Journalism at Michigan State University

The Traverse City Film Festival: increased popularity and great opportunity for volunteers and interns

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Traverse City held the 13th consecutive Traverse City Film Festival July 25-30. The annual Northern Michigan festival, which began in 2005, had around 120,000 attendees this year. Meg Weichman, creative director at TCFF, says, “With the addition of new venues, as well as word getting out about what a great festival we have, we have seen both community and regional support, as well as national interest increase.”

Weichman says, “The TCFF is something Traverse City is very proud of. It is a true example of our community coming together to create something magical and special for our area, not only in terms of economic impact, but cultural and social as well.

Old Town reliant on volunteering to stay afloat

By Zachary Barnes
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter

Volunteers have allowed Old Town to become what it is today, and are also the reason it remains such a vibrant community. Whether it be the upcoming Taste and Tour of Old Town event where guests can sample food from various restaurants in the Old Town area while touring Old Town property or Oktoberfest where visitors can dance to their favorite polka song, Old Town is known for its festivals. Festivals continue to be the heart and soul of the community. But with only one and half employees working for the Old Town Commercial Association, people dedicated to the growth of Old Town are a necessity to put on these events. Without volunteers, there are no festivals, without any festivals there is no money for the neighborhood, without any money Old Town is back to a red light district.

Crystal Award winner awaits successors

By Danielle Chesney
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – Among members of the East Lansing community sat Joan Fairey with her friends and family, who traveled from everywhere from London to Los Angeles to attend the 2015 Crystal Awards and surprise Fairey with a much-deserved award. Unaware of her nomination and completely content to watch and enjoy the free food, Fairey said she was “gobsmacked” when the host announced her name as one of the four Crystal Award winners. The East Lansing Crystal Awards is an annual event hosted by the East Lansing City Council. According to the city of East Lansing website, recipients of the award can be groups, individuals, non-profits, businesses or professionals who contribute to community life in a remarkable way. East Lansing City Council member Susan Woods describes the typical Crystal Award recipient as “a citizen in East Lansing who has contributed greatly to the betterment and the fabric of East Lansing.”

Karen Arndorfer, a friend of Fairey’s, nominated Fairey for the Crystal Award because of her extensive contributions with multiple organizations including the East Lansing Food Co-op, Greater Lansing Food Bank, Sparrow Hospital and the East Lansing Public Library.

Veteran-home volunteers hold hands, listen, comfort

By ELIZABETH FERGUSON
Capital News Service
LANSING — In 1994, Pam Jackovich of Marquette turned to volunteering to add meaning to her life after the death of her husband, a Vietnam War veteran. Jackovich visited the D.J. Jacobetti State Veterans Home in Marquette and immediately enjoyed the conversations she had with veterans there. “I started visiting with the residents and I really started learning more about history,” Jackovich said. In April, Jackovich was honored for volunteering more than 9,000 service hours at the home in the last 20 years — an average of seven hours a week. Volunteers who socialize with veterans and run home activities are considered necessary for state veteran homes in Marquette and Grand Rapids, according to Jim Dunn, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency deputy director, who oversees both homes.