patti Szuber gave her heart to her father in 1994 following her tragic death in an automobile accident, making Szuber the first and only heart transplant recipient to receive a heart from his own child. Szuberʼs heart ailments begin while he was in his 30ʼs. After suffering several massive hearts attacks, and undergoing repeated heart surgery, Szuber figured his life was drawing to close as he approached the age of 60. He was 58 when his 22-year-old daughter was killed. To say father and daughter were close doesnʼt reveal the whole story. After Chet's health forced his retirement, he stayed home to care for Patti and the two developed a special bond. Prompted by her fatherʼs heart condition, Patti was studying to be a nurse. She also signed up to be an organ donor. His first response to the doctor who suggested he could receive his daughterʼs heart was an emphatic ʻNo.ʼ That was before Patti spoke to her father from somewhere beyond, convincing him the decision would be right. A family council, hurried convened between Chetʼs wife Jeanne and the coupleʼs five other children, reached the same unanimous decision. “It did take some getting used to,” Szuber says. “At first, when the doctor suggested it, I couldnʼt conceive of the idea. Now she is with me with every beat of my heart.” Pattieʼs spirit remains at Huron View Tree and Berry Farm, too. A special garden that was in the works before Patti died has been dedicated in her memory. They call it Pattiʼs Park. THE GUIDE •DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012


From tabletop miniatures to fullsized evergreens, Christmas tradition MIO – When Frances Moore first goes on display at the Moore's decked her halls for the holidays, she Oscoda County homestead starting in mid-November and lasts clear by-passed the boughs of holly and proceeded straight for the Christmas through to the end of the year. As if the Christmas trees trees. Now, 20 years later, her collection of artificial evergreens has alone were not enough, Moore has amassed an assemblage of grown slightly out of hand. decorations to accompany each. “I do a lot of Christmas “I have a collection of nativity scenes, Christmas villages and angels, too,” Moore said. “Each tree has its own. I have something under every one of them except the family tree and that, of course, is saved for gifts.” Moore has her favorites, including a multi-colored conifer with “all the different sized bulbs and the twirling ornaments. I like my Victorian tree. trees,” Moore says. “I have 50, I like my purple ones. I have quite a 60-something, maybe 70, I really few favorites,” she says. don’t know. Last year we set up 45 “I've always loved Christmas trees and we didn't get them all out.” trees, ever since I was a little girl,” Even she admits that she has Moore said. “I always put up one, become overrun with Christmas but it got more and more elaborate.” trees. “It just evolved. People throw “I have Christmas trees in ideas at me and I work with them. It every room of my house, even the grows and grows.” bathroom,” Moore said. “I like to Trees come from any avenue, put the singing tree in there; I think from local merchants to Big Box people like it.”

By JERRY NUNN

editor

THE GUIDE • InfoNortheast.com

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Stores or “about any place I see one I like,” Moore says. As one might expect, the year-round attraction of Bronner's Christmas Wonderland makes Frankenmuth an annual destination. With Christmas running rampant through the house and spilling over to the outdoors, folks who know Moore don’t expect her hobby to grow smaller in the years to come. “I’d say she’s a little obsessed,” said Kirk Neff, Moore’s son-in-law and the guy in charge of installing the outdoor decorations. “Last year she threw one Christmas tree away that had gotten pretty bad. She replaced it with a couple of new ones. She buys two or three new Christmas trees every year.” Even the trees that come with lights already installed receive Moore’s special touch as she adds yet more strings of lights, Neff said, and even the smallest trees are treated to as many as five strings of lights. An Oscoda County native, Moore’s efforts have made her a bit of a celebrity. A few years back Moore was given a Holiday Display award from TV 9&10, the CBS affiliate broadcasting from Cadillac and Sault St. Marie. “The van pulled up and a guy got out and asked if he could shoot some video,” Moore recalls. “I said ‘The outside is nothing compared to what’s inside.’ He said, ‘I know. THE GUIDE •DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

