If you are entering Grade 4 or 5 next school year and want to teach a robot how to play "Fetch," then this is the summer experience for you. Or do you want to tell the robot to explore the surface of Mars and not get lost? 

Take the STEM Challenge and register for two mornings of exploration at River Valley Elementary--Chikaming Campus on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 25 and 26, from 8:30 am to 12:15 pm. The $10 cost all goes to the River Valley STEM Education program and includes a snack and drawing for prizes. 

To register, send an email by June 24 to Dr. Marian Prince at mprince@andrews.edu with your name, grade entering, and phone number, or call (269) 426-6705 with your information.

Chair Affair

The Second Annual Chair Affair benefit for Neighbor by Neighbor will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at Froehlich’s new space in downtown Three Oaks in the 19 North Elm upstairs party space.

The Chair Affair will feature one-of-a-kind chairs, footstools, benches and stools which will be sold via live auction and silent auction. Appetizers, cake and non-alcoholic beverages are included in the ticket price of $25 for one ticket, $20 each for 2 or more. There will be a cash bar.

A number of chairs are works in progress with themes like Under the Sea, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Notre Dame, the solar system and a doll’s tea party. Hand-made specialty chairs will be included from Hearthwoods and the Fredman Design Group. Pink Lemon Studio has something amazing in the works. Some chairs are for adults and others for children, and some are intended for outdoor use while others are strictly indoors. There is something for everyone!

Neighbor by Neighbor is in its second year of operation and is a program that links residents of Harbor Country (Chikaming, New Buffalo & Three Oaks Townships) with resources and services, most of which are located in the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area.  Stephanie Rutherford works full time as the Resource & Referral Specialist and she has regular hours at the New Buffalo Library, Three Oaks Emergency Food Pantry, and Harbert Community Church. She is also available by appointment to meet people in convenient public spaces. The most typical requests for help are for rent & utility assistance, but other requests include finding at home care for elderly, getting connected to a substance abuse program, and pointing people to area food pantries. To contact Stephanie, call 269-231-0648 or email her at info@nbynharborcountry.org; the program website is www.nbynharborcountry.org and the Facebook address is @nbynharborcountry.

Tickets for the Chair Affair gala must be purchased in advance for the sake of the restaurant staff preparing a delightful array of appetizers (including vegetarian friendly). To purchase tickets, contact Neighbor by Neighbor at (269) 231-0648, Harbert Community Church at (269) 426-4321, or Linnea Berg at (248) 990-4685. Neighbor by Neighbor is a program sponsored by Harbert Community Church and is primarily funded by a grant from The Pokagon Fund.

Music in the Park

The Blue Water Ramblers are scheduled to perform a Music in the Park concert at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22, in Three Oaks’ Dewey Cannon Park.

Other upcoming shows in the free, Harbor Arts-sponsored series (all begin at 6:30 p.m.) include: June 29 - The Backups; July 6 - Andrew Fisher Quartet; July 10 - Kristin Cotts; and July 20 - Cabildo. Music in the Park continues through Aug. 31.

Authors at Bridgman Library

Chuck Nelson and Dick Schinkel, authors of “Nature Nuggets,” will visit Bridgman Public Library, 4460 Lake St., from 2-3 p.m. June 28 for a book signing.

In the book, they relive their experiences – never letting facts get in the way of a good story.

Nelson is a naturalist and the retired director of Sarett Nature Center. Schinkel, a longtime friend, is chairman of the Berrien County Parks Commission.

They will share excerpts from their book, which will be available for purchase.

Froehlich’s give-back benefit for Museum

Diners can enjoy something old and something new at a “Giveback Dinner” at the just-opened Froehlich’s Kitchen & Pantry, 19 N. Elm St., on Tuesday, June 25. The giveback event will benefit The Region of Three Oaks Museum (TROTOM) at the newest attraction to Three Oaks’ retail district.

