07-25-2019 Letters and Commentary

Backpacks give away for school children

Dear Editor, As the Program Manager for Berrien Community Foundation, I am able to serve Berrien County by helping the resources in our county meet the needs. I do this by administering grants, helping award scholarships, and coordinating volunteer events, to name just a few things. I love what I do because every day I get to help our donors make life better for families all over Berrien County. My work is a never-ending stream of feel good projects from summer camps in Niles to supporting youth sports in Eau Claire and everything in between. But lately, I have been working on a project that really hits close to my home and my heart. As a proud graduate of the Watervliet Class of 1993 and a current resident of the City of Coloma, I am thrilled to be working on “Backpacks for Good”, a back to school readiness event for Coloma, Watervliet and Hagar #6 schools. At this event, which will be held Saturday, August 10 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Midway Baptist Church we will give away 750 backpacks filled with school supplies, offer free vaccinations from the Berrien County Health Department, host a mobile food pantry and much more! The best part of working on “Backpacks for Good” so far has been the resounding support from my hometowns. When we first started talking about the event, we had no trouble at all securing our sponsors. I would like to thank the DeGroot Family Foundation, Regal Finishing, Coloma Lioness Club, John Withrow Excavating and Dr. Darlene Getz for their generous support. A project this big cannot be done without help from the whole community and I would like to invite folks to sign up to volunteer for the day of the event. We will need lots of help!!! If anyone would like to volunteer, they can go here: www.berriencommunity.org/backpacksforgood or they can call me at 269-983-3304 x2. Thank you to everyone in the Coloma and Watervliet area for helping us help our students have a great start to the new school year!

Susie (Withrow) Matheny Watervliet, Class of 1993

Hartford Public Library planning trip to Air Zoo

Dear Children and Parents, As part of our Summer Reading Program, the Hartford Public Library is offering a field trip to the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo on Thursday, August 1. The field trip is available for free through a grant from The Pokagon Fund. Participants must register at the library for the trip. The bus will depart the Hartford Public Library at 9:30 a.m. and return to the library by 2 p.m. Admission and bus transportation is free. Lunch and snacks are on your own. The Air Zoo trip is part of the Summer Reading theme of “Blast Into Reading” and Space Travel. For more information, call the Hartford Library at (269)621-3408.

Keep reading this summer, Stephanie Daniels, Director Hartford Public Library

Members of WHS Class of 1945 gather

Dear Editor, Seventy-four years ago our excitement was so great. Many had graduated and some were off to war. We waited five years to get together and have lunch as a group. We have done our best and kept it going for as long as we can. On July 10, 2019, five of us got together and we sang the Watervliet Fight Song. We were at Eddie’s Drive-In in Coloma and everyone laughed and all had a good time. Those who came are Barbara Zvonar (Smith), Bette Anderson (Costa), Bernice Rudell (Matrau), Joyce Kolenko (Larsen) and Willis Bouma (he had left us for a time at war). Jack Paul lives in Cupertino, California. He sent some great things for us to read at the lunch. We all enjoyed our time together. We are all waiting happily for next year, God willing. Love. Joyce Kolenko

August and Mary Mundt

Mundt family to hold 100th reunion August 4; inviting all descendants to attend

In 1918, August (Gustave) Sr. and Mary Mundt’s family started the tradition of a yearly family gathering. Along with a couple of Gustave Mundt’s siblings, the event included their 11 children August Jr., William, Herbert, Otto, Edward, Freida Broadhurst, Emma Danneffel, Fred, Nelson, Augusta Broadhurst, and Louise Oakley. In 1919 they incorporated the yearly family gathering as a Reunion appointing president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer roles. This year the Mundt Reunion will celebrate their 100th Reunion at the Watervliet VFW located at 8777 Red Arrow Hwy, Watervliet, Michigan on Sunday, August 4 at 12:30 p.m. With this being the 100th Reunion it is extra special, so the organizers would like all Mundts, Broadhursts, Oakleys, Platts, and Danneffels just to name a few who are descendants of the family members listed above to join them. Please bring a dish to pass and come enjoy pictures from past reunions, games for the kids, and many other great experiences for all to enjoy. They are also selling commemorative t-shirts for those interested. While they will have some on hand, pre-order is available until Friday, July 26. Please contact nicfox13@gmail.com for information on ordering shirts.

Rep. Paquette town hall draws nearly 100 residents to discuss road funding

State Rep. Brad Paquette hosted over 90 community members for a town hall meeting to discuss road funding in Michigan. He was joined by State Representative Jack O’Malley, chair of the House Transportation Committee, and Senator Kim LaSata, vice chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “It was fantastic to see so many engaged citizens attend to learn more about road funding,” Rep. Paq