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31 Days of Giving

December 1st

A $5,000 check will go out to Our local private school, the Leelanau School. I should tell you a story: It is the story of a young teenaged Japanese girl named Ayaka Ogawa who lost her entire family-- Mother, Father, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles in the tsunami. She received a full ride scholarship at the Leelanau Schools and is excelling at this school that reached out to a person in need. And as compelling as the story is for the child, it is maybe more so when you hear about the school staff and how they came to adopt this child. In these financially challenged times for all schools, especially for private boarding schools, that the staff would hear about this young lady and put the institutions own financial challenges aside (they still haven’t found the money to cover her tuition) and take the risk of supporting another mouth, mind and heart from across the world, it shows the passion these teachers have for what they do.  For Ayaka's full story, click here to read the article from the Glen Arbor Sun.


December 2nd

A $3,500 check will go out to the Cherry Marketing Institute, our nation’s resource agency for everything cherry! This donation will help CMI cover some financial shortfalls on this year with little revenues because of the disastrous crop last spring. This check will be a little sprinkle of positive energy for the cherry industry as we turn the corner on what we hope to be a tremendous 2013 cherry crop. Cherry Republic has never donated to CMI and remembers long ago being a recipient of a grant from them to build a web site. It feels good to return the favor.


December 3rd

Glen Lake Chamber of Commerce. A $250 contribution goes toward covering part of the cost of creating a skating rink in the middle of Glen Arbor this winter. Other contributors are Art’s Tavern and Leelanau Coffee Roasters. Bring your skates up when you come visit.


December 4th

A $2,500 check will be sent to the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. It will go in our VP of Sales name Jason Homa and his wife Heather to get their name up on the donors placard next summer. This contribution is above and beyond Cherry Republic’s $100,000 pledge. It goes toward helping raise the last $45,000 needed to finish out Phase One.


December 5th

A $5,000 check has gone out to the organization that runs the highly successful farm to table initiative-- Taste the Local Difference. The money will be used to create a Smart Phone App which will modernize citizens access to the organization’s local food guide. The creation of this app could gain TLD access to a much wider audience and make a huge impact on the number of consumers seeking out local food products. TLD’s plan is to set up the phone app so that it can easily be expanded beyond food and become the singular “buy local” app for the region. Read more about TLD and it’s host organization-- The Michigan Land Use Institute here.


December 6th

A $2,500 check will be sent to the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. It will go in our Warehouse Supervisor, Veronica Hazelton and her husband Ross to get their name up on the donors placard next summer. This contribution is above and beyond Cherry Republic’s $100,000 pledge.


December 7th

A $5,000 check goes to the Leelanau Conservancy for supporting their agricultural work in the county. This donation is unrestricted and goes toward the administration of their highly successful farm-ability program.


December 8th

$500 goes toward supporting Buckets of Rain, the organization’s Executive Director is local musician and resident, Chris Skellenger, and his passion is helping the poor grow their own food. He is currently working in Detroit, Flint, Highland Park and Guatemala.


December 9th

A $2,500 check goes to the Friends of the Dunes to help cover the costs of creating a trail network in the Bow Lakes area of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This high and hilly area just east of Glen Lake is remote and perfect for peace and solitude. It also gets the most snow in the park, so it just might be a perfect place for some organized cross country ski trails.


December 10th

A $1,000 check goes to the Washtenaw Camp Placement Association. I don’t know anything about this camp, but see that each year, they send 100 needy city kids up north to camp. And 25 years ago, I was a counselor at Camp Innisfree and looking back, I think I counseled a bunch of these scholarship kids-- I loved those kids. They made me laugh all day.


December 11th

A $3,500 check goes to Circle of Blue, the leading organization in the world talking about water. This organization is the passion of two friends, Carl Ganter and his writing cohort, Keith Schneider. Circle of Blue’s headquarters is in Traverse City. This organization is telling the story of the worldwide water shortage and the risks to our Great Lakes when those thirsty regions look north.

December 12th

A $1,000 check was sent to the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail in the names of Ed and Molly Connolly, two stalwart Glen Arbor CR employees and residents, to get them on the Donor Placard next summer. This contribution is above and beyond Cherry Republic’s $100,000 pledge.


December 13th
A $5,000 check goes to ISLAND, the Institute for Sustainable Living, Art and Natural Design, ran by Brad and Amanda Kik, two passionate resources for our small farm northern michigan culture.  ISLAND manages a Northern Michigan CRAFT program, networking farm interns and providing opportunities to increase the breadth and depth of their on-farm experience. The CRAFT program has been supported by Cherry Republic for several years.