That’s why I stopped.’ “I’ve had people stop by, knock on my door and stick their head in and ask to look around. We watch cars go by and people stop to look and pull off the side of the road.” While friends and relatives make it a point to stop by for seasonal visits, a holiday-themed community-wide open house held November 27 comes too early for Moore to participate. “I used to start the day after Halloween, but now I start putting them up in mid-Novemeber,” Moore said. “It’s a production. People come over to help. It’s kind of a family thing now.” “By the time I am done decorating, I just want to sit back and relax,” Moore can’t say how much money she’s spent on her holiday focused hobby. She does say that her electric bill increases $100 or more. Of course, with all the heat generated by thousands of miniature colored lights, the family may save that much from their heating budget. “It get’s horribly hot in there when she gets all those lights on,” says Moore’s daughter, Kathy Neff, owner of K. Neff Photographics and graphics designer of The Guide. “She has to turn her thermostat down then the rest of the house gets unbearable cold.” Moore concedes it’s a cost of her hobby. But it’s a hobby she feels others enjoy nearly as much as she does. “We used to tease my husband,” Moore said. “The women go by to admire all the decorations. The guys would go by and they'd be glad it wasn't them paying the electric bill.”


he'd eventually like to add his portrait to those hung on the wall. “Someday I'll probably do it, when I have more time,” he said. For now Vercruysse is busy running L.J.'s Kilcare Inn, a tavernturned-family restaurant located across state-highway M-55 from Hacker's Yamaha. Once a popular resort and tavern, the Kilkare Inn began as a party store long ago, then became a grocery store before it was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Michigan's premiere winter carnival has been drawing crowds to the ice of Houghton Lake since the middle of the last century. Chosen by majority vote at the annual Tip Up Town kick-off dinner, candidates By JERRY NUNN for mayor and editor marshal perform HOUGHTON LAKE – Arranged skits, rather than in formal order, one for each year, enter debates like the hand drawn portraits date back normal politics, to 1951, providing a chronicle of and the funnier mayors and marshals of all Tipthe better – in this Up-Towns past. Hung on the walls campaign lies of L.J.'s Kilkare Inn, the gallery are encouraged captures all the dignity and decorum and outrageous demanded of such lofty office. behavior ignored. Yet, given the shenanigans that “Then, during accompanies the roles of mayor and Tip Up Town, the Lauren Vercruysse stands before the gallery of historical caricatures that he serves as caretaker at L.J.'s Kilkare Inn, in Houghton Lake. marshal, it seems fitting that the marshal and mayor portraits are drawn in caricature. will go around to all the businesses. a resort. Now, it's single remaining “They call it tomfoolery. It's rental cabin serves as a storage shed. Their real role is to get people to written that way in the festival Though Vercruysse remodeled go down to the lake and attend the bylaws,” says Lauren Vercruysse, inside as well, to change the focus festival,” Vercruysse said. owner of Kilkare Inn and caretaker Most often, those chosen to serve from drinks to casual family dining, of the portraits. “Candidates do a skit as mayor and marshal are local the historical portraits are one thing at the kick-off to Tip Up Town and that will never change. businessmen, politicians and notethey are in the parade.” “We don't even own them,” worthy community leaders who, on a At 62-years-old this year, Tip Up normal day, command the respect of he said, noting the collection was Town is a big part of local history. started and annual additions are still their peers. Applauded as the nation's seventh commissioned by Kilkare's former For these few days antics are largest winter festival in 1963 by owner Carol LaRue. forgiven, Vercruysse said, noting

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Running under the Goldfish party, under the name “Keep'r Cold,” LaRue served as mayor of Tip Up Town in 2009. LaRue and running mate, “Snowflake” Sue Lulis upset Redneck party challengers, “Golden Key” Scott Bell and “Jack Pine Savage” Sean Bell. If Vercryusse ever gives the portraits up, an agreement with LaRue calls for the entire collection to be donated to the Houghton Lake Area Historical Society. “They are an important piece of local history,” Vercruysse said. “Look back through these drawings and you recognize the names. It's neat when family members or friends come in and they look back through them. “If you know the names of the people who served as mayor and marshal, you know the local history of Houghton Lake.”

Tip Up Town U.S. A.

