Return to flip book view

Comstock Park Communicator January 2023

Page 1

www comstockparkdda org Winter January 1 2023 Tommy s Boats opens new Comstock Park location Tommy s Boats celebrated the opening of its new Comstock Park location during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Dec 1 We are excited that Tommy s Boats decided to expand its West Michigan location right here in our community Coleman said We pride ourselves in providing high quality water sports boats and products to enthusiasts throughout the United States said Matt Borisch president of Tommy s Boats We look forward to continuing to provide our sales and service to the Michigan community through our new facility here in Comstock Park Tommy s Boats is the larg The new 16 000 squarefoot facility houses a showroom floor sales offices and a 12 bay service department just off West River Drive at 247 Morrissey Drive NE A unique feature of the new dealership is a custom boat storage tower along the property s east side The tower is the first of its kind to be built anywhere in the United States During the celebration leaders from Tommy s Boats Plainfield Township Orion Construction and the local community gathered to celebrate Plainfield Township Supervisor Tom Coleman said Tommy s Boats has been an integral part of the township s business community This was a unique project on a highly visible piece of property in West Michigan said Orion Construction s President Brad Walsh This project is a gem that shows how working through all the necessary permits can create something iconic for the community Staci Chambers Tommy s general manager said Tommy s is excited to be in their new location Our old facility was tucked off of West River and people didn t even know we were there Now having this location right off of 131 we have much more visibility for those traveling back and forth up north Chambers said She said the boat tower will showcase Malibu Axis and Tahoe boats The new Tommy s Boats was built on a unique piece of property visible from US 131 Tommy s Boats celebrated the opening of its new Comstock Park location on Dec 1 The boat storage tower will showcase Malibu Axis and Tahoe boats Tommy s currently has 13 employees and increases to about 20 employees in the summer because of their rental program Tommy s offers a Tommy s includes a full retail shop with parts and an extensive line of water sports gear and accessories est Malibu and Axis dealer globally and one of the largest pontoon dealers in North America with 14 dealership locations in eight states and nine waterfront locations The company is known for its performance in the watersports industry which includes wakeboarding water skiing wake surfing and more Unique Construction Project Construction on the facility began in April The facility was built by Grand Rapids based Orion Construction and was designed by Henrickson Architecture full retail shop offering parts and an extensive line of water sports gear and accessories Tommy s loves being a part of the Comstock Park community Our location has already been a part of the Comstock Park Homecoming parade and sponsored the Northwest Little League We look forward to getting further involved said Chambers who has been a part of the Comstock Park community for more than 25 years For more information visit https www gettommys com ECRWSS POSTAL CUSTOMER

Page 2

Page 2 January 1 2023 Comstock Park Communicator www comstockparkdda org RED HOT BUYS VALID JANUARY 1 31 Comstock Park Communicator www comstockparkdda org January 1 2023 Page 3 Food clothing events and more with Comstock Park Community Outreach Since its founding 13 years ago the Comstock Park Community Outreach CPCO has improved the quality of life for hundreds of area families and individuals who might otherwise not have adequate food or clothing as well as offering enjoyable community events CPCO informally began in 2010 when a group of local pastors got together to discuss how to address needs they saw in the Comstock Park community CPCO formally began in September 2011 when that group expanded to include leaders from local churches service organizations resource agencies businesses and government and school officials They created a mission statement and identified goals for the organization The organization s mission is to better the lives of those in the Comstock Park community through education events entertainment and fundraising donation efforts Throughout the years CPCO has helped families with food for holidays and school breaks and offered parenting classes to strengthen families One of the group s first undertakings was establishing the Giving Closet www facebook com comstockparkgivingcloset where families can shop for free clothes Members of the Comstock Park Community Outreach meet in November From left Dan Clark Comstock Park Rotary Missi McPherson Comstock Park Public Schools Dianna Rottiers and Cathy Moore Holy Trinity Catholic Church Nina Saganski York Creek Apartments Tanya Llorens Sanctuary Church and Diane Estrella Sparta Adult Education Not pictured Greg Madura Alpine Township Wedgwood Christian Services Comstock Park Public Schools Alpine and Plainfield townships Kent District Library Comstock Park Branch the Rotary Club of Comstock Park Salvation Army Zion Lutheran Church Kent County Sheriff s Department Holy Trinity Church Sparta Adult Education Sanctuary Church Wolverine Worldwide YMCA and others Buy Online Same Day Pick Up Open M F 8am 7pm Saturday 8am 5pm Closed Sunday 155 E Division St Sparta MI 616 887 7381 Many organizations have helped with CPCO s efforts what the group does and he would like to see the group expand in the future For more information visit www facebook com CPCommunityOutreach Comstock Park Communicator is published quarterly by Hearst Michigan Media Group for the Comstock Park Downtown Development Authority Comstock Park DDA www comstockparkdda org P O Box 333 Comstock Park MI 49321 Comstock Park Community Outreach Sanctuary Church Back to School event in 2022 Photo courtesy of Tanya Llorens Comstock Park Community Celebration CPCO s biggest event is the annual Comstock Park Community Celebration a resource fair in August that attracts around a thousand people Local organizations set up tables where families can find out what resources are available to them The event includes kids activities such as face painting games and a Movie in the Park at dusk Comstock Park Community Outreach Partners CPCO partners with Sanctuary Church located at York Creek Community Center to put on events such as Family Fun Day that includes games and movies A Back to School event at the end of summer provides kids with school supplies such as notebooks backpacks paper pens and pencils and more Along with other events Wedgewood and CPCO offer summer programs for kids at York Creek Apartments The annual Shamrock Hunt at Dwight Lydell Park has been a hit with area families Despite CPCP s good work Dan Clark one of the original founders of the organization worries that residents don t recognize the name or know Comstock Park Community Outreach s Fall Family Fun Event Comstock Park DDA Board of Directors Richard Frey chairman rich korehicom com Tom Coleman Plainfield Township supervisor colemant plainfieldmi org Holly del Rosario hdelrosario cookie chicks com Ed Hood ehood0812 gmail com Jim Jarecki jjarecki whitecapsbaseball com Nick Purwin slpurwin yahoo com John Stephan rjohnstephan lawyer com Janis Vander Kooy treasurer jvanderkooy sbcglobal net David Washburn dwashburn cppschools com Editor Karen Gentry kegentry comcast net 616 647 2949 Sales Multi Media Consultant Julie Wiersma Hearst Michigan Media Group julie wiersma hearst com 231 592 8373 Design John Eddy Hearst Michigan Media Group Cari Draft Contributor Kathy Bush Comstock Park Community Outreach s Family Game Night

