Walk for Warmth 2018 – Albion, MI

Albionites have invented quite a few different traditions and events.  One of them is Walk for Warmth, where volunteers get pledges to raise money for local residents struggling to pay the cost of heating their home.

On Saturday, February 24th, 2018, the home of Walk for Warmth celebrated the 33rd annual fundraising event for Community Action. Each year, Community Action of South Central Michigan raises money to help keep the heat on for families, the elderly, and people with disabilities in Barry, Branch, Calhoun, and St. Joseph counties.

Pictured below are the participants of Albion’s 2018 Walk for Warmth, outside of the First United Methodist Church on Michigan Avenue.

Walk for Warmth 2018 – Tenant Hall – Albion, MI

In Albion during February 1983, Pastor Tim Kurtz, then Community Action Coordinator, held a 24-hour walk to raise funds and awareness of the need for heating assistance. “Helping the Poor in 24” was his motto. Pastor Kurtz’s dedication to supporting the most vulnerable in a critical way has made a tremendous impact.

Over the years, the event has grown to provide household utility relief across the nation, ranging from Lexington, KY to Willimantic, CT.   The funds generated through this event provide assistance in the form of deliverable fuel, metered gas or electric.

2018 Walkers Begin Their Trek

In 2017, 19 families and 57 family members from the Albion, Marshall, and Homer region were helped from the funds raised during Walk for Warmth that year. 52% of the households assisted last year had children and 31% had seniors. The average assistance provided by Community Action was $275.84.

For more information and to support the cause, please visit Community Action’s website: https://www.caascm.org/menus/walk-for-warmth.html

Why is February called Black History Month?

Why was February Chosen to be called Black History Month?

Two famous abolitionists and social reformers were born during the month of February.   The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week”.  This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 14, both of which dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.   The abolitionists are President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, both born during the second of week of February, which led Woodson to designate it as a time of celebration and remembrance.

Carter Woodson, historian and educator, Father of Black History

In honor of their lives, historian Carter Woodson began the first formal celebration of “Negro History Week” in February 1926. Woodson was an educator, author, avid researcher and advocate for proliferating the breadth of Black history. 

In 1970, activists at Kent State University Black History Month and President Gerald Ford formally recognized it six years later during the United States Bicentennial celebration.

Woodson coordinated a national theme for the celebration each year. The theme for celebrating Black History Month in 2018 is “African Americans in Times of War.” Highlighting the centennial of the end of the first world war in 1918, this topic looks at the contradictions faced by African Americans who gave their lives for the safety and freedom of their country. While enlisting could offer opportunities for advancement, many African Americans returned home to Jim Crow segregation, violence, and exclusion.

Woodson’s devotion to historical research created an immense legacy, with publications and organizations he began still operating to support education regarding those throughout the African diaspora and their many achievements. More information about the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, founded by Woodson in 1915 can be found here.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_History_Month

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_G._Woodson 

 

Harrington – NAACP Backpack giveaway

Harrington School Open House 2016

and the NAACP Backpack giveaway

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For the past several years, the Albion branch NAACP has hosted a Back to School – Stay in School Backpack giveaway event for students attending Albion Public Schools.

This year was different as the former Albion Public Schools is now a part of Marshall Public Schools. Harrington School had been closed for almost three years and this year was able to reopen due to the annexation.

The Education committee of Albion NAACP coordinated their annual event with the open house for Harrington School, which happened in August 2016.

The event was a major success, with an estimated 300 backpacks given away. There were several other organizations at the event also, who provided free information and giveaways regarding health, volunteer opportunities, academic support, and resources for students and their families.

To help with the efforts of Albion’s NAACP – Visit the the Albion NAACP facebook page and see their contact information on that page.

img_4015_harrington_open_house_flagAt the Harrington School Open House, on the same day as the backpack giveaway, there was a special flag raising ceremony by the Albion American Legion. There was a very good turnout with hundred of people coming to see the newly refurbished Harrington School.

Indoor Farmers Market

Albion’s new Indoor Farmer’s Market

maple_syrup_baked_goods_900pxAlbion now has an indoor Farmer’s Market that begin in November 2016 on most Saturday mornings 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. from November until the end of April. The Albion Indoor Farmer’s Market is located at the Albion Food Hub, 112 E. Erie Street, near Subway and Homestead Savings Bank.  To shop at the indoor Farmer’s Market, park behind Homestead Bank, near the Albion District Library.  You will see the Albion Food Hub back door.

This indoor market happens on Saturdays when the weather is too cold for the outdoor Farmers Market that takes place at Stoffer Plaza. Click here to learn about the summer Albion Farmers’ Market.  Much of what’s happened for the Farmer’s Market and Food Hub was made possible with the help of the Albion Community Foundation.

Some of the items at the Farmers’ Market:

  • Fresh baked bread
  • Other baked goods
  • Farm eggs
  • crafts
  • vegetables
  • greens
  • Michigan maple syrup
  • Michigan honey

 

More photos from one of the first Albion indoor farmers’ market are below.

Here is the official website for the Albion Farmers’ Market.

Here is the official Facebook page for the Albion Farmer’s Market with more up to date information.