Houghton Lake January 20-22 & 27-29 Where: Tip Up Town U.S.A. is held on the shore of Houghton Lake, at the south Michigan DNR boat launch. Free parking and shuttle service is available from Houghton Lake High School. What you'll find there: Fishing contest, ice slide, family fun tent, adult beverage tent, entertainment, carnival, rides and vendors, polar bear dip (pre-registration required,) and much more. For more information call the Houghton lake Chamber of Commerce at (989) 366-5644. 11


to capture video of the post in action. And while the crushing weight of all editor that snow took Williams off his feet, his mailbox always rebounded. LUPTON – Neither rain, nor “When the snow is piled high sleet, nor snow kicked off the road by a passing county road grader will around the mailbox post, you can stop Mark William's from collecting see the divot in the snow where it's bent over and stood back up. You his mail. could probably run over this thing William's Rebounding Mailbox with a car and it would stand right Post makes sure of that. With his original idea on the back up,” Williams said, pushing the market and patent pending, the rest post to a low angle to the ground and of us don't have to worry about letting it stand back up on its own. “I interrupted postal service either. don't know that, because no one will Williams is selling the spring-loaded loan me their car to find out, but you Rebounding Mailbox Post over the can see how flexible it is.” Internet and at Park View Acres, the Williams says he didn't set out Lupton party store, gas station and build a better mailbox post. But campground he owns with his wife, after our state's governor declared a Della. mid-October Saturday as Shake Your An Ogemaw County road Mailbox Day, as way to raise citizen commissioner, Williams has long awareness of the problems caused by recognized a need for a more weathered mailbox posts, Williams forgiving mailbox post. got to thinking. Personal experience “That's the one complaint I hear had already told him there was a most often: 'The snowplow knocked ready market for a more forgiving over my mailbox,'” Williams says. mailbox post. “But the snowplow doesn't hit the “I looked around and there was mailbox. It's the snow that knocks nothing out there,” he recalls. them over.” So Williams went to the drawing Chalk that up to better snow board, thinking he'd develop clearing equipment. something himself. “All snow plows are mounted Devising the system was a time with wing blades now,” Williams consuming process, Williams said. said. “You've got 17-foot of snow Rubber mounts did not work but coming off the road at one time. led to a steel spring mechanism That's a lot of weight.” that stood up to the snow. He said Williams ought to know. He it's amazing the number of springs spent more time than he can track, he went through before finding the standing in a snow filled ditch, trying proper combination of strength and

By JERRY NUNN

Mark Williams with a disassembled Rebounding Mailbox Post, at the office of his Lupton convenience store Park View Acres. Once the patent is approved, Williams will market the post to national retailers.

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flexibility. Technical assistance and help with jigs and fixtures came from Chuck Beehler, owner of D.L.C. and Sons Machine, and his son Shayne. He gives credit to Williams for a well thought out design. “We went back and forth with what he wanted,” Beehler, telling how the idea went from concept to saleable product. As one who assisted during the entire process, Beehler was one of the first to install a Rebounding Mailbox Post.

Other accessories such as a more decorative post cover are available online or at Park View Acres. All parts are American made. Prices start at $99.95 and the posts could be easily adapted to other uses where a rebounding post would have benefits. While Williams says he “hasn’t made a dime off these things yet,” he hopes to be mass producing the Rebounding Post soon. “I am at that point right now,” he said. “I'd like to start talking to hardware stores and the Big Box stores. All I am waiting for is the patent to be approved.” The U.S. Patent Office, backed up by a slew of technology patent applications, has had Williams' application for 18 months now. But Williams figures the process ought to be reaching its end and once it does he'll hit the road, talking to local hardware dealers, demonstrating at trade shows and hopefully, convincing the large national retailers that the Bends without breaking — Mark Williams Rebounding Mailbox Post is demonstrates his Plow Proof invention, Rebounding Mailbox an item they need to carry in Post. Once the patent receives official approval Williams is stock. prepared to begin mass production to sell the post system. “I'll probably go to Lowe's first,” Williams said, “I watch the snow plow go by noting the process to become a and caught it at the perfect time,” vendor includes lists of rules and Beehler recalls. “The post did its regulations, as well as a lengthy thing just like it is supposed to. The application. “Home Depot's is 120 snow whopped it over and it stood pages long, I swear to God.” right back up.” Fortunately, we don't have to wait As it comes in the box, the for Williams' Rebounding Post to system includes two sections arrive at Lowe's or Home Depot. of four-by-four treat lumber, a You can order the Rebounding 16-gauge steel pivot that mounts Mailbox Post or learn more about between the post sections, a formed them at www.ToughMailboxes.com metal platform for mounting the or by calling (989) 473-3555. mailbox and a vinyl sleeve to cover Or stop by Park View Acres and the post. The kit even contains see the post system for yourself. The mounting bolts for the mailbox; all store is located at 2575 Rose City one needs to complete an install is a Road, less than five miles east of mailbox and a bag or two of preRose City, across from the Rifle mixed concrete. River Recreation Area.

