Myles Gallagher always had an appreciation for the arts. All of them, in fact.
But a life-altering moment — learning a few years ago that a close friend of his was diagnosed with inoperable cancer — really brought into focus the need to do the things he really wanted to do with his life.
“It got my attention,” Gallagher said. “Life is worth living.”
Among the things he realized during a self-assessment was his desire to seriously explore photography. Although he’s enjoyed it for years, Gallagher, a longtime Grosse Ile resident, decided to delve deeper. (read more…)
“In service to One, in service to all.” — Knights of Columbus motto
This latest interview gives us an insight into the life of 71-year-old Grosse Ile resident Gregg Zuccker.
How long have you been a resident of Grosse Ile?
My wife, Barb, and I have lived on Grosse Ile since 2004. However, our connection with the Island goes back many decades through Barb’s aunt and uncle, Hazel and Carl Baumann. We currently live in “Littlecote,” the over 150-year-old home the Baumann’s purchased in 1954 in the historic East River Road district. (read more…)
Since I began writing this column more than a year ago, I am sometimes asked about my personal history of volunteering. What did I enjoy doing?
If I remember correctly, I began volunteering when we first moved to Detroit with three children, ages 8, 5 and 3. I didn’t know anyone and I will be honest, I needed some time out of the house for myself. I volunteered about once a week in the evening for the Red Cross at a center in Dearborn. I taught a series of classes for expectant parents about newborn, infant and child care. I had been a maternity nurse for many years and worked also in the newborn and premature nurseries. (read more…)
BY DENISE SOBH
The Grosse Ile Garden Club helped spread Christmas spirit by holding its popular annual Christmas auction last month at Centennial Farms on Grosse Ile.
“This event has evolved over the last 40 years,” said Pat O’Brien, a member of the Grosse Ile Garden Club and Christmas auction committee member. “Originally, the event has been held at the regular December meeting, then moved to the VFW hall, and then to its current location at Centennial Farms on Grosse Ile.”
The auction was held from 9:30 a.m.-noon. A continental breakfast was provided courtesy of the board, as well as a light lunch following the auction. The cost of admission included a few non-perishable items for local food pantries.
“One hundred percent of all proceeds are equally divided between the Grosse Ile Goodfellows and the Downriver Salvation Army,” said O’Brien. “The Garden Club picks up all the expenses involved for the day.” (read more…)
BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT
It was quite the successful state swim meet for the local girls’ swim teams on Nov. 17 and 18. Trenton and Grosse Ile were both well-represented at the D3 state finals at Eastern Michigan University. The Trojans finished 15th as a team with 56 points, while the Red Devils took 18th with 34 points. Trenton’s day was highlighted by a fourth-place finish in the 200 medley relay by their strong, senior relay. (read more…)
BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT
When James Gedris comes running up the course, spectators turn their attention to watch.
But if you don’t look quick — if you stop to blink — chances are you missed him. The Grosse Ile junior has been making quite the name for himself on the cross country courses in the fall and the track in the spring.
Just this fall, Gedris ran to 10 first-place finishes on various cross country courses around the state. He was fifth at the 2017 MSU Spartan Invitational in September and capped his season with a 15th place finish at the state meet in November. At the Huron League meet, Gedris set a personal record with his run of 15:31.3.
A runner since fourth grade, Gedris started having success almost immediately and he only wanted to get better.
“I joined our run club and liked the rush of competing and trying to improve on my performances,” he said. “I placed highly in a few races when I was in elementary school and middle school and realized I could be a good runner. I decided to start training everyday and I started to improve a lot.”
By training, he means miles, and lots of them.
“I run as much, if not more in the offseason than I do during the actual season,” he said. “This summer I put in over 1,000 miles to get ready for cross country.”
With 18 more top-five varsity cross country finishes on his resume, Gedris has an expectation to live up to.
