Angel Tree Registrations Continue at The Salvation Army

Registration for Angel Tree recipients for Christmas 2018 will continue Monday through Angel-Tree-Angel-GraphicThursday, November 5th ,6th, 7th, and 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at The Salvation Army Corps Offices, located at 325 Linden Street in Big Rapids.  Registration is also available on November 8th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at this location.

In addition, an off-site registration will take place at Barryton Church of Christ, located at 18221 30th Ave, in Barryton on Wednesday, November 7th from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Required documents for registration include:

  • Picture ID with current local address
  • Proof of all household income
  • ID for each child being registered that shows their date of birth
  • If not the biological parent, custody or guardianship papers
  • Parent/guardian – Must know last 4 digits of social security number

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program, in partnership with the community, provides free Christmas gifts to children in Mecosta, Osceola, Lake, and Newaygo Counties.  Anyone interested in supporting the Angel Tree Program should look for collection boxes and Angel Tree Tags in the community. Toys can then be purchased and donated to the program.

If you have a question or would like to volunteer to help with The Angel Tree Program, call (231) 796-5597 or visit for more information.


Greens Workshop from The Big Rapids Garden Club



2018 Big Rapids Garden Club will host a Greens Workshop, Monday, December 10, 2018, at the First United Methodist Church, located at 304 Elm St in Big Rapids.

Club members will be on hand to assist attendees as they make their own centerpiece, kissing ball, swag, wreath, porch pot, mailbox cover, tree, or decorated picture frame. Other items will be available as well. Prices start at $15.00 per item. Fresh greens and kits are included. Extra trims and containers are also available. Please bring old gloves and scissors or small pruners.

Tables can be reserved for pre-paid groups of six or more. Walk-ins are welcome.

Doors will open promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Pre-pay options are available on December 10th from 9:00 a.m.—12 noon or 5:30—6:00 p.m. at the church (304 Elm Street, Big Rapids). Attendees can pre-pay, so they can be ready to start when the doors open.

For questions, or to make reservations, email  or call Terry at 231-796-2365.

The Painted Turtle Holiday Market!

unnamedThe Painted Turtle Gift Shop and Gallery is excited about the transformation starting in the store.  It is that time of year when the Holiday Market starts, and the store will be offering gifts made by Artworks own Michigan Artists!  As the store transforms into a Winter Wonderland, current and new artists will be stocking the gift shop with the most unique and special gifts for your Holiday shopping wish lists. Sunday, November 18 The Painted Turtle will be hosting a Holiday Open House to kick off the Annual Holiday Market.  Snacks and refreshments will be available to shoppers while they shop.  The Holiday Market will also be extending the store’s hours to Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from November 19th to December 22nd.
As an added treat, Santa will be at the Gift Shop on December 8th 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Remus Veteran’s Day Reception

Remus Area Historical Society (RAHS) plans to recognize Vietnam war veterans and their families from Remus and the surrounding areas on Saturday, November 10, 1-4 p.m. at the Wheatland Township Hall in Remus. There is no cost to attend.

flag america patriotic veteran
Photo by Snapwire on

The event, being held in cooperation with the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration, includes a presentation by Michigan author and Vietnam veteran Tim Keenan, sharing his personal healing journey following his experience. The reception will also include tributes, refreshments, a roundtable discussion, and displays.   If you are a Remus area Vietnam Veteran, or have a loved one that you would like recognized, please send your contact info and Vietnam veteran name, service years, photos, maps, clippings, letters home, memorabilia, etc. by mail to: RAHS, PO Box 71, Remus, MI 49340, or call Ken Todd 989.967.8249 or Char Lenon 989.560.2431, stop by the Remus Museum (324 S. Sheridan) or email:  or

The project is funded in part by a grant from Mecosta County Community Foundation, an affiliate of Fremont Area Community Foundation, and gifts of support by area veteran groups and families.

RAHS is still welcoming donations and small donated items for event gift bags, such as business discount coupons.  A special Vietnam Veteran display will be created at the Remus Museum.

We all need to learn more about Vietnam.  Did you know: The U.S. was involved in Vietnam for 25 years.  Over 9 million U.S. men and women served active duty during Vietnam era and of these, 25% were draftees.  The Vietnam draft lottery occurred from December 1969 to January 1973.  American troops were withdrawn March 27, 1973 and Saigon fell April 30, 1975. The Vietnam war touched the lives of many Mecosta County area families.  In 2016, more than 50% (1,299) of all living Mecosta County veterans were Vietnam Veterans. (Sources: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), U.S. Census via Data USA.)

Festival of Lights 2018

Big Rapids Downtown Business Association once again will host the Festival of Lights parade on Nov. 17.23376215_1663276603692379_1882260424881099790_n

Line-up starts at 4:00 pm along Michigan Avenue (South of Oak Street) and Cedar Street. Floats and participants should be COMPLETELY set-up by 5:30 p.m. The parade will start at 6 p.m. Walkers enter the parade at the Public Library (corner of Oak Street & Michigan Avenue).

Only Christmas music shall be played on floats. Participants should not throw candy from the floats but should instead hand it to onlookers. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE LIGHTED! $10 entry fee.

Prizes will be awarded to:

  • Most Creative
  • Most Lights
  • Largest Group
  • Best Winter/Christmas Scene

For more information about how to enter a float in the parade, contact the DBA at (231) 592-4038 or register online at


The Pioneer Group is the November Member of the Month

Pioneer logoThe Pioneer Group is a diverse media company that provides advertising solutions to area businesses to help them grow and prosper, while producing a variety of products that keep readers entertained and informed about local happenings.

In addition to its flagship daily newspaper, the Big Rapids Pioneer, the company has newspapers in Manistee, Benzie, Osceola and Lake Counties as well as shopping guides and niche publications throughout the region.

Headquartered in Big Rapids, the Pioneer Group is part of Hearst Newspapers. In addition to newspaper publishing, the Pioneer Group also publishes telephone directories under the Phone Directory Services (PDS) brand, and provides web printing services to clients throughout the state of Michigan.

A new product introduced this year is Latitude 43, a monthly lifestyle magazine mailed to homeowners in the greater Canadian Lakes area. “It hits a demographic our advertisers desire, and reader feedback has been very positive,” said Advertising Manager Danette Doyle.

Offering much more than print solutions, the Pioneer Group also has a suite of digital products that help advertisers get their message to their target audience. Using social media, SEO, SEM, digital display, retargeting, web site development and more, there’s a digital solution available to businesses large and small.

The Pioneer Group is also a leader in community involvement, as it promotes and partners with various organizations to foster a vibrant and healthy region in which to work and play.

For advertising information, call Danette Doyle at (231) 592-8359.

A Statement from Tammy and Scott Weaver, owners, Sears Appliance and Hardware

14305 Northland DriveBig Rapids, MI 49307(231) 796-7406 (1).png

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. has not filed for bankruptcy and is not part of today’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Sears Holdings Corporation. Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. is a publicly owned company traded on Nasdaq (Symbol: SHOS) that separated from Sears Holdings in 2012. It remains business as usual at all of our locations, which include more than 750 retail stores in 49 states across the nation, which are operated by us, our dealer owners and franchisees. We currently operate stores under various brand names including Sears Hometown, Sears Appliance & Hardware, Sears Home Appliance Showroom, Sears Outlet and Buddy’s Home Furnishings franchise.

The Big Rapids Sears Appliance & Hardware Store at 14305 Northland Drive, is owned by the Weavers: Scott, Tammy & Michael.  They have owned this location for almost 12 years and appreciate the support of the community.