The “something new” is the Kitchen & Pantry complex itself, with dine-in and bar facilities, a takeout deli section, a beverage boutique and retail space offering homemade jams and jellies as well as unique kitchen and decor items.  The new, full-featured menu is characterized by the farm-to-table goodness that Froehlich’s has become known for at its smaller restaurant across the street.

The “something old” is the building that houses the Kitchen & Pantry.  Originally built in 1910 by the Warren Featherbone Company, the two-story brick building spent its first 80 years housing Three Oaks’ department stores.  At 7:30 pm. Tuesday evening, TROTOM Board Member Nick Bogert will present a pictorial history of the building which was known as Charles K. Warren & Company, Three Oaks Department Store, Hunerjager’s and T. L. Wood before becoming the Three Oaks Pharmacy in the 1980’s.

Froehlich’s will donate half the proceeds of that night’s dinner to TROTOM, which is located at 5 Featherbone Ave., directly behind the new Froehlich’s.  The museum is open Friday through Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m., through October.  For more information about the Museum, visit regionofthreeoaksmuseum.com or contacttrotommuseum@gmail.com.

Acorn Play Writing Competition deadline is June 30

The Acorn Theater’s 10-Minute Play Writing Competition entry deadline is midnight June 30. The competition offers cash prizes and the chance to see your play performed live on The Acorn stage at the finals on Nov. 9.

Judges will select the finalists from entries received by the deadline.

For more information on what's happening at the Acorn Theater, visit www.acornlive.org/

Camino de Santiago & cookbook forums

The history and practicalities of walking the 500-mile Camino de Santiago will be subject of next Community Forum talk co-sponsored by Friends of New Buffalo Library and Harbor Country Hikers on Monday, June 24, at 6 p.m. in the Pokagon Room, 33 N. Thompson St.

Guest speaker Mary Rooney has traveled the Camino five times. She will share the history this network of pilgrimage routes leading to the shrine of St. James the Apostle in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.  In 2017, 301,036 people completed the pilgrimage.  Rooney will discuss the characteristics of a pilgrim, some surprising challenges and the gifts of the Camino. 

On Tuesday, June 25, also at 6 p.m. Eastern in the Pokagon Room, Abra Berens, Granor Farm chef and author of “Ruffage,” will walk through the process of making her cookbook into a reality.  The book draws from her skills in cooking directly from a farm garden and includes 30 different vegetables with recipes, preparation techniques and tips on storing.

Upcoming Community Forum programs include An Epic Two-and-a-Half-Year Road Trip to All 59 National Parks on Tuesday, July 9, and Building Bridges Across the Racial Divide on Tuesday, July 23.

The Community Forum Series is sponsored by the Friends of New Buffalo Library, underwritten in part by The Pokagon Fund.  For further information, call New Buffalo Township Library at (269) 469-2933, follow the Facebook link at newbuffalotownshiplibrary.org or email new.buffalo.FOL@gmail.com.

Book Club

All are welcome to attend The Harbor Country Book Club meetings at 6:30 p.m. in the New Buffalo Township Library on the last Thursday of the month.

The June 27 selection is “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett. The July 25 selection is “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens.

Lakeside Garden Walk

The 2019 Lakeside Garden Walk (scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 22) will feature eight unique gardens within one to six miles of each other.

For information on tickets ($45 after June 17). visit www.thelakesideassociation.com or call (773) 343-1680.

Sponsored by The Lakeside Association of Harbor Country’s Lakeside, Michigan. All proceeds go to the Scholarship Fund benefiting high school seniors in the River Valley School District. For more, see article in Features section of this website.

Relay for Life

The Berrien County American Cancer Society Relay for Life will take place from 10 a.m. to midnight June 22 at Upton Middle School, 800 Maiden Lane, St. Joseph. Activities will include a Survivor/Caregiver Walk, a Luminaria Ceremony and a Closing Ceremony.

Bridgman Summer Reading Program

Movie Mondays will take place June 17-Aug. 26 at 1 p.m. at the Bridgman Public Library. The June 24 movie will be “Zathura: A Space Adventure.”

For upcoming movies, visit the Community Calendar at https://bridgmanlibrary.com/communitycalendar.asp#/events/

The Bridgman Library Adult Summer Reading Program “To the Library and Beyond” will be held through July 26.

Read 10 books and receive a prize. Read a sci-fi book and receive an additional prize. Complete the 10 book challenge and enter the drawing for a gift certificate to the Fusion Gallery and Studio located in Bridgman. Pick up your entry form at the library today.

Other upcoming programs at the Bridgman Library include:

• Midsummer Minecraft for Teens grades 6 and up from 1:30 to 3 p.m. June 25.

• Eating in Zero Gravity:  The Tricks Behind Space Food at 11 a.m. June 27.

Hikers heading to Pinhook Bog

Harbor Country Hikers are heading to the Pinhook Bog to tour both the bog and the uplands terrain of the Valparaiso Moraine, on Saturday, June 29, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern.

The Hikers will follow the Pinhook Trail System which features two very different habitats.  The Bog Trail, which leads to a depression the Valparaiso Moraine, was created when a large piece of ice broke off the retreating glacier.  As part of a National Park Service-sponsored open house, rangers will be stationed along the trail to help understand the carnivorous plants that populate the area.  The Upland Trail, which is highlighted by a rich beech and maple forest growing atop the moraine, was formed more than 15,000 years ago.

Pinhook Bog is south of Michigan City at 946 Wozniak Rd., LaPorte, IN.  Hikers should bring water and insect repellent and wear sturdy shoes.

Harbor Country Hikers events are open to all and children are welcome if accompanied by an adult.  Membership ($20 for individuals or $30 for families) is encouraged.  For more, visit harborcountryhikers.com.

Summer Reading/Summer Feeding

The Galien Township Library will be hosting its annual Summer Reading Program this year beginning on Tuesday June 25, at 1:30 p.m. The program will be held on Tuesdays for six weeks. The theme this year is a Universe of Stories. We will have activities, stories and snacks for kids in pre-school on up. Please join us for lots of fun.

The Library will also be hosting a Summer Feeding program brought to us by River Valley Schools and the State of Michigan. Starting June 17 there will be a food van in the Galien Township Library parking lot with free lunches available for all children ages 18 and under, and adults may purchase a lunch for $2. The van will be there Monday-Friday from 12:45-1:45. The program will run through the end of August.

RVHS 20th reunion

The River Valley High School class of 1999 will hold a 20 year reunion at Pebblewood Country Club in Bridgman on August 10 at 7pm. We hope to see everyone there.

Corsets, Whips, and Whiskey

Journeyman Distillery, 109 Generations Dr., Three Oaks will host its annual celebration of summer and whiskey from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 29.

Live music, cornhole, a putting contest, cook-out menu, and cocktails are at the center of this day-long, family-friendly, backyard bash.

In a nod to the products originally manufactured at Three Oaks’ historic Featherbone Factory, “Corsets, Whips, and Whiskey” is the name of the event as well as Journeyman’s popular cask-strength, single grain whiskey.

The latter will be featured in craft cocktails throughout the day—including one the distillery is calling “Citrus Punch With a Kick.” A refreshing blend of black tea, fresh-squeezed orange juice, whiskey and bitters; the punch will be available by the glass or served in a bowl ready for sharing.

Guests are invited to visit the full-service restaurant, relax on the distillery’s outdoor deck, compete for prizes on the 18-hole Welter’s Folly putting green, and enjoy a full schedule of live music throughout the day.

• 2–4 p.m. - Classic blues performed by student musicians from the non-profit Blues Project

• 5–7 p.m. - Good time, pre-electric roots grooves with Chicago’s Sanctified Grumblers

• 8-10 p.m. - True country songwriting, blended with blues, rock, and pop with Paul Erdman

Visit journeymandistillery.com/calendar for more details.

Mobile Food Pantry visit

The next Mobile Food Pantry will be Thursday, June 20, at 3:30 p.m. at the Chikaming Fire Department on Red Arrow Highway. Church of the Mediator is the host organization, and the visit is underwritten by The Pokagon Fund.