Page 3

Page 4 January 1 2023 Comstock Park Communicator Around Town www comstockparkdda org Comstock Park Communicator www comstockparkdda org A crowd gathers on in the Westgate neighborhood to view the elaborate Halloween display on Biddeford Drive NW January 1 2023 Page 5 Comstock Park High School Marching Band perform during the 2022 Homecoming Parade Comstock Park DDA revitalizes downtown and promotes economic growth Comstock Park Education Foundation s annual Christmas tree auction at Comstock Park High School draws a crowd every year Every year the Comstock Park Downtown Development Authority install holiday decorations along West River Drive The DDA is responsible for promoting economic growth and revitalization in the downtown Comstock Park area through building projects maintenance and exterior improvement grants The DDA district is located along West River Drive from just north of North Park Street to Pine Island Drive and includes a portion of Leland Avenue and Mill Creek Avenue The lobby of the Tru by Hilton Comstock Park Grand Rapids is all decked out for the Christmas holidays The Comstock Park DDA was approved in 1992 to operate within the Plainfield Township government The DDA could use tax monies for projects to help the DDA district The DDA s first project was a 1 million streetscape that included road lighting sidewalk and parking lot improvements Over the years improvements have extended to LMCU Ballpark Alena Andersen and Izela Estrada report that the Tru by Hilton Comstock Park Grand Rapids has been busy since it opened two years ago Westgate residents enjoy the Trunk or Treat event at the American Legion 47 on West River Drive In 2007 the DDA brought the White Pine Trailhead to downtown Comstock Park a seven year effort costing close to 1 million A bike repair station was also installed at the corner of West River Drive and Lamoreaux Drive Trail maintenance and lighting is provided by the DDA and the Friends of the White Pine Trail The trail is open in the winter from downtown Comstock Park to north of Rockford Other DDA projects Funding and hosting the revival of Mill Creek Days in August 2022 The American Legion 47 on West River Drive held its first Trunk or Treat event before Halloween Aliyah Alt 2 and her mother Zariah Alt and grandmother Tamara Alt enjoy lunch in the renovated dining area of McDonalds on West River Drive The new bridge at the Comstock Park Library to Dwight Lydell Park The DDA s 150 000 contribution to the Kent County s renovation of Dwight Lydell Park in 2020 freed up money for the Kent County Parks Department to add new playground equipment The Comstock Park DDA installed the lighting on the White Pine Trail The trail is open in the winter from downtown Comstock Park to north of Rockford The Community Plaza on the corner of West River Drive and School Street The Community Plaza digital sign that welcomes visitors and provides announcements about community events grants help defray the costs of exterior work on buildings The exterior work must be related to the restoration or renovation of the exterior of the building Eligible costs include design construction and removal and replacement of exterior elements Improvements that would help a business comply with the American Disabilities Act are also eligible projects For more information visit www comstockparkdda org Kent District Library Comstock Park Branch digital sign Maintenance The DDA contracts for services to maintain the downtown area such as clean up of debris along West River Drive care of trees and landscaping sealing and striping the Dwight Lydell and library parking lots seasonal decorations and banners Facade grants to businesses encourage the preservation restoration and or renovation of significant building exteriors for properties located within the downtown district The Building Exterior Improvement Program Brian Huffman Ins Agcy Inc Brain Huffman Agent 3938 W River Drive NE Comstock Park MI 49321 8997 Bus 616 784 5465 Fax 616 784 6505 brian huffman gd0e statefarm com Providing Insurance and Financial Services

Page 4

Comstock Park Communicator Page 6 January 1 2023 www comstockparkdda org Comstock Park Golden Panthers Senior News Music bingo crafts square dance and more www comstockparkdda org Comstock Park Communicator January 1 2023 Page 7 COMSTOCK PARK HISTORY CORNER Information research and photos provided by Dave Wier Winter Spring 2023 The Golden Panthers is an outreach group that plans programs for seniors in the area although you don t have to be a senior or live in the area to attend All programs start at 1 p m at the Henze Center 1100 Henze St Henze St runs west off Alpine Ave between Sam s Club and Walmart The Henze Center is just past Sam s Club Winter Spring 2023 programming February 10 Music Bingo Never played music bingo before It s fun lively and easy Players each receive a bingo card with 25 songs listed DJ Hugh Randle will play a snippet of a song from the 50 s 60 s or early 70 s Complete two bingos to win Hugh is a Campus Pastor at The Foundry Church in Zeeland joining The Foundry in September 2022 after nearly 30 years in the senior mobility market He is also a part time DJ at weddings and celebrations All Golden Panthers programs take place at the Henze Center located on 1100 Henze St between Sam s Club and Walmart March 3 Crafts with June and Paula It s always fun creating fun beautiful crafts with these two April 14 A Grand History of River City Caroline Cook will present a visual history of Grand Rapids with fabulous historical photographs supporting a timeline beginning with geology through present time and into the future Caroline does theme related walking tours and bus tours as well as in person virtual tours and Zoom presentations The themes vary from Grand Rapids architecture to women in Grand Rapids history and much more May 5 Square Dance Join us for an afternoon of beginning square dancing and a little history Chuck Novak will lead us through do sidoes and more No partner or experience necessary Two left feet welcome Chuck is a retired elementary and middle school teacher at Kenowa Hills Public Schools Cookie decorating with the Cookie Chicks took place on Dec 2 Chuck started square dancing while in college with the Michigan State University Promenaders He has called for the Grand Rivers Squares in Grand Rapids for 35 years and has been one of the callers for the Happy Soles in Wyoming New Senior Exercise Class Ageless Fitness with Julie Ebenstein Get fit feel better meet new people and have fun Mondays and Wednesdays 9 30 10 15 a m at the Henze Center 1100 Henze St Class starts Monday Jan 16 Cost is 3 Exercise to music doing low impact cardio light weights and balance routines Julie promises music you know and love Bring your own weights 2 5 lbs for women 5 8 lbs for men Exercises will be both seated and standing For 55 adults Wear comfortable clothing and shoes Rotary working to help those in need The Comstock Park Rotary Club has been busy so far this winter used to purchase supplies for its Pediatric Feeding Program that supports children with problems swallowing and more The Comstock Park Rotary also applied for a matching grant from the district s office The Outerwear Drive in November helped keep more people warm this winter The project chairpersons wish to thank all who contributed towards the success of this event Earlier this fall the Comstock Park Rotary made a considerable contribution to the auxiliary of Mary Free Bed The funds will be Comstock Park Rotary members Diane VanEpps and Liz Wahlfield were bell ringers for the Salvation Army s Red Kettle Campaign The Comstock Park Rotary budgeted 1 500 to make the past holiday season more memorable for those not as fortunate as most area residents In addition club members rang bells and provided manpower for the Salvation Army s Red Kettle Campaign They also delivered gifts to needy children in local communities for the Santa Claus Girls The Comstock Park Rotary is always looking for new members An Open House will take place on Thursday Jan 26 after work at the Mill Creek Tavern If interested in being invited e mail answers cprotary com The first hatchery house at Dwight Lydell Park was built in 1896 out of wood The ponds were constructed and stocked with black bass In the spring of 1897 a flood washed out the ponds and the bass went down Mill Creek A stone retaining wall was built on the south side of Mill Creek and the ponds were restocked The home of the North family is located in the background It was the first house in Mill Creek Withey s Mill 1838 to Clark Home 1869 Photo courtesy of Sam Kovalak The one story section of this building was the office to William Harmon Withey s sawmill John Clark and Temperance Elizabeth Clark purchased the property in 1869 and built the two story addition In the 1840 s Withey built a schoolhouse on his property In 1847 Alpine Township was established in the Withey school This site is on Lamoreaux Drive across from Clark s Landscape Services Fred Clark is holding the reins The James Lamoreaux home was located on Lamoreaux Boulevard next to the barn and dairy James Lamoreaux center is pictured with his wife and their children Hazel and Neil Photo courtesy of Doc Florence Lamoreaux For more information visit www cprotary com or www facebook com cprotarymichigan Business Brief Former Elk Brewing available for lease The former Elk Brewing facility at 400 Dodge St in Comstock Park is now for lease Chris Prins associate with DAR Commercial said a prospective buyer of the property withdrew from a purchase agreement Prins said owners of the building have put up the building for lease The 4 968 square foot building includes a full kitchen and may be suitable for a variety of uses It includes rustic garage doors and a patio with a capacity for over 200 people indoors and outdoors Elk Brewing opened its Comstock Park location in 2016 and closed in January 2022 View of Mill Creek Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Public Museum glass plate Plumb s Livery Stable and Barn was built during the 1860 s and burned to the ground in 1911 or 1912 Sleeping quarters in the barn lofts were rented to teamsters and Lou Sherman a teamster for Neil Lamoreaux s Ice Company died while sleeping when the building burned down Mill Creek ran under the grist mill and through a turbine which powered the mill stones Daniel North s Sawmill and Plumb s Grist Mill had a water wheel but later converted to a steam engine Silas and Edward Dutton operated the sawmill at this time Pictured bottom right home settled by Andrew and Sally Lamoreaux and children The railroad tracks were located next to the house Photo shows the view looking down North Park Street toward the Grand River The fairground is on the left and the North Park Pavilion is across the river in the right The streetcar tracks and the ticket booth for the fair are shown in the center of the photo The railroad tracks were right next to the house

