April 26, 2019: NMEAC Environmentalist of the Year Awards at Dennos Museum/Milliken Auditorium | Jane Boursaw Photo
April 26, 2019: Glen Chown; NMEAC Environmentalist of the Year Awards at Dennos Museum/Milliken Auditorium | Jane Boursaw Photo
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” A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

True words spoken by baseball great Jackie Robinson. Jackie was born on the last day of January in 1919 in Cairo, Georgia, but was raised in poverty in affluent Pasadena, California. Segregation prevented him from participating in many childhood activities, but when he joined a gang, a friend talked him out of it. His older brothers recognized his athletic talents and the rest is history.

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The first African American to play in Major League Baseball, he was the 1947 Rookie of the Year (which was later renamed in his honor) and, in 1962, became the first African American elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Politically active all his life, his integrity influenced the culture not only of his sport but of American society, as well.

While we would never pretend to be as influential as Mr. Robinson, we do hope that we as a small community library have an impact on your lives. As we celebrate Black History Month in February, we invite you to check out books and movies on the African American experience. Displays are in the library!

Large Print Books. In case you are not aware, Peninsula Community Library has a great Large Print collection of books. We also have a desktop video magnifier for use in the library. It is perfect for reading newspapers, magazines and more. Our Large Print Librarian, Becky Gagnon, shares this, as well:

“The Braille and Talking Book Library is available to anyone with a visual, physical or reading disability. The BTBL may help those who have difficulty reading. To find out more, visit www.michigan.gov/btbl. For more information about local services to aid those with visual difficulties, please contact Traverse Area District Library, (877) 931-8558.”

PCL Friends. The Friends of Peninsula Community Library have sent out their annual membership letter. Do note that while there is a reference in the letter to AmazonSmile, that charity platform is closing down as of February 20. I strongly encourage you to join our Friends group. They support the library in so many ways and have fun, as well. Great plans are in the works for this year, including a photo shoot opportunity and their annual Summer Solstice Day Concert.

They accept book donations in the Carriage House on the first and third Mondays of the month from 4-6 p.m. for their August book sale. If you have just one bag or box, we are happy to take it any time we are open. Visit their page on our website for more details about what they accept and how to join the group.

Friends of PCL gang accepting used books for the used book sale | Jane Boursaw Photo
Left to right, Robbin Stott, Gladys Maguire and Michele Westcott; Friends of PCL gang accepting books for the used book sale | Jane Boursaw Photo

Blood Drive. Please sign up for our Blood Drive scheduled for February 22 from 12-5:30 p.m. To register, visit www.Versiti.org/Mi – you will be asked to put in your zip code and the date of the drive. You can sign up for a time slot from there. You can also call 1-866-Mi-Blood. All blood collected stays in Michigan! Help save a life!

Peninsula Insights. We are happy to report that the first meeting of the new PCL group, Peninsula Insights, was a tremendous success. More than 42 Peninsula residents turned out to hear TJ Andrews speak at the meeting on January 18. Those in attendance to hear our new County Commissioner came away with a better understanding of the roles played between Township, County and State governments in concerns about our roadways, public safety and services provided to Peninsula residents by the different agencies.

This month, the meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 15, and our speaker is Glen Chown, Executive Director of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. (The photo at the top of this story is Glen at the 2019 Environmentalist of the Year Awards hosted by the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council. -jb)

He will share with the group how this local organization has grown to protect more than 45,908 acres of land and 149 miles of shoreline in the 6-county Northwest Michigan region, including our own Pyatt Lake/Bill Carls Nature Preserve.

Universally accessible trail at Pyatt Lake: The Bill Carls Nature Preserve | Jane Boursaw Photo
Universally accessible trail at Pyatt Lake: The Bill Carls Nature Preserve | Jane Boursaw Photo

Peninsula insights is an informal PCL program formed to present top-quality speakers of interest to Peninsula residents. No dues or minutes are taken, and light welcome snacks like Meatloaf Sandwiches and Sloppy Joes are served to open the meetings. The meeting time is 7-8 p.m. on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Arrive early at 6:45 to enjoy the snacks. For additional information, contact Brit Eaton, (231) 499-4438, [email protected].

Books at the Boathouse. Finally, Books at the Boathouse is back at the beautiful Bowers Harbor restaurant this year. Tickets are available at the library, and are $100 per guest for a fabulous multi-course meal with wine. A live auction will be held with guest auctioneer Mark Watkins, chief meteorologist with 7&4 and 29&8 news!

I am still looking for a few high end items to offer – a fishing excursion, weekend cottage, etc. Shoot me an email, [email protected], if you have something great to donate. All funds earned from the dinner and auction support programs and collections at PCL. Many thanks to Doug and Erin Kosch for hosting this event for this 17th year!

Here’s a photo from the 2019 Books at the Boathouse event – the crowd is singing Happy Birthday to Tim Carroll.

Books at the Boathouse 2019 fundraiser for Peninsula Community Library on the Old Mission Peninsula
April 2, 2019: The crowd sings Happy Birthday to Tim Carroll at the Books at the Boathouse Fundraiser for Peninsula Community Library | Jane Boursaw Photo

Jackie Robinson was also the first black television analyst in Major League Baseball, as well as the first black vice president of a major American corporation, Chock Full o’Nuts. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank in Harlem as an African American owned financial institution.

Robinson died in 1972. After his death, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his achievements on and off the field. In 1997, his number was retired forever from MLB, but on April 15th of every year, the day Jackie made his major league debut, all players, managers and umpires honor him by wearing his number: 42.

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me,” he once said. “All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”

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

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