The 2020 Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce Virtual Annual Meeting is scheduled for 4:30 to 5 p.m. Oct. 27 via Facebook Live.

The meeting is slated to include the welcoming and swearing-in of new Board members; a celebration of 2020 accomplishments; introductions of new Chamber members; and other announcements.

Three Oaks candidates forum planned

Three Oaks Merchants will host an Ask The Candidates forum from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, October 28 via Zoom.

Invited to participate are Three Oaks Village President candidates Tom Flint and Richard Smith, as well as candidates for three Village Council seats: incumbents John Kramer, John Pappa, and Troy Zebell and challengers Joe Hinman and Tyler Ream.

Questions may be submitted in advance to threeoaksmerchants@gmail.com. Questions will be posed to the candidates by a moderator. For Zoom login information, visit the Events link at https://www.facebook.com/threeoaksmerchants.

Trunk or Treat in Bridgman

Please join us on Sunday, October 25 from 4-6 p.m. at Woodland Shores Baptist Church in Bridgman for Trunk or Treat. This event is totally free, including cider and donuts.

Pre-eviction help offered

Don't wait until you have an eviction notice to call Neighbor by Neighbor. Once there is an eviction notice there is little we can do to help you and your family.

If you are behind on rent, mortgage or utilities call or text now to (269) 231-0648. Neighbor by Neighbor is funded by The Pokagon Fund and community donors. The organization also can connect you with agencies and non-profits with funds as well.

Halloween Sing-Along

The Harbor Country Singers will lead a Halloween sing-along at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Carver Memorial Park in Three Oaks.

All are invited to join in. Besides popular folk songs such as Tie Me Kangaroo Down and Puff the Magic Dragon, the program will also include a few seasonal tunes such as Monster Mash.

The sing-along is the fourth the group has organized. Early events covered "happy songs," Broadway hits and folk songs. Attendance at the events has grown steadily since the series premiered in late June, according to Pat Putnam, producer for HCS events.

Social distancing guidelines will be followed for the event, and it is recommended that attendees wear face masks and bring lawn chairs. Carver Memorial Park is located at the intersection of US12 and Elm Street in downtown Three Oaks.

Gerard Stricher art at Judy Ferrara Gallery

Please stop in at Judy Ferrara Gallery, 16 S. Elm St., Three Oaks, to see Parisian artist Gerard Stricher's vibrant textural paintings.

Stricher could be described as a conquering Expressionist for whom painting is what is to be conquered, free of any existential or social message. No advance plan here: freedom comes to him naturally, without ostentation. Improvisation here and there as inspiration chooses its moment, then a firm reining-in until the work is brought to a satisfactory conclusion. — Laurence Izern

The gallery is open Thursday through Monday 12-6 pm or by appointment (call 574-276-6001).

Pet President election under way

The Region of Three Oaks Museum (TROTOM) is holding a “Pet President of TROTOM” election. 

Votes with accompanying voluntary contributions may be cast at local businesses displaying the ballot with all the candidates’ pictures and platforms. The ballot will be rotated to participating businesses during October. Final votes can be cast on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, in the Museum’s newly acquired Old Township Hall, 8 E. Linden St., Three Oaks. The winner will be determined by the total amount of donations submitted to each pet’s platform. 

Mobile Food Pantry visits

Feeding America Mobile Food Pantry visits are scheduled as follows: 4 p.m. Oct. 26 at Berrien County, Baroda Bible Church, 9058 Third Street, Baroda; 3 p.m. Thursday, November 10, at the Three Oaks Legion, 204 W. Linden Street (jjoint partnership of The Pokagon Fund, Rotary Club of Harbor Country and Feeding America).

NB Library services offered

Curbside service, service appointments, and browsing appointments are still available at the New Buffalo Township Library, please call the library at 269-469-2933 to arrange yours! (curbside & appointments are only available to cardholders, sign up for your card on our website - newbuffalotownshiplibrary.org)

Youth Services is offering bi-weekly storytimes for both little ones and bigger ones as well as weekly crafting projects available via curbside service. A Youth Fall Reading Program began on September 22nd, sign up now. Curbside Trick or Treat will be on Oct. 30 & 31 by appointment. A Teen Book Club starts November 14, see our Facebook page for more information.

Adult Services is offering Flash Fiction on Mondays at 12 and Books on the Beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 on our Facebook page. Adult Services is also offering Blind Date with a Book, call the library to sign up! A new virtual book club is also on offer, called the Dewey Decimators! Look on our Website, Facebook, or Instagram for more information. A virtual writing group for adults will begin in November.

The Friends of the Library are keeping our calendar full of Zoom presentations, check our website for a full roster of events.

Watch our website, Facebook, and Instagram for updates.

Hike set at Madeline Bertrand Park

The Harbor Country Hikers (HCH) will explore the trails of Madeline Bertrand County park at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24.

Natural features of the park include about 121 acres of gently rolling hills through pine and oak forests, and a bluff trail that overlooks the St. Joseph River. Madeline Bertrand is also home to a disk golf course and well-lit cross country ski trails.

A Berrien County park naturalist will lead the two-hour hike, which is rated moderately physically difficult. The group observes social distancing guidelines and requires the use of face masks at its events. For directions and more information, visit harborcountyhikers.com.

Three Oaks Library open longer

The Three Oaks Township Public Library is now open longer — current hours are: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, 10 – 5; Tuesday & Thursday, 10– 6; closed Saturday & Sunday. No need to call for an appointment, just come on in.

