Shirley and David Merillat, of Benzie County, are still in awe after they were "blessed by a stranger" on Jan. 22 at the Traverse City Meijer store.
The couple had attended church and then stopped at Meijer to do some shopping. They were in the checkout line when a lady stepped up and said she wanted to pay for their groceries. Both Shirley and David are in their 80s and have never had anything like this happen before. Shirley said they're still in shock and find it hard to believe someone would do that.
"I don't believe in chance," Shirley said. "I believe the Lord led her to do what she did. ... at the same time, I believe the Lord was giving me assurance that he will supply all our needs. May the Lord bless her abundantly. Thank you."
In December, members of the Kiwanis Club of Crystal Lake visited all the third-grade classes in the Benzie County School System to present each student with a dictionary.
The dictionaries are published by The Dictionary Project Inc. and are geared specifically to students.
The club distributed 176 dictionaries, with additional copies left with the schools for students joining the classes later in the school year. The program is well received and the club receives a great deal of positive feedback from students, teachers and principals.
The club, in turn, would like to thank Benzie County residents, visitors and businesses for their continuing support of their three fundraising efforts — the Playhouse Raffle, the Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast, and the sale and installation of 911 home identification signs.
"Without your generous support, the dictionary and other educational and civic programs and our donations to Children's Play Areas at Michigan hospitals would not be possible," David Eldredge wrote on behalf of the club. "All of our members extend their grateful thanks to you."
The Traverse City Polar Plunge raised more than $18,000 for Special Olympics Michigan.
Polar Plungers raise money through pledges and dress in funny costumes to take a dip in frigid water. Traverse City's fundraiser was held Feb. 11 at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Acme and featured Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton.
Alain Clifford was the top fundraiser for the second consecutive year, netting more than $2,400. He works at the Grand Traverse County Jail.
Kayla Hepler and Megan Perry from Traverse City West Senior High School dressed as Pebbles and Bam Bam and walked away with the Golden Plunger Award for best costume for an individual or duo.
(Editor's note: Northern Notes will now run every Monday on the Community page. Our rotation of features columnists runs on Sundays in Northern Living.)