Skip’s Market

Every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from mid May until early October from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Skip’s parking lot at the corner of Red Arrow Highway and Lakeshore Road. Wine tastings, featuring many Michigan wines, on the patio. Fresh local produce, herbs, flowers, cheeses, restaurant grade beef, jam/jellies, jewelry, art and more. Kid friendly activities. For more, call (269) 469-3330.

Polka Fest

Trinity Lutheran Church in Glendora will have a Polka Fest from 5 to 9 p.m. June 29.

A homemade German buffet will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. and Wil Smaka’s Music Connection will peform from 5 to 9 p.m.

For tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for kids 3-10), call (269) 429-3854.

Adult Reading

The Bridgman Library Adult Summer Reading Program “To the Library and Beyond” will be held through July 26.

Read 10 books and receive a prize. Read a sci-fi book and receive an additional prize. Complete the 10 book challenge and enter the drawing for a gift certificate to the Fusion Gallery and Studio located in Bridgman. Pick up your entry form at the library today!

New Buffalo Farmers Market

Market runs each Thursday from May 30-Sept. 5 in downtown New Buffalo (4-8 p.m.). The Farmers Market offers different vendors each week including produce, meats/seafood, artisan cheeses, baked goods/desserts, artists, crafts, food vendors, clothing, antiques, and food trucks. https://newbuffalofarmersmarket.com/

Wednesdays in the Park

Enjoy a reasonably priced meal and musical talent in New Buffalo Township’s Memorial Park on Wednesday evenings during the summer (mid-June to early September). Food is served beginning at 6 p.m. (cash only) and music follows. The park is a smoke free, alcohol free and pet free environment. https://newbuffalotownship.org/

Artists, crafters sought

Crafters and artists specializing in the heritage arts (including woodworking, carving, quilting, other sewing, needle arts, leather tanning, blacksmithing, other metal workers and other heritage artists) are invited to to sell their crafts and arts at The Civil War Days in Three Oaks scheduled for July 27 and 28 at Dewey Cannon Park. Cost is $25 for both days. Register on the website at https://civilwardaysthreeoaks.jimdo.com/, the Civil War Days Three Oaks Facebook page, or send an email to cwinthreeoaks@yahoo.com.

Women’s Day

Community Missionary Baptist Church, 16009 Lakeshore Road, Union Pier, will celebrate Women’s Day at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

Mother Arcelia Patten will be the speaker, dinner will be served and everyone is welcome.

RV Reunion

Did you graduate from River Valley High School between 1967 and 1997? Are you, or were you a teacher? If so, please join us for a multi-class reunion on July 20, 2019, at the Three Oaks American Legion, Post 204. 

Advanced registration and payment by June 21 is required. Cost is $20 per person which will include buffet style dinner, music, limited beer and wine along with a cash bar. 

For more information, contact Cheri Donner Vance, class of 1980, at cvance19250@yahoo.com or talk/text to (269) 426-1499. You may also send via postal mail your name, address and the class you graduated in, along with a check or money order payable to “RV Multi-Class Reunion” to 7234 Forest Lawn Road, Three Oaks MI 49128.

Library Friends Membership Drive

The Friends of the Bridgman Public Library will hold its Annual Membership Drive during the month of June.

New and renewing members who sign up by June 30 will be entered in a drawing to receive gift certificates from local businesses. Applications are available at the Bridgman Public Library, 4460 Lake Street, Bridgman.

Fetch Some Fun

The Michiana Humane Society & SPCA, 722 Indiana Hwy 212, Michigan City, Ind., is offering a new program that allows members of the community to socialize with shelter dogs on field trips for a day.

“Fetch Some Fun” outings can last an hour or until the shelter closes, and can include hikes, a trip to the beach, even a lunch or a snack at a dog friendly restaurant. This is a great way for community members to enjoy the company of a dog and for the dog to be away from the stresses of being in a kennel.

Individuals should visit michianahumanesociety.org or contact the Michiana Humane Society at (219) 872-4499, or contact@michianahumanesociety.org to sign up.

Weko Concerts

The Bridgman Concert Series at Weko Beach features free music beginning at 7 p.m. This season’s schedule follows: June 23 - Blue Shoes Jazz; July 14 - Carol and Kaye’s Dixieland Band; July 21, - Campfire Stu with All God’s Children Choir; Aug. 4 - Saturday June Band; Aug. 18 - Top Secret; Sept. 1 - Matt Gabriel Band. For more, go to www.bridgman.org/ or call (269) 465-3406.

HCM Vehicle Donation Initiative

Harbor Country Mission (HCM) is accepting donations of vehicles that can be immediately given to those who are struggling to get to work, pick up their children from school or run basic errands necessary for life such as grocery shopping and medical appointments.  

Dave Heyn, who with his wife Hannah, began Harbor Country Mission in 2015, said “with our Vehicle Donation Initiative we are reaching out to our community once again to fill the increasingly urgent need of our neighbors and friends in Southwest Michigan who are in the greatest socio-economic need.”

Unlike other programs who request auto donations of any kind, the vehicles donated to HCM need to have clear title and be in good running order; ready to be licensed, insured and put into service on the road. As Dave Heyn further explained: “we are requiring those receiving these vehicles be able to afford title transfers and insurance--but often times, that’s when money runs out.  As a result, we are hoping to receive vehicles (preferably mini-vans, SUVs and hatchbacks with a bit of cargo and kid space) to be as low-mileage as possible and not require many immediate repairs.”

In addition to the Vehicle Donation Initiative, a Warehouse Donation Center in Bridgman and a Vintage Finds resale shop in Sawyer, HCM is exploring the development of a community-based eBay site and are seeking space to open a clothing distribution center that would southwest Michigan. HCM currently offers, on the second Friday of each month, a “Free Friday” at both locations that overwhelmingly helps those transitioning out of homelessness into some form of longer-term residency. This is in addition to their “Free Room” at the Warehouse Donation Center  that is open 7 days a week and provides linens, kitchen supplies, kids shelves and other small home goods that are available to anyone in need.

For more information regarding how you can support HCM’s Vehicle Donation Initiative, please contact Dave Heyn at 269-326-0077. Harbor Country Mission is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Festival vendors, volunteers sought

The New Buffalo Business Association is seeking local food and vendors for the 2019 Ship and Shore Festival scheduled for Aug. 9-11.

Vendor applications are being accepted now. For more information, visit www.shipandshorefestival.com or email pat@oairevents.com.

The NBBA also is looking for festival volunteers. Those interested (indiividuals and people representing an organization) can send an email to info@newbuffalo.org for more information, including details on how organizations raise money by volunteeering.

Blossomtime committee chairs sought

The Blossomtime Festival, looking forward to its 114th season of celebration and festivities in 2020, is seeking individuals that would be interested in chairing a committee in the communities of Covert, Decatur, Dowagiac, Galien, Lawton, Eau Claire, Paw Paw, Sodus, Marcellus, Mattawan and Vicksburg. 

If you are interested in exploring this opportunity with us, please call the Blossomtime Office at (269) 982-8016 or email us at office@blossomtimefestival.org.

Genius Night

A Genius Night session featuring local and area literary, performance, and visual artists sharing their unique talents before an audience is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on the second Friday of each month at Elsie Earl Studios; 200 W. Buffalo St., New Buffalo.

Cost is $5. For more, go to ElsieEarlStudios.com.

I-94 resurfacing

The Michigan Department of Transportation will be resurfacing more than two miles of I-94 from the Michigan/Indiana state line to M-239 in New Buffalo. The project was slated to begin April 29.

The $9.5 million investment includes guardrail, culvert repair and replacement and reconstruction under bridges.

Daytime single-lane closures and nighttime double-lane closures are planned. The estimated end date is Aug. 23.

For project details and a map, visit Mi Drive

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