Area baseball fans have a unique opportunity to visit about America’s pastime with two former Major League players both named Dave (Dave Machemer and Dave Gumpert) who hail from this area at noon Saturday, March 7, at the Biggest Little Baseball Museum, located in the historic Three Oaks Township Library at 3 North Elm Street in Three Oaks.

Machemer (of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph) played in the Minor Leagues for eleven years, made it to the majors for parts of two seasons, and was a highly regarded Minor League manager for twenty- three seasons.  He is currently a scout for the Baltimore Orioles. On June 21, 1978, Mac homered in his first major league at bat, joining an exclusive club of Major League players.   

Gumpert (of South Haven) continued his baseball career at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, and made his Major League debut on July 5, 1982. The following season he was named the Tiger organizations Rookie of the Year.  Dave pitched for the Tigers, the Chicago Cubs, and the Kansas City Royals in his five-year Major League career.  He then returned to the area, and coached baseball at Bloomingdale before becoming Athletic Director at his alma matter, South Haven. He remains active in his community, and assists the girls’ softball program there.   

Admission is free, and the first 30 attendees will receive a free autographed card from one of the Daves.  

Family Fun Fair

The River Valley Elementary PTO would like for you to join us from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at Chikaming Elementary School for a Fun Fair and Book Fair.

There will be face painting, lots of games & prizes, and a cake walk. A concession stand-style lunch will be available. This is a cash only event. Follow our event on facebook at Facebook.com/RiverValleyElementaryPTO. For questions, email rvepto@gmail.com.

Chamber Spring Break-Out Party

The Harbor Country® Chamber of Commerce will host its second annual Spring Break-Out Party and Chamber Guide Unveiling at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 26 in Journeyman Distillery’s Warren Hall.

Open to Chamber members as well as the general public, the party will feature food and cocktail creations from Journeyman, beer and wine from P&E Bottle Shop, a raffle, and live music provided by the Andrew Fisher Quartet. The Chamber will also be unveiling the 2020 Harbor Country Visitors Guide, which has a distribution of 40,000 across Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana.

Tickets are $35, and will be available on the Chamber’s website (www.harborcountry.org) at the beginning of March.

The event exceeded expectations in 2019, with a sell-out crowd of more than 300 attending. “Last year’s party was a huge hit, we had great feedback from the attendees. We’re really excited to be doing it again at Journeyman this year,” said Jen Thompson, President of the Board of Directors.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. To learn more about being a sponsor, or for more information about the event, please contact the Chamber office at (269) 469-5409.

Honored at Olivet College

A total of 351 students including Christi Stine of Bridgman (she earned a 4.0 grade point average for the semester and is also a member of the President’s List) have been named to the Olivet College 2019 fall semester Dean’s List.

To make the Dean’s List, a student must be full-time and earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Head Start enrollment open

Tri-County Head Start is now enrolling children for Fall 2020 in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. The program provides comprehensive services to the entire family and a classroom experience that supports children educationally, socially, and emotionally.

Tri-County Head Start serves 908 children from birth to age five and pregnant women in both Home-Based and Center-Based programs throughout Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties.

Tri-County Head Start is a High-Quality, Academically-Focused Preschool, that focuses on getting children and their families ready for academic success in literacy, language, science, mathematics, and social-emotional development. They also receive medical and dental services, and meals and snacks are provided.

Call (269) 657-2851 or go to www.tricountyhs.org to begin the application process.

'Fiddler on the Roof'

River Valley Drama Club will presents "Fiddler on the Roof" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 22, in the River Valley Middle/High School Auditorium, 15480 Three Oaks Road.

Set in the small Jewish village of Anatevka, Russia, in 1905 and is concerned primarily with the efforts of Tevye (Cooper Harrington), a dairyman, his wife, Golde (Halie York), and their five daughters, Tzeitel (Hannah Weaver), Hodel (Kora Kennedy), Chava, (Vicky DesLauries), Shprintze (Autumn Ackerman), and Bielke (Ava Trimm) to cope with their harsh existence under Tsarist rule.

During the program (”Tradition”), Tevye explains the role of God’s law in providing balance in the villages’ lives. He describes the inner circle of the community and the larger circle which includes the Constable, (Breann Weaver) the Priest, and countless other authority figures. He explains, “We don’t bother them and so far, they don’t  bother us.” He ends by insisting that without their traditions, he and the other villagers would find their lives “as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.”

