The past year has seen the Island through new challenges, some
controversy, and in my opinion several successful steps forward
in meeting our future needs. We have witnessed increased public
participation in the many governing functions of the Island, something
I believe the various boards and committee's welcome as a whole.
The literally hundreds of volunteers that staff these bodies and
organizations produce a volume of effort that is little known
or understood but critical to maintaining our way of life on the
Island. Attendance and participation at the various meetings can
only foster clearer communication and help to eliminate non-productive
time addressing the 'rumor mill' or reiterating discussion held
at previous meetings.
The public process is one of several institutions that make and
maintain a community. Two other cornerstones of a community are
Education and Health Care. Without these services Beaver Island
would eventually become a far different seasonal destination instead
of a vibrant year-round community. This is something I've witnessed
during the time I lived off the Island in various small towns
and remote areas. Once basic services such as these disappear
from a community the entire structure and character of the town
changes and a way of life is gone. Beaver Island, as well as many
other towns and communities throughout Michigan, faces some difficult
challenges in both Education and Health Care due to funding cuts
and other curtailments of State government budgets. It is up to
the community to find the ways and means to maintain these institutions.
As many of you know, the Beaver Island Lodge has hosted a fund-raising
dinner each year in support of a local organization. This year
we would like to once again perform this benefit for the Beaver
Island Rural Health Center. The Capital Campaign being discussed
by the BIRHC Board is a very positive step forward in meeting
our long-term needs of this critical cornerstone of our community.
The Beaver Island Lodge and Nina's Restaurant will host a benefit
dinner in September (date to be announced) and all proceeds will
be given to the Health Center. We welcome affiliations, ideas,
contributions, or any other commitments that will help to make
this year's fund-raiser even more successful.
Lets look to the past only for what we can learn from it
and focus our energies on meeting the challenges of the future.
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