Thursday, February 28, 2013

Local Rotarians Help Provide Clean Water by Drilling a Well

Rotarians believe in "Service Above Self" and that service is not restricted to the local communities but extends world wide.  That was recently demonstrated when the Cedar Springs, Comstock Park and Sparta Rotaries paid for a clean water well for residents in a small community near Aca Jutla, El Salvador and helped sponsor a team of local Rotarians to help with the installation of the well and the training of hygiene a few weeks ago.
Comstock Park Rotarians Todd Vanden Toorn, wife Patti, Dan Clark, wife Ellen and Sparta Rotarian Lou Knooihuizen  were on hand Thursday to give a first hand account of their experiences.  The group worked through an organization called "Living Water International" which has completed more than 10,000 water projects for communities in 26 countries.
783 million people lack access to an improved source of drinking water. Great progress is being made globally, but whole people groups are being overlooked—it's the poorest people with the least political power that continue to suffer, and these are the people Living Waters International feels called to serve.
While the men helped with the actual drilling of the well, the women on the trip, Patti Vanden Toorn and Ellen Clark assisted with teaching local residents the importance of hygiene.

Todd and Patti VandenToorn, Lou Knooihuizen, Ellen and Dan Clark

Saturday, February 23, 2013

One of Our Own Prized Arts


 A few years ago,following an estate sale, we came across an old framed and unsigned painting that was about to be trashed.  It had been a gift from one person to a neighbor, who had given it to her mother who had tucked it in her basement for the next thirty years.  The painting turned out to be a local landscape and was hung for display at the township offices.  As  local resident Elsa Skeins came in the office one day to pay her taxes, she was surprised to see her old "masterpiece" on the wall, a work she completed when she first took up painting as a hobby.
Elsa still paints.  She is one of half a dozen local women artists who get together every Monday afternoon at Zion Lutheran Church.  Her paintings are beautiful and she recently allowed the Township to display a few of the paintings she has completed in more recent years.  They will be on display for a few weeks, until warm weather arrives, at which time they will be decorating her own home.
A few years ago, we featured scenery painted by local artist Sheryl Budnik.


The Water Mill in Comstock Park

Baby it's cold outside!

It may have been cold this past week but it did not deter workers from working in the elements.  Seen here are some workers at Fox Motors putting up new signage and doing some paving to finalize an expansion project, while other workers were seen at Township Hall installing a new roof.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Now Open - Biggby Coffee

Biggby opened its doors to the public today.  The managers and baristas at the 4089 Alpine Ave location are anxious to serve you. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Adam's Journey - Margaret M. McCarthy

The Alpine Township Historical Committee held its monthly meeting Sunday at the Community Building.  Guest speaker was local author Margaret M. McCarthy, a  long time Alpine Township resident currently living in Marne.  Margaret penned the book "Adam's Journey" and spoke about Adam's struggles with a rare disease called Mitochondial Disease.  Even more so, the book is about the effect on the family in dealing with treatment as well as looking after  the welfare of Adam's five siblings.  Adam's Journey tells of a miracle with the the credit going to faith and prayer.  Using comments written on Adam's Care Pages on the Internet to help reconstruct the events, Margaret's book offers hope to many dealing with rare diseases.
The book "Adam's Journey" is available at Amazon at and is also available from Schuler Books 3165 Alpine Ave NW in Walker


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Coming Soon to Alpine Township - BIGGBY

It shouldn't be more than a few days before the new Biggby Coffee Shop at 4289 Alpine Ave. NW opens up.  Construction has been completed, the store has been stocked and staff trained to serve coffee drinkers and other thirsty people from near and afar.  The new store is located adjacent to the Sportsmans Liquidation Outlet store in front of Walmart.  Welcome to our neighborhood!
From the Biggby website:
BIGGBY COFFEE is proud to offer a wide variety of beverages for the coffee and non-coffee drinker alike. You will easily find something to please your palate.  

