2017-03-02 / Columns

Les Cheneaux

By Robert W. Smith

Snowsfest has come and gone, and, once again, the folks of Les Cheneaux have proven that, when working together and caring about each other, we can be successful. It was a fantastic and fun time. The weather was warm, wet, windy, and a little sunny. The turnout proved many people traveled hundreds of miles just to be here in the Upper Peninsula and enjoy Les Cheneaux. We are proud of everyone who worked so diligently and hard for many hours to make Snowsfest the success it was. It is indeed wonderful to be able to present the abilities of the people here in Les Cheneaux, who continue to work together for the betterment of all. We appreciate Amy Polk for all her time and effort to put this event together. Let’s begin planning for 2018.

I recently had a nice chat with Jeff Kilponen, a new resident to Cedarville. He used to be a pilot for Southwest Airlines and he really loves Les Cheneaux. His brother and sister-in-law, Roger and Carolyn Kilponen, also live in Cedarville.

Gerry Izzard returned home from a fantastic boat cruise, enjoying Polish friends, food, and good times. She will return for another Polish cruise in 2018.

Ken and Stella Pendery are here visiting family. They enjoyed Snowsfest and they just love Les Cheneaux.

It was sad to hear of the death of John Watkins, who passed away Wednesday, February 15, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He was a resident of Prospect, Ohio, for many years, and he loved his cottage in Hessel. His son and daughter-in-law, Thomas and Julie Watkins, now live permanently in Hessel, close to where John had his cottage. John was an outstanding gentleman and well respected in Prospect. He escaped to Hessel as often as he could. Our condolences to his family. An obituary was published in the February 23 issue of The St. Ignace News.

Shirley Jellison has returned to Cedar Cove Assisted Living in Cedarville after being hospitalized at War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie. She loves her home here and enjoyed having a cat or two in past years. She enjoyed attending First Union Church with her son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Laurel Jellison.

The Les Cheneaux Snowmobile Club sponsored a delicious breakfast Saturday, February 18. Approximately 200 people attended the event. That is a lot of pancakes and sausage. We appreciate the members of the snowmobile club who helped set up, prepare, and serve the meal.

Last week, 25 swans were seen flying around and sitting on the ice in Cedarville Bay. They were really beautiful and fun to watch.

The Les Cheneaux Lions Club will sponsor its annual Cabin Fever Reliever fundraising auction Saturday, March 4, at the Clark Township Community Center on M-134 in Cedarville. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Live and silent auctions start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person and include finger foods, bid paddle, and three drink tickets. A prize will be awarded for best theme costume. Auction items include a Mackinac Bridge tower tour, a dinner for two prepared by Jane French, a ride through the Les Cheneaux Islands in an antique boat, and an elk viewing ride with gourmet dinner and wine tasting at Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman. Tickets may be purchased at Arfstrom Pharmacy and First National Bank, both in Cedarville, or by calling Ernie Hagen at (906) 484- 1000 or Margie Denoyer at (906) 484-3863. Auction proceeds benefit Les Cheneaux Lions Club community projects. This is always a fun time and a great fundraiser.

The Great Lakes Boat Building School hosted an open house Friday, February 17. Everyone enjoyed observing how several of the boats were being built. The refreshments were sweet and good, and a student, Gordon Kwiatkowski, sang and played his guitar and ukulele. He was a very good entertainer. Then Benjamin Gulder came aboard with his violin and played music of all kinds. It was an outstanding musical event and everyone appreciated their talent. A few couples from Ohio were at the open house. The Gray family enjoys their cottage along the south side of Hill Island. They are neighbors of the Schirtzingers. It was great to see them. They enjoyed being here.

A friend of Les Cheneaux, Sylvia Reid, passed away Saturday, February 18. She enjoyed living in Les Cheneaux in her lovely home on the water. She was always busy. We extend our condolences and prayers to her family and friends. An obituary was published in the February 23 issue of The St. Ignace News.

Vanessa League entertained approximately 35 people with her harp at the Les Cheneaux Community Library in Cedarville Sunday, February 12. She told stories and sang beautiful songs from her travels. She is from Peoria, Illinois. Her songs and stories from her time in Ireland were especially enjoyed and appreciated. She took listeners on a trip around Ireland, playing Irish folk songs and a variety of dance music. A photograph of Ms. League was published in the February 23 issue of The St. Ignace News. She also played for a Valentine’s Day party at Cedar Campus. She says she enjoyed being at the lovely waterfront home of Judy and Mark Nolan on Prentiss Bay.

I recently learned of the passing of Dorothy Larger, who died Saturday, December 17, in Columbus, Ohio. She visited Cedarville for the first time in 1947, and then returned often to vacation with her family. She enjoyed being here in the Les Cheneaux Islands, especially being on Snows Channel, as she loved the water and boats. She loved to pick blueberries, feed the chipmunks, and enjoy the beauty of nature. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family and friends here in the Les Cheneaux Islands.

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