CHS Band Awards Presented

Coloma High School Band se-niors… were recently presented personalized blankets or framed certificates in honor of their years of participation in the Co-loma Band Program. Pictured front row (from the left): Courtney Kroschel, Carly Lentz, Ally Jarvis, Sydney Mil-ler, Emma Tavolacci, Jenna Miller, Ashley Sipla, Gabby Gordon, Katie Martinez, and Tori Kolenko. Second row (from the left): Michelle Lester, Nicole Baldwin, Allison Marti-nez, Tessa Parrigin, Becka Plitt, Lexi Ludwig, Emily Moody, Alexis Kroschel, Sabrina Ball, Taylor Culby, and Chloe Poirier. Third row (from the left): Nate Tallman, Tyler Blevins, Eric Gorzynski, Reese Sample, and Alex Moore. Fourth row (from the left): Zack Swisher and Michael Pellerito.

2016 JOHN PHILIP SOUSA AWARD… Carly Lentz (pic-tured on the left), Coloma High School senior, was presented with the 2016 John Philip Sousa Award at the Coloma Spring Band Concert on May 18. She was chosen by the band and Mrs. Thomas based on her lea-dership, dedication, and musi-cianship. Carly, the daughter of Richard and Donna Lentz plays trombone in the concert, march-ing, jazz, and pep bands. She plans to attend LMC next fall. Chloe Poirier (pictured on the right), Coloma High School se-nior, was presented with the 2016 Louis Armstrong Jazz Award at the Coloma Spring Band Concert on May 18. She was chosen by the band and Mrs. Thomas based on his lea-dership, dedication and musi-cianship. Chloe, the daughter of Michael Poirier and Stephanie Andrews, plays tenor saxo-phone in the concert, marching, pep, and jazz bands. She plans to attend WMU next fall.

2016 COLOMA BAND DIRECTOR’S AWARDS… Morgan Gruss (pictured on the left) and Kimberly Spaulding (pictured on the right) were pre-sented with the 2016 Band Di-rector’s Awards. Morgan, the eighth grade award recipient, is the daughter of Monica Gruss and she plays oboe in the Co-loma Junior High Band. Kim-berly, the seventh grade award recipient, is the daughter of Ja-son and Tracy Spaulding and she plays French horn in the Coloma Junior High Band. They were chosen by Mrs. Thomas for their dedication, leadership, and musicianship.

Van Buren continues Differently Abled Program

Developmentally challenged 4-H youth ages 5 to 26 will continue to have an opportunity to participate in a special show at the 2016 Van Buren County Youth Fair.  The show, designed to meet the needs of exhibitors with special needs, will be held on Friday afternoon, July 22, 2016.  In previous years, special arrangements were made for differently abled to show in the cat, dog, and horse project areas.  Christina Leftwich, Differently Abled Co-Chair says, “This is a win-win scenario for all of our youth, as well as for our community as a whole.  The closest Differently Abled show in Michigan is Leelanau County; we’re excited to host an event closer to home.”  The Committee continues the search for financial sponsors and outreach organizations to set displays during the show. Exhibitors will be allowed to show a combination of up to three still exhibit projects (crafts, cooking, art, etc.) and/or small market animals (goat, rabbit, poultry, cavy/lab animal) in a non-competitive, stress reduced environment.  Those choosing to show animals will work throughout the year with animal project teen leaders in local 4-H clubs to build their skills and knowledge of their project.  The show’s structure is designed to reduce exhibitor stress by allocating specific show times and assistance from project leaders and caregivers.  Patricia Olsiewicz, exhibitor parent says, “The show is non-competitive and it fills the heart to see that placings won’t matter as much as a pretty ribbon and applause.  The show is a spotlight for the public to witness and appreciate the work of the differently abled, shedding light on how abled they can be.” Exhibitors will need to participate in a local 4-H club throughout the year to participate.  Show entry forms will be due on the same day as other Fair entry forms, June 15, and will be available through the Van Buren County 4-H Office, Paw Paw or inside the 2016 Fair Book.  For more information, contact Differently Abled Secretary Denise Noble at


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