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News Briefs

Volunteer Center selling balloons Friday

The Barry County United Way and Volunteer Center will host its annual “Have a Heart” balloon fundraiser at State Grounds Coffee House, 108 E. State St., in Hastings on Friday, Feb. 14.

A Valentine-themed balloon weighted with a small bag of freshly baked cookies and coupons from local businesses will be available for $5 each from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is the only fundraiser the Volunteer Center holds, and all proceeds benefit the Volunteer Center endowment fund as the center strives to create a better Barry County for everyone through volunteerism. 

Couples may renew vows Sunday

The First Congregational Church of Lake Odessa is presenting a wedding vow renewal service during its worship service at 10 a.m. Feb. 16.

All married couples in the community are invited to join in this special celebration. Participants may dress casually or wear their wedding outfits. Rings will be blessed as well.

There is no cost, and everyone is welcome. Family members and friends may be invited to serve as witnesses. The service will be done with all responding together. Pastor Marilyn Danielson will officiate.

Any couples wishing to participate should arrive by 9:40 a.m. The church, at 767 Fourth Ave., Lake Odessa, is handicap-accessible. For more information, call 517-526-4316.

Former White House photographer to speak here

Mary Dailey Brown, a staff photographer who served under both presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, will speak and show pictures about her personal experiences in India and Pakistan.

Her presentation will be 1:30-2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, in the upstairs conference room at Hastings Public Library.

Afterward, attendees are welcome to stay for a discussion of the current India-Pakistan situation during a Great Decisions meeting from 2 to 3:30 p.m. (Great Decisions is a group that studies and discusses foreign policy issues.)

Brown is the co-founder and CEO of SowHope.Org, a 501(c)3 multi-national, charitable, non-government organization dedicated to inspiring impoverished women around the world.

Over the past 35 years, she has visited and traveled to more than 60 countries and has been involved personally and vocationally with the poor. In addition, she has led more than 130 volunteer teams to 38 countries.

Breakfast will highlight health department

The next Community Breakfast Feb. 19, from 8 to 9 a.m., will feature the Barry-Eaton District Health Department.

The local health department, a nationally accredited public health service agency for Barry and Eaton counties, is charged with protecting and improving the health of residents through education; promoting healthy lifestyles; and implementing policies and programs for individuals, families, businesses and communities. Services range from restaurant food safety inspections to the WIC nutrition program.

This free quarterly breakfast will take place at 231 S. Broadway, Leason Sharpe Hall, Hastings. Those who plan to attend are asked to call 269-945-KIDZ (5439) or email

GFWC-Hastings accepting scholarship applications

The GFWC-Hastings Women's Club plans to offer a $750 "Jump Start Your Future" college scholarship in April to a graduating senior at Hastings High School. The scholarship will be awarded directly to the student’s chosen college or university. 

The GFWC offers these scholarships to local girls planning to continue their education, and applicants are encouraged to provide recommendations from current members of the Hastings Women's Club.

The scholarships are administered by the Barry Community Foundation. The application form and instructions for online submission are available on the foundation’s website, Questions may be directed to Annie Halle at the foundation, 269-945-0526. 

The deadline for the final submission of the application form and attachments is March 1.




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