Letters and Commentary

REMEMBER DAD SUNDAY… Sunday, June 19 is Fathers Day. Take it from me; dads love to be remembered on any day.  Dads realize, from their own experience that time slips by, the kids grow up and move on, and those cherished family moments get fewer.  Dads think about their dads on Fathers Day and they think about those cherished family times gone by…those times with their dad and times with their kids and opportunities lost forever.  Talk to him this Fathers Day.  And if you want to remember him with a gift Sunday, check out the special Fathers’ Day gift guide on Page 9.

WOW… here we are in mid-June already; the kids are out of school, the Hartford Strawberry Festival is history, as is the first Coloma Medley in the Park. The farm stands are open and stocked and Watervliet is gearing up for its Fourth of July weekend celebration.  This week’s issue has the wrap ups of the Coloma and Hartford past weekend events and next week’s issue will unveil the great fun planned for Watervliet over the Fourth.   After that comes the Van Buren Youth Fair in Hartford, then the Glad Peach Festival and then the Berrien County Youth Fair…. then Labor Day and school opens the day after.   Eight issues of the Tri-City Record between the Fourth of July and Labor Day features a local business that salutes the summer visitors of Paw Paw Lake.  There’s summer in the Tri-cities in a nutshell and I’m worn out and out of breath! I promise to slow down and enjoy all our wonderful community has to offer if you do too!

Thank you to the Pokagon Fund  for the grant

Dear Editor,

I am the Cub Master for Hartford Pack 195. We have been struggling over the last few years to attract and keep new scouts.  Cub Scouting is one of the best extracurricular activities a young boy can join. The skills and life lessons they learn through their scouting years will stay with them forever. The boys also learn to give back to their community.  Once a month we collect food for the local food pantry. We also have participated in stuff a bus to help fill the local food pantry.  The boys, with the help of Hartford American Legion #533, held a Veterans Day celebration for the local veterans.   This year we were lucky enough to receive a grant from the Pokagon Fund.  With the grant we were able to attract more scouts to join scouting. We nearly doubled the size of our pack.  With the grant money were able to help purchase uniforms, books, awards and several supplies for our scouts.   This year we had 18 of our 20 boys participate in pinewood derby. The grant allowed us to purchase each boy a derby car.  We also had 100% participation for our Rain Gutter regatta race again with the help of the grant we were able to purchase boats for each scout.   In closing I just would like to give a huge THANK YOU to the Pokagon Fund for helping boost our scouting program.  We hope that we can continue to work with the Pokagon Fund and hopefully continue to increase interest and participation for Hartford Scouting.

Jennifer Pitcher


My father is my biggest hero

My father, Jim Clear, is a walking contradiction of the most elegant kind.  He raced stock cars and motorcycles from Millburg to Daytona. He looks as good in blue jeans and flannel as he does a three piece suit, but he can crochet, knit, sew and can paint in watercolors or oils.  He is famous for his peanut brittle and fried potatoes and can chill a bottle of Pepsi in the freezer and take it out just before the ice crystals forms…so it burns your throat all the way down.  My father taught me how to fish, swim, drive a motorboat, and pull sea weed from Paw Paw Lake while balancing on my knees, on a board and on an inner tube.  My father’s eyes are the color of fresh cut grass. He never finished high school, but is the most educated person I know.  My father is a giving soul, with a heart as big as Texas, as soft as a new-born kitten and as beautiful as butterfly wings.  My father, Jim Clear, is my biggest hero and if the Try-City Record delivers to Heaven, I wish you’d send him a copy of this issue of the paper with my letter published in it.

Sincerely, Jan McReynolds

My dad is the best

 I want to nominate my dad for the top pop because he plays games with me. He takes me to the Dairy Queen. He watches movies with me and he goes fishing and hunting with me.  I feel he deserves to win because he is the best.

Ava Thomas  (6 years old)

Finding daily strength

 In the Bible book of Isaiah, God’s relationship with Israel is described as being father-son relationship. In chapter 30 a frustrated father complains about his rebellious son’s attitude towards him: “…for this is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the LORD” (v.9).  They didn’t want to hear guidance from their father. No, the LORD’s messengers were to “Speak pleasant words, prophesy illusions” (v.10). They demanded to hear feel-good messages and entertaining stories – please, no more of this stuff about sin and the “Holy One of Israel”.  Instead listening to God’s direction, they arrogantly relied on other alliances for their safety, alliances that God warned would ultimately fail. We might say that they wanted to cancel the prayer meeting and party instead. Maybe they would have told the preacher to preach happy messages, telling us how good we are and about our potential instead of this sin and guilt stuff. We are here to be encouraged, and it’s your job, God, to have your people do that.  In the midst of this foolishness on Israel’s part, God does come through with some encouragement, but its price would have to involve change: “In repentance and rest you will be saved; in quietness and trust is your strength.” (v.15)  Paraphrasing, God encourages them, “You will find the security you desire when you change your ways and rest in My direction. Stop proudly relying on anything else. Fully trust Me. You will discover the strength for life that you really need.” The choice would be theirs.  With Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can discover similar blessings as we quiet our hearts and rest in our Heavenly Father’s sovereign love and care.  Quietly trusting in Him, we can find our strength.

Berrien Community Foundation accepting grant applications

 Applications for the Fall 2016 Berrien Community Foundation grant cycle are available online at www.berriencommunity.org. The grant application deadline is August 31.  The Foundation makes grants of up to $10,000 to non-profit organizations serving Berrien County residents. The Foundation will consider grants in the areas of:

Arts & Humanities

Community Development

Environmental and Animal Protection

Healthful Living

Nurturing Our Children

Quality Education

Senior Empowerment; and

Youth Leadership and Development

 “Last year we were able to fund 40 very different projects that affected lives throughout Berrien County.” said Berrien Community Foundation President Lisa Cripps-Downey. “BCF grants focus on the spectrum of what we believe makes our community great, from education and the arts, to the health of our seniors. It is so powerful to see what those gifts can do for our community and the impact lasts forever.”  The BCF Youth Advisory Council, T.E.A.M. (Teens Exhibiting Able Minds) also contribute their unique perspective to the grant process.  T.E.A.M. members make recommendations for funding projects that focus specifically on the challenges faced by youth.   In 2015 there were 7 projects that were funded as a result of T.E.A.M. recommendations.  Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor’s Night Court was one such project. Using a core of basketball, Night Court offers positive alternatives to teens through adult mentoring and team sports during higher crime hours throughout the summer.  The Night Court project has had a very positive impact on both gang activity and juvenile crime in the Benton Harbor area as well as helping youth develop friendlier and more positive attitudes toward law enforcement and other authority figures in our community.  Organizations wishing to apply may do so on-line at www.berriencommunity.org. “We encourage prospective applicants to review the information on the website to help answer any questions, but please feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions,” said Berrien Community Foundation Program Officer Susan Matheny. “We are here to help.”  For additional information visit the Berrien Community Foundation website at www.berriencommunity.org or contact Susan Matheny via email at susanmatheny@berriencommunity.org or by phone at (269) 983-3304 ext. 4.   The Berrien Community Foundation is celebrating its 62nd year of grant making in Berrien County. With the mission of enhancing the quality of life in Berrien County, the Community Foundation focuses on building endowments that will forever give back to the community.  The Foundation also provides donor advised funds, agency funds and scholarships while serving as a facilitative community leader in Berrien County. For more information, visit www.BerrienCommunity.org.


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