Family values explored in ‘The Meaning of Normal’ by BETH ALTENA Anyone who knows Phil Mann can concede he does a convincing creepy. Surprisingly, so does his daughter, lovely 16-year-old Tiffany, a straight-A student who will be a junior this year at Rockford High School. The two were recently featured in a news segment titled “The Meaning of Normal” that proves family values can take a ghoulish twist and still make the memories of a lifetime. The news segment won WZZM TV 13 one of seven Emmy Awards the station was awarded this year by the National Press Photographers Association in the category of television. Nationally it took third overall and first in its category. Mann works second shift at Steelcase, making family time tough to arrange around Tiffany’s schedule of school and homework. Their solution? Spend time together as the zombie groom and zombie bride at The Haunt. “This is their together time, scaring people,” explains mom and wife Debbie. The Mann family has a long tradition of enjoying and creating haunted houses and considers a “haunt hunt” a nostalgic family outing. Two years ago Phil and Tiffany signed up as staff at the Grand Rapids spook house and found a perfect fit for their creepy creativity. “I am so lucky to have my dad,” Tiffany said of the pair’s ghoulish hobby. She has Facebooked to her friends that her dad is cool. Any parent to a teenage girl will appreciate the gesture as atypical. Perhaps the juxtaposition of straight-A school work, a real appreciation for dressing up as the dead to scare strangers and a daughter-dad relationship that is admirable helped give the segment its appeal. It was produced by Andrew B. Sudgen for WZZM-13, who Phil said “practically lived with us” during the filming. Mann is interviewed at his Steelcase job and at home, and Tiffany was filmed singing with the Rockford High School choir. And then there is the filming from The Haunt, where Tiffany moves with slack-jawed, broken necked jerkiness, dragging her damaged wedding gowned self toward screaming visitors. Dad, dressed as undead groom, likewise performs in deathly makeup, with vacant eyes and a lopsided, looming gait. Pure father-daughter fun. “We get paid with scares and dropping people to the […]
August 30 2012
For the second consecutive year, Dr. Steven Dater, accompanied by his son Sam and daughter Stephanie, is traveling to the Ukraine with the Ukrainian Children’s Project. The Ukrainian Children’s project is a nonprofit organization that helps orphan children in Vinnitsa Oblast, Ukraine, which is about four hours south of Kiev, with all their most basic needs. Dr. Dater said, “Last year we saw 180 children in six days of working. What is amazing about these kids is that they truly appreciate that you are there to help them. They are so neglected that they are grateful for any attention given to them.” The office staff and his patients are very proud of his work and dedication to this project. This year Dr. Dater will be posting regular updates on the dater&cadorette Facebook site so friends back home can hear about his daily encounters. “The satisfaction of seeing them smile even after having multiple extractions is fantastic. I am looking forward to seeing some of the same kids this year,” continued Dater. He joked that his wife is not allowed to go because he knows they would be returning with a new little girl for his family!
A 16-year-old Cedar Springs teen was killed and two other teens were critically injured Thursday morning, August 23, when the car they were riding in ran off the road and hit a tree. According to Kent County Sheriff Sgt. James Loughrin, the accident occurred about 8:20 a.m. The 16-year-old male driver and two male passengers were headed north on White Creek Avenue, north of Wiersma, when the car veered off the road and hit a tree. The driver, Wyatt Phillips, 16, of Cedar Springs, was pronounced dead at the scene. The front seat passenger, Johnny Klaasen, 16, of Cedar Springs, suffered a shoulder injury and was transported to the hospital by ambulance. It took over an hour to extricate the back seat passenger, Sean Thompson, 16, of Sparta, who was critically injured with head and leg injuries. Rescue workers had to open up the back of the car to get him out. Sean was awake and talking to officers and rescue personnel as they worked. He was taken to Butterworth by AeroMed. According to investigating Deputy Jason VanDyke, police believe that excessive speed was the cause of the accident. They do not believe alcohol was involved. All were wearing their seatbelts. Cedar Springs High School set up a crisis team in the high school media center for students to come in and talk to a counselor. A candlelight vigil was scheduled for Wyatt Phillips at Cedar’s first home football game, Friday, August 24.
Kurlyowicz to be ‘mohawked’ if 40 units are raised Don Kurlyowicz has been through plenty in his long story of the Village of Cannonsburg. The owner of most of the business ventures in the village, Kurlyowicz happily gives back to the community all the time, but in a big way every two years with a village-wide celebration open to the public. The event has everything fun; this year a duathlon in addition to the other Labor Day weekend events. Kurlyowicz has hosted the celebration for years and has seen thousands of happy people enjoy the little burg where life is simple like it is supposed to be. Things weren’t always so sunny, however, and Kurlyowicz remembers the darker early days—specifically October 19, 1985 when disgruntled former customers of the Honeycreek Inn shot out the windows of the restaurant while Kurlyowicz was inside preparing food. “I can say I am the last man shot at in Cannonsburg,” he can now joke of the incident that forced his business partner to quit, telling Kurlyowicz it was too dangerous to stay. Today Kurlyowicz faces a different possibility in his near future. His village is hosting a blood drive on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3. The Michigan Blood bus will be there, and their reserves are three weeks low. According to Kurlyowicz this is often the case in summertime when regular donors are out of town on vacation and need for blood is at a yearly peak. “My goal is to hit 30 units,” Kurlyowicz stated. “I hope to go over and if we reach 40 I will get a mohawk,” he said. If the drive reaches the wildly successful goal of 45 units of blood, Kurlyowicz will auction off the rights to pick the color of his mohawk, with proceeds going to the North Kent Community Services and Kid’s Food Basket. “It just can’t be purple or pink,” Kurlyowicz specified, then relented, “It can be purple if someone donates five thousand dollars. Pink will cost ten grand.” To sign up for the blood drive, make an appointment by calling Don at (616) 874-7849 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Walk-in donors will be accommodated as quickly as possible.
1 Linda Donker, Millie Groen, Brenda Heath, Sarah McLellan, Scott Pratt 2 Wanette Abshire, Brad Des Noyers, John Hone, Robby Kuntz John Winks, Marilyn Ziomkowski 3 Ron Blenman, Anna Ellen, Joel Rietsema 4 Judy Baer, Doug Behnke, Isaac Blenman, Rose Doering Travis Fase, Sharon Pickerd 5 Mike Bolthouse 6 Shirley Burtt, Sara Haas, Ivan Judson, Kym Steffes, Helen Woodard 7 Faith Clark, Marilyn Neidhart