Newaygo County, Fremont man
Vincent Bunker had not
called Fremont home since 1918,
he was determined to give back to the
community where he spent his childhood.
Fremont Area Community Foundation recently received $4.8 million from Bunkers
estate, the largest gift in the community foundations history.
was Vincent Bunkers belief that this money should be returned to Newaygo County,
said Robert Jordan, the foundations Vice-President of Philanthropic Services. We
are honored that he chose us as stewards of his charitable legacy.
to Jordan, Bunkers 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.
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 Bunkers father,
Frank W. Bunker.
Bunkers 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.
the mill was destroyed by fire, the family moved to Grand Rapids but kept a cottage on
Fremont Lake until the 1970s.
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.
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.
President and CEO Carla Roberts noted the powerful impact of long-sighted community
philanthropists like Vincent Bunker.
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.
Fremont Area Community Foundation already has an total endowment of approximately $229
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
Imagination brings surprise and delight
seems that gifting generally takes a couple of roads.
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.
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. Im 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.
gifting has another side.
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.
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.
small pink Christmas tree secured for my sister (long story worth telling, but not today)
produced some great family stories. My Mother-In-Laws 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.
gifts might take a little more inventiveness, but they produce more fun and fond memories
than any item purchased at the aforementioned mega-stores.
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.
cluster of such shops reside in close proximity to each other in downtown Fremont.
Check out Attic
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
in combination with Bonnie
Jeans 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.
Card and Coin and Comics
is a collectors 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.
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.
at SWK love this concept, and the folks at Millers
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.
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.
were in downtown Fremont this week, try out Willow
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.
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
mentioned in a previous SWK offering, is another niche of nostalgia in the downtown area.
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 weeks
TimesIndicator (The Heartbeat of Newaygo County) is offering a special pullout of Holiday
Hints, part of T-Is 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 Michigans
premier weeklies) and will help make your holiday preparations just a bit easier.
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.
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.
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.
remember, friendly readers: