Thursday, August 29, 2013

Don Jess loves Charlevoix because...

I love Charlevoix because I was raised here and people know me and my family. Sometimes people say, “oh you’re Bob’s son” or call me by one of my older brother’s names and it’s always with a smile because in Charlevoix and any small town, your reputation precedes you. I love that about a small town and I’m excited to teach my two sons that in Charlevoix, our small town, your reputation can be a tremendous asset for you when you are older. The connections you make in this small town can provide tremendous opportunities for you later in life. 

I love Charlevoix because my two boys were born here at the Charlevoix Area Hospital. We had better care during our stay than we would have had anywhere else and that is because in our town people know you. For two days we were the only family there with a newborn. The doctors and nurses are fantastic and we’ll forever be grateful for the individualized care we received during our overnight stays. 

I love Charlevoix because my wife and I met here. We were both counselors at Camp McSauba. In our town, businesses trust in the youth that we raise and hire local. This summer my son spent the night at McSauba and it was the highlight of his summer. The counselors are amazing and they make everyone feel special by making sure everyone is rewarded with an individualized award at the end of the week. Just one more way people in our town make others feel special. 

I love Charlevoix because you can bring your kids to a birthday party AND leave them at their friend’s house for a couple hours because in our small town you know all the parents and they have the same values as your family does and they treat your kids as their own. In Charlevoix, your kids friend’s parents are your friends and for fun you play games, meet at the beach, go to the library, meet for movies at the movie theater, and coach T-Ball together because that’s just what we do in Charlevoix.

I love Charlevoix because Santa visits on a fire truck and our Christmas tradition, similar to other locals,  includes seeing the lights at Dale and Marilyn Boss’ and having our picture taken with Baby Jesus  which reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas while we’re there. 

I love Charlevoix because my children’s teachers know my wife and me by our first names and they treat my kids as their own. They want the best for them and go above and beyond for them while sacrificing their own family just to make sure my student is succeeding and having a fantastic school experience.

I love Charlevoix because we spell “Rayders” with a y and maroon is a color that is worn with pride. Our seven year old wants to wear his Rayder gear and  Fridays are football nights. When my son says “everyone is at the game” he’s right. People help out and support our teams. They encourage coaches and offer donations when purchases need to be made and money needs to be raised.

I love Charlevoix for a lot of reasons, but I really love the people in this community. We are a caring and hardworking community. Sure we have our differences from time to time, but people look out for each other and me and my family, that’s something you can’t put a value on and wouldn’t find in other towns or bigger cities.

My name is Don Jess and I love Charlevoix.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chip Sauer loves Charlevoix because...

Many thanks to  Pastor Chip Sauer , our guest blogger this week, as he shares with us why he loves Charlevoix. Enjoy!

I love Charlevoix because . . .
Our family moved to Charlevoix in 2005.  In the last eight years, we’ve fallen in love with this community for so many different reasons.

Great place to raise a family.  Our son’s experience with Charlevoix schools has been incredibly positive – great teachers, administrators, interactions with other students.  He’s able to be involved in so many different activities whether it’s Little League, Camp McSauba, 4-H Soccer, snowboarding, swimming at Depot or McSauba, junior golf, playing in the fountain downtown, swimming lessons at the Community Pool, all of the Venetian festivities, an awesome library, or simply playing with friends in our neighborhood.  We’ve felt safe, connected, and welcomed as a family into the community of Charlevoix.

Natural beauty and outdoor opportunities.  Did I mention the beaches, the trails at McSauba, a Frisbee golf course, lakes both small and large to fish or boat on?  It’s hard to imagine anyplace else I’d want to be in the summer.  I remember one of the first nights we spent in Charlevoix in the middle of February where we experienced a night sky unlike anything we’d seen before.  We’re a day trip from Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mission Peninsula, East Jordan River Valley, Fisherman’s Island, the Mackinac Bridge, Soo Locks, Mackinac Island, Cross Village, Boyne Mountain, Avalanche Bay, Beaver Island and the list goes on.

People.  Charlevoix’s greatest asset is people.  There is such an eclectic mix of natives, out of towners, retired folks, young families, outdoorspeople, democrats, republicans, artists, entrepreneurs, and people of faith.  It’s small enough to bank on seeing someone you know when you go out, yet especially in the summer, brings in such a diverse mix of people from around the country and even around the world.  We enjoy the small town atmosphere where we know the community leaders, school administrators and teachers, and business owners. 

Plus.  Mushroom bisque soup at Grey Gables.  Lobster bisque at Scovie’s.  Toasted coconut ice cream at Kilwins.  Fudge at multiple locations.  Reese peanut butter cup avalance at Dairy Grille.  A glazed donut at Johan’s.  The farmer’s market.  Apples from Friske’s.  Incredible cheeses at Esperance.  (This last section is exclusively me because I’m the food lover in our family.  My son would be on board with the ice cream and donuts.)

We are thankful to be a part of Charlevoix and feel very blessed to live in this ‘beautiful’ community.

Chip Sauer (Alisa, John, & Anna, too)
Community Reformed Church

Friday, August 16, 2013

I love Charlevoix, by Tim Salmonson

The first installment of "I love Charlevoix because..." is delivered by Charlevoix native Tim Salmonson in the video clip above.  

Thanks, Tim for your contribution.

Changing the conversation

Let's talk about Charlevoix.  Specifically, about what we love.  Why we live, work, play and invite others to join us here. We know the wonderful Charlevoix. On the flip side, we know that there are challenges, differences of opinions, and opportunities to make our community better. 

It's all in communication.  We have had quite a bit of negativity, and the Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce would like to lead the change of the very public conversation towards the positive.  A simple change, with a potentially large impact.  Kind of like the car that lets you merge downtown, or the young lady that holds the door for you, or the stranger that smiles just because he is happy; simple actions can change the course of your day, week or year.

We've invited 52 people to join us in a year of celebrating Charlevoix.  Each week, we'll publish their contributions to the blog, all beginning with "I love Charlevoix because...".  Some are residents, some visitors, some business owners, all with the common love of our city.

I hope this blog will remind you of why you appreciate Charlevoix.  Each activity, person, location and business act as threads that make the cloth of our community.  Together we can rejoice in the good, the kind and the encouraging components of our town, and change our conversation to one of relentless positive action. 


Erin Bemis, President & CEO,
Charlevoix Area Chamber of Commerce.