Thursday, September 30, 2010

Picnic at Alpine Township Center

The picnic table located on the grass behind Township hall gets plenty of use by the public.  Seen  today was the Lycklama family from Grandville.  Bryan Lycklama works nearby and his wife drove in with their sons to enjoy a family picnic.  From the smiles on everyone's face, it's plain to see that it was a very happy event.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Although the Harvest on the Ridge Apple Festival is sponsored by the Sparta Chamber of Commerce, it had plenty of Alpine Township flavor added throughout.

The best tasting smoked ribs in the Harvest on the Ridge BBQ contest had to be the ones prepared by the Squirell II team, headed up by Alpine Township resident Mike Warrelman, assisted by his family.  While this may not be the official judges' opinions, these ribs were simply awesome.  "Better than candy!"  exclaimed one young connoisseur.

The Antique Tractor Show had neary 30 participants.  A parade followed, ending at the Bow Tie Tavern on  Alpine Ave and Ten Mile. The event was was part of a fundraiser sponsored by the Bow Tie to raise money for Gilda's Club, a cancer victim support group.

Also as part of the Harvest on the Ridge festivities, Riverridge Packing on Ventura Drive in Alpine Township offered a free tour of its new state of the art packing facility.

Mike Warrelman by his smoker and greatr ribs and smoked turkey

Family and friends of Make Warrelman

The Lazy Blue Tunas provided music at the Harvest on the Ridge Festival in Sparta

 Sparta Village Manager Sharon DeLange (left) in good spirits

Pastor Bryan Schneider-Thomas from Peace Lutheran Church in Sparta (Right) with PastorJulie Schneider-Thomas from Zion Lutheran Church in Alpine Township, with a Sparta resident 

Former Alpine Township Supervisor Sharon Steffens, Chair of the Scare Crow Committee

Best Job:  Volunteers at the Apple Pie Contest, and organizers for the Witch's Walk at 6 Mile and Fruitridge, which opens Octover 1.  Call 784-8301 for more information

 Grillers at the Bow Tie getting ready to prepare Bratts

 One of the oldest tractors in the Parade

Stranded.  This 1927 Tractor did not participate in the parade as the owner feared the metal tires might damage the road.

 Stan with his 1947 Model.  "It's all about Gilda's Club." he said

 This participant is from Middleville. The pink John Deere was appropriate for the fundraiser supporting cancer victims.

 Marlene "Peanut" Wahlfield (left) with Fund Raising Organizers Kim Erickson and Mary Steinbrecher

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Arriving Soon!

Everybody at the Alpine Township Fire Department  as well as at Township Hall is anxiously waiting for the arrival of the new County Fire Engine.  If all goes as planned, it will arrive the first week in October. The truck is being assembled at Spencer Manufacturing, Grand Haven, Michigan.

Click on photo to enlarge

Monday, September 20, 2010

Alpine Township Hosts Area Silent Night Parade and Memorial Service

This years Area Silent Night Parade and Memorial Service will be hosted by Alpine Township and the Alpine Township Fire Department. This annual event takes place on Thursday evening, October 7th, starting at 7:00 P.M. with a Memorial Service on the lawn of Alpine Township Center, 5255 Alpine Ave. N.W.   In case of inclement weather, the service will be moved inside.

The purpose of the memorial service is to pay tribute to all firefighters from the area who passed away last year. The fire service is very dedicated to paying honor and respect to their fellow firefighters and their families.

Following the memorial service, fire departments will participate in a silent parade of fire trucks from the Alpine Township Center, through a part of the Westgate community, (Brookgate to Stoney Creek) to Lamoreaux and completing the parade route at Fifth Third Ball Park. Alpine Township Fire Chief Ron Christians welcomes the public to both the Memorial Service and the Parade.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Boyd School Reunion

Several dozen graduates of Boyds school met today at the Alpine Township Historic Hall and Museum as part of a school reunion sponsored by the Alpine Township Historic Society.  This one room school house housed students for over a hundred years, opening its doors in 1858 and permanently closing in the 1960s.

Boyd schoolhouse stood on the northwest corner of Fruitridge Avenue and Eight-Mile Road in Alpine Township for more than 100 years.

According to Pat Cederholm, who chaired this event, the schools attendance ranged from 20 to 40 students a year,  Former students of all ages participated in today's celebration.

