06-29-2017 Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club offers mentoring to local students; Cemetery improvements under

Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club offers mentoring to local students

 On a recent Wednesday the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club (PPLRC), which serves the Tri-Cities, hosted a noon luncheon meeting about the Rotary Student Program. Since 1905 the 1.2 million member Rotary organization has worked toward the common goal of providing relevant services to the world. In 2007 Jackie Huie, a St. Joseph Rotarian, launched the Rotary Student Program which provides a valuable service to communities with Rotarians helping young people connect with business professionals living in their dream careers.

ROTARY STUDENT PROGRAM… was the subject of the June meeting of the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club. Pictured from the meeting are (from the left): Rotarians Robyn Johnson, Executive Assistant – JohnsonRauhoff (JR); Dr. David Moss, Bob Becker, both of PPLRC; Jackie Huie, speaker and CEO of JR; and Tiffany Griffin, JR Public Relations Manager.


The PPLRC was fortunate to have Jackie as its guest speaker. Jackie continues to be instrumental in developing the program which was chronicled in the Rotarian a magazine which reaches every Rotarian worldwide. Jackie explained how this program is making a difference by helping high school and even some middle school students meet with business professionals for as little as an hour to help them pursue their career goals. Jackie is busy as the CEO of JohnsonRauhoff, a local creative agency and Chair of Rotary Student Program. The plan of the PPLRC is to encourage students to apply and meet with professionals in their “dream jobs” and have applications available in our local schools this fall.

As business professionals mentor students the students gain insight into the career they wish to follow. Jackie explained the program works because in some cases students may decide this is not the career for them and sometimes… well… they end up choosing a different path. Through the connectivity of reaching out to mentors the community grows as connections are made. Pete Bush, Superintendent of Coloma Schools said “We are extremely supportive of working with Rotary to get something set up in our district to benefit our kids”. Watervliet schools also have voiced support.

Locally the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club is reaching out to area students as its emphasis for this coming year. Globally the Club continues to work to help supply home water filters in the Dominican Republic and to play its part in Rotary’s program to eradicate polio worldwide. If you’d like to learn more about these or other Rotary areas of emphasis please join us for lunch. We meet every Wednesday at Lakeland Hospital Watervliet at noon. Friendly hospital volunteers will help guide you to our meeting room.

Contact Bob Becker at alfmet@aol.com for a seat at a table!

Cemetery improvements underway in Hartford

By Nancy Albright

The Hartford Township Board discussed needed improvements to Maple Grove Cemetery at the June 8 meeting to remedy the water system and damaged gravestones.

The water system at Maple Grove is currently shut down and township supervisor Ron Sefcik stated that, “We need to keep the flowers watered and the tombstones clean. I would like to be able to provide that service to Hartford citizens.” A recent survey of the system revealed that broken equipment which draws water from an underground well needs to be repaired or replaced to quickly make the system operational.

The board agreed to further investigate the issue and repair what can be done now to get the water flowing using funds currently available. They will work on a long-term plan to trench in new water lines and replace the equipment when additional funds become available.

Township treasurer Steve Starner told the board that on a recent tour of Maple Grove he noticed several damaged veteran gravestones, one dating back to the Civil War, another with a G.A.R. medallion. Township clerk Julie Sweet told the board that she will notate damaged grave markers in the new computerized cemetery data system for survey and repair.

Call Hartford Township Hall at (269) 621-4658 to obtain applications to purchase cemetery plots; and visit hartfordtownship.org for a copy of the Hartford Township Cemetery Ordinance.

Wellhead Protection Plan survey in progress

John Herman updated the board on the Contamination Source Inventory currently being conducted by Wightman & Associates to identify sources of potential water contamination in the City of Hartford and Hartford Township. The project is part of the Early Warning Protection Program and the inventory was last updated in 2000.

Three sites have been identified to date. Two abandoned wells: One near Simply Auto Repair located at 62915 Red Arrow Highway; the second at the Hartford Wash-N-Dri at 519 East Main. Both wells have been disconnected and sealed at ground level. Underground storage tanks beneath the El Supermacado grocery store at 525 East Main are no longer in use and have also been recorded on the survey.

Funding for the survey comes from a public education outreach grant awarded to help complete the project. Mr. Herman stated that, “Our objective is to protect the citizens of Hartford and keep water safe to drink. If we can stop one person from dumping hazardous materials we’ve done our job.”

All roads lead to Hartford

Van Buren County Road Commissioner Rick Boze told the board that the C.R. 687 North improvement project which is currently underway should be completed by the end of August, and roadwork on C.R. 687 South is scheduled to begin late this summer. If traveling on 687 follow detour signs to C.R. 681 and Red Arrow Highway to reach the City of Hartford.

The project to raise the intersection and curb the corners of 70th Street and Red Arrow Highway will begin mid-summer, which will make the intersection much safer for travel. Reminders and detour signs will be posted before roadwork begins.

Vendor, Craft & Vintage Show to benefit Devon Haas

  On Saturday, July 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be a Vendor, Craft & Vintage Show to benefit Devon Haas. The show is being held at the St. Joseph First United Methodist Church located at 2950 Lakeview Avenue in St. Joseph.

Nine-year-old Devon is a local boy struggling with cancer. Visit Facebook page: Let’s help Devon fight.

There is no entrance fee for this benefit event.

Lake Hospital Watervliet Auxiliary Linen Sale July 20

 Lakeland Hospital Watervliet Auxiliary is having a Linen Sale at the hospital on Thursday, July 20, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity to purchase needed items for college dorm rooms and for Christmas gifts. All proceeds benefit Auxiliary projects for the hospital.

Lakeland welcomes new ear, nose, and throat specialist

 Lakeland Health recently welcomed Wei Gao, PA, to its medical staff. Gao joins Stephen Bovenkerk, DO, Deborah Habenicht, MD, and Dennis Thompson, MD, at Lakeland Ear, Nose and Throat. He will be seeing patients at the practice’s Berrien Springs, Niles, and St. Joseph locations.

Gao earned his Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Western Michigan University, and served as a research fellow at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute at the University of Michigan. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy of Otolaryngology at the First Teaching Hospital in Henan, China, where he also served as an Attending Physician and Vice-Professor. Wei has hundreds of hours of clinical experience in surgery and otolaryngology and is certified in advanced cardiac life support.

“I love what I do and I think my patients understand that because they see I have a passion for medicine and helping others,” said Gao. “As an ENT provider, I feel it’s important to listen carefully to everyone who walks through my door, and accurately assess their condition, so I can make a confident diagnosis.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.lakelandent.com or call (269) 982-3368.

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