Page 5

Page 8 January 1 2023 Comstock Park Communicator www comstockparkdda org www comstockparkdda org Comstock Park Communicator BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT January 1 2023 Page 9 Numerous designs and all ages welcome at House of Honor Tattoo Studio People might be under the assumption that it s only young people getting tattoos But that s not the case according to Ben Hernandez who co owns the House of Honor Tattoo Studio with James Mason and Ainsley VanDeusen The House of Tattoo moved to 3922 West River Dr NE in Comstock Park about eight months ago On one day in October a couple ages 78 and 76 got tatoos along with a 21 year old The co owners started their career as tattooists in Allendale but have migrated to Comstock Park Sally and Andrew Jackson Lamoreaux Photo courtesy of Florence Lamoreaux Sally and Andrew Jackson Lamoreaux brought their family to the Comstock Park area in 1841 via scow small barge When they reached the rapids on the Grand River they tore apart the scow and built a house where the stone markers are located on the corner of West River Drive and North Park Street The following year they purchased lumber from Daniel North and built higher on the bluff They are buried in the Mill Creek Cemetery on 4 Bertha St NW They like their West River Drive location especially because of its close location to Dwight Lydell Park We have a lot of family and friends in Comstock Park Hernandez said Five tattoo artists including the three co owners and Holly Kerkstra and Jeremy Ben Hernandez one of three co owners of the House of Honor Tattoo Studio that opened this year on 3922 West River Drive NE in Comstock Park Leopold do a lot of fine line work in color and black and gray and custom tattoos Examples of tattoos include realistic animals including lions and tigers and colorful floral designs They do all sizes and types of tattoos including full body pieces Most people looking for a tattoo know what they want for a design or have a general idea We try to steer them in the right direction Hernandez said Hernandez said House of Honor Tattoo Studio offers pricing in the mid to low range although they will progress to higher pricing We do better work than what other shops offer with better competitive pricing Hernandez said The House of Tattoo Studio has no set hours with all appointments made through their Facebook page www facebook com HouseofHonortattoostudio Three tattoo artists monitor the Facebook site that is linked with their Instagram page https instagram com houseofhon The owners of the House of Honor Tattoo Studio recently upgraded the interior of their building on West River Drive ortattoostudio The owners of House of Tattoo Studio have long term plans to remain in Comstock Park and recently signed a five year lease and made upgrades to the shop s interior The former tattoo shop at 3871 West River Drive is closed and the building available for lease Bake to order cookies with all natural ingredients at Cookie Chicks Cookie Monster might want to move to Comstock Park just to be near Cookie Chicks Owners Holly del Rosario and Tami Pelham who started the cookie making business in 2015 moved to West River Drive in downtown Comstock Park in 2017 to accommodate their growing business Welty Swank and Nick Weber left managed Lester Lamoreaux s Blacksmith Shop Lester was the son of Andrew Jackson Lamoreaux and he built the blacksmith shop after he arrived He built the scow that brought the Lamoreaux family to this area in 1841 from Jackson Michigan Unidentified man on right Photo courtesy of Ida Lovell Sandy Lamoreaux delivers milk with a milk can He would later purchase the general store in the Metz Building Photo courtesy of Don Lamoreaux del Rosario and Pelham met while volunteering at the Cannonsburg Challenged Ski Association a program that provides adaptive ski lessons for people with disabilities Pelham brought cookies for the kids and volunteers who raved about how good they were In 2015 del Rosario was looking for a job after being downsized from her communications marketing job at Amway and they went into business using Pelham s recipes They had been operating out of del Rosario s home in Ada where she has a commercial grade kitchen As the business grew they needed a space dedicated to their business del Rosario said the Comstock Park location has worked well for them When I was considering locations for my business I didn t really know about Comstock Park she said When I read an ad on Craigslist about a great space centrally located to all the highways plenty of parking with an address on the busy West River Drive with reasonable terms I knew that I would not find any better fit than here del Rosario said the location along with community support worked out so well that they opened Cooking Connection in the suite in front of the building Cooking Connection offers small food start ups a chance to test the viability of their business without a huge cash outlay Cookie Chicks makes bake to order cookies made with natural ingredients pure cane sugar pure vanilla and no preservatives Their motto is a Cookie Chick cookie is worth the calories Many corporate customers order gift boxes of cookies for clients or cookies for events Cookies can be custom packaged with a special logo or for a holiday or special occasion like a birthday Their delivery area extends throughout West Michigan The space is a homey kitch en with white cupboards the two found at a Habitat for Humanity Restore A massive ten by four foot stainless steel table dominates the main room and there is a stainless steel refrigerator commercial sink and a microwave del Rosario said the idea was to make the kitchen look less commercial more like a homey feel for other uses The 750 square foot space is available to rent for events like cooking or wine and bouquet classes del Rosario employs special needs individuals The equipment is what the special needs staff would find at home so it helps them learn to be independent she said del Rosario has a degree in marketing from the University of Connecticut and a master s degree in international marketing from Thunderbird University in Arizona She lives in Ada with her husband who is an engineer The couple has one grown son and a son who is a senior in high school When she s not working which is rare she enjoys cooking skiing time with family and friends going out with their two therapy dogs and volunteering Holly del Rosario right owner of Cookie Chicks on West River Drive pictured with her production manager Allie Cowden