Historic Alpine Township Hall and Museum
A chance top reminisce

Good memories

 Carl Cramner and Tom Alt

Bill Rasch, who graduated in the sixties

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Grand Rapids Model Railroad Historical Society

On the outskirts on Alpine Township, next to the fish hatcheries. sits an old red brick building that had been  empty for years, and is currently the home of the Grand Rapids Model Railroad Historical Society.  Over the the past few years, members of the organization have been busy building a scaled replica of the Pere Marquette Railroad as it existed between Plymouth, Michigan and Chicago Illinois circa 1945.  The replicas include branch lines terminating in the Northern Michigan cities of Petoskey, Manistee and Ludington, including its car ferry operation.  Local modelled locations along the main line include Wyoming, Grandville/Hudsonville, Sparta and Comstock Park although much restoration remains to be done on some of the terminals.  The system is controlled by a Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) dispatcher operating signals along the mainline, and "written" Train Orders along the branch lines.
The organization represents a number of interests.  Some of the members enjoy the electronic portion. others enjoy doing scenery, or just the history of railroads.

GRMRHS hosted an open house today which was attended by a number of interested visitors.  The organization is always looking for new members and invite persons interested to write to GRMRHS at P.O. Box 606, Comstock Park, MI 49321.  They meet at 7:00 PM every Tuesday behind Dwight Lydell Park.  Visit their website at  

Friday, September 17, 2010

Martin Buth Day at Wahlfield Park

The Comstock Park Rotary declared Friday Martin Buth Day and honored him and his family at a picnic at Wahlfield Park.  Martin Buth recently celebrated his 93rd birthday.  He is the only surviving charter member of the Comstock Park Rotary Club and a past president of the organization.  Marty has served his community in many capacities, including as a member of the Planning Commission and Board of Trustees of Plainfield Towhship, the Michigan House of Representatives, and the Kent County Board of Commissioners.

Rotary Club president Sharon Steffens presented Marty with the Rotary Award of Excellence and the Comstock Park club mad a donation to the Rotary International Foundation on his behalf.

Those present enjoyed the great music of the Sensational Gospel Tones, a Grand Rapids based singing group that has been in existence over fifty years and still has some of it's original singers.

Marty Buth accompanied by his sister and surrounded by family

Rotary Club President Sharon Steffens presenting Marty Buth with Award of Excellence

While the adults were busy,some of the children enjoyed the playgrouind at Wahlfield Park, aRotary Project of recent years

John Steffens (left) checking out Dick Woodward's grilling

The Sensational Gospel Tones

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

The United States’ National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed across the nation on the third Friday of September each year. Many Americans take the time to remember those who were prisoners of war (POW) and those who are missing in action (MIA), as well as their families.   Alpine Township was one of many communities in the Greater Grand Rapids area that past proclamations declaring today as Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recornition Day.  Leaders from these communities were on hand at a special ceremony conducted at trhe chapel of the Grand Rapids Veteran's facility in North Park.  There are currently 361 Michigan military men and women still  unaccounted for or missing from the Korea conflict, 53 from the Vietnam conflict, 4 from the cold war, and 1 from Iraq.  The program was organized by Betty Pike, wife of Jim Pike, President of chapter 18, Vietrnam Veterans Association.

Betty Pike, Master of Ceromonies

Jim Pike. President, Chapter 18 Vietnam Veterans Association

Above is a photo of a small table present during the ceremony and located in a place of honor. It is set for one. This table is our way of symbolizing that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly call P.O.W.'s or M.I.A.'s, we call them brothers.
They are unable to be with us this evening and so we remember them.
This table set for one is small... it symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors.
The table cloth is white... it symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms.

The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades in arms who keep faith awaiting their return.

The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting for our missing.
A slice of lemon is on the bread plate... to remind us of their bitter fate.

There is salt upon the bread plate... symbolic of the family's tears as they wait.

The glass is inverted... they cannot toast with us tonight.
The chair is empty... they are not here.

Remember... all of you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended on their might and aid, and relied on them... for surely... they have not forsaken you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Festivities on Alpine Church Road

About a half mile further west on Alpine Church Road, there were more festivities.  Staff from the Kent District Library offered activities and information for all who attend the soccer games at the Alpine Township Sports Complex, in an effort to promote library services to the hispanic community. Several hundred kids and their parents stopped by a booth that was set up.  In addition to the staff of the Kent District Library, there were several distinguished guests to help celebrate.  Mariachi singer Gabriel Estrada III entertained the crowd for several hours.  Also on hand were Katie, the KDL Mascott, Purdie the Clown, and El Loco Pollo, a crazed chicken.  Each of these four celebrities gained fans over the course of the afternoon.  Last year this event was held at the Alpine Township offices, and because of this year's success, it will probably be held at the Sports Complex again.

Katie the Elephant, mascottof KDL Library

El Pollo Loco with new found friends

El  Pollo Loco...reminds you of the Pied Piper of Hamlin

Mariachi Singer Gabriel Estrada III with Purdie the Clown and friends

Some of the KDL Staff

Some of the boys enjoying the day

Laura Wells, Manager of the Alpine Library, with Ms. Purdie and friends

Taking a break and bonding with the kids

Some of the girls on the youth soccer league

Twins on brand spanking new bikes

And there is still baseball for a few weeks

....and more soccer

....and more soccer