Bowls for Dinner

Ashley Hauseman and Autumn Bukowski with some of the "Empty Bowls" already made by New Buffalo students for the Feb. 21 benefit dinner.

Empty Bowls Benefit Dinner

The New Buffalo High School Student Senate and the Class of 2021 are sponsoring the 9th annual Empty Bowls Benefit Dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, in the New Buffalo Middle/High School cafeteria.

For a suggested donation of $10, diners will get a ceramic “empty bowl” made by a New Buffalo High School or Middle School student, a meal of soup or chili with crackers, a beverage and dessert.

Proceeds will stay in the local Harbor Country community by benefitting the Blessings in a Backpack program.  

The dinner will coincide with a “Coaches vs. Cancer” series of high school basketball games at the school, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. The Bison boys and girls junior varsity squads will play in both gyms at 4:30 p.m., the girls varsity is scheduled to face Lake Michigan Catholic at 6 p.m., and the boys varsity game starts at approximately 7:30 p.m.

New Buffalo Area Schools Art Teacher Jacob Zapor said about 100 middle and high school students are creating bowls for the dinner. This is the first year middle school pupils have participated.

For more information on the Empty Bowls Dinner, contact: Tina Keller, Class of 2021 co-advisor. at tkeller@nbas.org or (269) 469-6046; or Beth Scoggin, Student Senate co-advisor, at bscoggin@nbas.org or (269) 469-6045.

“Dreams and Visions’ concert

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. Goff is Violist with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and Boucher is a Collaborative Pianist on the faculty of Indiana University South Bend and Vocal Coach at the University of Notre Dame.

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 Covenant 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.

Bridgman K, 5’s registration

Enrollment packets for the 2020-2021 Kindergarten and Progressive 5’s program will be available the week of February 24-28, 2020 during school hours at the Bridgman Elementary School office.  

An evening enrollment will also be held on Wednesday, February 26, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. All new Kindergarten/Pro-5 students will be readiness screened in March 2020. Sign up for a screening date and time when picking up a packet.

Students need to be 5 years of age on or before September 1, 2020 to qualify for either Progressive 5’s or Kindergarten. The student must live within the Bridgman School District. Enrollment packets should be picked up and returned during this week. This will allow us to place your student on the class lists.

Parents will need to bring the following information in order to enroll their child: child’s certified Birth Certificate (courthouse issued); proof of residency (deed, building permit, rental agreement, tax statement, voter registration card); proof of hearing/vision screening (if screened since their 3rd birthday); child’s up-to-date Immunization card; custody papers, if applicable.

Parents unable to attend the registration should contact the school office at (269) 466-0241.  

A Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) FREE preschool for 4-year olds will be held at Immanuel Lutheran School. Contact them at 269-465-6031 Extension 109 with any questions.

River Valley Ministerial Association 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”):

• Ash Wednesday (each church will decide for themselves - Lakeside UMC will have a brief service at 5 p.m. on Feb. 26).

• 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.

Post 204 Mardi Gras

Three Oaks American Legion Post 204 will host its 12th Annual Mardi Gras Fund-raiser on Saturday, February 22,  at the Legion Hall. The doors open at 6 p.m.

Come and treat yourself to amazing and authentic Cajun Cuisine, being served from 6:30 until 8 p.m. You will want to browse and bid on the amazing silent auction items throughout the evening. Then from 8 p.m. until midnight you will be able to enjoy and dance to the music of Red Deluxe.

The cost for this event is $20 per person. All proceeds to benefit local Veterans and the River Valley High School Scholarship program sponsored by the American Legion, the Sons of the Legion and the Women’s Auxiliary. 

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.

Mardi Gras Cook-off & Social

A Mardi Gras Chili Cook-off and Potluck Social is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, February 22, at the St. Mary’s of the Lake Church Hall in New Buffalo.

There will be prizes for Chili Cook-off winners, door prizes, and entertainment.

All are welcome (bring family and friends. Donations are $5 single, $10 family.

Stewardship at State Park

The Michigan DNR Volunteer Stewardship Program will have invasive removal work days at Warren Dunes State Park on Sunday, Feb 23 from 1-4 pm, meet at the picnic ground between the park headquarters and the campground; and Sunday, March 1 from 1-4 pm, meet at the picnic ground between the park headquarters and the campground.

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

Blossomtime tickets

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.

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. 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 15-year celebration

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.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.”

Knots & Pots at Bridgman Library

A Knots & Pots Macrame Workshop is set for 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Bridgman Public Library.

Make a macramé plant-hanger custom fit to an original ceramic pot of your choice.  Free pots are provided from NHM Ceramics and knots are provided from The Knotted Cat. All levels of experience are welcome.  Registration is required and class size is limited to 14 adults. Call (269) 465-3663 to reserve your spot.

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.

Hikers offer February events

The Harbor Country Hikers (HCH) will both practice and preach about the benefits of hiking during two events at the end of February.

The group will learn how to identify trees and shrubs in the winter at the 178-acre Lydick Bog Nature Preserve near South Bend, Ind., on Saturday, Feb. 22, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. The preserve contains a variety of habitat types, including wetlands interspersed with high ridges and islands of upland forest.  Lydick Bog is located just west of South Bend at the northern edge of North Chain Lake, 25898 U.S. Hwy. 20. The entrance is about a half mile from Quince Road. The two-hour hike led by Doug Botka, stewardship technician at Shirley Heinze Land Trust and resource management technician at Indiana Dunes State Park, will cover 1.4 miles of moderate, hilly terrain.

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, HCH Member Dr. Maggie Bailey will discuss the special benefits of hiking in natural areas beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern in the Pokagon Room of the New Buffalo Township Library, 33 N. Thompson St.

“In addition to easing anxiety and depression, exploring nature with a walk in the woods is more beneficial that an urban walk. It facilitates clearing your mind and appreciating forgotten things like song birds, woodpeckers and insects,” said Bailey, a family physician.

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

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.

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