The recurring theme for the city of Williamston is its tight-knit community and the town’s eager willingness to come together and help out with anything in anyway that they can. Take the Kiwanis organization, for example, something that embodies all of what Williamston’s values and stands for as a community. Kiwanis is a global organization, entirely comprised of volunteers who are devoted to changing the world for the better, one community, and one child at a time. “Kiwanis is all about the kids. Whatever the kids need, we do for them,” Williamston Kiwanis president Teri Nelson said.
“Service Above Self” is a common phrase, but how often does action back up these three simple words? For the Williamston Sunrise Rotary Club, its goal is to put these words into action. The club hosts several events throughout the year to raise money for the community, charitable organizations and grants. “All the money we make, we turn around and give it to our community or international charities,” secretary and webmaster for the club Gene Klco said. One event is the duck race held the third week in June.
The City of DeWitt held a city council meeting on Oct. 25 to discuss the upcoming Bridge Street extension as well as reviewing the planning services contract with Beckett & Raeder and review the assessing reports.
A new project is in the planning stages for the construction of a new commercial building at 110 Bridge Street in downtown DeWitt, and the city council discussed extending the construction start from Dec. 17 to May 17, 2018.
“The request for the extension is to make sure we don’t have to come back and do it again,” said Vesta Building Contractor Scott Schmidt.
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Every fall, the community of DeWitt partake in the Fall Leaf Pick Up Program. The Fall Leaf Pick Up Program is a citywide program that begins each year with a city wide sweep in early October and will continue until the final week of November. Even though it is not a mandatory program, however it’s encouraged for community members to get involved. If residents are looking to burn their leaves instead of leaving them on the curb of your house, it’s prohibited. The City’s Fire Prevention Code prohibits the open burning of grass clippings and leaves.
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Trick-or-treating wasn’t the only Halloween activity on DeWitt’s to-do list for the holiday. DeWitt takes Halloween to the next level by incorporating a weekend-long house decoration contest into the festivities. “It’s to really thank the people in the community for going all out and decorating at holiday time,” said Loretta Spinrad, from the DeWitt Area Chamber of Commerce. “So, we have a contest to get other residents to go out and look at the decorations. We award winners basically to say thank you.”
“Some of those houses that are decorated are phenomenal,” said Spinrad. “Some of these people go all out, and it’s just unbelievable where are this stuff comes from and how much they’ve invested in this. Some of them have smoke, lights, moving objects, and sound.”
This year only 10 houses were entered into the contest. This number is a decrease from the previous year, which was 18. However, the lower number of houses in the contest didn’t take away from homeowners showing their Halloween spirit and taking part in the festivities. DeWitt Residents, Arlyn and Stuart King, have fully embraced the contest and are intending on taking home the prize this year. “We love Halloween,” said Stuart King. “Halloween brings the community together, and I was hoping the contest would help bring people through.”
The Kings’ yard is one of the most creative, with everything being built by hand. The props and characters in the haunted house move via electric motors and tell a creative story to go along with it to make it even more unique. “I think a really fun part of Stuart’s creations is that they are unique,” said Arlyn King. “You can’t purchase them anywhere because they come out of his imagination. A lot of the items are found items, and we find things that people threw out and we incorporate it.”
“We chose the theme haunted house,” said Stuart King. “Once that was selected, then it was a matter of making it all happen. Every year is something brand new.”
Across town, another home is showing the Halloween spirit by going with a pirate theme this year. Jack and Pat Crick have incorporated a coffin, a jail cell, and even gallows in their creation.
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The Nokomis Learning Center (5153 Marsh Road) is a Native American nonprofit organization in Meridian Township. It aims to educate people about Native American history and offer resources to Natives. The museum’s educational coordinator Victoria Voges has many roles at the Nokoimis Learning Center. She is the main presenter, curator of the gallery and runs the gift shop. “We are holding up the Great Lakes Indigenous history and the art and culture both past and present day of the contemporary times,” said Voges.