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There is no better way to enjoy Northeast Michigan’s snow draped trails than by cross country ski or snowshoe. For events and festivals on area trails contact these locations: Corsair Ski Trails in Tawas – (989) 362-2001 or www.N-Sports.com Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon – (800) 832-2663 or www.Cross-Country-Ski.com Forbush Corner in Frederic – (989) 348-5989 or www.ForbushCorner.com Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling – (989) 3482537 or www.Michigan.gov/hartwickpines Hanson Hills Recreation Area in Grayling – (989) 348-9266 or www.HansonHills.org For more trails check online at www.michigan. gov/dnr and follow the links to camping and recreation. For more events check with Northeast Michigan Chambers of Commerce.


There is no better way to enjoy Northeast Michigan’s snow draped trails than by cross country ski or snowshoe. For events and festivals on area trails contact these locations: Corsair Ski Trails in Tawas – (989) 362-2001 or www.N-Sports.com Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon – (800) 832-2663 or www.Cross-Country-Ski.com Forbush Corner in Frederic – (989) 348-5989 or www.ForbushCorner.com Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling – (989) 3482537 or www.Michigan.gov/hartwickpines Hanson Hills Recreation Area in Grayling – (989) 348-9266 or www.HansonHills.org For more trails check online at www.michigan. gov/dnr and follow the links to camping and recreation. For more events check with Northeast Michigan Chambers of Commerce.


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your

Why support is critical to nonprofit organizations By CASEY RESSL Huron Pines staff

But the most important dollar that a nonprofit comes by, is the dollar that came locally. Local dollars mean local support. It’s a resounding affirmation of the work a nonprofit is doing. If you understand the need for their work and support their efforts, support their cause with a monetary donation. Oftentimes, we think that larger, high-dollar donations are the only ones that can make a difference. That's just not true.

NORTHERN MICHIGAN – For many Michiganders, charitable giving will not be at the top of their list this holiday season. Double digit unemployment, unpredictable markets and an often overwhelming catalog of community needs make it very difficult to sit down and respond to that appeal letter you just received in the mail. But the fact is nonprofits need you and you need nonprofits. You need nonprofits because they fulfill a unique Huron Pines provides a wealth of services to role in our society. Their 14 counties of Northeast Michigan including charter is simple – instead invasive species removal, the removal of old of spreading profits to dams, river restoration, habitat improvement shareholders, they reinvest in their mission. Whether and much more. To learn more about the it’s matching volunteer organizations efforts, and to follow their mentors with at risk youth current projects, visit Huron Pines on the or removing failing dams Internet at www.HuronPines.org. on our rivers, nonprofits address community needs that can’t be met by the business When an organization is awarded sector or government. a grant, there is almost always Sometimes, there are issues that a requirement to raise matching just aren’t profitable enough to funds. This means the funder agrees sustain a business. And often, with to contribute a certain amount of the multitude of demands already money but the organization needs to placed on government, there is show additional financial backing for simply no way to meet further needs a project. through state and federal agencies. Thus each and every dollar has Nonetheless, a nonprofit’s an impact. Donate the dollar amount diverse funding sources typically that fits your budget: $5, $50 or include grants, foundations, fees for $500. Each one of those dollars will services and individual donors. be matched and leveraged.

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At Huron Pines, a conservation nonprofit serving Northeast Michigan, for every dollar donated locally, $10 is raised from outside the region – that $50 local show of support quickly becomes a $500 donation, most of which came from somewhere else.

Your support can and will make a difference. As the holiday season is in full swing, consider giving a gift to an organization whose work will have a lasting impact. Donate to an organization that means something in your community.