Page 6

Page 10 January 1 2023 Comstock Park Communicator www comstockparkdda org BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT www comstockparkdda org Comstock Park Communicator January 1 2023 Page 11 Referrals and word of mouth fuel growth at MV AAA Insurance Agency MV AAA Insurance Agency provides personal insurance including auto home life umbrella policies for customers all over Michigan with over 1 500 families served idents of the area Business has grown since the opening of MV AAA Agency on West River Drive in 2015 Their biggest competitors come from the Internet but many clients still appreciate the one on one relationship with an agent The value of an agent is very important Rau said We grew a little bit every year Word of mouth and Internet referrals have helped grow the business We really take care of our clients They become part of a family said Glenn Miller co owner of the agency with Benjamin Rau A visible location on West River Drive with the AAA name is golden for MV AAA Insurance Agency AAA is known for service reliability and plentiful discounts according to Rau AAA has been around for over 100 years The sign has paid for itself Rau said AAA offers roadside service that Glenn Miller and Benjamin Rau are co owners of MV AAA Insurance Agency on West River Drive doesn t have to go through a reimbursement process including breakdowns and flat tires local towing and bicycle repair The range of discounts include home security services car maintenance electronics flowers gifts and health and wellness hotels restaurants and oil changes History of Vitale s in Comstock Park dates back to 1980s Agostino Vitale grew up with mouthwatering Italian food AAA still offers its popular TripTik https triptik aaa com home index html through a AAA app or personalized printed directions from agents like Miller and Rau Miller and Rau work hard to get the best deals for their clients mindful that Michigan is one of the highest priced states for car insurance Ben said it s always cheaper to bundle insurance and the one stop shopping and ease of billing make it easier for the client Miller and Rau enjoy the hometown feel of Comstock Park and are natives and res During the pandemic when many were going through hard times AAA MV Agency went out of their way to help people save money If a client told them they were currently not working they might sug involved in the community where his business is located and he contributes to events such as fundraisers for the Comstock Park Schools and Relay for Life Vitale donated funds for the scoreboard at Comstock Park High School gym He noted it was ironic that he presented one of those giant checks for the scoreboard at a Comstock Park home basketball game when the opposing team just gest that clients park their car or inform banks that they re not working Even though the agency experienced a loss of revenue during the heart of the pandemic they knew they were financially sound It s slowly coming back We did everything we could to help our clients Rau said Glen noted that deductibles are rising as inflation goes up and for some reason newer cars are less expensive to insure than a 10 year car Miller said MV AAA Agency is open from 9 a m 5 p m but available 24 7 Clients can rest assured that MV AAA Agency will be there for many years to come As Miller contemplates retirement in the future before he does a successor will be named to work with Rau We will continue to take care of people Miller said happened to be Forest Hills where he and his wife Keri live and where their children went to school All three of their grown children now work at the Comstock Park restaurant It was a lot of pasta sauces home cooking all homemade he said It makes school lunches pale by comparison Vitale s father Salvatore and his mother Maria moved to Kentwood from Sicily in 1964 to be with family and opened a pizza take out establishment in Grand Rapids in 1966 Vitale said his father had no background in the restaurant business noting the pizza take out on Leonard Street in Grand Rapids was a whole new venture That venture expanded into a full service Italian restaurant The family opened a pizza take out at 3868 West River Drive in downtown Comstock Park in the mid 1980s and Vitale worked there summers when he was in high school We had the pizza take out when the Whitecaps came in down the road he said His father anticipated increased business when the baseball team s stadium at 4500 West River Dr opened in 1994 and decided to tear down the small take out building and build a full fledged restaurant Agostino Vitale has worked at Vitale s since he was a teenager the food Vitale grew up with It s all family recipes all homemade he said Besides pizza and pastas the menu includes burgers wraps sandwiches subs burritos and more www boumastorage com CLIMATE CONTROLLED STORAGE MOBILE STORAGE CONTAINERS Vitale grew up in the restaurant business Dad would take me to the restaurant on the weekends he said I was maybe 13 and I would answer the telephone Vitale said it was natural for him to eventually own his own restaurant because it s what I know Vitale s of Comstock Park features a pizza take out restaurant and sports bar with big screen televisions and a 1 500 square foot four season patio that can be opened in the summer Vitale said White Pine Trail connector project by the Comstock Park Downtown Development Authority in 2007 improved the area behind the downtown businesses on the east side of West River Drive and brought in more customers to Vitales The food on the menus at all the Vitale s restaurants is Vitale said it s important as a business owner to be The Bouma Self Storage Staff Ralph Jackie Jean Ray boumastorage comcast net 2 locations to serve you 3700 Millcreek NE Comstock Park MI 49321 Along 131 Just north of I 96 616 784 5214 5241 Plainfield Ave NE Grand Rapids MI 49525 Near East Beltline 616 364 4988 Our Service Area has Expanded Become A Member Open an Account Online Visit Intandemcu com to Apply Today Federally Insured by NCUA

