11-16-2017 Letters and Commentary


Annual Tootsie Roll Drive

Dear Editor,

The members of Fr. R.G. Thelen Council 4055 of the Knights of Columbus in Watervliet would like to thank the citizens of Coloma, Hartford and Watervliet.  Many people contributed to our Annual Tootsie Roll Drive held in October which helps organizations that provide services to people with Intellectual Disabilities in Berrien and Van Buren counties.

This year the council and friends of the council collected over $5,300 which will be distributed very soon to seven local organizations and some statewide organizations.  Council 4055 covered all of the expenses to run the drive so every dollar contributed went to helping disabled people.

Thank you for helping the Knights of Columbus help people in the community.

Paul Nickels & Ron Ostrowski


Road commission winter snow plow operations

 As in previous years, normal operations of the Van Buren County Road Commission are scheduled between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Routine snow removal and ice control will be performed during normal work hours only. Snow removal operations begin on county primary roads as a first priority (Red Arrow Highway, Blue Star Highway and all roads with the “CR” designation). Local roads (streets and avenues) and roadways within subdivisions are given secondary priority.

Weekend operations and/or overtime operations will be authorized in the event of a snowfall in excess of four inches only on the most critical locations on selected county primary roads, as conditions permit. In the event of a snowfall in excess of eight inches, authorization shall be extended to cover the remaining county primary road system and the local road system of the affected area(s), as conditions permit. In addition, unusual ice and/or wind conditions causing hazardous driving on the affected areas of the road system may also be authorized, as conditions permit.

In all cases, minimum crew sizes will be utilized to cover the affected areas with every effort within the physical and financial resources of the Road Commission being made to keep the roads in a safe and reasonable condition for public travel.

The Snow Plow Policy can be found on the Van Buren County Road Commission’s website at www.vbcrc.org. Remember: Drive slow on ice and snow!

Therapeutic Equestrian Center seeking volunteers for holiday season

 The Therapeutic Equestrian Center (TEC) is seeking volunteers to assist with their programs.  TEC has both weekly and occasional volunteer opportunities available.  Currently they are in need of volunteers for their Holiday Session!

Anyone who can walk for 30 minutes and is 14 years of age or older are needed.  Volunteering will “make someone’s day,” even the one volunteering!  No experience with horses is necessary for many of the opportunities.   TEC’s riding arena has heat so get your exercise with them!

To join a great team of volunteers and help special need riders sign up for one of their trainings, please email Beth at beth.drollinger@gmail.com or call 269-932-5005.

TEC services the special need communities of Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties. Participants gain life changing skills and their self-esteem is reflected in their smiles of accomplishment.

Riders are not the only ones who benefit. “If someone is interested in becoming involved with TEC, they just need to go watch a lesson to see how much it helps the riders and how rewarding it is for the volunteers,” said Chuck W. a fellow TEC volunteer.

The Therapeutic Equestrian Center (TEC) located at 615 M-140 in Watervliet is a non-profit 501(c)3 that was founded in 2005. TEC provides year-round therapeutic horseback riding as well as other equine assisted activities to individuals with special needs. TEC collaborates with Blossomland Learning Center to provide Saddle STARS, a school based program using horses as a theme. These programs are possible because of TEC’s team of dedicated volunteers.

To learn more about TEC visit their website at www.tecfarm.org.