11-21-2019 Caring about the Coloma community; citizens, local governments, and non-profits pitch in

HERE THEY ARE… The eight contestants vying for the title to become Miss Teen Coloma 2020 are (from the left) Diamond, Arryanna, Micayla, Ariana, Kourtney, Alexis, Ashley and Emma. The pageant will be held this Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. in the Coloma High School Auditorium. The cost is $15 (if purchased by Friday, Nov. 22) and $20 day of the show at the door. Pre-tickets can be purchased through any of the contestants or by messaging on the Miss Teen Coloma Facebook page before Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Toney Hart-Wilson)

Caring about the Coloma community; citizens, local governments, and non-profits pitch in

By Nancy Albright Coloma non-profits, government agencies and residents work hard to make Coloma a great place to live and they certainly work in creative ways. Library honors area veterans The Coloma Public Library celebrated Veterans Day with “Lest We Forget,” a display dedicated to all veterans in thanks for their service in foreign and domestic conflicts. In attendance was area veteran Corporal Gust Anton, who served in the United States Army, 84th Construction Battalion; one year and 28 days of which he spent on the front lines during the Korean War as a combat photographer. “I’ve got the pictures to prove it,” said Gust. “They mean a great deal to me.” Gust, who served as Mayor of Coloma in 1967, said that he took photography classes during high school in Chicago and he was good with chemicals, so the Army put him on assignment to photograph the battles. “I was the only person around there with a heated jeep because I needed the heat to develop the photographs.” Gust gave the more graphic photos to the CIA in 1953, but still carries the rest with him wherever he goes to show and tell their stories. He has traveled to Korea by invitation of the Korean people to show his photographs. “They are all very interested in my stories and they very kindly finance my travel and my stays.” The Lest We Forget organization’s theme for 2020 is “Korea: 70 Years.” “Lest We Forget” will be on display at the library through December 5. At the November 11 City Council meeting, Coloma citizen Harold Bragg commended the library on a marvelous job and asked for a moment of silence to acknowledge those living and past. Thank you for your service. Dinosaurs raise $800 for charity On October 18, the Coloma Police Department (CPD) teamed up with Coloma Community Schools and raised $800 to benefit the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Copasaurus Rex (Police Chief Wes Smigielski) and Teachasaurus Rex (School Resource Officer Dan Stuglik) raced loaded shopping carts to the finish during halftime of the Coloma High School football game to the cheers of a big Senior Night crowd. UW Campaign Coordinator and CPD Administrative Assistant Tracy Tavolacci said it was a lot of fun and thanked Harding’s Market for donating the shopping carts, and Officer Stuglik for designing and decorating the racers. The results? Copasaurus beat Teachasaurus two out of two and remains undefeated. Check out the Coloma Township Police Department Facebook page to see a video of the race. No Shave November The CPD are not letting any grass grow under their feet in November when it comes to charity even though they won the T-Rex race. They are letting their beards grow however, to help raise cancer awareness in the community during No Shave November. City honors student accomplishments The city will recognize the accomplishments of the Coloma High School Machine Tool & Welding Program and the 2019 State Champion Coloma High School Girls Bowling team with signs near the Coloma City Limits. Tool & Welding were state champs for three years running in 2014–2016 and will compete again this year. The students in the metalworks program made the new benches for Randall Park and Mayor Pro-Tem Marsha Hammond said they did a great job and the crew is easy and fun to work with. “They’re a wonderful bunch of kids!” Chamber honors area businesses The North Berrien Community Development & Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Community Appreciation Tribute & Business Recognition event on Thursday, December 12, 2019, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Blackbird Waterhouse, 4896 Paw Paw Lake Rd. The event is for COC members and Municipal Board members. The COC will present awards to DiMaggio’s Pizza for Community Commitment, Sidetrack Cafe II for Community Impact, and The River for Community Spirit. The COC will also present three individuals with Community Service Awards that will be announced at the event. The chamber is working with the Coloma and Watervliet Downtown Development Authorities to sponsor Shop Small Saturday on November 30 to promote shopping at hometown businesses. New Baker Street sidewalk open for business The COC held a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the sidewalks located behind Laura Baker Park and between Linda’s Antiques and Soulard’s Café in downtown Coloma to give easy access to 15 downtown parking spaces located at Federal Court, complete with lighting and drainage. The project was paid for by the City of Coloma and the Coloma DDA. In other news The city has received the 20 new plow blades and 10 curve runners approved by the council in October, and all the plows are up and running. City leaf pick-up is on hold until the snow melts. Van Buren County Commissioner Dave Vollrath announced that the new county bus service will start at the first of the year, and that the county building will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. The city council would also like to remind residents that City Hall will be closed on Thanksgiving.