As always, there’s a lot happening that involves Old Mission Peninsula residents. Here are a few events coming up this weekend and beyond.
Dec. 7 – Hallie Olson Wastell Book Release Fundraiser. As a 13-year-old growing up on the OMP, Hallie Olson Wastell wrote a story about a child who turns her fear of storms into a party by finding light in the darkness and unknown. Her dad, Traverse City attorney Jim Olson, recently found the manuscript and shared it in his grief support group, who found solace in the book’s message. Hallie passed away in 2016 after battling ovarian cancer, and her family recently published 100 hardcover copies of “The Thunderstorm Party,” which will be sold as a fundraiser for Hallie’s Hearts, an endowment fund through the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation for women with ovarian cancer. The limited edition books will be available for $50 on Saturday, Dec. 7, 4-6 p.m., at BLK MRKT, 144 Hall Street in Traverse City. Softcover copies will be available at a future date. Hallie’s mom is Sally Van Vleck, owner of the Neahtawanta Inn (and my longtime yoga teacher).
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Dec. 7 – Karen Rieser Book Signing. Old Mission author Karen Rieser will be signing copies of her new book, “The History of Education on the Old Mission Peninsula,” at Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City, 243 E. Front Street, on Saturday, Dec. 7, 12 – 2 p.m. The book covers everything from the 1740s’ tribal educational systems of the Odawa and Ojibwa Native Americans to the Presbyterian evangelical movement of the 1840’s lead by Peter Dougherty. OMP schools were at times held on a schooner, in a private residence, a barn, an abandoned log cabin, and the seven one-room schools that consolidated into Old Mission Peninsula School, now operating as a charter school. Karen will also have copies of her book, “Aiden’s Tree,” as well. Both books are featured in our 2019 OMP Holiday Gift Guide, and are also available at Amazon.
Dec. 7 – “Holidays in Our Hometown” and Santa’s Arrival on the OMP. A new tradition is beginning with this community event at Peninsula Community Library on Saturday, Dec. 7, 5-7 p.m. Santa will be arriving around 5:30 in a fire truck courtesy of the Peninsula Fire Department. Co-sponsored by the library and the OMP Education Foundation, the event will include music, crafts and cookies, and kids will receive a small treat from Santa! Weather permitting, the event will take place outside, so dress warm! The library is located at 2893 Island View Road on the Old Mission Peninsula.
Dec. 8 – Methodist Church Kids’ Christmas Program. Old Mission Peninsula United Methodist Church invites the community for a special worship service presented by the children of the church on Sunday, Dec. 8, 10:30 a.m. The program includes apecial music, readings and an inspirational message by the kids, and an offering will be taken to help provide Christmas for a family in need that the kids have “adopted.” The church is located at 16426 Center Road on the Old Mission Peninsula.
Dec. 8 – St. Joseph Catholic Church Kids’ Christmas Program. All are invited to the Children’s Christmas Pageant and Dinner on Sunday, Dec. 8, 5 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 12675 Center Road on the Old Mission Peninsula. Meat and beverages for the dinner will be provided by the Women’s Guild. Bring your favorite dish to pass and join this special event.
Dec. 14 – Old Mission Women’s Club Cookie Sale. The annual Christmas cookie sale known far and wide is happening on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Peninsula Township Hall, 13235 Center Road on the Old Mission Peninsula, from 8 a.m. until they sell out (here’s a tip: get there early). They will also be raffling off a holiday gift box filled with five dozen beautifully-decorated cookies and truffles made by professional caterer Janis Haine. All proceeds benefit the club’s charitable projects right here in our community. Click here for more info.
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 like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like 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 of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my 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 Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb