Ribbon Tree for Erin Banton at Old Mission Peninsula School
Ribbon Tree for Erin Banton at Old Mission Peninsula School | Jane Boursaw Photo
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As many of you know, Erin Banton passed away last week after a long battle with metastatic breast cancer. She was a powerful force for peace, love and hope in the world, despite her own challenges with the disease over many years.

A former teacher at Old Mission Peninsula School, Erin was married to Travis Banton, whose mom is Kathy Fouch Banton. The Fouches are a longtime Old Mission Peninsula farming family.

Erin had the brightest smile and was a devoted advocate for folks with metastatic breast cancer around the country. She created a Facebook Page, Be Brave Breast Friends, and was even featured in a People magazine story.

Erin Banton Featured in People Magazine about Metastatic Breast Cancer
Erin Banton Featured in People Magazine

I had the honor of promoting Erin’s story here on Old Mission Gazette. When I first met her while taking photos of the Old Mission Peninsula School float at the Cherry Festival in 2017, she gave me a big hug. Because that’s who she was.

Last fall, a tree was planted in Erin’s honor at Old Mission Peninsula School near her former classroom. The staff invites anyone in the community to tie a ribbon on the tree in memory of Erin. You’re welcome to bring your own ribbon or stop by the office and pick one up.

Our hearts and prayers are with the Banton family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for the college savings plan that has been established for her three young boys. Checks can be made payable to Erin J. Banton Educational Fund, P.O. Box 894, Traverse City, MI 49685-0894. You may also contribute to the fund online at paypal.me/erinjbantonfund.

Ribbon Tree for Erin Banton at Old Mission Peninsula School
Ribbon Tree for Erin Banton at Old Mission Peninsula School | Jane Boursaw Photo

Read Erin’s obituary here. A Celebration of Life is scheduled for March 10, 2019, 6 p.m., at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City, Michigan. From her obituary…

At Erin’s request, please come as you are and how she remembers you. No formal attire necessary, unless that’s what you feel most comfortable in. Erin would have loved to see as many people support her by wearing TeamBanton shirts. You can show your support for MBC by wearing pink, blue, and/or green. She also loved the colors purple, turquoise, and gray. She would NOT want an all-black funeral … colors are encouraged! There will be a ceremony to celebrate Erin and all she meant to us followed by a party that everyone is encouraged to attend.

Below is the notice from Old Mission Peninsula School’s Facebook page.

A NOTE FROM JANE: 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.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


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