10-20-2016 Watervliet Twp. Board continues with property acquisition; Building HOPE through Harmony

VAN BUREN COUNTY MUSEUM… replaced eight windows in the museum's Sun Room this week, thanks in part to a $5,500 donation from 100 + Women Who Care, Van Buren. The work was done by Howe Patio and Windows, Plainwell. The museum is continuing its fundraising efforts to replace windows in the historic building. Shown in photo are (from the left) museum volunteer, Kris Brando and museum President, Sandra Merchant.

VAN BUREN COUNTY MUSEUM… replaced eight windows in the museum’s Sun Room this week, thanks in part to a $5,500 donation from 100 + Women Who Care, Van Buren. The work was done by Howe Patio and Windows, Plainwell. The museum is continuing its fundraising efforts to replace windows in the historic building. Shown in photo are (from the left) museum volunteer, Kris Brando and museum President, Sandra Merchant.


Watervliet Twp. Board continues with property acquisition

By Annette Christie

At the Watervliet Township Board meeting on October 17, Clerk Patt Bambrick said that the board is still in discussions with a seller for a real estate purchase.  At last month’s meeting the board authorized Supervisor Dan Hutchins to negotiate the purchase of property.  While they would not go into location, purchase price, or any specifics on the property, Hutchins did say that the property would be for recreational purposes.  Hutchins alluded that the long term goal of the board was to develop a soccer complex within the township.   Bambrick said that a draft version of the purchase agreement has been submitted to the seller and is still under review.  The board received a positive audit from Gerbel and Company, their auditor.  They received the highest opinion they could.  The auditor said that the township should be complimented on the use of their fund balance.  He said that they are fiscally responsible and have reduced the amount they are using out of fund balance and reducing their spending overall.  He urged them to remain to act conservatively with their spending given the upcoming elections and uncertainty of our government.  Leaf pickup in the township will occur between November 1 and November 30.  Consistent pick-ups will happen throughout the township and residents should not have to call about the need for a pickup but could if they wanted.  Bambrick announced that the township is converting from the software package, Fund Balance, to B S & A and so far, it has been very positive.  “This is much easier to interface with all the things needed and it is a very user friendly system,” Bambrick said.   Trustee Vick Kinzler was commended for his many years of service by the board and community members.  He has served almost 20 years on the Township Board.  He was defeated in the primary election in August.  As his final action, it was Kinzler who made the motion to adjourn the meeting.  The next Watervliet Township Board meeting will be November 21 at 7:00 p.m.

Lighthouse Chorus

                    Lighthouse Chorus


Building HOPE through Harmony Lighthouse Chorus to perform at fundraiser for HOPE Resources

 On Saturday, October 22, 2016, the Michiana Metro Lighthouse Chorus, an all-male a Capella chorus based in Niles, will present Building HOPE through Harmony, a fundraiser event to benefit HOPE Resources.  The evening of musical entertainment will begin at 6:59 p.m. at the Coloma High School Auditorium, 300 W. St. Joseph in Coloma.  The program will include a variety of music, including jazz, rock, patriotic, spiritual and ballads.  General Admission tickets are $15, and Senior/Student tickets are $12. Admission will be free for children under age 12.  All proceeds will go to HOPE Resources.  Tickets can be purchased by calling 269-363-9585.  Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the evening’s food drive.  HOPE Resources (Handing Out Positive Expectations) is a newly-formed non-profit community resource center whose goal is to provide an efficient, effective distribution of services to the hundreds of families in need in the Watervliet, Coloma, Hagar Shores, Hartford and Covert areas. The Mission of HOPE Resources is to help individuals in our community become self-reliant by providing consolidated resources that will help them grow.   The center will be temporarily housed in the Northern Berrien County Food Bank at Coloma United Methodist Church.  Once it moves to its permanent location, HOPE Resources will not only distribute food, but also offer services to increase self-sufficiency and improve quality of life, including job training, money management and a clothing closet. HOPE Resources Chair Salena Jonjevic noted that the Center operates solely on private donations and grants, so fundraising events such as this are critical to the long term success of the organization.  This new initiative is designed to create a resource center that will serve individuals in our area who may need help with obtaining the tools to become self-sufficient.  HOPE Resources’ objectives are to: Provide life skills, career guidance, pre/post-employment support; Provide employment related services to unemployed or underemployed individuals who face multiple barriers to employment with a goal of obtaining and maintaining full employment; Provide classes/courses on money management for individuals; Provide food to low income families and individuals; Provide clothing to individuals who are in need of clothing for work or school. Their vision is to see the community work together as local business leaders, dedicated volunteers, churches and other organizations to engage and encourage the growth of our community.  The Lighthouse Chorus is a men’s a Capella chorus that performs primarily in the four-part harmony of the barbershop style.  Members of the Chorus come from multiple counties throughout the area, including Berrien and Cass County in Michigan and St. Joseph and La Porte County in Indiana.  Many of them live or work in the Coloma-Watervliet area, including Fred Boyer, Joe Immoos, Richard Hutchinson, Greg Kuzma, Tom Sackett, Era Snyder and Chorus Director, Brother Giles Hanover.  Tom Sackett noted, “the mission of the Lighthouse Chorus is to give back to our communities, and this fundraiser gives us the opportunity to help HOPE Resources make a difference in the lives of hundreds of people who are in need in our local area.”  The Chorus is celebrating its 17th year together.  It has performed its family-friendly entertainment in almost every southwest Michigan and northwest Indiana community, singing on stages, in parks, on sidewalks and in churches.  All of the members share one thing—the love of singing and the joy of making music come alive.  The Lighthouse Chorus is always looking for new members and welcomes any male who loves to sing to visit Chorus practices on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Niles.

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