December 14th

Cherry Republic starts the season of giving by donating 100 gift boxes with 8 oz jars of Original Cherry Salsa and 8 oz bags of Chocolate Covered Cherry Berries. These boxes go to the St. Cyprian Church in Riverview, MI.  Thanks, Mary Wezner (and our hearts have already grown a full size bigger).

Throughout the year, my husband and I donate to the Salvation Army, both their "Bed and Bread" program and their "Red Kettle" program.  The Salvation Army gives almost 100% (if not 100%) of their donations to the people - they don't have high paying CEO jobs taking a good chunk of their donated money like other organizations do.  Plus they help feed and shelter the homeless in the Detroit area.

We also donate much needed food throughout the year to the food pantry at St. Cyprian Church in Riverview, MI.  They used to have around 20 families getting food each week and there are over 100 families now so the need in our area is great.  We have been blessed so we do our part to help - what little it may be.

I appreciate reading your weekly emails and seeing what your company has also done for others.  It's a very wonderful thing that's for sure!  Keep up the great work!

And by the way - I love your products and have not only purchased them for myself, but also for family and friends over the years.  I will continue to do so - as I love sending a "Taste of Michigan" to others!

December 15th
 A $5,000 check goes to the Ann Arbor Greenbelt.  This money will go to the organization working to preserve prime active farmland around Ann Arbor.  This effort to preserve farmland is the most successful and cooperative city, county and township program in the state and we are proud to support Ann Arbor’s efforts to keep their farming heritage.

December 16th 

A $1,000 check goes to our neighbors across Lake Street; the Glen Arbor Art Association.  This organization has becoming one of the core elements of Glen Arbor year round, from the art lessons, residencies, showings, lectures, posters they do.  And that is not talking about the concerts and readers theater.  We are proud to support the great community of artists and art enthusiasts around our great small town.
December 17th
A $2,500 check goes to the Fresh Food Partnership, which distributes freshly grown local produce to needy families around the Grand Traverse Region.  What are great place to donate, because it supports both feeding the needy and supporting local farmers making an important living.  And this partnership goes on sharing local produce year round.
December 18th 
A check for $2,000 goes to the Round Up Radio Show.  Local musician and cultural talent, Bill Dungen, has a dream to create a national PBS show from right here in northern Michigan.  This donation is to help him tape a pilot program sometime this June at our Glen Arbor campus.  It should be a great day of music and laughs.
December 19th
A $1,000 check goes to Grist, the nation's leading online environmental organization.  This just helps them keep the great spunky writing out there for all to read.  Check them out here.

December 20th

A $5,000 check goes to the Grand Traverse Conservancy to support their farmland protection initiatives in northern Michigan.
December 21st

A $2,500 check will go to Bill McKibbon and his organization  Bill came to speak in Traverse City and I had a chance to buy him lunch.  He is the leading resource on climate and the effect this warming trend will have on the earth and the things we can do to reduce it’s affect.December 22nd

$2,500 will go to Telfair Farms in Cedar.  This small farm hosts groups of schoolkids and gives them a chance to milk a cow, chase a chicken and wrestle a pig in his muddy pen (just joking).  Money will be used to extend their pastures with fencing.  (The check goes to Bruce and Laura Hood.  Don’t have to print this line.)December 23rd

$1,000 will go to the Winter Wow Festival in downtown Traverse City.  It will be February 18th.  This festival is a merger of two festivals-- The TC Comedy Festival and the traditional winter festival TC puts on.  Should be a great time.

December 24th

$1,500 goes to the Environmental Law and Policy Center.  This is a 10 year old organization providing legal support toward environmental issues across the midwest.

December 25th

$5,000 goes to the Glen Arbor Township Parks Commission for improvements to their tennis courts and park.December 26th

$2,500 goes to Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear.December 27th

$1,000 goes to the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority.  This support goes toward all they do to improve the quality of life of the residents and tourists who frequent downtown TC.

December 28th

$1,000 goes to FLOW, a new organization started by longtime great lakes environmental lawyer, Jim Olson.  This little group is working to protect the great lakes from diversion, pollution, wasteful consumption and other threats.

December 29th

$1,000 goes to the Glen Lake Association for protection of National Geographic’s 4th most beautiful lake in the world.

December 30th

$1,000 goes to Third Level Crisis Center.  This center helps youth adults and families adapt to change during times of crisis and transition.

December 31st

$1,000 goes to Conservation Resource Alliance for their work in protecting our watersheds.  They have adopted 18 streams in northern Michigan and have worked hard to reduce erosion and increase fish habitat.