Page 7

Comstock Park Communicator Page 12 January 1 2023 www comstockparkdda org Winter happenings at the library 9 at the KDL Comstock Park library Bundle up the sled dogs are returning to the Kent District Library in Comstock Park from 6 7 p m on Tuesday Jan 24 The owners of the sled dogs from Tun Dra kennels will talk about competitive sled dog racing For 2023 the Comstock Park branch of Kent District Library has changed Saturday hours to 9 30 a m to 1 30 p m instead of 1 5 p m The library continues to have Family Storytime every Monday Wednesday and Friday morning from 10 11 a m A quilt display by Erica Millbrooks part of the library s Stories of the Underground Railroad told Through Quilting program will take place from 6 30 7 30 p m on Thursday Feb For more information visit kdl org events for dates and times of book clubs and adult and family programming Exchange students Educatius Parents share experience of hosting exchange student Steve and Tuesday Gough share their experience hosting an exchange student through Educatius Group while Steve served as principal at Comstock Park High School Hosting an exchange student was a very rewarding experience It was exciting to see our life and community through his eyes From day one Luigi became part of our family and it changed our lives Hosting a student has many rewards The relationship we share with Luigi is very special he will forever be our We hosted Luigi from Italy in 2017 2018 Our three children were 11 14 17 years old at the time Hosting Luigi provided our family with an amazing cultural exchange experience Even after four years we continue to keep in contact with him He will forever be our Italian son Italian son We are very proud that our experience taught our family about the importance of diversity adaptability and empathy What were some challenges Did you feel well supported by Educatius We thought the language barrier would be a challenge but within a few days we had no concerns We did not have any significant challenges but I know Educatius would have stepped in to support us if needed Would you consider hosting again through Educatius That it is a life changing experience that will have a positive impact on your student and your family Yes we would consider hosting again I recommend hosting to any and all families who I meet Do you stay connected with your student still Have you had the opportunity to visit their country What do you want other potential host families to take away from your experience We continue to stay in contact with Luigi I was lucky enough to visit Luigi in Italy last April Luigi has plans to come visit us in the next year after he completes his college education If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the exchange student program offered through Educatius Group please contact Ashley Riley Regional Manager Grand Rapids Area at 989 330 6571 or ariley educatius gmail com January 1 2023 Page 13 What investors can and can t control As an investor you can easily feel frustrated to see short term drops in your investment statements But while you cannot control the market you may find it helpful to review the factors you can control short term events you may help yourself in the long run Many forces affect the financial markets including geopolitical events corporate profits and interest rate movements forces beyond the control of most individual investors Your commitment to investing The financial markets are almost always in flux and their movements are hard to predict If you can continue investing in all markets good bad or sideways you will likely make much better progress toward your goals than if you periodically were to take a time out Many people head to the investment sidelines when the market tumbles only to miss out on the beginnings of the next rally And by steadily investing you will increase the number of shares you own in your investments and the larger your ownership stake the greater your opportunities for building wealth In the 1970s a young school crossing guard was abducted and murdered in the East Grand Rapids area What were special activities traditions you shared What were the biggest rewards benefits of hosting Comstock Park Communicator Andrew Bok In any case it s important to focus on the things you can control such as these Your ability to define your goals One area in which you have total control is your ability to define your goals Like most people you probably have short term goals such as saving for a new car or a dream vacation and long term ones such as a comfortable retirement Once you identify your goals and Westgate s Childwatch trains residents to be observant Describe what it was like being a host family We shared all of our family traditions with Luigi and he shared many with us He enjoyed making us coffee espresso each weekend and cooked many special dishes We were able to help him realize his American dream of attending an NBA game by surprising him with Pistons tickets Many of our most memorable moments came from doing simple things like raking leaves or shoveling snow because they were new experiences for him www comstockparkdda org This was one of the main incidents that moved the Kent County Sheriff Department to establish Neighborhood Watch groups in different neighborhoods In Kent County these groups were called Childwatch Childwatch s purpose was to train residents to be more observant of their surroundings and learn how to better describe a suspect Additionally phone trees were established so that block captains cold notify neighbors of suspicious activity or alerts that were communicated with the sheriff s department Participants underwent background checks and received window displays so children could identify safehouses This seemed appropriate at the time although children in immediate trouble shouldn t have to search for a safehouse Since that time a Community Childwatch Program in Comstock Park s Westgate subdivision has been active off and on since then When there is crime in the community there is real interest in the program but interest dwindles when all is peaceful That is the current situation Community Police Deputy Jose Douglas has not had to share any suspicious information in nearly a year This reflects the fine community we live in Westgate residents can access Neighborhood Watch information by applying for access to the Neighborhood Watch Facebook page at www facebook com groups 365093128237380 A web site www westgatenw com is under development and will include safety tips and other information submitted by Alex Arends estimate how much they will cost you can create an investment strategy to help achieve them Over time some of your personal circumstances will likely change so you ll want to review your time horizon and risk tolerance on a regular basis adjusting your strategy when appropriate And the same is true for your goals they may evolve over time requiring new responses from you in how you invest taining a diversified portfolio should govern your approach to investing It s a good idea to periodically review your portfolio to ensure it s still properly diversified When the market drops and the value of your investments decline you might be tempted to take immediate action in an effort to stop the losses This is understandable after all your investment results can have a big impact on your future However acting hastily could work against you for example you could sell investments that still have solid fundamentals and are still appropriate for your needs If you can avoid decisions based on short term events you may help yourself in the long run Your response to market downturns The world will always be filled with unpredictable uncontrollable events and many of them will affect the financial markets to one degree or another But within your own investment world you always have a great deal of control and with it you have the power to keep moving toward all your important financial objectives Your portfolio s level of diversification While diversification itself can t guarantee profits or protect against all losses it can help greatly reduce the impact of market volatility on your portfolio Just how you diversify your investments depends on several factors but the general principle of main Submitted by Andrew Bok Edward Jones 4582 W River Dr NE Suite A Comstock Park Edward Jones Member SIPC If your company or organization would like to submit an article of interest to Comstock Park area residents for the Comstock Park Communicator email kegentry comcast net H T ER A G R O U N D Buy Two 16 Pizzas get a Stix or Cinnamon Stix for 30 Purchase two 16 pizzas with 2 topping s and enjoy a stix or cinnamon stix for 30 Offer good through January 31 2023 One coupon per person Not valid with other offers 4438 Westshire Dr NW Comstock Park MI 49321 616 784 3620 Monday 3 9PM Tues Fri 11AM 9PM Saturday 1 10PM Sunday 1 9PM Open for Lunch Tuesday thru Friday Pizza Slices Only 1 From 11AM 2PM www Cppizza net

