Hometown Holiday Happenings
VFW Post 1137 annual Needy Family program Watervliet VFW Post 1137 located at 8777 Red Arrow Hwy in Watervliet is accepting donations to their annual Needy Family program to assist six families in the Coloma, Hartford and Watervliet area for the Christmas season. Anyone wishing to make a donation of canned goods, non-perishable food items or a monetary gift please call Corky Openneer at 463-7544 to arrange for pick-up or delivery. Collections are needed in time for a December 22 delivery. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
Christmas Eve candlelight service Plymouth Congregational Church at First and Elm in Watervliet (across from the Laundromat) will celebrate Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. on December 24 with a Candlelight Service. All are welcome to take a few moments to join together in singing Christmas carols and to celebrate God’s great gift to us. Go, and bring a friend.
Christmas services at Coloma United Methodist Church Children’s Christmas Pageant Dec. 23 at 10:00 a.m. A wonderful opportunity for kids of all ages to participate in the story of the birth of Jesus! (No lines to learn-assemble at 9:30 am to prepare.) Christmas Eve Candlelight Service Dec. 24 at 8:00 p.m. Love Feast Dec. 30 at 10:00 a.m. (Hymn Sing) All are welcome to join in celebrating the birth of Jesus! Coloma United Methodist Church is located at 144 S. Church Street. Call 269-468-6062 for more information. Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service Watervliet Free Methodist Church is the place to be Christmas Eve for Candlelight Communion. They will share in music, an Advent reading, a Christmas message from Pastor Brian Hall and communion by candlelight. It’s a perfect night for the whole family to celebrate the birth of Jesus our Savior. Christmas Eve is Monday, December 24 with the service at 6:00 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend. Watervliet Free Methodist Church is located at 7734 Paw Paw Avenue. Call 269-463-8280 for more information.
Hartford Library to offer movies during Christmas break The Hartford Public Library would like to wish everyone a very, merry Christmas and Happy New Year. During the Christmas holiday break, the library will be showing the following movies each day at 2 p.m.: Dec. 26 “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”; Dec. 27 “The Santa Clause”; Dec. 28 “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”; Jan. 2 “Incredibles 2”; Jan. 3 “Christopher Robin”; and Jan. 4 “Small Foot”. All movies come with free popcorn and drink. Any donation to help build their new library building would be graciously accepted. They need to raise $500,000 to complete the project. The new library will be the Art & Bonna Vanderlyn Community Center complete with community rooms and meeting areas, computer/ media room, tutoring areas, large children’s room, separate teen area, local history room and quiet reading areas complete with fireplace. Exterior and interior designs will be available in mid to late January. For information, call Stephanie Daniels, (269) 621-3408.
LOCAL BUSINESSES HONORED… The North Berrien Community Development (NBCD) and Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce (CWACC) recognized five local businesses Thursday during the groups’ annual community appreciation tribute. In the photo, (from the left) are: Cindy Graffenius, representing Orchard Hill Sanitary Land Fill; Steve Graffenius with Best Way Disposal; Beth and Ben Wagner from B&B Grocery; Chana Kniebes, NBDC and CWACC Community Development Coordinator; Karla Smothers, CWACC Chamber president; Karla and Mark Lemoine of Coloma/ St. Joseph KOA; Linda Freitag, City of Coloma commissioner; Ryan, Scott, and Ina Krenek with Krenek RV Super Center. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
Five local companies honored at business recognition event
By Kristy Noack The North Berrien Community Development (NBCD) and Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce (CWACC) honored five local businesses Thursday during the groups’ annual community appreciation tribute and business recognition event, held at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Watervliet.
CHAMBER HAS 145 MEMBERS AND HOSTED 7 RIBBON CUTTINGS THIS YEAR Chana Kniebes, Community Development Director, was the emcee of the event. She advised the crowd of over 70 people that the chamber now has 145 members, there were seven ribbon cuttings during the year, including the new Casey’s in Watervliet and the Paw Paw Lake County Park. She also shared that NBCD worked with the Southwest Michigan Realtors Association to secure a $3,500 grant for the new clock in downtown Watervliet. Kniebes explained the businesses being celebrated should all be congratulated for their achievement and impact on their respective communities. B&B GROCERY WINS COMMUNITY COMMITMENT AWARD B&B Grocery was recognized with the Community Commitment award. B&B Grocery opened on Main Street in downtown Watervliet three years ago and recently moved to a larger facility around the corner at 337 E. St. Joseph Street. The new store features 4,000 square feet of space, plenty of parking, and is on a single level, allowing for easier unloading of deliveries. Beth and Ben Wagner, owners of B&B, accepted the award. Beth Wagner commented, “The community support we’ve gotten, it’s been a wonderful journey. It has been a dream come true.”
