Page 1

All seasons

Brave step

Restaurant contradicts name......... p.6

Week of December 6-12, 2013


Fernwood offers family fun............ p.8

Off The Water | The place to be entertained.

Volume 5, Number 49

Deck the


Garden Center full of holiday decor... p. 2

Page 2 • Week of December 6-12, 2013

Off The Water, Michiana


Sawyer Garden Center a holiday hotspot By Jill McCaughan offthewater@leaderpub. com

Most of the leaves have fallen, and there is little green left to be found in Southwest Michigan, but the dreariness of winter will quickly fade away for those who visit the Sawyer Home & Garden Center. There, customers are greeted by the bright reds and greens of Christmas, the jingle of bells, the twittering of birds and the scent of freshly-cut pine. “This is a wonderland, isn’t it?” exclaimed Linda Patejdl, co-owner of the home and garden store in Sawyer. “I just came back last week from Europe, trying to find the most unique things, and all the Christmas places we were in — from Amsterdam, through Germany, France, to Switzerland — they don’t have anything on us for Christmas decorations," Patejdl said. "Of course, Europe is known for their big Christmas displays, and we’re right up there.” Patejdl and her husband, Barry, have been hard at work, growing and expanding the home and garden store located at 5865 Sawyer Road. In business for more than 20 years, they employ between 20 and 60 people depending upon the season. Sawyer Home & Garden Center is definitely a family business. “In our business, we have two children. Our son is the nursery manager and landscape contractor. Our daughter is the general manager of the store,” Patejdl said. “My granddaughter is our IT person. My grandson helps my husband run the store and buy the produce, as well as delivering, setting up, and moving things around. So that’s the core family that all works here,” They also employ many experts available to provide information requested by customers. “On our staff, we have a bird expert who can answer any question anyone might have. We’ll bring in bird experts for seminars as well,” Patejdl said. “We have fertilizer experts. We all go to the different fertilizer classes.” Among their many specialists is Wendell Adair,

Leader photos/JILL McCAUGHAN

Top: A customer shops in the greenhouse at Sawyer Home and Garden Center in Sawyer, Mich. Bottom: Linda Patejel (right) and one of her customers at Sawyer Home & Garden Center.

their wine buyer, who has helped them acquire 450 different wines from all over the world, including many Michigan wines such as those produced by Domaine Berrien Cellars and White Pine Winery. Wine selections are accompanied by information cards, and Adair is also available to help customers choose the wines that will best suit their tastes. Wine tastings are held every week from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and from 12 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The store also includes

a variety of other sections where the owners say that customers can find a gift for anyone on their Christmas gift list. Separate areas in the store are devoted to bath and body products, gourmet foods and fresh produce, holiday decorations, kitchen gadgets, fine candles, costume jewelry and gardening tools. The Patejdls even added boutique-style apparel to their inventory this year. “This is the first Christmas with this here — our boutique. Of course, we sell Michiganthemed items. We have some of the girls that do

the buying here. I can’t believe how well they’ve done! And this has just gone crazy with unique, different things,” Patejdl said. “Purses, scarves are big, and they have some small designers that you won’t find anywhere else. Everyone always wants something different.” Outside, customers will find 450 freshly-cut Christmas trees, each with its own individual name, like “Betty Boop,” “Goofy” and “Alvin.” In the greenhouse, Sawyer Home & Garden Center offers traditional Christmas favorites like poinsettias and Christmas

cacti, as well as unusual plants including ornamental flowering cabbages, rosemary topiaries and cyclamen in a variety of colors. The highlight of the Christmas season at Sawyer Home & Garden Center is their Christmas open house, which will be on Dec. 6-8, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. “For the open house, we’re going to have lots of sales,” Patejdl said. “That’ll probably be like our ‘Black Friday,’ and we’ll have some give-aways. We’ll give away a faux Christmas tree. There’s food baskets. There’s bath and body baskets, and we collect email address, put them in a hat, and then we have drawings. And then we’ll call. Everybody likes to win something!” The open house will emphasize the wide variety of both European and locally-produced treats that Sawyer Home & Garden Center carries. “There will be foods all throughout the store, even in the greenhouse. Different vendors will

come in to sample their products. You can pretty much graze your way through the whole store,” Patejdl said. “We will have different punches and different flavors of coffee available.” A list of their sales and the vendors who will be offering demonstrations and tastings will be available at And, once Christmas has passed, the special events will continue. January will be Soup Month. In February, there will be the Chocolate Classic. March is Cheese & Cracker Month, and April features “Embrace Breakfast in Bed.” Patejdl wants potential customers to know that, just because Sawyer Home & Garden Center is a local, family-owned garden store, that does not mean that their prices are higher than some of their nationally-known competitors. “As a home and garden showplace division of True Value Hardware stores — they have about 200 destination garden centers across the U.S. — it’s a buying group, a co-op company. We can offer things at a reasonable price,” Patejdl said. “Our hoses and rakes aren’t any more expensive than at a big box store. A lot of people have a misconception that independent costs more. And then, along with that, you’ll get information here. There’s always somebody here who’s used or tasted everything in the store.” In addition to unique items and reasonable prices, the owners contend, Sawyer Home & Garden Center also offers convenient hours. “We are only closed on Christmas Day. We’re in an area where people come on the weekends and holidays, and they want to shop. So that’s why we stay open. We’re here to take care of the customers in the area,” Patejdl said. “We’ll be open until 8 o’clock on Christmas Eve. Everybody needs something!” “You can run in here just to get a gallon of milk, or you could spend hours here,” Patejdl said. “It’s all about making a customer comfortable and giving them an experience, and that’s what we try to do. And, you don’t get that at a big box store.”