Page 8

Page 14 January 1 2023 Comstock Park Communicator Comstock Park School News www comstockparkdda org Elementary STEM That characterization includes the classroom where Warren is very talkative and participates a lot Biggest lesson learned not succeeding on the first try is not the end of the world It takes a lot of time and if you don t complete it it s OK We built it and it fell down said the Pine Island Elementary third grader who acknowledged that they should have used bigger pieces of tape I try to give out a lot of positivity It s so easy to be negative said Warren a lifelong resident of Comstock Park That positive approach to life carries through to Warren s future plans and how he hopes to help others in high school Olivia is one of 800 students in first through fifth grade at Pine Island and Stoney Creek elementaries taking part in STEM class Students meet with teacher Olivia Bender once every four days like music or art Future in Nursing Inspired by Mother Inspired by his mother Jackie Cody who passed away this year from COVID Warren hopes to be accepted into the Honors College at Michigan State University where he plans to major in nursing Olivia Bender helps third graders with their bat flyers as part of STEM class When considering science technology engineering and math Olivia likes math best You get to learn a lot When you get older you can help others learn addition subtraction multiplication and division she said As he grew up he watched his mother finish up classes and become a nurse and tell stories about her experiences which sparked his interest in the nursing field at a young age Fourth grader Connor Barnes enjoys building and making things and thinks he could become an engineer one day Classmate Avary Bergakker likes science because you learn about different things How It Works Bender works with students in fast paced 30 minute blocks they receive instruction for five minutes then get to work on a specific handson project for 20 minutes One of the earliest projects this year began simply with a piece of paper with a circle drawn on it Students had to use their creativity to turn the circle into something a donut sunshine flower unicorn cat or dog My absolute favorite was Student Leader Warren Cody Warren Cody is bubbly vivacious a go getter who knows how to make an impression Admitting that people often hear him before they see him the senior describes his leadership style as energetic and loud Olivia Bertoia s favorite activity thus far in her STEM class has been working with a partner building a field goal with popsicle sticks It s more like the fun part of school she said I m able to give them an end goal and they have to figure out how to get themselves there They re able to do things their own way January 1 2023 Page 15 Senior leads with enthusiasm energy and a lot of positivity STEM class builds teamwork creativity problem solving skills Bender previously a math teacher is in her fourth year teaching STEM A scholarship while she was a student at Grand Valley State University helped spur her interest in teaching STEM Comstock Park Communicator www comstockparkdda org She was able to bring that joy of what she did for that day he said I really want to follow in her footsteps Third grader Olivia Bertoia enjoys the math part of her STEM class at Pine Island Elementary a student who turned it into a minion Bender recalled They see the artsy side and use their brain to turn it into something else In one activity in early October students had to create pillars that could hold a heavy math book A group of fourth grade girls created four pillars that successfully held up 12 math books before crashing on No 13 Sometimes activities she thought might not work so well can turn into the best ones During the early days of building closures due to COVID she tasked second graders at home to make a boat that would float and gave some examples of materials they could use I thought for sure this was going to fail miserably Bender said But she was amazed and said it made her realize she might not always have to provide all the materials One student used a foam egg carton another used LEGOs another used aluminum foil One used a plastic egg and fashioned a sail to it Bender also oversees a measuring unit for fourthand fifth graders and recognizes that measurements have often proven difficult for students She has students create their own smaller scale of a shuffleboard by giving them the measurements expected and the rest is up to them The month long unit included a March Madness type shuffleboard competition where students kept track of numbers and the score That was a longer unit and definitely a crowd favorite Bender recalled They don t even realize they re doing Third grader Elias Wilhoite holds up the bat flyer he created during STEM class at Pine Island Elementary math at the same time It can get a little wild and competitive but definitely a crowd pleaser Challenges Rewards Students always work with at least one partner which encourages teamwork For supplies Bender relies on the support of parents and friends Last year she also received a grant from the Comstock Park Education Foundation for classroom materials She s always looking for donations of materials such as paper towel and toilet paper rolls and tissue boxes She rewards groups that complete the task then acknowledges the best longest flying football longest paper chain and most pompon balls caught in a bucket via catapult This is motivation to not only be the best but just to complete the task in some way Bender said She said she enjoys seeing students who might not typically shine academically shine brightly in STEM class They can answer their own question about why something works she said rather than following step by step directions as in a typical class And parents don t have to wonder what their children are doing in STEM class Bender posts daily on Facebook I am posting pictures throughout the day before the kids are even home from school she said This article was originally published by School News Network To read more articles about Comstock Park Public Schools visit https www schoolnewsnetwork org category comstock park She was my number one source of motivation and determination in my life added Warren who credits his mother for seeing his potential as well as that of his older siblings Nathan and Sophie Even with her being gone physically she is still here and living through myself and what I am here still doing I know she is proud about my future plans and my current success He feels certain his leadership experience at Comstock Park High School will help him in his nursing career including learning how to compromise and come to agreement on issues In four years he has become more comfortable in making choices There are going to be countless times in the nursing program where I am going to have to put others before myself Warren said Senior Warren Cody feels at home in the Comstock Park gymnasium Highly Involved in High School Warren has served on the Student Council all four years He helps plan school dances and talks to students during assemblies He works hard to be a voice for our student body he said to unify everyone and make sure every student feels included Warren was inducted into the National Honor Society his junior year As a student volunteer he performs tasks like helping to set up tables at the annual Comstock Park Craft Show He also has helped organize clothes drives including giving away used dresses for dances I try to better our community for people and our school Warren said Principal Tony Petkus said Warren is responsible and resilient with a great sense of humor He is humble and leads by example His rapport with peers is one of mutual respect based on trust and integrity Petkus said It is always fun to talk to him about ideas and see them come to fruition with his leadership This year Warren was nominated by his peers to be Student Section Lead which gives him a megaphone to lead cheers during games Sports has been a big part of his high school experience as a member of the basketball and track teams He has played basketball since second grade and track and field since sixth Warren and his two lifelong best friends Shawn Foreman and Aliyah Durry have formed a kind of team unto themselves We ve always been there by each other s side Warren said Meeting Personal and School Challenges In sports as in other areas Warren gives of himself for the team said Athletic Director Kendra Faustin He related to all different types of people and personalities Faustin added I would imagine his teammates would learn from him and I know they highly respect him In dealing with the death of his mother Warren said Faustin has been a huge influence for him after this tremendous loss Faustin said she listened and supported him the best she could It s easy to care about Warren and I love being around him she said He s insightful and honest and that makes me better With every style of learning including virtual hybrid and in person all four years of high school have been challenging for Warren and his classmates Despite the challenges he is in the top 4 percent in his class of 120 When he enters college next fall he will have a semester of college credits under his belt already He s taken two AP classes in psychology and government and politics and is currently enrolled in five that include AP statistics chemistry and language arts as well as interpersonal communications and medical terminology at Grand Rapids Community College He says guidance counselor Gina McCambridge helped him in coming up with the perfect schedule giving him a head start on college As Warren put it She keeps me on track and makes sure my head is on straight This article was originally published by School News Network To read more articles about Comstock Park Public Schools visit https www schoolnewsnetwork org category comstock park