Filling a unique niche between for-profit industry and government:

Without nonprofits, many local problems would go unchecked, such as invasive plants that choke our fragile environments, destroy our waterways and devastate wetlands. The keys to controlling invasive species are finding them early on and responding rapidly with removal efforts. This model doesn’t work well for business because it cannot turn a profit. And, government is not equipped to move fast enough to address the issue.

Huron Pines' Ecologist Jennifer Muladore, AmeriCorps member Ross Crawford, Restoration Specialist Tim Engelhardt, and AmeriCorps member Emily King stand in a successfully treated patch of phragmites near Lincoln, in Alcona County.

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T

he masterminds behind our trails By KRISTY MORTHAM

with each section of trail to be built offering a new challenge. The work of a Land Conservancy Most importantly, he said, the trail is not always well known because experience must connect people with most of the conserved land is held nature. In order to have an engaging in private ownership. Luckily, there trail one must really understand the is another form of land conservation land. It takes foresight and a group which offers public access: a of special people to get the work preserve. done. Recently, a piece of land was Luhellier, who volunteered purchased for HeadWaters Land his time and experience to the Conservancy by the J.A. Woollam HeadWaters Trail Building Project Foundation to create such a preserve. at the Sturgeon River Preserve, It has been named the Sturgeon received his first trail-building River Preserve. experience was with the Huron The Sturgeon River Preserve's Mountain Club in northwestern original land owner wanted to Marquette County. After a see his land protected from any couple of summers working with possible development activities. the club he moved on to the Most importantly, he wanted people Montana Conservation Corps with to enjoy the natural integrity of AmeriCorps, where the bulk of his his 40 acres along the Sturgeon experience came from maintaining River. Because of his willingness the back country wilderness trails of to preserve the land through the Bob Marshall Wilderness. HeadWaters Land Conservancy, “A lot of the work I did in he created endless opportunity for Montana was with the guidance of others to share his vision of the land. the Forest Service. They did a lot Making a preserve of planning out of the property will Stay in touch with HeadWaters Land ahead of fulfill the land owner's time,” Conservancy, including their ongoing work dreams, but how will Luhellier on the new Sturgeon River Preserve, through HeadWaters connect said. “Most the organization's its website at www. HeadWatersConservancy.org people with the nature of my trail of the land? building By building trails. experience is because of them.” For that, HeadWaters turns to trail The process of planning trails building enthusiast Zac Luhellier at the preserve began soon after Luhellier says that building trails HeadWaters purchased the property. is like an ongoing relationship, “My first trip to the property HeadWaters Land Conservancy

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Zac Luhellier, in the khaki pants, and another volunteer mark a trail on Trail Building Volunteer day at HeadWaters Land Conservancy's Sturgeon River Preserve. A well laid trail system allows the public to use the land while promoting HeadWater's efforts to preserve Northeast Michigan.

was to get a good glimpse of what it was like. My second trip I wandered through the woods in a zigzagged pattern trying to get a feel for the layout of the property” said Luhellier. He found all kinds of beautiful features such as a northern whitecedar swamp, abundant and diverse mosses and a prominent ridgeline that took in a meadow. The key, Luhellier says, was to look for features that a trail might lead to. Other features that Luhellier found on the preserve that people might enjoy are the different age classes and structural diversity of the trees. And don’t forget the Sturgeon River that flows through the north half the property. After reviewing the property, HeadWaters group of five dedicated, volunteer trail builders flagged a loop they felt really showcased the natural features; a trail system that could engage hikers on different levels. “With a good group of volunteers, we could have the flagged loop

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complete in about a day,” says Luhellier. Luhellier shares HeadWaters' ultimate goal: to create a trail that offers the most appealing scenic, historic, cultural and biological value, while providing a variety of diverse habitats for the enjoyment of the trail user. HeadWaters and its volunteers are working towards completing the trail for people to enjoy before the end of the year. The greatest masterminds behind the trails are from the trail building volunteers and through people like Luhellier. HeadWaters could not continue the vision of the land owner without its volunteers help. “I choose to get involved with organizations like HeadWaters because I enjoy surrounding myself with like-minded people. The social component is a plus, but my favorite aspect is the work and being outdoors,” Luhellier said.