Off The Water, Michiana


Week of December 6-12, 2013 • Page 3

Discover the local destinations right in your own backyard

Holiday traditions light up Southwest Michigan By Jill McCaughan

One sign that heralds the approach of Christmas each year is the lighting of the community Christmas trees. From South Bend, Ind., to Watervliet, Mich., the breaker switches are being flipped on, one by one, filling the chilly night air with the cheerful twinkle of brightly colored lights. “For us, the lighting of the lights on the bluff is the kick-off to our family’s Christmas season,” said Christopher Laurent, a resident of downtown St. Joseph, Mich. “After the lights are turned on, that’s when we really feel like it’s Christmastime. We start decorating our house and our Christmas tree after that happens.” Laurent is referring to one of the largest and longest-lasting light and music displays in Southwest Michigan, St. Joseph’s widely-anticipated “Light Up the Bluff.” Arranged by the City of St. Joseph and sponsored by the St. Joseph Improvement Association, the celebration takes place in Lake Bluff Park on Lake Blvd. The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, with the St. Joseph High School Choir singing Christmas carols. At 6:30, the mayor will be flipping the switch for both the Christmas tree


Light up the Bluff in St. Joseph, Mich. is one of the many annual lighting ceremonies is Southwest Michigan. and the walkway of lights, which stretches nearly a half mile along the top of the bluff. Accompanying the lights will be Christmas songs that play through speakers along the walkway. “The abundance of lights and the variety is something special. There are the arches that you can walk through, as well as polar bears and all kinds of other displays, as well as the community Christmas tree,” said Jill Stone, executive director of St. Joseph


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Today. “You can drive through it, too, and because it’s downtown, after you see the lights, you can go to the Silver Beach Carousel, go out to dinner, go shopping and make a special evening of it.” The organizers of the event have also planned some unique activities for visitors to enjoy directly after the lights are lit on Friday. Saturday will be a

festive day in downtown St. Joseph, too. “Following the tree lighting, visitors can stroll downtown and enjoy the Second Annual Live Mannequins,” Stone said. “Dozens of community volunteers will pose perfectly still in participating store windows from 7 to 8:30 p.m. All ages will have fun seeing their favorite holiday stories,

movies and songs depicted in the scenes.” The 15th Annual Reindog Parade will begin at 4 p.m. Pets and their owners dress up in holiday costumes, and a number of featured parade guests will also be participating, including Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Santa will then available to meet children at his house at the corner of State and Pleasant

Streets until 7 p.m. He will also be there to hear children’s wish-lists until Dec. 22, on 4 to 6 p.m Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m., 12 to 5 p.m. Saturdays from and 12 to 3 p.m. Sundays from This coming weekend, there will be many other community lights festivals that residents and tourists can attend as well, including the Bridgman Holiday Village, Christmas in the Village of Baroda and the Dowagiac Candle-light Parade. More information on those and other holiday events can be found in this week’s OTW calendar, “What’s Happening.” And, if visitors should happen to miss St. Joseph’s “Light Up the Bluff” celebration this weekend, there is no cause for dismay. “The music and lights show continues through Dec. 31st,” Stone said. “While the music stops on Dec. 31st, the lights will stay on through Feb. 15th to offer that romantic walking experience all the way up through Valentine’s Day. And, because it’s on the bluff, you also get the view of the lake. The lights will be on from 6 to 10 p.m. every night for about two months.”

Produced and printed by Leader Publications 217 N. 4th Street, Niles, MI 49120 Off the Water is available throughout southwest Michigan and the greater South Bend, Indiana area. Michael Caldwell Publisher (269) 687-7700

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Page 4 • Week of December 6-12, 2013

Off The Water, Michiana


Photographic fantasies Sams and Stoick use nature pictures for popular childrens books By Jill McCaughan

Carl Sams II and Jean Stoick are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their award-winning and bestselling children’s book, “Stranger in the Woods” with the publication of a new edition and a new series of three gift books. “We want to teach kids gentle lessons about nature,” Sams said, of the books. The success of “Stranger in the Woods” has made it possible for the husband and wife team to work on that goal full-time, travelling the world to photograph and study animals. Sams gave up his business as a home builder and broker, and Stoick retired from her 30-year career as a middle school art teacher. The Michigan natives now focus their efforts on creating nature photography books that are accessible and appealing to both children and adults. “Stranger in the Woods” is the story of an unexpected discovery in the forest. In some ways, the origins, history and success of the book were just as unexpected as the lone snowman that the woodland animals encounter in the story. The idea of photographing deer interacting with a snowman first occurred to Sams while he was photographing mule deer in the Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada. “I was out that day in the morning, and I had three sets of mule deer bucks fighting, but I was too busy pulling the film out of my camera to get anything because it jammed—I was trying to load it too fast,” Sams said. “I went in to eat lunch, and as I was coming back out of the restaurant in the town of Waterton. I saw the snowman, and I thought, ‘I wonder if those deer ever come in and strip that snowman.’ It was the first time I ever had a thought of it. So, I was like, ‘eh, no,’ and I went back out, didn’t see anything all day, but when I came back in, the snowman was obliterated. So, that’s where I got the idea originally.” Soon after, as a part of their on-going project on white-tailed deer, Sams and Stoick began building snowmen in the forest and photographing the deer and other animals and birds that approached them. “We’d never leave our snowmen up over night because we wanted to have that winter wonderland-looking background, with the snow settling into the trees, and when you see the book, you’ll see that there’s different colored gloves on the snowmen all the way through the book, and the reason for that is that I could always find this red hat, but I could never find the same pair of gloves. So, whatever gloves I wore that day, that’s what the snowman wore that day.” The white-tailed deer book has yet to be finished, but born of Sams and Stoick’s effort was the idea for their first children’s book. “Jean was looking through our deer pictures when we were working on our white-tailed deer book one year, and she saw the deer and the snowman, and she said, ‘We should do a children’s book,’” Sams said. “I looked at her like she’d lost her mind because, for 14 years, we’d been working on this deer book, and we’d taken hundreds of thousands of pictures of this family [of deer], but we had these snowmen, and birds landing on them, and deer eating the carrot nose and all these pictures. And, I said, ‘Well, come up with an idea,’ and she went upstairs by the fireplace and sketched it out…. and that’s how ‘Stranger in the

Submitted photo

Carl Sams II and Jean Stoick pose at a book signing. Sams and Stoick have published a number of books using wildlife photography they have shot over the past several years, including their best-selling children's book, "Stranger in the Woods" that was published 10 years ago. Woods’ was born to start with.” The success with which the book met was just as unexpected. “We actually printed 20,000 copies of the book, and everybody thought we were crazy. They figured we’d have 15,000 in our garage for the rest of our lives. So, we decided to use it as a fundraiser for the Grand Traverse and Little Traverse Nature Conservancies, Wishes for Kids with life-threatening illnesses with the Rainbow Connection, and…the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.” “Just a couple weeks after we released it, …We

ended up going to number one on the best-sellers list [up in northern Michigan],” Sams said. “So, that was pretty exciting. At that point, the books all disappeared, and we ended up reprinting 40,000 more. And then Borders and Barnes and Noble called wanting to carry the book." “I said, if they would match us for Wishes for Kids up until Christmas, which was a four-week-period, they could carry the book. I figured they were both going to laugh at me, but about five days later, they Continued on page 5

Off The Water, Michiana

Continued from page 4

The time that Sams and Stoick have spent in such close proximity to wildlife has also strengthened their commitment to conservation and their desire to spread the word regarding new dangers to the delicate balance that enables native species to thrive. “Loons in the Mist” is the product of

s , h y

Week of December 6-12, 2013 • Page 5

ON DISPLAY both said ‘yes,’ and we ended up raising $8,000 for kids to start with. And the next year, we ended up raising over $50,000 for kids and nature, so that was pretty exciting. “It took three years for us to go to number one on the New York Times Best-Sellers List, and for the last seven years, we’ve been in the top four at Christmas each year. It’s kind of like an evergreen,” Sams said. Now, Sams and Stoick are promoting a new series of small gift books, including “Loons in the Mist,” “Babies of the Wild” and “For the Love of Birds.” The books are available in smaller gift stores like The Christmas Tree in Benton Harbor, Mich., where Sams and Stoick recently held a book-signing event. “It’s the little bookstores and gift stores that we are trying to promote and help them make a living. ...We pretty much try to hold back from selling our books to the bigger box stores, just so that [the local merchants] have something special for their stores to offer their customers,” Sams said.

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five summers’ worth of work in northwestern Lower Michigan. During that time, Sams and Stoick learned of a challenge faced by Lake Michigan’s loon population. Large die-offs of loons are being caused by a chain of events that started with the introduction of zebra mussels and round gobies, both invasive aquatic species. “The thing that’s really scary is what’s going on with the loons in Lake Michigan. The ships coming in through the canal brought in the zebra mussels, and they have cleared the water, and the sun is able to penetrate down to deeper levels. The ships also brought in these little fish, the round gobies, and so the loons can dive down there to feed on them,” Sams said. The round gobies “are feeding on seaweed at the bottom, and botulisme, the most toxic substance known to man is growing in that seaweed, and the loons are diving down and eating these fish, and its paralyzing them, and they’re drowning. It’s a real scary thing. More people should know about it.”

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Off The Water, Michiana



24-year-old opens Buchanan restaurant with unique name By Craig Haupert

It takes courage to open a business. It takes even more to do it at age 24, like Buchanan’s Tyler Gustavsen. “I look at it like if I am going to spend 16-17-18 hours a day doing anything, it doesn’t bother me if it has to do something with food,” said Gustavsen, who this month opened Coward, an ironically named restaurant in downtown Buchanan, specializing in stone oven pizza, bread, pastries and coffee. “Too many passionate, talented people spend all day slaving away in the kitchen at home and don’t ever take it to the next level because they don’t have the money or don’t want to take a risk.” The inside features natural brick walls, large windows, clean wooden tables and heavy black metal chairs that, when combined, create a casual, but modern atmosphere. To top it all off, Gustavsen cut and stacked against a back corner wall more than 100 logs painted white to resemble birch wood. “I want it to be upscale casual,” he said. “When I go out to eat I want the full experience. I want someone to walk me through the menu, ask me how my meal is going — that’s what we do.” Continued on page 7

Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Tyler Gustafsen sits with Sherilyn Delgado at the new Coward restaurant in downtown Buchanan Thursday.

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Off The Water, Michiana

Week of December 6-12, 2013 • Page 7


Submitted photos

Above: Coward brews coffee using freshly ground coffee beans. Right: Lattes come with free foam designs, courtesy of Gustafsen.


Continued from page 6 The menu changes daily, but features at least three unique pizza choices. One of Thursday’s pizzas, called “The FunGuy,” was made with peppered cremini mushrooms, red onion, oregano, mozzarella, olive oil, and topped with midnight goat cheese. “I don’t like the word pizza because it reminds me of something cheap, something you’d have in college,” said Gustavsen. “I want to turn pizza into a whole other thing… use things people don’t normally associate with pizza.” Looking for coffee? Gustavsen roasts and grinds everything to order. Order a latte and he’ll top it off with a foam design. “No one is doing that around here because it’s hard. I literally wasted a thousand dollars worth of milk learning how to do it,” he said. Gustavsen said his customers should expect quality food. His dough is made from organic flour that is naturally leavened with yeast he’s been cultivat-

ing for months. His only other employee is his girlfriend, Sherilyn Delgado, who moved from Ann Arbor to help him run the place. The couple hope people give the restaurant a chance. “When you’re young people don’t really respect you,” Gustavsen said. “People come in skeptical. But watching them get their food, enjoy it and leave nothing behind makes it worth it.” As for the name Coward, Gustavsen said he wanted it to be memorable. “I know it’s weird and some people aren’t going to like it, but you won’t forget it,” he said. Coward, located at 107 Main St., is open Thursday through Sunday. Cafe hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dining hours are 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Sunday and 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Check them out at cowardmainstreet.


Page 8 • Week of December 6-12, 2013

Off The Water, Michiana


Family fun at Fernwood Botanical Gardens By Jill McCaughan

The lake effect snows have started blowing in on the northwesterly winds, but that doesn’t mean that residents and visitors to Michiana will be left out in the cold when it comes to staying connected to nature this winter. “A lot of people don’t know that we are open in the winter,” said Jan Ferris, special projects coordinator at Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve in Niles. “We have a lot more than just a botanical garden. If people don’t want to go outside to walk, we have indoor features, too.” Fernwood has a full calendar of holiday events scheduled, with activities designed for both children and adults. “The family stuff really kicks off on the 14th and 15th. And, then there’s more on the 21st and the 22nd [of December]. We’ll have free activities that kids can do for Christmas from 1 to 4 in the afternoon, and then the ice carving demonstrations are going to be the 14th and 15th as well. So, those are good family things to do. And then, on the 21st and 22nd, that’s when Santa will be here, both days, from 1 to 4. We’ll have children’s activities again. There’ll be music in the

Submitted photos

Fernwood Botanical Gardens hosts several events throughout the winter months to keep people of all ages involved in nature. gallery, and we’ll have a storyteller,” Ferris said. “If families are interested in something they can do with their kids, we have a gingerbread house contest and exhibit this year,” Ferris said. “People can work on it as a family. There are three categories: children, adult amateur, and professional. People have

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to bring them here by December 7th, and we will have them here on display.” “We also have our garden train. We bring that inside in the wintertime, and that’s all put into the [fern] conservatory inside. So kids can see the trains,” Ferris said. “For adults, we have this great candlelight holiday dinner. Chef Tim Carrigan does that on Wednesday, Dec. 18th. He always has a really nice meal there, and then we’re going to have dessert in the gallery and adult beverages, which will be like hot spiced cider and coffee drinks with liqueurs, and then we’ll have music in the gallery as well,” Ferris said. “If people can’t make it at 6 o’clock for the dinner, you can just come at 7 for dessert and music in the gallery.” The café also serves lunch throughout the winter. There will be more holiday-themed events as Valentine’s Day approaches. These include another adult dinner and a contest for the “Most Decadent Chocolate Dessert in Southwest Michigan.” But, holiday events are just a small part of the winter offerings at Fernwood. gallery exhibits, bird counts and a variety of classes will also be taking place. “In December in the gal-

lery, we have these beautiful silk scarves, hand-made and hand-painted by Irina Dorofeeva. And then, Jan. 9th through Feb. 10th, students from Brandywine, Niles and Buchanan Community Schools are going to be doing an exhibition,” Ferris said. “So, there’s always something going on in our gallery.” “Our Nature Center is always open, and they have a bird-viewing area,” Ferris said. “The backyard bird count is Feb. 15. This one is just 1 to 4 p.m.,” Ferris said. “That would probably be the best one for a beginner. Our naturalist, Wendy [Jones] will talk about feeding the birds and identifying them, and you can help count them.” “We have a lot of crafts and arts, horticulture, culinary classes, kids classes — all kinds of stuff. Because we are a botanical garden, we try to highlight the horticulture,” Ferris said. “Something that is really popular throughout the winter is our Sunday Journeys program. ...We will be having yoga classes in January and February. We have some gardening classes in December, and we have some craft classes. ...We also have a really cool program on pearl buttons and shells coming up.” Fernwood also accommodates visitors who want to experience the beauty

and tranquility of Michigan in the winter. Walking and snowshoeing are both encouraged, but skiing is not possible due to the slope that leads down to the river. “Outside, we keep our paved trails in the garden area plowed and cleared off so that people can just walk through the garden if they want. If you bundle up and wear your boots or snowshoes, you can go out into the Preserve area,” Ferris said. “It is very beautiful in the winter with all of the snow in our trees.” Fernwood Botanical Garden is located on 105 acres at 13988 Range Line Road in Niles, Mich. More information about their upcoming events and programs can be obtained by

calling (269) 695-6491 or by visiting their website at www.fernwoodbotanical. org. Many of their activities are free for members or with paid general admission. Membership fees start at $25, and Fernwood has a reciprocal membership agreement with many other botanical gardens. Memberships can also be purchased as holiday gifts. Through Jan. 3, Fernwood has a holiday gift membership promotion available. “If you buy a gift membership for someone, you’ll get a special ornament designed just for Fernwood” by tile-artist Scott Weaver, Ferris said. “It’s a gift that keeps on giving.”

Off The Water, Michiana

Week of December 6-12, 2013 • Page 9



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1st office space has dual entrances off 4th & Sycamore in Niles and has 1 large office or can be divided into 2 smaller offices. Lease includes heat, gas, water, sewer, $800/month for both offices or $450/month for one. 2nd office space has 1 entrance off 4th St. in Niles and has a reception area plus 2 offices, $350/month. Call or email mike.caldwell@leaderpub. com. (269)687-7700

3 Bedrooms, 2 Bath Full Basement Extra Large Garage $129,000 Call or Text Chris Moore (269)362-5665 Freedom Realty (269)687-8484


No more yard to mow, or leaves to rake - when you purchase this charming 3 BR, 2 BA condo located close to IN/MI line. The location is close to dining, shopping and entertainment. The open concept features; kitchen w/snack bar, all kitchen appliances; refrigerator, range, microwave, and dishwasher. Cathedral ceilings with skylights to let in additional natural light, 3 season porch, loft with closet, 2-car attached garage, full finishable basement w/ egress window. **Seller will provide a carpet allowance with and acceptable offer.** $119,900 Integrity Real Estate Professionals 1441 Oak St. Niles Call 259-362-2599 for an appointment

Experienced Ford Diesel Technician Jordan Ford


looking for full or part time home care for your family member, excellent references. Call (269)684-0758


Skilled Nursing Facility Offering Short or Long Term Care & Rehab to Home Call to Schedule Tour 269-684-4320

The area’s largest and best full line Truck shop is looking for a leader. If you are an experienced and certified Ford Diesel technician, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for. For the successful candidate chosen to fill this role, benefits include:

18699 Williams St. Cassopolis, MI of natural beauty in Michigan! 7 minutes from Elkhart. Open split bedroom floor plan offers over 2500 sq.ft. with 6 bedrooms/4.5 bath including guest quarters. Barn, pool, creek, pond, and horse/dirt bike trails. Edwardsburg schools This house is a must see! $410,000 Visit for photo tour or call Coldwell Banker, RWG Patty Lauten (574)340-4271 (269)663-8800


We are Indiana’s Best Truck shop where there is seldom turnover that would allow such an opportunity. Make you future the best it can be. What do you have to lose? Contact Cory Hayden,Ford Service Manager at (574) 254-2975 or for a confidential interview. EOE/Drug Free Environment

2 Bd/2 Bth home, $456*/MO! Vaulted ceilings, skylights, Spacious kitchen Call today! 269-695-3119

Land For Sale 510 VACANT LAND

unique Spanish bungalow. Shows beautifully with hardwood floors, curved doorways, formal dining and fireplace. Many recent updates including flooring, plumbing, cabinets and appliances. Attached garage and full basement. Private back yard and a pond for your enjoyment. Priced to sell at $69,900. 221 North 13th St, Niles MLS # 13065487 Call Sandy Bunch 269-470-7650 Integrity Real Estate Professionals






53847 N. Park Ave. Elkhart, IN. Every Fri. at 5:30p.m. Now taking clean big & small consignment. Drop off merchandise SatThurs Daily 10-5. Pick-up available. Someone here at all times. For more details call David (574)522-1020 or Trish (574) 206-6296 #AU01042788

Consignment Manufactured 502 Homes HOMES FOR SALE IN DECATUR

Turn your Closet into

Merchandise for 643 Sale YOUR E-CIG EXPERTS

Vaporizers & e-hookah Over 50 liquid flavors. US 31 Tobacco 50552 US 31 N, South Bend (574) 271-0333

Miscellaneous GREAT DEAL


on Floor Trusses 26' 1" Center Bearing Floor Trusses Call Judd Lumber for pricing and details Call for pricing (269)782-5134

Bargain Buys 668 USED BOOKS FOR SALE

Jak's Books, 210 Water, Benton Harbor. (269)3694876

Wanted to Buy 672 WANTED TO BUY

Cash paid for small & size refrigerators working or not,

625 medium


Kids' clothing: newborn to teen, Baby gear & furniture, Maternitywear

Accepting only winter outwear Nov. - Jan. Call for appointment. Who kNew Consignment 269-782-9800 3 Bed, 2 bath homes ready to be moved into. Lease Options at starting at $621.00 per month (includes lot rent, insurance, water, trash) Call 269-4237024 or visit to view pictures

Household Mer642 chandise BILL'S USED APPLIANCES

Washers & Dryers, Stoves, Refrigerators and More. InNot sold back on the market. ventory Always Changing. Excellent Deer and Turkey. 2559 S. 11th St. Niles 16 acres. Shed, travel trailer (269) 591-7922 and electricity. 17280 Calvin FOR SALE Hill St. Cassopolis, $59,000 Used & reconditioned 269-783-1001 washers, ranges, dryers, refrigerators & freezers. Refrigeration Service Antiques 600 Geiger 841 Carberry Rd. Niles AIDEN'S (269)687-8639 We buy storage units & estates and sell the treasures back to you. Mon., Weds. & Thurs. 12-5pm (closed Tues.) Fri., Sat. & Sun. 10am-5pm 822 Fort St., Niles (269)830-3790

*Highest Wage Offered- PERIOD! *Established Shop celebrating 50 Years as a Ford Dealer *The Best equipped shop anywhere! *Consistent growth every single year. Don’t languish in a shop that is inconsistent, hasn’t been growing or is stagnant. This is the best opportunity we have ever advertised and it won’t come along again anytime soon. We will pay the right person more than they are making now. Of course, we offer all the normal benefits including vacation pay 2nd to none, 401K, Health Insurance, etc.


lamps & more Whims & Wishes 51625 SR 933, South Bend (574) 277-2131

Things to Do 637 CASS DISTRICT LIBRARY (269)445-3400 Check out our online services: Freegal, Learn4Life, and more! Call for more info.

washers, gas & electric ranges. Call (269)687-8639


your junk car. We haul for free. Paying up to $1500 cash. Please call anytime 269-687-8098

Home Improve700 ment HOME REPAIRS & REMODELING

Over 25 years of experience, tile work, kitchens, bathrooms, additions, decks & porches, windows & doors, window wrapping, siding, fascia & soffit. Insured! Call Randy (269)782-3139 (269)208-9838

Page 10 • Week of December 6-12, 2013

Submit calendar events to Jill McCaughan, feature writer, by email at jill. or offthewater@leaderpub. com or visit the Leader Pub-lications office at 217 N. Fourth Street, Niles.

Dec. 5 Children’s Music Workshop: registration is now open for CMW’s production of “The Music Man Jr.” Children in grades 1-12. Call Kim Kidd for more information: (269) 422-2930 or visit Auditions on Jan. 8. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Stevensville, MI. 6 p.m.


Beer education with Head brewer Nate Peck. Free of charge. Tapistry Brewing, 4236 Lake St., Bridgman, MI. Space is limited. Sign up by calling (269) 2667349.

Volunteer opportunities for helping to clean up Sarett Nature Center, 2300 Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor, MI. Cleaning supplies & lunch


provided. Call (269) 9274832 if you plan to attend. Dec. 5-8

The Nunsense Christmas musical, "Nuncrackers." Barn Swallow Theatre, 22334 U.S. 12, East of E d w a r d s b u r g . Reservations strongly encouraged. Call Carol at (269) 445-2511. Dec. 5, 6 & 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 8 at 2:00 p.m.

Dec. 6

Holiday in the Gallery. South Bend Museum of Art. Opening Reception for the Student Faculty Exhibition, with followed by entertainment by the John Adams High School Show Choir. Admission is free! 6-8:30 p.m. (Awards presented at 7:00 p.m.)

Howard Levy in Trio Globo. The Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks, MI. 8 p.m. Tickets are $30. For info & tickets, call (269) 756-3879, or visit the website at www. 8 p.m.

Off The Water, Michiana

10 WHAT'S HAPPENING? month, Czar’s 505 pres- Michigan College Fine ents Reggae bands for Arts Program, Mendel “Jamaica Me Crazy.) Center, Room F-117. Comedians Al Jackson and (269) 271-5219 Brian Aldridge. Sky Lounge, Featuring royal banquet Mishawaka, IN. Doors open fare, music and entertainat 7; show is from 8 to 9:30 ment. Tickets are $30 and p.m. For more information, Dowagiac Christmas can purchased through the call Jayson Smith (574) 257- Parade, Beckwith Park, LMC Box Office at (269) 0759 or visit www.skymich- Dowagiac. 100-unit 927-1221 and at the door Candle-light Christmas one hour prior to the Parade. 7 p.m. (Street ven- event. 6:30 p.m. dors will be selling hot Dec. 6-24 “Around the World for chocolate and treats at the Holidays.” Musicians starting at 6 p.m.) for Michiana (MFM) chamber music series at Gingerbread House The Music Village’s First Competition, Downtown Fridays (Monthly Open St. Joseph Today Light Up South Bend, IN. Deadline House). Jamming, swing the Bluff, at 6:30 p.m. for entry is Dec. 2. dancing and holiday Tree-lighting, followed by Registration is free. Forms treats. 108 N Main St, Live Mannequins on State available at The DTSB South Bend, IN. 5:30-9 St., St. Joseph, MI. For office at 217 South p.m. Call (574) 245-7664 more information, call Michigan St. or visit www. for more information. (269) 985-1111 or visit downtownfortheholidays. com/gingerbread-village. htm. Gingerbread village Dec. 6-7 will be on display in lobby “Date Night in the Clay of the former College Studio” takes place at the Football Hall of Fame. South Bend Museum of "Out of the Box Playfest.” Also, Santa’s Workshop, Art, 120 St. Joseph Street, Box Factory for the Arts, free cookie decorating, South Bend, IN from 6:30 1101 Broad St., St. Joseph, Santa, activities and crafts to 9:30 p.m. Call (574) MI. Tickets available for children. 235-9102 for more infor- online www.boxfactoryDec. 7 mation and to register for f o r t h e a r t s . o r g / calendar#playfest, or at the workshop. the door. $10 adults, $5 for students and seniors. 2014 Miss Buchanan 7:30 p.m. both nights. Pageant. Buchanan High —Universal Xpression at Czar's 505, 505 Pleasant School Auditorium. St., St. Joseph, MI. Doors Tickets in advance from 8 p.m. Showtime 10 p.m. contestants and at Guys (Every first Friday of the Madrigal Feast, Lake and Dolls Styling, or at

the door for $15 each. Tickets are limited. Doors open at 6 p.m. A coronation ball will follow the pageant at American Legion Post 51. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Annual Christmas program at the oldest church in SW MI. Christmas music by the Edwardsburg High School Choirs, bell ringers, the Christmas Story and Santa for the kids. Smith’s Chapel, 29858 Redfield Road, Niles. 7 p.m.

Animal Aid Open House. Shopping, silent auction, pet adoption.The Whitcomb, 509 Ship St, St Joseph, MI. More info: call Vicki Florin (269) 428-2016. 1-4 p.m.

Bridgman Holiday Village Celebration. Chili Cookoff, toy drive, gingerbread house building. Downtown Bridgman. Tree-Lighting at 6 p.m. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Cookie Walk will be held


Pole barn & other garages specialist. Roofing Siding, Framing and more. Over 25 years experience. Licensed. Contact Michael N. Knepple (269)476-9777


Roofing, Siding & Windows, Light Hauling & Spring Clean-Ups, No Inside or Outside job too big or small. Low affordable rates. (269)591-1403

Tree Service 725 THE CUTTING EDGE PRO TREE CARE Complete Tree Service SAME DAY ESTIMATES Insured, Competitive Rates. 269-687-4972

Optical Services 726 AK MONTGOMERY OFFERS eye exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses & more to schedule online, or Call (269)782-3476

Tech Services 735 HURLEY'S iFIXIT

I can replace your broken screen on iPhones, iPods, iPads, most Andriod phones and tablets. Fast, reliable, and honest local service. Call 574-226-8673 or w w w . faceb ook. com/ h urleysifixitforu for pricing.

Recycling Service


DAVID W. GRISSOM, JR. Attorney At Law

CRIMINAL DEFENSE 123 W. Madison St., Ste. 1700, Chicago, IL

(312)345-0850 (312)282-2655 Licensed in Michigan & Illinois


Electrical Contracting, No Job Too Big or Small. Free Quotes. Affordable Pricing, Licensed & Insured. (269)684-6290 or (269)470-4097.

Insurance Ser758 LOWER YOUR INSURANCE RATES! Home - Auto - Health - Life We do the shopping for you! TCU Insurance Agency Call Deb Asmus today (269) 683-6700 x5901

Motorcycles & 915 ATV’’s 2007 HD® FXST

Softail® Standard $10,900. 9,218 miles, Vivid Black. All your Masonry needs! Insured Extras included & Bonded. Senior discounts . McDaniel's Harley Davidson, 269-362-1566 1910 Lincoln Way East, SB Painting Service 754 (574) 289-6650 MICHIANA MASONRY & CONSTRUCTION

Clean Green Auto Recycling Purchasing all metals, cars & trucks Hours: M-F 8-3:30, Sat. 8-10

Trucks, Vans, 942 4-Wh Drives 2000 MITSUBISHI

Montero Endeavor SUV. V6, 3.5L. 180K mi. Leather interior, 4WD w/hitch. Heated seats. Seats 5-7. Few minor mechanical issues. 5 Yokohama Geolandar A/T Tires, powder-coated black wheels. $2,950ALL reasonable offers considered! Text/Call Josh 269591-2872 or Erin 269-5912913


4X4. $5,800 Keenes Auto Body 269-782-3969

2010 HYUNDAI ELANTRA 4 Door Sedan Very nice 46K Miles No credit checks 0% Interest Call Scarlett's 269-461-4197


2008 Edge LTD, 70,000K, 2001 FORD 30K extended bumper to WINDSTAR bumper warranty, 20+ mpg, Snowmobiles 918 sport SE van, looks good, excellent condition, FWD, 1980 ARTIC CAT JAG runs good, new tires, as is, loaded with all popular op801 Carberry Rd, Niles 179,155 miles. $1,995 tions including 6 CD changer 269-687-5865 SNOWMOBILE J.M. HUNT OBO. (269)683-7988 9 speakers, SiriusXM paid to Great condition, $500. ENTERPRISES, LLC April 2014. Great deal at Misc. Services 747 Painting & Drywall. Insured. (269)782-3139 Autos for Sale 945 $16,499. Call to see 269Free Estimates. Family COMPLETE 2001 GRAND PRIX 697-0120 Owned & Operated for Over SE 4 door, runs good, new CONCRETE Auto. Service927 tires, reliable, for sale or From start to finish. 50 years. 269-683-4442. Repair partial trade etc. $2,250 Stamped, flat & dirt work. or Insured (269)663-8091 Wallace Auto Repair (574)350-5120 (269)357-5173

Quality Clock Repair

Front Street Framery 801 E. Front St. Buchanan House Calls, Free Estimates (269)409-1031

& 24hr Towing llc Best rates in town 67218 Cassopoils Rd Cassopolis, MI Call 269-699-5374

Off The Water, Michiana

at the Niles First Presbyterian Church, 12 S. 4th St. 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Annual Holiday Cookie Walk. Trinity Episcopal Church. 9 South 4th St. Coffee by Brew Ha Ha. Homemade cookies, candies, cakes and breads. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The Nutcracker,” by Dance Arts. Lakeshore High School Auditorium, Stevensville, MI. For tickets, call (269) 4295711 or buy at the box office day of show. Adults: $10, Children 12 and under: $5. Shows at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Greens Workshop. Sarett Nature Center, 2300 Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor, MI. Bring your own clippers & craft supplies. Cost is $10. Call (269) 927-4832 to register. 10 a.m.

15th Annual Reindog Parade Festival, State Street, St. Joseph, MI. 4 p.m. For more info, call (269) 985-1111 or visit

Brentwood at Elkhart Huge Holiday Bazaar. Hot dogs, drinks, and special treats. Admission is free. Donation of non-perishable food item requested. 3600 E. Bristol St., Elkhart, IN (574) 2621626. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Handmade Holiday Show, The Old Bag Factory, 1100 N. Chicago Ave., Goshen, IN. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Brian Randall Band at Czar's 505, 505 Pleasant St., St. Joseph, MI. (Every first Friday of the month, Czar’s 505 presents Reggae bands for “Jamaica Me Crazy.”) (269) 271-5219. Doors 8 p.m. Showtime 10 p.m.


A Concert of Christmas Favorites. First Presbyterian Church, Niles, MI. Free. Donations accepted. For info, call 683-7600 or visit www.firstpresofniles. org. 4 p.m. Dec. 10

Four Flags Garden Club’s 22nd Annual Hometown Christmas Celebration. Amtrak Depot, 600 Dey St., Niles. Santa and Mrs. Claus, homemade cookies, cider and candy. CounterPoints Show Choir. Drawing will be held at 5:45 p.m. for two tickets on Amtrak from Niles to Chicago. Tickets are free; must be present to win. 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Christmas Treasures, a 'Best of Open Mic” Christmas. No Charge. The Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks, MI. 8 p.m. For info, call (269) 756-3879 or visit www.acorntheater. com. Doors open at 6:30; music starts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11

Dec. 7-22

Free Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit at Fernwood. Categories for children, adult amateurs, and professionals. Call or visit website for guidelines and bring completed house to Fernwood by Saturday, Dec. 7. Houses on exhibit through Dec. 22. (269) 695-6491; 13988 Range Line Road, Niles, MI.

Santa will be at his house at the corner of State and Pleasant Streets, St. Joseph, MI. Thursdays and Fridays 4-6 p.m., Saturdays, 12-5, Sundays 12-3 pm. For more info, call (269) 985-1111 or visit Dec. 8

First United Methodist 12th Annual Craft Show, 132 S Oak St., Buchanan, MI. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Holiday Around the World: Family Day. South Bend Museum of Art. Admission is free. More info: (574) 2359102 or 2-4 p.m.

Giggle & Mingle with Santa Claus takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Round Barn Winery, 10983 Hills Road, Baroda, MI.

Southshore Concert Band - Maxine Brown, Mendel Center Mainstage, 2755 E. Napier Ave, Benton Harbor, MI. 1pm – 3pm

Week of December 6-12, 2013 • Page 11

Learn to ice skate at the University of Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena. Lessons for children and adults. Call (574) 631-8760 to sign up. Wednesdays, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13

Concert by Anne Hills and piano accompanist David Lahm with other guests. The Box Factory, St. Joseph, MI. Special VIP tickets for cabaret style seating: $20.. Concert seating tickets are $15, $10 seniors and students. Available at www.boxfactoryforthe a r t s . o r g / calendar/#christmas or 269-983-3688. Light refreshments, beer and wine available. 7:30 p.m.

“Date Night in the Clay Studio.” South Bend Museum of Art, 120 St. Joseph Street, South Bend, IN. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Call (574) 235-9102 for more info and to register. Dec. 14

Sign-ups for Bridgman Floor Hockey. Immanuel Lutheran Church, 9650 Church St., Bridgman, MI. For more info, call

Andrew 269-876-6677 or visit 12-2 p.m.

Family Fun. Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St., St. Joseph, MI. Children can wear favorite pajamas and attend fun activities. Free for the public. Cookies and punch. For more info, visit 1 to 4 p.m.

Breakfast with Santa. Fernwood Botanical Garden. $12 Adults, $8 Children ages 6-12, Children under 5are free. Register by the Friday prior to the breakfast while seats are available. (269) 695-6491 www. 13988 Range Line Road, Niles, MI. 9:30–11:00 am.


Dec. 16-17

South Bend Civic Theatre auditions for their Kids4Kids production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” Callbacks are on Dec. 18 at Scottish Rite building, 427 N Main St., South Bend, IN. Kids will sign up for an hour-and-ahalf slot beginning at 5:00 on the 16th or 17th. Call the SBCT Box Office at 574-234-1112 or visit, or Carys Kresny at (574) 968-7496. Dec. 17

Local Relay for Life team is hosting a "You Can Paint Too" fundraiser. Dowagiac Elks Club. All are welcome to attend. Cost: $35. Sign up at: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 18

“Michigan Beer Film.” The Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Drive, Three Oaks, MI. 8 p.m. For info, call (269) 756-3879 or visit Tickets: $13.00 in advance; $15 at door for film only. (Beer Party begins at 4:30 p.m., with food, craft beers and $9 all-you-can eat pizza). Q & A with film producer and some local brewery owners. Dance video party follows. Seating is limited. 7 p.m.

Learn to ice skate at the University of Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena. Lessons for children and adults. Call (574) 631-8760 to sign up. Wednesdays, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 15

Dec. 21

Open house: Sarett Nature Center, celebrating Chuck Nelson’s retirement. Email happy memories or humorous stories to 2300 Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor, MI. Call (269) 927-4832 if you plan to attend. 2-5 p.m.

Sign ups for Bridgman Floor

Dec. 19


Members of the Cass County Pioneer Log Cabin Museum meet at 6 p.m. at the Cass County Library on M-62 in Cassopolis, MI.

Hockey are Saturday Dec. 14th and the 21st at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 9650 Church St. Bridgman, MI. For more info, call Andrew 269-876-6677 or visit www.bridgmanhockey. com. 12-2 p.m.

Breakfast with Santa. Fernwood Botanical Garden. $12 Adults, $8 Children ages 6–12, Children under 5 are free. Register by the Friday prior to the breakfast while seats are available. (269) 6956491, 13988 Range Line Road, Niles, MI. 9:30– 11 am.

Christmas at the Acorn: A Christmas Extravaganza. Featuring Foiled Again. The Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks, MI. For info, call (269) 756-3879 or visit Tickets: $20. Dec. 22



Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at LMC Mendel Center at 4 p.m. Tickets are Business Christmas $52, $60, $72. Mendel Center Box Office,N (269) 927-1221 or Wwww.lmcE S —9th AnnualCompass Harbor Community Country Christmas show. Harbor Country Opera at the Performing Arts Center. Tickets at harborcounCrafts $25.Family Students under 17 are free. For info, call 269-231-0027. 4 p.m.

Food Legend of Events










New Year’s

Parting Shots




Dec. 16


Singing with David Lahm. Bring your own music or choose from his. The Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks, MI. For info, call (269) 756-3879 or visit 6-8 p.m. is rehearsal time. No Charge. Open Bar. 8 p.m. showtime.










Page 12 • Week of December 6-12, 2013

Off The Water, Michiana


Barn Swallow presents 'Nuncrackers' By Jill McCaughan

Leader photo/Provided

Barn Swallow Theater’s cast of "Nuncrackers": Back row: Michelle Gruver, Cheryl Steel, Shelby Guarino; Middle row: Janet Pietzak, Mary Geminder; Children: Thomas Oppman, Emily Andrina, Sophia Henandez, Aubrey Gruver, Tori DeMyer, Danial Guarino. (Not Pictured: Vanessa Enriquez and Ismeal Guerra) Oppman, Ismael Guerra, Vanessa Enriquez, Emily Andrina, Aubrey Gruver, Tori DeMeyer and Sofia Hernandez. While there are children in the production, Boepple described the production as appealing more to an adult audience. “As far as being something that is geared for children to see, I might bring my older children, but I wouldn’t bring really young kids. It’s not going to have a lot of entertainment value for them,” Boepple said. The children are joined by a cast of characters that includes Reverend Mother Sister Mary Regina (played by Janet Pietrzak, who is reprising her role from Barn Swallow's original production of “Nunsense”). She is joined by Sister Mary Hubert (Mary Geminder), Sister Robert Anne (Cheryl Steele) and Sister Mary Paul, also known as “Sister Amnesia” (Shelby Guarino). Sister Mary Leo (Michelle Gruver) and her brother Father Virgil (Patrick Doyle) will be joining these familiar characters.

All told, 22 members of the local community have been rehearsing and readying the sets and props for “Nuncrackers” since early October, preparing for the four performances at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5-7 and a matinee at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8. The show will last about two hours, including an intermission during which refreshments, such as lemonade, tea and cookies will be available for a small donation. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children 12 and under. Ticket sales will enable Barn Swallow Theater to pay for current and upcoming productions and theater improvements. Reservations are strongly encouraged as seating is limited to 80, and they may be made by calling Carol at (269) 445-2511. “At one of the performances of our last production, ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ we only had three seats left. So, it’s always better if people call in advance, and then they can pay for the tickets at the door,” Boepple said.


Attending a holiday performance is a traditional way to spend an evening during the Christmas season. From ballets and musicals to choir concerts, school pageants and theatrical productions, there are so many options to choose from. Those who attend Barn Swallow Theater’s production of “Nuncrackers” won’t have to choose. It incorporates all of those different types of entertainment into one big, comedic production with a hometown flavor. “It’s a great way to come out and start off your Christmas season — with a fun evening of live theater,” said Pam Boepple, director of the show and a founding board member of the Edwardsburg-based community theater. “Nuncrackers” is the Christmas-themed sequel to the popular musical “Nunsense.” Barn Swallow Theater put on a version of that original show several years ago. “This sequel features the irrepressible nuns from Mount St. Helen's Little Sisters of Hoboken in their very first televised Christmas Concert. You, the audience, will be privy to and a part of this special production as it is being produced,” Boepple said. By attending one of the performances of Nuncrackers, audience members will be supporting the arts in their local community while they are being entertained. Originally formed in 1985 with an old barn as their playhouse, Barn Swallow Theater is wrapping up its second season in their new building, an old church that they have converted into a theater, located at 22334 U.S. 12, east of Edwardsburg, Mich. “It just so happens that everybody [in the show] this time is from the Edwardsburg area. I have eight children in it, and they all attend Edwardsburg schools,” Boepple said. “They say some lines, but basically they come out and do some chorus numbers. They take part in the ballet. We have a very funny version of the ‘Nutcracker’ ballet, and they are a part of that.” Children participating in the production include Daniel Guarino, Tommy

January 31– February 9, 2014 EntEr nOW AnD gEt listED in thE prOgrAm bOOklEt! FOR OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM & SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOLLOW US ON /COAstlinEChilDrEnsFilmFEstivAl

Off The Water - December 6 - 12, 2013  

The Place to be Entertained.