Page 9

February Amore Dinner Page 16 January 1 2023 Comstock Park Communicator www comstockparkdda org Glow in the Dark Wings Date TBD Date TBD Save the Dates Save the MarchDates Spring Basket Auction March February February Save the Dates A Song of Peace with glow in the dark wings st th Spring Basket Auction Amore DinnerMarch 21 24 Fifth graders now have wings thanks to a grant from the Comstock Park Educational Foundation Date TBD The lighted wings were in conjunction with fifth grade soloist Emilee Carpenter in a piece titled A Song of Peace Amanda Hite music teacher at Pine Island and Stoney Creek elementary schools said students created the movements to accompany the music creating a visual masterpiece Her classroom now has 10 keyboards Boomwhackers tuned percussion tubes drums and xylophones When students learned at home during building closures due to COVID the foundation provided funds to create individual instrument bags for each student Who knew that pool noodles cut with a bread knife would provide an inexpensive sand block sound Hite asked It was quite a revelation and I still use them often This article was originally published by School News Network To read more articles about Comstock Park Public Schools visit https www schoolnewsnetwork org category comstock park March 21st 24th February March After getting fitted with their new wings Pine Island Elementary fifth graders practice for their December concert Music Accompanied by Grants When Hite got the keys to her music room over 20 years ago she found some cassette tapes rusty jingle bells and a couple of broken xylophones she recalled So she went to work applying for grants To date she has received more than 25 grants primarily from the foundation It has become my mission to equip my room with the tools that will not only teach my students about music but will excite them and allow them an outlet for their creativity she said Amore Dinner President Dave Washburn School Rep Proud publisher of the Comstock Park Communicator Spri M Spri Denise DateClement TBD Denise Clement May President Denise Clement President Terry Benjamin Hacking for Ed Golf Outing President March Amore Dinner May Vice President Terry Benjamin Terry Benjamin March Jeff Hoag Courtney Clement Scott Lake Golf Practice Center Hacking for Ed Golf Outing SpringVice President Basket Auction Denise Clement Terry Benjamin Co Treasurers Vice President Date TBD Denise Clement st th President Saturday May 20thVice President Jeff Hoag Courtney Clement ScottAuction Lake Golf Practice Center March 21 Spring 24 Basket Missi McPherson Co Treasurers President Secretary Jeff Hoag Courtney Clement st 24 th Saturday May 20th March 21 Missi McPherson Dave Washburn Terry Benjamin Jeff Hoag Courtney Clement Secretary School Rep Co Treasurers Denise Clement Denise Clement Terry Benjamin President May Co Treasurers DaveVice President Washburn Vice President School Rep President Terry Benjamin Denise Clement McPherson Hacking for Ed GolfMissi Outing Vice President President May Missi McPherson Jeff Hoag Courtney Clement Spring Basket Auction Secretary Jeff Hoag Courtney Clement Scott Lake Golf Practice Center Jeff Hoag Courtney Clement Terry Benjamin Terry Benjamin Secretary Co Treasurers Co Treasurers Hacking for Ed Golf Outing Vice President st 24th Co Treasurers Vice President March 21 Saturday May 20th Missi McPherson Dave Washburn SecretaryJeff Hoag Courtney Clement Scott Lake Golf Practice Center Missi McPherson Dave Washburn Co Treasurers School Rep Dave Washburn Missi McPherson Jeff Hoag Courtney Clement Secretary Saturday May 20thSchool Rep School Rep Missi McPherson Secretary Co Treasurers Denise Clement Secretary Denise Clement President The glow in the dark wings were unfurled at the holiday concert in early December at the Comstock Park Performing Arts Center They take great pride in their creation and gleefully spend countless hours at home and recess practicing solos and harmony in addition to learning choreography from our student choreographers Hite said Amore Dinner January 1 2023 Page 17 Comstock Park Communicator www comstockparkdda org Terry Benjamin Vice President Jeff Hoag Courtney Clement Co Treasurers Missi McPherson Secretary Dave Washburn School Rep May Scot Hackin Scott Lake Hackin Sat Scott Lak Dave Washburn Dave Washburn Missi McPherson School Rep Hacking Golf Rep Outing Secretary for Ed School Scott Lake Golf Practice Center Dave Washburn School Rep Saturday May 20th HM Sa

Page 10

Page 18 January 1 2023 Comstock Park Communicator www comstockparkdda org www comstockparkdda org Comstock Park Communicator January 1 2023 Page 19 The NW Youth Soccer Association NWYSA is a volunteer run program that offers introductory recreational and recreational travel levels of soccer for children ages 1 15 regardless of the community in which they live Fall Season Signups Early Signup Discounts Begin In May Regular And Late Signups June Through September Spring Season Signups Early Signup Discounts Begin In October Regular And Late Signups February Through April www NwSoc13 Org 616 514 0637 NwSoc13 Gmail Com

Page 11

Page 20 January 1 2023 Comstock Park Communicator www comstockparkdda org An experienced real estate professional with over 22 years of helping our neighbors navigate the home selling and buying journey Kari was absolutely amazing and helped us not only sell our house but buy a brand new house within one week of looking in this crazy market She is amazing and will bend over backwards for her clients and get them exactly what they are looking for We can t recommend her more and thank her enough for all she did for us and our new family Paige R 2022

Page 12

Page 13

Page 14

Page 15

Page 16

Page 17

Page 18

Page 19

Page 20