TRAVERSE CITY — A dozen local community leaders are taking to tents again.
The second annual Traverse City Sleep Out, scheduled for Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning, is intended to raise funds to help needy individuals and families meet spiraling energy costs.
Community members are encouraged to stop by the Open Space beginning Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. to make a donation to local organizations that help area low income residents with heating costs. Participating organizations include the Grand Traverse Area United Way, Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan and the Father Fred Foundation.
Donations also will be accepted for the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, a statewide advocacy, education and aid group that supports energy assistance for Michigan's low income households.
In 2011, the first Sleep Out garnered $10,000. Organizers hope to exceed that amount this year. The total still represents "a drop in the bucket of the need that's out there," said Doug Luciani, president and CEO of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.
"It's a powerful way to send a message," he said of the Sleep Out event. "The purpose is to raise awareness in the community that times are tough. Plus, that there are programs out there to help, but even so these programs aren't enough."
The Father Fred Foundation's projected figures for 2012 show the need for utility assistance continues to climb in the sluggish economy. The foundation distributed $251,475 in emergency assistance in 2010. That figure rose 20 percent to $328,008 in 2011 and is projected to jump another 10 percent this year to $354,000.
During the most recent winter season covering November 1 through March 31, the Father Fred Foundation provided $133,000 in assistance to 688 families, an average of $193 per household.
"Bear in mind that there are shutoff and winter protection plans that spread utility payments throughout the year," said Jim Holwerda, Father Fred chaplain. "Indebtedness incurred in the winter months may not result in the threat of shutoff until spring or summer."
Representatives of local utility companies are on the Sleep Out roster, including Cherryland Electric Co-Operative, Traverse City Light & Power, DTE Energy and Consumer's Energy. The companies offer help for consumers to keep their heat on during financial difficulties.
A grant last year from DTE Energy purchased tents and sleeping bags for a dozen campers. The equipment then was donated the next day to Goodwill Inn, which distributed the items among area homeless people.
Families in need mean students in need. Local education representatives scheduled to participate in this year's Sleep Out including Steve Cousins, superintendent of the Traverse City Area Public Schools, and Mike Hill, superintendent of the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District.
With 24,500 students in a five-county area under his jurisdiction, Hill is taking part in the Sleep Out effort in order to raise awareness about young people affected by poverty.
"I go into this thinking about students, too many in our five counties who struggle in this economy," he said. "We all know the research: when students come to school it has an impact on achievement if they're coming from an environment where they don't have a warm home."
Officials raise awareness with another night outdoors
TRAVERSE CITY — A dozen local community leaders are taking to tents again.
BATA plan: Load more bikes on buses
Cyclists who pedal the Leelanau Trail between Traverse City and Suttons Bay now have more back-and-forth options.Continued ...
Goodwill to develop food truck
An area nonprofit will rely on more than $20,000 in taxpayer-funded grants to begin operating a food truck that accepts Bridge Cards.Continued ...
Downtown leader passes away
TRAVERSE CITY — A community pillar who literally helped shape downtown Traverse City died unexpectedly Sunday night of an apparent heart attack. For more than three decades, Bryan Crough, 59, left his mark on local politics and culture, serving as aContinued ...
Light & Power board balks at price of proposal
Traverse City Light & Power board members balked at a $60,000-plus, no-bid proposal to plot the city-owned utility’s future.Continued ...
Historical Photo of the Week: 06/17/2013
Can any readers identify the people in this photo? (Click the photo at right to view it larger.)Continued ...
Gottwald wins Roubaix
Forty is the new 30. Or 20. And also the decade of choice for Cherry-Roubaix road race champions this year.Continued ...
To U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Joseph Buzzella Jr., who stepped down as commander of the Coast Guard’s Traverse City Air Station after a two-year posting.Continued ...
Empire event to celebrate beloved soundman
The northern Michigan musical community will pay homage to one of its own during the Summer Solstice Celebration of Music and Community on June 23 from noon to 9 p.m. at Johnson Park in Empire.Continued ...
Cherry-Roubaix category winners
Winners from this weekend's Cherry-Roubaix:Continued ...
News from 100 years ago: 06/17/2013
H.S. HULL has added the launch “Hilda” to the fleet of boats on Lake Leelanau. It is said that there are to be some fast motor boat races pulled off on that lake this summer.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 06/17/2013
Change our habits; Multiplying enemies.Continued ...
'Thunder' to roll to honor vets
Members of Rolling Thunder Michigan Chapter 1 invite the public to polish their chrome and join them as they hit the highway for their fourth annual Pure Thunder-escorted veterans memorial ride.Continued ...
Community Newsmakers: 06/17/2013
Eight local residents have been nominated for the 2013 National Cherry Festival Distinguished Senior Award.Continued ...
Northern Notes: Just Mulch gets thank-you
Debra Norman, principal at Lake Ann Elementary School, wrote to thank Scott and Deb Talquist from Just Mulch for providing the school with the equipment and manpower to keep its pond and waterfall operating.Continued ...
Bums' Birch slams Slammers
Chase Burch sent a message to the rest of the Frontier League. That message: Don't throw at Chase Burch. Joliet already got it.Continued ...
Wolves fall to Detroit
The Traverse City Wolves fell to 2-1 with a 33-13 home setback against the Detroit Ravens.Continued ...
Community in Brief: 06/17/2013
Ac Paw garage sale donations; Food Bank open house; Grass River events; and more.Continued ...
Lalonde, Rokos winners at Cherry Raceway
A full show was what awaited fans as they packed the facilities of the fast 3/8ths (0.375) of a mile high banked dirt oval Friday at Cherry Raceway in Fife Lake.Continued ...
- Monday, June 10, 2013
Gun range change not yet sighted
Don't expect state officials to make a decision on the future of controversial gun ranges along Hoosier Valley Road anytime soon.Continued ...
Central United Methodist Church celebrates 100th birthday
One hundred years and Central United Methodist Church arguably remains the handsomest building on the block. The 1,100-member church will celebrate the 100-year dedication of its place of worship with a neighborhood block party on June 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.Continued ...
A breath of relief for severe asthmatic patients
Janet Berryhill thought she made a big mistake after getting the newest treatment aimed at patients with severe and uncontrollable asthma.Continued ...
To Berdyll Hanrath, who signed up for World War II while still in the eighth grade; he never went back to school but got his high school diploma anyway.Continued ...
Beach Bums snap 3-game losing streak
Need to stop a losing streak? Scott Dunn's the guy. The right-hander allowed just one run on eight hits in 6.2 innings of work Sunday evening as the Traverse City Beach Bums snapped a three-game losing streak with a much-needed 3-1 win over the Frontier Greys at Wuerfel Park.Continued ...
Locals work to improve far away lives
Chris Treter’s search for the world’s best coffee beans has taken the owner of Higher Grounds Trading Company all over the globe, but you won’t find the places he visits in any travel brochure.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 06/10/2013
TC Wolves rout Grizzlies, 37-3; Carruth wins Mannino Scholarship; Blue Stars sweep, improve to 15-0. (Plus more)Continued ...
- BATA plan: Load more bikes on buses