All tickets are sold at the door: $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, Children 5 and under get in free. There will be family discounts available.

Playing at Vickers

The Vickers Theatre, 6 North Elm St. in Three Oaks, is screening "1917" beginning on Feb. 28. Also screening are Oscar Nominated Short Films (Animation begins Feb. 29, Live Action opens March 1 and Documentary starts March 2).

Coming soon is "Little Women."

For more, go to vickerstheatre.com/ or call (269) 756-3522.

 

Free 'Dreams and Visions' concerts

 The School of American Music (SAM) will present “Dreams and Visions,” an oboe, viola and piano program featuring Oboist Jennet Ingle, at 7 p.m. Friday, February 28, at the Converge Community Church, 601 West Buffalo Street, New Buffalo. The concert, part of SAM’s Free Family Concert Series, will feature the world premiere of a trio, also titled Dreams and Visions, by Marjorie Rusche.

The program is a collaboration between SAM and the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival (MCCMF), and will be presented a second time on Sunday, March 1, at 3 p.m. CST at the First Presbyterian Church, 121 9th Street, Michigan City as part of MCCMF’s Cookies, Coffee and Classics Series.

Ingle is Principal Oboist with the South Bend Symphony and the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, and Oboe Instructor at Valparaiso University. Other members of her trio include Rachel Goff on viola and Mariah Boucher on piano.

Both concerts are free, but attendees are encouraged to pick up tickets in advance for the New Buffalo performance. Tickets are available at SAM’s website, schoolofamericanmusic.com, under the “Tickets & Merchandise” tab.

Maple syrup at the farm

Join Chikaming Open Lands at Covenant Farm at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 29, to discover how maple syrup goes from tree to table.

This is a wonderful opportunity to explore the process of turning sap from sugar maple trees into maple syrup. Join Dan Dale of Covenant Farm, one of Chikaming Open Lands' protected properties, to learn all about extracting sap and visit the farm's "sugar shack" to see how it's boiled down to make a deliciously sweet maple syrup (and yes, there will be samples to taste!)

Space is limited! RSVP by contacting the COL office at (269) 405-1006 or col@chikamingopenlands.org.

On Grand Valley Dean's List

Grand Valley State University announces the names of students who were placed on the dean’s list for the Fall 2019 semester concluding in December. The list includes those students who have maintained a 3.5 grade point average and been enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits: Baroda: Autumn L. Wise and Payton N. Yerington; Bridgman: Sarah Q. Edgecomb and Isaac P. Weir; Sawyer: Hannah R. Henrichsen and Madison E. Wolff; Three Oaks: Gregory C. Palen.

Community Lent Series

The River Valley Ministerial Association has announced the following schedule for the annual Community Lent Series of Suppers and Worship (the theme this year is "By His Wounds We Are Healed"):

• Week 1, March 4: Lakeside UMC will host with supper at 6 p.m. and worship at 6:45 p.m. • Week 2, March 11: Sawyer Highlands Church with supper at 6 p.m. and worship at 6:45 p.m.

• Week 3, March 18: Three Oaks UMC with supper at 6 p.m. and worship at 6:45 p.m.

• Week 4, March 25: Real Life Community Church with supper at 6 p.m. and worship at 6:45 p.m.

• Week 5, April 1: Harbert Community Church with supper at 6 p.m. and worship at 6:45 p.m.

Neighbor by Neighbor Volunteer opportunity

Neighbor by Neighbor is a social service program that links residents of southwest Berrien County with needed resources and services.

The program staff meets those seeking help in convenient public places such as the New Buffalo and Three Oaks libraries. However, a small number of people who contact Neighbor by Neighbor are homebound. That is where volunteers come in. People who wish to volunteer with Neighbor by Neighbor will accompany staff on home visits so that there are always two people present when meeting with clients. This protects both the Neighbor by Neighbor staff and the client.

Volunteers will be required to complete an application and agree to a criminal background check, after which there will be a training session covering important topics like confidentiality, setting boundaries, understanding rules and tips on making clients feel comfortable.  Volunteers will also be given opportunities to assist with community events such as pizza parties celebrating the 2020 Census in April, plus planning the annual Chair Affair fundraiser in early summer.

If you are interested in volunteering, call 269-231-0648 or email info@nbynharborcountry.org. The website is www.nbynharborcountry.org. Neighbor by Neighbor is a program administered by Harbert Community Church and supported by a grant from The Pokagon Fund.