Instrument of Peace

professional level performances. “He puts his heart and soul into editor it,” says soprano Ruth Harrison of STANDISH – What's in a name? Twining. A former choir director Not much, apparently, when it comes who once sang for a touring a to describing the Arenac County cappella group, Harrison has been Choraleers. When the coed choir with the Choraleers since the day the performs their early December group started. Christmas Concerts in West Branch “We've changed a lot over the and Standish, it will feature vocalists years. It's a volunteer group, so from six counties. we don't push too hard. It's helped “It's a cultural treasure,” says to keep it light-hearted,” Harrison director Devin Chisholm. “We have said, noting that doesn't mean members who drive from as far that the group is not good. In fact, north as Lupton and Rose City and she said an invitation by the Bay we have people from Gladwin. They City Concert Band once had the come because they love to sing and Choraleers perform a concert there. we are wonderful together.” “When we performed in Bay City While members of the group and they seemed to think that we have come and gone, the Choraleers were pretty good.” have been entertaining audiences for As good as the group is, many more than 30 years. Begun under members have no formal background the direction of Maynard King, the in music, says Barbara Foster, a group's popularity grew quickly. second soprano and member since Following King, Tracee Behnke1982, who joined the group after Lentz of Tawas, provided her a long absence from music. Foster leadership. For more than 10 years said she would hard pressed to find now, Chisholm has been at the helm. a better group of friends than those Choir members give credit she has made among the group of to Chisholm for guiding them to Choraleers.

By JERRY NUNN

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“That is one thing people need to hear, that this group is so supportive of each other,” Foster said. When she lost her husband Jesse in 2004, Foster said she would have had a much harder time alone. “This group really helped me through it. Coming here was like coming home.” “They are a great bunch and they are very good singers,” Foster said. Preparation for the coming Christmas concerts began in September and the group meets once a week to practice and learn new songs. The group also performs another concert every spring in Standish and West Branch. The play list includes 17 songs that run from the sacred to the secular, from classics to modern day. Those songs are chosen by a committee of eight, according to Chisholm, and include songs from the group's extensive library as well as new additions. Standish-Sterling High School music director Mark Lundgren accompanies the songs on piano.

In addition, some selections will be joined by a string quartet while other renditions feature percussion, including a djembe, a hand-crafted bass drum of West African origin. Title tune for this year's concert is Instrument of Peace, a song based on the prayer of St. Francis, Chisholm said. But the line-up includes songs chosen strictly by fancy, such as “the whimsical, I want to be a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” Chisholm said. “We try to be very eclectic so there is something for all ages,” he added. “We have a good mix of music that will have an appeal for all people.”

Instrument of Peace The Arenac County Choraleers Annual Christmas Concert An eclectic mix of traditional, classic, sacred and secular Christmas music sung by the 70-member, Standish-based, coed choir Sunday, December 4 at Ogemaw Hills Free Methodist Church Sunday, December 11 at Standish-Sterling High School auditorium Cost is $5 adults, $4 seniors and students and $2 for children 5- to 12-years-old All performances begin at 7 p.m., with a public afterglow to follow For more information call the Northeast Michigan Arts Council at (989) 846-9331. THE GUIDE •DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012


By Jon Paul Roy Special to The Guide

With the 62nd Annual Perchville USA set for the first weekend in February, winter enthusiasts will soon take to the ice and shores of Tawas Bay.

photo courtesy of Dave Kunze

But one group of ice skating fanatics won't have to wait. The Inaugural Tawas Bay Classic Adult Pond Hockey Tournament, will have pond hockey players hitting the rinks January 27-29, on the weekend before Perchville. “It’s the purest form of hockey there is - good, old-time hockey,” says Mark Hitchcock, director of the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce. Pond Hockey is a 4-on-4 game

with no goalies, played on natural ice. It's an old version of a growing sport that is increasingly popular in the Midwest because of large-scale tournaments. The games will be held in the harbor, in front of the Tawas Bay Beach Resort. Hitchcock, who managed hockey rinks, leagues and events for the majority of his career before joining the local chamber, would like to see the tournament become a yearly fixture for the community. “Our intention is to do it right and have it grow,” Hitchcock said, noting the tournament could even grow Perchville into a two-week event. That’s a reasonable goal, when you look at the statistics from St. Ignace, where they hold the annual U.P. Pond Hockey Tournament. Mark Sposito, organizer of that event, says what started as a tournament of roughly 30 teams has grown to 160 in the five years it has been held. What’s more, St. Ignace organizers cap the number of teams at 160, though anywhere from 300-400 teams attempt to register each year. It’s now one of the three largest pond hockey tournaments in the country, according to Sposito. With St. Ignace’s 160 teams spread across 30 rinks, the goal Tawas has set of 48 teams occupying 6 rinks is looking good, Hitchcock feels. The funds generated through registration fees will do more than

