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Happy Holidays! ‘Tis the season for giving, and there are plenty of opportunities right here on the Old Mission Peninsula, not just during the holidays, but all year long. Here’s a round-up of organizations, both charitable and non-charitable, that could use your financial help, as well as your membership and volunteer time, if you’re so inclined.

If I’ve missed any organizations, feel free to email me at [email protected], and I’ll add them to the list.

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mission point lighthouse, christmas, charitable giving
Mission Point Lighthouse Friends decorated the lighthouse on Dec. 3, 2016 | Mission Point Lighthouse Photo


Mission Point Lighthouse, located at the end of M-37 (Center Road), is always in need of lighthouse keepers, volunteers, specific items, expertise and information. Donations are tax deductible, and you may donate funds to a specific project, such as the new education program, trail signs, landscaping, restoration projects, maintenance, visitor use enhancement or playground equipment. If you have questions or would like to become a Mission Point Lighthouse “Friend,” contact Ginger Schultz, part-time manager, at (231) 645-0759 or email [email protected]. Visit their website and Facebook page.


Peter Dougherty Historical Marker, charitable giving
Peter Dougherty House | Jane Boursaw Photo

This non-profit 501(c)(3) organization oversees the Dougherty Historic Home Site located at 18459 Mission Road in the village of Old Mission, Michigan. The property consists of the 1842 home built by Reverend Peter Dougherty, a Presbyterian minister, and 15 acres of surrounding land. Now part of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, the home and surrounding grounds require extensive restoration with the goal of becoming an historical, cultural and educational center, as well as a museum for residents and visitors. Donations are tax deductible and will help to renovate, restore and preserve this important piece of Old Mission history. Visit their website, and contact them at [email protected].


omps, tcaps, old mission peninsula school
Old Mission Peninsula School – Boardwalk Around Elzer Pond | Jane Boursaw Photo

This charitable, nonprofit organization was formed in 2016 to oversee the purchase of Old Mission Peninsula School from TCAPS. The group is dedicated to supporting and enhancing quality educational programs on the Old Mission Peninsula. For the latest updates, read our interview with Foundation president Allison O’Keefe here, and visit their website and Facebook page.


peninsula community library
Old Mission Peninsula School – Outside the Peninsula Community Library | Jane Boursaw Photo

Big things are on the horizon for Peninsula Community Library (PCL), our township library serving the Old Mission Peninsula community. With the impending cessation of Old Mission Peninsula School (where the library has been housed for decades) from TCAPS, the time seemed right for the library to finally build their own home on their own land at the corner of Island View Road and Center Road. (I also heard a rumor that the new digs will include a space for OMP’s Local History Collection dedicated to my parents, Walter and Mary Johnson). PCL is an independent member library of the Traverse Area District Library, and offers a collection of more than 28,000 items, including books, periodicals, audio books, DVDs, music, games and puppets. They also have a fabulous lineup of events all year long. Become a PCL Friend here, and visit their website, Facebook and Twitter pages. For more info, contact PCL director Vicki Shurly, (231) 223-7700, [email protected].


park commission, hessler log home, lighthouse park, mission point lighthouse
Hessler Log Home at Lighthouse Park | Jane Boursaw Photo

Founded in 1992 by a group of Old Mission Peninsula residents concerned about saving the Hessler Log Home (which was subsequently restored and moved to Lighthouse Park), the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society continues to work toward fulfilling its mission of preserving historical structures and keeping alive the rich history of the region. They joined with Peninsula Township to raise the money necessary to purchase and preserve the Peter Dougherty Homestead and surrounding 15 acres. Consider joining the OMP Historical Society by downloading this form and returning it to the address noted on the form. For more info, visit their website or email treasurer Ellen Kerr, [email protected].


the 81, development, public hearing, farmland
Site of Proposed Development, “The 81 on East Bay” | Jane Boursaw Photo

Founded by Old Mission Peninsula resident Jim Komendera, Preserve Old Mission is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose purpose is to maintain and preserve the environmental, recreational, and community quality of Old Mission Peninsula and the surrounding areas. In particular, the group is focused on protecting and conserving the environmental resources on the Old Mission Peninsula. They are currently involved in a legal appeal of Peninsula Township’s 2015 approval of “The 81 on East Bay” development, as they do not feel it meets the zoning requirements as submitted. All donations are tax deductible. Visit their website, become a member here, or email [email protected] for more info.


american legion hall, legion hall
American Legion Hall | Jane Boursaw Photo

The Garland-Tompkins American Legion Post 399, located at 4007 Swaney Road (near Haserot Beach), is involved in sending packages to members of the Armed Services who are residents of Old Mission Peninsula, as well as helping with the postage costs to volunteers who send packages to our troops. The Legion hosts an annual Pig Roast every August to help with the expense of maintaining the Legion Hall and to pay off the construction of the Post Office addition. The American Legion Community Hall is available for rent for small weddings, graduation open houses, baby showers and other community events. You can also support the Legion by attending their family-style dinners on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. Appetizers are served at 6 p.m., and the dinners start at 6:30 p.m. (although most residents arrive a little early to meet and visit with friends). For more information about donations, hall rental and events, call Mary Shultz, (231) 223-7721.


Old Mission Peninsula, Master Plan
Old Mission Peninsula

Protect the Peninsula is a group of people in Peninsula Township who’ve been working without financial gain for the past 36 years to fight for ordinances and policies in the best interest of all Old Mission Peninsula residents. Members include fruit growers, year-round residents, seasonal residents and absentee property owners, as well as visitors who care deeply about the past, present and future of Old Mission Peninsula. Mark Nadolski, president of the group, notes that they are not a charitable organization, but rather a “government watchdog group” that has spent thousands of hours attending Township meetings, sending out surveys to learn what OMP residents want their township to be, and creating publications to educate and inform the citizenry. The group successfully fought and won a battle in 1988 to keep a 1000-acre development called ‘The Bluffs’ from happening. “This would have included hundreds of homes, apartments, condos, an 18-hole golf course, a commercial center and a large marina,” says Nadolski. The group also forced a major change to the Underwood Development that substantially reduced the number of units allowed in that project. Non-tax deductible contributions may be made payable to “Protect the Peninsula” and mailed to: Treasurer, Protect the Peninsula, 10493 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686. Questions may be directed to Mark Nadolski, (231) 233-6616.

SUPPORT YOUR INDEPENDENT LOCAL NEWSPAPER: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever. Thank you so much for your support! -Jane Boursaw, Editor/Publisher, Old Mission Gazette

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation.

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