 

Albion – Marshall Connector

The Albion Marshall Connector is a bus that offers curb to curb service between the Albion and Marshall communities.

Read about the Connector on the official City of Albion website.

Visit the Connector Facebook page.

The Connector operates on weekdays, and it is best to call to order a ride one day ahead of time.
(517) 654-3000  – The fee is $1 each way between Albion and Marshall.

Since the recent annexation of Albion Public Schools into the Marshall Public School system, and the older loss of Albion Community Hospital and more use of Marshall’s Oaklawn Hospital, Albion residents are increasingly needing to go to Marshall for some basic services.  Sometimes, transportation is an issue, and when this is the case, there are options for getting around from Albion to Marshall and back.

The service has been funded through a series of grants and donation but more donations are needed. Tax deductible donations made be made to the City of Albion or the City of Marshall with the note that the donation is for the Albion Marshall Connector.  We will post more information about donations later.

See more photos and unofficial information about the connector on this page:

http://www.marshallmich.net/transportation/

The following information was taken from an official pdf flier on the City of Marshall website.

See the pdf flier by clicking here.


What is the Albion – Marshall Connector?

The Connector is a curb to curb driving service which helps members of the Albion and Marshall communities travel back and forth to work, school, doctors visits, shopping, and more. Currently, the connector runs five days a week from 7:30am to 4:30pm. The bus will also run during special events with Marshall Public Schools such as parent teacher conferences or sporting events. Call anytime to check on the special event schedule or you can find more info on our Facebook page.

Unless a reservation is made 24 hours in advance, pick up will be on a first come first serve basis. Reservations can be made up to one week in advance with standing reservations also being an option.

One Way Fares

$2.00

Adults / Children 13+

$1.00

Disabled / Seniors 60+ / Children age 5 to 12

Free

Caretakers / Children under 5 with a paid rider

*Tokens are used as change. Drivers do not carry cash. Tokens can be purchased from the drivers.

History Hill at Holland Park

The public was invited to the grand opening of the newly installed West Ward School History panels in Holland Park at on Saturday, Aug. 13th 2016.

As part of the Holland Park Transformation, a Michigan Humanities Council Heritage grant was awarded to the City of Albion and Albion College to display the West Ward School story. For this project, historians Robert Wall, Leslie Dick, and Dr. Wesley Arden Dick interviewed more than 20 former West Ward students. This history will be a permanent exhibit on History Hill in Holland Park. Park visitors will be able to access the Albion West Ward School website to discover more and to hear the voices of the West Ward students.

West Ward Elementary School was built in 1873. For 45 years, its students were primarily the children of white, European immigrants who worked in the nearby iron foundries. European immigration was cut off during World War I, and the Albion Malleable Iron Company sent a recruiter south to Pensacola, Florida. In November of 1916, almost 100 years ago, 64 African American men arrived at the Albion railroad depot, ready to go to work at “The Malleable.” Soon, their wives and children arrived, posing a question: where would their children attend school? At first, those children were educated at an Albion African American church. When Dalrymple Elementary School was completed in January of 1918, the white West Ward School children were transferred to the new school and West Ward became an all-Black elementary school.

Previously, the African American children had been educated in the segregated, Jim Crow South in all-Black schools. The only way the new arrivals would have Black teachers in Albion in 1918 was to make West Ward a segregated school. Although segregated public education was against Michigan law, West Ward remained an all-Black school until 1953. While African American parents and community leaders initially favored the segregated arrangement, racial attitudes concerning justice and achieving the American Dream changed over time. By 1953, key Black parents considered West Ward to be “separate, but unequal,” and they kept their children out of school that fall. This led to a showdown with the Albion Board of Education. Confronted by the boycott and threatened by an NAACP lawsuit, the Board ended classes at West Ward in October of 1953. The West Ward story thus changed from northern segregation to an Albion Civil Rights movement. After the school was closed, it was tor! n down, and the school grounds became a city park, which was later dedicated in honor of Robert Holland, Sr., one of the boycott leaders. West Ward is a reminder that Albion’s story is America’s story.

The historical display was made possible by a Heritage Grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.

To learn more about History Hill visit our new website: www.albionwestward.net

To help support the work of the Albion branch NAACP, please visit https://www.facebook.com/AlbionNaacp/

To donate, go to the Holland Park Transformation facebook page and send us a message to ask where to mail your check.

 

Albion’s Hotel Developer

As promised, we are assembling information about the new hotel that is going to be built in downtown Albion.

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The developer of the hotel is Dr. Sam Shaheen, an Albion College graduate who still practices medicine every day. Read about Dr. Shaheen’s father, also named Dr. Sam Shaheen, who recently passed on, but left a legacy of vision for his family and many others. http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2013/08/passion_integrity_and_commitme.html

WJR interviews Dr. Shaheen and the link is on this page – about halfway down the page on May 7:

http://www.wjr.com/pure-michigan-tour-2015/#

uptown_bay_city_design
Here is a photo of the uptown Bay City project from the link just above, that was mentioned in the WJR article.

Here are a few key words from the WJR interview that is about Bay City where a major project is well underway. “20 year vision of city – industrial site. Environmental remediation. Fortunate great partners, many from Albion College.” We will get more text from the interview soon.
http://uptownbaycity.com/