A wonderful compliment to our beverages are delicious meals and light snacks. Each BIGGBY location has a fresh, daily selection of specialty cookies and baked goods, fruit cups, yogurt parfaits, bagel sandwiches and many other delectable goodies to choose from.

Consider using BIGGBY to
cater your next meeting, office party, or family get together. We take the guess work out so you can B on the go.
Visit the BIGGBY website at


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Can you think of a more romantic place to take your loved one for dinner on Valentine's Day than Alpine Township's own "Amore trattoria italiana"?  Lots of people must have thought so as all the tables were filled for most of the evening. The food was excellent , the atmosphere terrific and the service superior.  Not everybody could take advantage of  the limited seating so for those who weren't so fortunate, the restaurant located at 5080 Alpine Ave. NW  is open six days a week.  Reservations are encouraged.  Call (616) 785-5344.

Tuesday - Thursday 4:00 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Restaurant Manager Manny Rivera welcoming Kent County Administrator Daryl Delabbio and his wife Connie

Restaurateur and entrepreneur Jenna Arcidiacono with Marilyn Arends

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Michigan Jaycees Leadership Training

Alpine Township Supervisor Alex Arends felt rejuvenated Saturday after spending some time with the young members of the Michigan Jaycees at their Leadership Training and Awards program in Big Rapids, Michigan.  Alex shared his thoughts on how service organizations can establish or improve good working relationships with local government officials.  Alex is a past president of the Comstock Park Jaycees and served the Michigan Jaycees in a number of capacities including State President.
Jaycees, also referred to as the "Junior Chamber" is a world wide leadership training and community service organization for young men and women 40 years or younger.  More information can be found at

Alex Arends with immediate past president Sarah Nelson

Alex (left) with current and some of the "more recent" past presidents of the Michigan Jaycees  Current President  John Badeen, Sarah Nelson, Cindy Tomaszewski, Fay Poissant, Adam Pieczynski Dave Worthams and Jeffrey Paul Smith.

The Attic Window Quilt Shop

Something special  occurred at the Attc Window Quilt Shop at 5307 Alpine Ave. Saturday.  At about 8:00 AM dozens of quilt enthusiasts boarded a bus to visit a number of West Michgan quilt shops.  It was part of the quilters'  "Heart of Winter Tour".  At about 6:00 PM.those who participated in the bus tour returned to the Attic Window for some food and refreshments. Shop Owner Chris Brown invites you to visit their shop or visit their website at to learn more about upcoming events or classes.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell Visits Comstock Park Rotary

Members of the Comstock Park Rotary were honored to have Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell as their guest speaker at their noon meeting Thursday an the Swan Inn in Alpine Township.
The mayor gave a brief synopsis of his tenth "State of the City" address that he presented in Grand Rapids on January 26 of this year.   He spoke passionately about the successes that are occurring in the city.  One of the programs he encouraged the Rotary Club to become involved in is "Upward Bound" which supports college and career readiness.  He also read of a long list of organizations that have declared the Grand Rapids area as one of the best places to live, work, raise a family or play.
The Comstock Park Rotary meets at 12:10 each Thursday at the Swan Inn Restaurant, 5182 Alpine Ave NW.  More information is available at their website or look them up on facebook at Comstock Park Rotary

Mayor George Heartwell and Rotarian Aaron Dood 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Spring Harvester

The latest edition of the Alpine Township Harvester is now on line.  It is available at  and should be available in print in about 10 days. 


Friday, February 1, 2013

Kids Food Basket

Ashley Abbott
This week's program at Thursday's meeting of the Comstock Park Rotary was presented by Ashley Abbott, Fund Development and Community Outreach Coordinator for Kids Food Basket, one of the best run non-profit organizations in our community  whose mission is to ensure our children do not go to bed hungry.  Sack suppers are delivered to kids in the class room and even at local parks.  Over 175 people volunteer for the organization which has now also expanded to Muskegon.  Kids Food Basket was founded 10 years ago by Mary Hoodhood. Most of their food supplies are purchased from Feeding America West Michigan, a Comstock Park based food bank.   Information about volunteering or donations can be found at