Coastline Children's Film Festival

The 10th Annual Coastline Children's Film Festival is scheduled for March 13-22.

The festival kicks off FRIDAY MARCH 13TH with an Opening Night Costume Party at Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph. Come as your favorite animated character and you could win a prize for most creative costume. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. "Kid Flicks One," a selection of animated and live action shorts from the New York International Children’s Film Festival, begins at 7 p.m.

The Young Filmmakers Competition will premiere at the New Buffalo Township Library at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 14th. This year's competition challenge features 8 short films by young visionaries from Michigan and Indiana. Awards will be presented, red carpet style on Friday, March 20, immediately following the 5:30 p.m. program screening at the Citadel Oak Room in Benton Harbor.

Local Screenings include:

• "Kid Flicks One" (Ages 3-7) at the Bridgman Public Library at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 14. It is a lively, international lineup brimming with fun clever stories. Also showing at the library are: "Song of the Sea" at 3:30 p.m. March 17;

• "Zarafa" will be screened at the New Buffalo Township Public Library at 2 p.m. March 14;

• "Marona's Fantastic Tale" art noon on March 21 in the Vickers Theatre in Three Oaks.

For a complete schedule and more, log on to www.coastlinechildrensfilmfestival.com.

Acorn Shows

Upcoming shows scheduled at the Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks, include: Corky Siegel, Ernie Watts and Kalyan "Johnny Bongo” Pathak at 8 p.m. Feb. 28; The Nick Bell Band at 8 p.m. Feb. 29; Dan Navarro with opener Joe George at 8 p.m. March 6; The Grass Roots performing their classic hits “Let’s Live For Today” “Midnight Confessions” “Temptation Eyes,” and  more at 8 p.m. March 7; and The Howard Jones Acoustic Trio at 8 p.m. March 8.

The 8th annual Acorn Theater Singer Songwriter Competition offers cash prizes totaling $1500 plus opportunities to perform at future events. Finalists perform in front of three judges and a packed house on July 16. Up to 3 people are allowed in a group, but going solo is just fine. The entry deadline is April 30.

For more on upcoming Acorn Theater shows, call (269) 756-3879 or go to acornlive.org.

Bridgman Library activities on tap

A Roblox & Minecraft Meetup will take place from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 10 at the Bridgman Public Library.

Come share tips and ideas with other gamers. Participants must already have a device with Minecraft or Roblox Studio or a building game like Sandbox installed.  Pawsitive Reading with  Zuzu is scheduled for 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 10 at the Library.

Elementary school age children can read to Zuzu, the licensed therapy dog. Parents may call and reserve your child's time slot at (269) 465-3663.

Stewardship at State Park

The Michigan DNR Volunteer Stewardship Program will have an invasive removal work day at Warren Dunes State Park on Sunday, March 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. Meet at the picnic ground between the park headquarters and the campground.

Upcoming invasive removal work days are: Sunday, March 15, from 1-4 p.m. (meet at the picnic ground between the park headquarters and the campground); Saturday, March 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (meet at the parking area at the Floral Lane entrance); and Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (meet at the parking area at the Floral Lane entrance).

You are still welcome even if you can’t stay the full three hours. Dress for the weather. Bring a pair of work gloves if you have them. Park entrance fee is waived for volunteers.

For Additional information contact Heidi M. Frei at 517-284-6133 or 517-202-1360.

Blossomtime pageants tickets available

The Blossomtime Festival is excited to announce that the 2020 Miss Blossomtime and Mr. Blossomtime Pageant Tickets will be open for public sale beginning Monday, February 24, at 9 a.m.

Limited Premier Seating tickets will be available for both Sunday and Monday night pageants. This year’s theme, “Blossomtime Presents The Greatest Show” has inspired two wonderful evenings of entertainment, music, and glamour.

The Mr. Blossomtime and Showcase of Queens Pageant is Sunday evening, March 15, at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $20.

The Miss Blossomtime Pageant is the following evening (Monday, March 16 ) at 7 p.m., and tickets are $20.

Limited Premier Seating tickets are available for both nights for $35 each and the Program price will be $5. Both pageants are held at the Mendel Center Mainstage and are guaranteed to be wonderful evenings full of talented young ladies and gentlemen, and the coronation of the 2020 Blossomtime Royalty. Call the Blossomtime office at (269) 982-8016, or stop by at 2330 S. Cleveland Avenue in St. Joseph to purchase tickets in advance. Availability is limited.

