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News -> This Week's News Wednesday, November 19, 2014
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Bunker.jpg (143386 bytes) 96 years
after leaving
Newaygo County, Fremont man
gives Foundation
$4.8 million

Although Vincent Bunker had not
called Fremont home since 1918,
he was determined to give back to the
community where he spent his childhood.

The Fremont Area Community Foundation recently received $4.8 million from Bunker’s estate, the largest gift in the community foundation’s history. 

“It was Vincent Bunker’s belief that this money should be returned to Newaygo County,” said Robert Jordan, the foundation’s Vice-President of Philanthropic Services. “We are honored that he chose us as stewards of his charitable legacy.”

According to Jordan, Bunker’s late wife Helen Bunker said that Vincent Bunker always believed that money made in Fremont should return there. He wanted his estate to bring good to the community that shaped him. The $4.8 million gift came as part of the Bunker estate when Helen Bunker passed away this spring.

The generosity, coming from a man who had not lived in Newaygo County in nearly a century, follows a legacy of community involvement passed down from Vincent Bunker’s father, Frank W. Bunker.

Frank Bunker’s obituary, which appeared in the TimesIndicator in 1920, described him as a man “actively interested in the welfare of the city.” Born in Bailey, Frank Bunker moved to Fremont in 1896 and owned Darling Milling Company. He served on the village council and then on the first city commission after Fremont was incorporated as a city. He also chaired the city street improvement committee when Main Street was paved.

After the mill was destroyed by fire, the family moved to Grand Rapids but kept a cottage on Fremont Lake until the 1970’s.

Vincent Bunker studied engineering at Michigan State University and spent time in California and the Northwest before returning to Grand Rapids. He married Helen Ziegler in 1956.

The Vincent W. Bunker Fund at the community foundation is an unrestricted fund, which allows the gift to be used to address the diverse, changing needs of Newaygo County for generations to come.

FACF President and CEO Carla Roberts noted the powerful impact of long-sighted community philanthropists like Vincent Bunker.

“While Vincent was growing up in Fremont,” Roberts said, “a revolutionary new idea, to pool charitable resources into a permanent endowment for the good of a community, was taking hold in the United States. As we celebrate the centennial of community foundations this year, we also celebrate people like Vincent Bunker whose vision and hopes for the community stretched far beyond his own lifetime.”

The Fremont Area Community Foundation already has an total endowment of approximately $229 million.






c shotgun w phone.jpg (264249 bytes)

Shopping With Ken
Security Chief Shotgun
maintains his ever-
vigilant watch over the
telephone, waiting for
the SWK suggestions
to come rolling in.

Photo by Ken DeLaat



Shopping with Ken... By Ken DeLaat
Imagination brings surprise and delight

It seems that gifting generally takes a couple of roads.

There’s the quest for that popular item seen on television or emblazoned in the packets of ads that arrive with each newspaper, the ones that are featured in the Black Friday shopping extravaganza that has inched its way into Thanksgiving and now even before, with stores featuring “Pre Black Friday Sales.”

Easily done, despite the storming of the stores necessary to procure the items, is to allow the media to dictate what items are “hot” and go forth to your big box store or mall and obtain said items. Any imagination involved has more to do with securing a good parking place than the art of present buying. I’m OK with that, although I have a strong personal tendency to eschew such places while attempting, in all circumstances, to avoid any hordes of humanity.

But gifting has another side.

Consider the surprise and accompanying delight when the endeavor proves successful. This requires a bit of imagination, often mingled with nostalgia and sometimes sprinkled with a modicum or two of humor. Many personal presenting episodes most fondly recalled have little to do with purchasing items the giftee might have expressed an interest in owning.

Re-wrapping a long dormant accordion that my much older brother Dave got in his early teens when he wanted a drum set (my Dad liked accordion music) and having him open it at Christmas some 40 years later stands out in my own memory. Dave knew immediately after tearing open a corner what it was. Apparently, the memory still stung a bit.

A small pink Christmas tree secured for my sister (long story worth telling, but not today) produced some great family stories. My Mother-In-Law’s poster of a famous athlete she disdained was signed “To Patty; Thanks for Your Support” was a hit (among other family members at least). My later Dad, who despised any rendition of the song “White Christmas” after having it etched in his memory during an all expenses paid walking tour of Europe in 1944-45, received the Bing Crosby album (used, of course) with appropriate accompanying information touting Christmas in Germany tours.