simply bring money into the Tawas area. The Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Huron Hockey and Skating Association, which was founded privately by families in the area and has been in operation since 2000. Housed by the Tawas Bay Ice Arena, located on state highway M-55 in Tawas City, just a stone’s throw from Tawas Bay, the Huron Hockey and Skating Association plays host to about 150 youth hockey players aged 4- to 19-years-old, as well as four adult hockey leagues and around 100 figure skaters of all ages. The rink also puts on open skate nights every Friday and Saturday during the season. The all-volunteer Skating Association will use the money brought in from the tournament to buy equipment for the youth hockey players and to maintain the rink. With no state or city funding, excepting next year’s pond hockey tournament, the ice rink and Skating Association require patronage from the community they serve. “Really, what our rink has always been about is the community,” says Dan Shattuck, manager of the Tawas Bay Ice Arena. “Our aim is to fill the ice, give it away if we have to, to help bring people into the community.”

The Huron Hockey and Skating Association has had strong success with that very mission: Four years ago they began hosting an annual hockey tournament at the rink. Local businesses were hesitant to participate that first year, but when six adult teams showed up from out of town to play – families and fans in tow – the attitude surrounding the event turned entirely around. Now, Shattuck says, hotels and restaurants in the area are quick to offer special rates and gift certificates in support of the tournament. By all appearances, the right people are in charge of bringing Tawas’s pond hockey to the Big Leagues of the sport. For those interested in competing, registration is $325 per six-person team. There are six divisions, split up into three experience levels for both a 21-and-over and a 30-andover bracket. To register, call the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce by January 1 at (989) 362-8643. It’s free to watch, and there will be a rink for a children’s open skate. See you rink-side, or on the ice!

– Jon Paul Roy, 26, a department manager at Wal-Mart in Tawas City, lives in East Tawas with his wife Bracha. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in English from Eastern Michigan University in 2009.

photo courtesy of Dave Kunze

When the UP Pond Hockey Tournament began five years ago in St. Ignace, 30 teams took to the ice. Now, while the number of teams is limited to 160, more than 300 try to register. The St. Ignace event, the largest pond hockey tournament in Michigan, will be held February 17-19 on the ice of Moran Bay. With the sport's growing popularity, Tawas Bay organizers of the Tawas tournament hope they can elicit such a huge response.

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Corsair Ski Trails are a fitting example of what a public/private partnership can accomplish, both in the improved outdoor recreational opportunity and also by providing a premiere attraction that benefits all of Northeast Michigan. There are several ways to Nelkie says. Considering that the The non-profit depends on donaCorsair Ski Trails counts 44.5 miles tions from its skiers and trail users measure the success of and folks should consider dropping of trails, and that a groomer runs at the Corsair Ski Council a maximum speed of 8 mph, making a few dollars in the donation tube every time they visit. quick work on a groomer can result By JERRY NUNN To learn more about Corsair Ski in several hours saved in a day. editor But a fleet of new groomers is not Trails call Nordic Sports at (989) the only measure that Nelkie and the 362-2001 or online at www.N-Sport. Corsair Ski Council has to show how com. EAST TAWAS – Recalling how far they've come. the Corsair Ski Council started out, When Nelkie first approached the with a homemade groomer pulled National Forest Service in the early by a snowmobile borrowed from 1970's, suggesting that a Nordic ski a local preacher, Gary Nelkie says Corsair Ski Trails have come a long trail system could be a benefit to all, Corsair Ski Council has booked its ways. This year the council added a unknowing officials were unsure acts for this year's Corsair Concert what to think. Yamaha Grizzly 700 to their fleet, Series. Proceeds from the series go The first trail was a one-mile, two to support the Corsair Ski Trails. bringing the number of groomers to way track that ran from Monument three and increasing their ability to The concerts are held at Tawas Unitkeep Corsair Ski Trails in top-notch Road to Silver Creek. ed Methodist Church Family Center, Nelkie and the Ski Council knew on state highway M-55, next to Dean condition. they had a good idea and refused to Arbor Ford. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., The new ride joins a Ski-Doo give up. doors open at 7. For information Skandic and an ASV Scout SnowEventually, agency officials and tickets contact Nordic Sports at cat. Depending on conditions, any bought into the idea and the public(989) 362-2001 or online at www.Nof three may be coupled to a YTS Roller/Compactor, a Tidd-Tech Trail private partnership that resulted went Sport.com. Tenderizor, 84-inch Ginzu Groomer on to set examples that were put into use elsewhere. or a LatuExpert tiller. Success again had several mea“We're prepared for all snow conditions and ready to go,” Nelkie said, sures. In 1989 the Corsair Ski Counthat the added choice in equipment will expand the conditions in which cil won the Take Pride in America Award. In 1998 the council was a great trail can be produced. awarded the National Volunteer The water-cooled Grizzly will vastly expand the temperature range Award by the U.S. Forest Service and was a recipient of the National at which the trails can be groomed USDA Honor Award for Rural Com- January 21 – an important consideration when munity Assistance. trying to expand the season into the Rockin' Acoustic Circus While members of the Corsair Ski With hearts in traditional music and spring or when faced with a sunny Council and the cadre of volunteers early-winter afternoon. heads in the 21st century, Rockin’ Acoustic Circus points toward a Running down the list of groom- who labor to keep Corsair in prime ski condition may wear those recog- fresh direction for acoustic music. ers, Nelkie lists the strong-points Sharing their musical passion with each piece of equipment offers, from nitions as feather's in their woolen ski caps, it doesn't slow them down impressive musical prowess and fluffing snow when the weather is boundary pushing style, this young cold, to rolling it and forcing the air in improving the trails. The new Yamaha Grizzly, running group is gaining critical respect out of late March trails. gently down the trails of the Huron from traditional and progressive fans Besides the ability to provide good ski conditions, the new equip- National Forest this year, is proof of alike. that. www.RockinAcousticCircus.com ment will cut down on the amount of time it takes to groom the trails, 26

THE GUIDE •DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012

March 3 Delta Reign From their home in the Mobile River region of the Alabama gulf coast, where five rivers flow together into Mobile Bay to form the delta, so Delta Reign brings together the musical influences of each member – bluegrass, western swing, blues and jazz. They call it “delta bluegrass.” www.DeltaReign.com

April 21 Blue Highway Blue Highway is indisputably one of the most esteemed and influential groups in contemporary bluegrass. The band's nine exceptional albums and compelling live performances give proof to the stellar reviews, Grammy nominations, and numerous awards earned by the band since it first took the stage on December 31, 1994, with the same musicians that comprise Blue Highway today. www.bhighway.com


Roasted Butternut

Squash Soup

From Tim’s Kitchen

By TIM REED

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

A sweet & savory treat for fall and the holidays

Ingredients • 12 cups (3-4 butternut squash) split and seeded, then cut into 2” to 3” chunks • 3-4 tablespoons butter • kosher salt • freshly ground black pepper • 6 cups chicken broth or homemade chicken stock • ½ cup honey • 1 tablespoon or more chopped fresh ginger • 1 cup cream • One teaspoon freshly grated nut meg or ½ teaspoon dried nutmeg Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the squash skin side down on a rimmed baking

sheet. Melt butter in microwave then drizzle or brush the squash. Sprinkle the squash with Kosher salt and black pepper then roast in a 400° F oven for approximately half an hour until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven. When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove the skin with a paring knife. Place the squash in a stock pot then add the chicken broth, honey, and ginger. Bring mixture just to a simmer. Puree in batches in a food processer or in the stock pot with an immersion blender. Add additional stock for desired consistency. Note: An immersion blender makes this task much easier and less messy than a food processer. Stir in the cream and gently bring to serving temperature stirring often to prevent scorching. Season the soup to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg then serve garnished with chopped fresh chives. – Tim Reed and his wife Sandy own Reeds on the River in Tawas City, where this special menu item and other delectable recipes are served. THE GUIDE • InfoNortheast.com

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The Guide December 2011/January 2012