COLOMA/ST. JOE KOA WINS COMMUNITY INVESTMENT AWARD Coloma/St. Joseph KOA was the winner of the Community Investment award. Owned by Mark and Karla Lemoine since 2016, the KOA has been transformed. The Lemoines rehabilitated the site with a completely renovated general store, café, and clubhouse; updated the electrical utilities; purchased new picnic tables and a new jumping pillow; replaced the pool furnace, pump, and filtering system; added five new “deluxe patio RV sites,” and updated the 12 cabins. Their efforts resulted in a $350,000 investment into the property and community. The Lemoines have 19 staff members and “welcomed more than 13,500 guests from all 50 states and 15 countries.” Mark Lemoine said, “It is amazing what you can do when you listen to God and get out of the way. It’s a great privilege to be part of the community, and we are grateful.”
COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD GOES TO KRENEK RV The Community Impact award was given to Krenek RV Super Center, a longstanding business in Coloma. Krenek RV, formerly known as Krenek Motors Inc., was started 40 years ago. The business features full-line luxury conversion vans, travel trailers, and motor homes available for sale or rent. Additionally, Krenek RV offers service, parts, and accessories for the vehicles they sell. Scott Krenek, owner, is the international chairman of the Recreational Vehicle Rental Association. His son Ryan Krenek is the current Michigan delegate to the Recreational Vehicle Dealer Association. Scott Krenek is also a founding member of the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club, which was formed in 1982. “I appreciate being nominated for this honor. I was born and raised here,” Scott Krenek said of Coloma. “We’ve been able to survive by serving people all over the country. It’s kind of a great business to serve people all over the country but never leave home.” Scott recognized the support of his wife, Ina, during his acceptance speech.
BESTWAY DISPOSAL & ORCHARD HILL SANITARY LANDFILL PRESENTED WITH SPIRIT AWARDS Selected to receive the Community Spirit Awards were Best Way Disposal and Orchard Hill Sanitary Landfill. Best Way and Orchard Hill are both longtime supporters of the Coloma and Watervliet communities. Orchard Hill offers recycling services, and the gas from the landfill is used to power 2,000 homes with electricity. Best Way Disposal offers trash removal and recycling services. They also have portable restrooms available for rent. Steve Graffenius, accepting the awards for both companies, said Best Way “delivers promptly, safely, respect, high standards, efficient equipment, and cleanliness,” throughout the county. Kniebes added, “They do a lot of good things behind the scenes,” by supporting community events such as the Glad-Peach Festival in Coloma and 4th of July Independence Day Celebration in Watervliet. Kniebes thanked the following individuals for their assistance Thursday evening: Rochelle Ulleg of Robert Michael Salon for providing dessert, Mary Spaulding for creating beautiful table centerpieces, Tom Gear of Tri-County Computers for supplying music and the sound system, and Harding’s of Coloma for providing trays of food for the event.
Officers installed at Coloma Masonic Lodge
MASONIC HONORS… Representatives from the Grand Lodge of Michigan recently installed the 2019 line of officers for the Coloma Masonic Center located in downtown Coloma. Travis B. Schultz of Benton Harbor will serve as Master of the lodge leading its membership in various charitable and community activities. Peter S. Scudamore of Coloma was named Mason of the Year of Coloma Lodge in recognition of his distinguished service and contribution of time and effort to the fraternity. 2019 Coloma Lodge Officers and Installing Team (from the left): Front row – Matthew Rosenbaum, Peter Scudamore, William Weeden Jr., Charles Weeden, William Weeden Sr., Robert Knight; Middle row – Bryce Schadler, David Mayne, Kyle Bullock, Travis Schultz; Back row – W. Don Baugher, August Meyer, Walter Wheeler, Mark Manning, and Roy Ballet.