There are still several things to keep in mind as you plan to visit the library. We are following all required safety precautions and are committed to the safety and health of our staff and patrons as we enter stage 5 of our Re-opening Plan. Masks are required at all times. Our drop box is always open and all returned items are being quarantined for four days. All facilities are being cleaned and sanitized frequently. Please limit the size of your group and limit your visit to one hour, maximum. Social distancing rules apply and patrons are expected to remain six feet away from others not in their household at all times. Seating is still limited and meeting rooms are not currently open for public use. Computer time is limited to one hour per day, per patron. No food or beverages are allowed unless medically necessary. And, of course, if you feel sick or have recently been sick, do not come to the library.

If you choose not to come in the building, we are still offering curbside pickup. To place requests you may call us at (269) 756-5621 and we will let you know when your order will be ready or you may log in online at https://threeoaks.biblionix.com/catalog/ and reserve items yourself and we will call you when your items are ready.

Free Violin Concert

The School of American Music (SAM) will present "Return of the Fiddlers Two," featuring well-known violinists Zofia Glashauser (a violinist with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra who has performed for many years with the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival) and Nicolas Orbovich (a former concertmaster of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and Gramophone magazine award winner), at a free concert at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Converge Community Church, 601 West Buffalo St., New Buffalo.

Although the concert is free, tickets are recommended and are available at SAM's website, schoolofamericanmusic.com, under the "Tickets & Merchandise" tab. The church has socially distanced seating and limited capacity, in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. Attendees are asked to wear face masks.

Acorn Homegrown Fall Fest

An Acorn Homegrown Fall Fest! is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Oct. 24, featuring several local and regional artists in an afternoon festival of music and fun

on a farm in Three Oaks (the exact location will be disclosed in advance of the show).  For more, go to www.acornlive.org.

Ballooning program

The Friends of the New Buffalo Library will present a Zoom program, "Ballooning, Blimps and the Great Airships," at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2.

From the 18th century French balloonists, through the Civil War ballooning programs, to exhibitions at state fairs and circuses around Michigan, to the blimps of the World Wars and the massive dirigibles, this presentation takes a look at lighter-than-air aircraft and their role in history. Presenters Al and David Eicher, specialists in lectures on Michigan history, have distilled years of research, a collection of more than 600 photos and hours of historic movie footage into this program.

Until the New Buffalo Library reopens for regular meetings, the Friends will continue to offer its Community Forum lecture series online. For log-in information, visit the events section of the library's Facebook page or email new.buffalo.for@gmail.com.

Bridgman Library services

In addition to offering curbside service, the Bridgman Public Library is now open by appointment. Because we care about community health, a mask is required to enter. If you forget your mask, we have you "covered,"and will provide one. Current hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday 2-7 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 269-465-3663 to make your 30-minute appointment.

The library also has more laptops available (to be used indoors for up to 30 minutes, or up to 60 minutes outdoors on the patio under the new umbrellas. Laptops are available on a first-come, first serve basis. Free Wi-Fi is available 24/7 and coverage has been expanded for easy access. 

Upcoming programs include: Digital Builders Challenge (Nov. 16, Dec. 14) – Attempt build challenges from your home using computers with Minecraft, Roblox, TinkerCAD, Google Slides or any other program. Register on bridgmanlibrary.com; Halloween Party-to-Go Oct. 26-31 — Pick up a party-in-a-bag and snap a selfie by our spooky outdoor scene while supplies last (ages preschool-4th grade).

Take and Go crafts

The Galien Township Library is offering fall themed Take and Go craft bags to kids if they stop by to check out a book.

The crafts can be done at home with a parent. Limit one per child through the month of October. Don't forget the Library also offers new release books and DVDs for all ages, plus copy and fax services. Computers are open for business transactions with a 30 minute limit. We also have a book sale going with various items. Our doors are open to the public Mondays and Wednesdays 12-6, Fridays 12-4 and Saturdays 9-1.

Music classes back in studios

Classes are returning to the School of American Music's (SAM) studios on the second floor of the Three Oaks Library, according to Executive Director Donna Mitchell.

In addition, music lessons will continue at the school's Arts & Education (A&E) facility and via virtual meeting platforms like Zoom.

It all depends on teachers' class loads, the library's opening schedule and the convenience of teachers, students and students' families. For example, "it's not unusual to have multiple families with multiple students taught by multiple instructors," Mitchell comments. "In these cases, we can have all the teachers work out of the A&E Center so families don't need to move between buildings."

SAM is observing COVID-19 protocols at both its library studios and at the A&E Center. Students and teachers are keeping six feet apart and wearing masks, and staff is sterilizing surfaces between lessons and making hand sanitizer available. The school has filed a preparedness plan with the library based on a State of Michigan template.

The Three Oaks Township Public Library is located at 3 North Elm St. and the A&E Center is at 14 Maple St., both in downtown Three Oaks. For more information, go to the SAM website, schoolofamericanmusic.com

GoFundMe for Spokes Club

The Three Oaks Spokes Bicycle Club, a volunteer-run non profit established in 1974 to promote and encourage cycling in Southwest Michigan/Northwest Indiana, has launched a GoFundMe drive due to the current lack of bicycle rentals, visitor donations and registrations for the club’s annual Apple Cider Century.

The Go Fund  Me site is: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/keep-the-three-oaks-spokes-bicycle-club-rolling.

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