February 17 2010

Local students named essay contest winners

February 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Three students from Assumption School in Belmont have been named local winners in the 42nd annual America & Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance. Alexander Bolin earned first place, Liam Cowen earned second, and Lindsey Kramarz third. All three received an award certificate for their achievement. As the school’s first-place winner, Bolin’s name will also be engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school. Bolin’s first-place essay now advances to the state level competition, from which the top 10 essays in Michigan will be selected. The top 10 statewide winners, who will be announced in April, will each receive a plaque, a medallion and a cash award of $1,000. In addition, the top essayists will be honored at a banquet in Lansing, meet with Michigan’s top governmental leaders, and be the featured guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game dedicated in their honor. A team of finalist judges that includes a top Michigan government official and the sponsoring teachers of last year’s top two statewide winners will determine the ranking of the top 10 statewide winners this year. Several thousand eighth-grade students from nearly 500 Michigan schools participated in the 2010-2011 America & Me Essay Contest, which was conducted with the help of Farm Bureau Insurance agents across the state. The topic of the 2010-2011 contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.” Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan eighth-grade students, the contest encourages Michigan youngsters to explore their roles in America’s future. As sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Following is the winning essay by Alexander Bolin. My Michigan Hero My Michigan hero is my Grandpa Bo. He was a war hero of Vietnam. He was also a Michigan State Trooper. Papa Bo does not like to talk about the war, but he does tell stories about his time as a police officer. Papa Bo received a commendation for saving someone’s life. One time, Papa was working and he saw a pheasant sitting on a split rail fence by a farm. Behind a pheasant he saw a farmer who waved at him, so he waved back. A while later, Papa thought he would go back […]


February 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Combs Mrs. Betty Combs, age 83, of Belmont went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011. She was two-and-one-half years old when her mother died and three years old when polio was diagnosed. Her father, a teacher, moved the family to Cedar Springs so they could walk to church and run the store for her new mom. Betty accepted Christ at the age of 10 at the old Oakfield Chapel, where she was led to the Lord at a revival Meeting. She grew up on a farm in Courtland Township, where they grew crops (corn, potatoes, beans) and had dairy cattle and chickens. Betty would help clean the barns, tend the chickens in the morning, and help prepare meals for the extra help during harvest. At the age of 15, she graduated with honors from Cedar Springs High School, and at the age of 16 she began working in the office at Wolverine World Wide. Betty met Tom shortly after he returned home from the Navy. Right away they took a liking to one another. She was engaged on her 19th birthday and married in January 1947. Betty worked until the children came along. She became involved with PTA and taught Sunday school at Rockford Baptist Church, where she had been a member since 1947. Betty was a member of the Missionary Society at Rockford Baptist Church. When the children returned to school, Betty began working full-time work at WWW and, after 27 years, retired as their personnel director. Betty was elected to the Rockford City Council (eight years) and later served as mayor (two years). As mayor, she married over 100 couples; any and all of the moneys she collected were put back into the city funds. From 1980 to 1994, Betty and Tom owned and operated the Colonial Motel. Betty was fun-loving, honest, friendly, and a fiercely independent person who understood human nature. She would say, “God has given me a love of people.” Her polio and her faith really influenced her life. She felt fortunate to live a “normal” life. In recognition of her community involvement, Betty was honored by the Rockford Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow. Betty is survived by her loving husband, Tom; children, Alan […]