These gifts might take a little more inventiveness, but they produce more fun and fond memories than any item purchased at the aforementioned mega-stores.

This week, SWK is focused on shops that sing out exceptional presenting possibilities, the kind of items only to be found by searching in a stress-free manner, allowing inspiration and discovery to enter the domain of gift shopping.

A cluster of such shops reside in close proximity to each other in downtown Fremont.

 Check out Attic Adventure, where old time toy soldiers mingle with nicely displayed colorful vintage glassware, memorable pieces of art, a sprinkling of literature on World War II, and many other “Treasures of Time.”

City Centre, in combination with Bonnie Jean’s Enduring Moments, is where you want to go to find that toy that may have delighted your giftee in years past, the Coca Cola and Disney fan on your list and others who find that unique is preferable to pajamas. Check out the extensive collection of vintage postcards, train set items and the Wizard of Oz Jack-In-The-Box (Scarecrow is the jumpee). This is a fun store for browsing. For those who recall, you can also find the classic Big Little books. These were my personal favorites when I was a child. They belonged originally to my significantly older brothers.

Ryan’s Card and Coin and Comics is a collector’s delight. Variety reigns in this nicely nestled nook of nostalgia. Proprietor Tim Steele and the SWK team chatted about our mutual admiration for Marilyn Monroe (many posters and photos of her adorn the store) and ­engaged in a collaborative recreation of an old story from a long ago featuring Gyro Gearloose, an inventive scientist (also a goose, I believe) who once roamed the pages of a Disney comic book. This is a great spot for some memory driven gifting to be sure.

What is Upcycling? It is kind of like repurposing, I guess, taking items no longer needed or desired for their original purposes and creating something new and useful with them. T-I Editor Wheater is a renowned repurposer who revels in recreating when not working on whistles, musical instruments or maligned machinery.

We at SWK love this concept, and the folks at Miller’s Bridal and Sewing obviously share this passion. They are offering some creatively crafted upcycled items to go with their usual fare. Check out the supply of mittens, scarves, purses, jewelry, slippers and so much more, all fashioned from dormant material given new leases on life.

Regarding clothing, I know there is still a strong element out there addicted to newness when it comes to clothing and accessories, but classic looks rarely find their way into most modern clothing shops, and vintage clothing is a chance to find high quality and even designer clothes for the same price as low quality new clothes.

 Adding to that the thrill of finding something amazing that costs next to nothing is much better than any possible pleasure to be had shopping for something new.

Since we’re in downtown Fremont this week, try out Willow Creek Resale in your quest for quality wardrobing. Nicely laid out with an ever-changing inventory, the possibilities for discovering distinctive dressing runs high here. Other items beyond clothing are also on the menu at Willow Creek.

Red Pine Crafts and Gifts has such an eclectic combination of interesting items on hand that you will want to give yourself a little time when making your visit to this multi-purposed mixture of cool stuff.

Hidden Treasure, mentioned in a previous SWK offering, is another niche of nostalgia in the downtown area.

Commercial Break: Need to grab hold of some Christmas ideas? Want a few regal recipes for holiday repasts? Desire some decorating designs? Looking for low cost local buys? This week’s TimesIndicator (The Heartbeat of Newaygo County) is offering a special pullout of Holiday Hints, part of T-I’s never ending quest to support our local merchants and thus our local economy. It is free (well, it comes with the purchase of one of west Michigan’s premier weeklies) and will help make your holiday preparations just a bit easier.

OK, Newaygoites, White Cloudians, Grantish folks, Crotonaires, Fremontians Hesperians, Bitelyites, Bridgetonaires and all folks between: It is time to hop on that bandwagon of Shop Local Mania.

In addition to patronizing local merchants, SWK wants your suggestions, including places for shopping, entertainment, eating establishments, anything that comes to mind when stretching out the presenting possibilities to be found locally.

From oil change certificates to fashion finery to charitable gifts and beyond, send those suggestions to the TimesIndicator via email, letter, courier, phone call or just dropping in for a chat. The Shopping With Ken staff, fearless Shotgun, the Quintessential Quadruped, will check it out and report in these pages.

And remember, friendly readers:

Buy Local.

Be Local.

Think Mitten.








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