Friends of New Troy to celebrate 15 years

Friends of New Troy (FONT), the non-profit organization that owns and operates the New Troy Community Center, will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year with a chili cook-off, tours, and a movie premier.

The Saturday, March 28, celebration will feature tours beginning at 4:30 p.m., the Chili Cook-off at 6 p.m., and the movie at 7 p.m.

Registration is open now for the Chili Cook-off (limited to twenty pots).

As part of the tour, photos and memorabilia of FONT’s milestones, events and activities will be displayed. Contributions are invited from anyone with material they’d like to share. Prints will be scanned and returned. Digital images are also welcome.

To register for the Chili Cookoff or contribute photos or other memorabilia of FONT events or activities, please contact FriendsOfNewTroy@yahoo.com or Terry Hanover 269-369-1897.

The movie provides a snapshot of New Troy in 1871, the year of the Great Chicago Fire. A bride’s first years in town, a journal written during a family’s wagon trip from Ohio, author Earl Reed’s discovery of this picturesque village on a bend of the Galien River, and  the story of the sage of New Troy, Hosea Tirrell, who in 1870 in owned the Center of the World General Store. The lyrics of a song Tirrell about his store have now been put to music and performed by musicians from the School of American Music in Three Oaks. The song forms as the soundtrack to the movie, “Claim to Fame.”

Proceeds from the event will support the Community Center’s Bathroom Renovation Fund. Donations to the fund may also be mailed to Friends of New Troy, Bathroom Renovation Fund, P.O. Box 125, New Troy, MI 49119. Or visit www.FriendsOfNewTroy.org and click on “donate.”

Twin City Players auditions

The Twin City Players will hold auditions for the five-time Tony Award-winning musical "Fun Home" on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 1 p.m. (child roles) and Sunday, March 1, at 4 p.m. (adult roles). Callbacks, if needed, will be held Wednesday, March 4, at 7 p.m.

Auditions for musicians will be held Sunday, March 8, at 4 p.m. Musicians needed are: cello, violin (added plus if you play viola), percussion (drum set with misc. percussion including Djembe), electric bass guitar, and clarinet.

Auditions will be held in the Studio at Twin City Players, 600 West Glenlord Road, St. Joseph, Mich. Audition Form and instructions, cast descriptions, musicians needed, and additional information is available on the TCP Audition page at www.twincityplayers.org under the Participate tab drop-down. Larry Nielsen directs the production. If you have any questions, please contact the director at larrynielsen6619@gmail.com.

The show features adult language, sexuality and LGBTQ+ themes. Show dates are June 5-28, 2020. The Twin City Players’ 2019-2020 Mainstage Season Sponsors are: Indiana Michigan Power/Cook Plant, Lake Michigan Chiropractic LLC., The Herald Palladium, The Boulevard Inn & Bistro, Meijer, and TPC Technologies, Inc.

Tax Open House offered

State Rep. Pauline Wendzel has announced plans to host a “Tax Open House” for community members to ask local experts questions ahead of April’s tax deadline. Rep. Wendzel is partnering with Hungerford Nichols CPA+ Advisors to host this event, scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 29 at Lincoln Township Hall, 2055 W John Beers Road in Stevensville.

“With tax season right around the corner, I wanted to connect our residents with some tools and resources in our community to make filing their taxes less stressful,” Rep. Wendzel said. “I asked Hungerford Nichols if they would be willing to volunteer some of their time to help out our residents, and they didn’t hesitate.” Wendzel continued, “It’s wonderful that we have professionals in our community that are able and willing to lend a hand to their neighbors.”

Rep. Wendzel will provide taxpayer guides that include the most common forms for citizens filing their 2019 taxes. Accountants from Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors will be available to answer any questions and assist with filling out forms.

Scouts wanted

Pack 552 is looking to have your boy or girl join to have an adventure in Scouting for the 2020 year.

There has been Scouting in the area for 100 years. lets keep it going with you. Pack 552 covers both the New Buffalo and River Valley school districts. We meet at Three Oaks Elementary School in the gym on Monday evenings at 6 p.m.

You can come to a meeting or call Ralph Whitsel at (269) 612-8857 for more information.

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