“I think people expecting a lot out of me motivates me quite a bit,” he said. “Ever since my freshman year, people have been telling me that I could go really far in this sport and I try to live up to that.”
When he is not busy with all those miles, Gedris puts in hours as a volunteer for local organizations; something he is very passionate about. When he was in second grade, his mom started PB&J ministry and Gedris has been helping ever since. With the organization, he makes lunches for the homeless and through the ministry, he has help to supply over 4,000 lunches to people in need in the Downriver area and Detroit.
In 2016, Gedris started volunteering at the Winter Special Olympics, where he helps athletes to get their snowshoes off after they do the snowshoe races. He also helps to set up the dining hall and clean up before and after all the meals are served to athletes.
For Gedris, he does not think twice about giving back to his community.
“I think helping other people builds character and can make a real impact on the community,” he said. “The lunches that get made for PB&J ministry go directly to people in need in Downriver, so I think that definitely makes an impact in our community.”
Volunteering around athletes for the first time was heartening.
“It was really inspiring to see all of the athletes in the snowshoe races who haven’t let their disabilities stop them,” Gedris said.
While he spends most of his time focused on his two passions, Gedris doesn’t do too shabby in other areas of life either. In the classroom, he has an overall grade-point average of 3.85, enough to get him into Grosse Ile’s National Honor Society. Balancing the workload is tough, but he makes it work.
“I learned how to properly manage my time last year and that really helped me excel in a variety of different things,” Gedris said. “I’ve learned that if I don’t procrastinate and get everything done as soon as I can, I won’t end up behind in classes or in races. Every year I miss three days of school to volunteer at Special Olympics and that normally puts me behind a little in class, but I’d definitely say it’s worth missing a few days for the awesome experience.”
By Ethel Yops
The Grosse Ile Recreation Department and Commission members wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday Season.
IslandGlow: come join the first of the Christmas Celebrations, Friday, Dec. 1, 6-7 p.m. at Macomb Commons: children’s choir, brass quintet, and G.I H. S. Marching Band. Santa arrives by fire truck at 7 p.m. Macomb Street Santa Stroll at 7:10 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony of the huge tree in front of Perdino’s Restaurant at 7:30 p.m. The evening continues…watch for holiday specials at Macomb Street businesses.
Breakfast with Santa, Saturday, Dec. 2, Centennial Farm Activity Room. Includes pancake breakfast, make a craft and visit with Santa. Don’t forget to bring your camera; $5 (children under 12) $7 (13 and over).
Senior Holiday Luncheon, Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 12:30 p.m., Centennial Farm Activity Room. Live entertainment and prizes $10; advanced reservations only. Take time in your busy schedule to dine and chat with friends. (read more…)
BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT
The Grosse Ile varsity hockey schedule may look like a tough one this season, but the top guy thinks his team is ready.
Coach Jason Durbin is back on the bench for his fifth year as head coach and he is excited about the tough competition to prepare for playoffs after a long winter season.
“We’re coming off a very good year last year,” he said. “We’re gonna have a little bit tougher schedule this year and it’s going to be more challenging, but that was based on what we had done last year.”
A year ago the Red Devils fell to Chelsea in the regional final, but with many returning veterans, including a solid group of forwards, Durbin is optimistic about this season.
“I thought the team is ready for a strengthening of our schedule for this year,” Durbin said. “It’ll be a challenge and we’ll have to see how we end up doing.”
Of the group of 18, Durbin will look toward Chris Mihai, Devin Stroia, Cody Kennan and Chase Havens as strong forwards that will be relied on heavily. At the back end, Evan Napolitan and Jack Carter will help to take care of things with senior goalie Scott Lippert handling the game between the pipes.
“We’re going to rely on those four forwards to help us get some wins for this year, just like they did for us last year,” Durbin said. “We lost Blake Petterle and that was a large piece of the puzzle last year. Other guys are going to have to step up this year to help fill that void.”
It has been so far, so good for the Red Devils thus far this season. With two games under their belts as of press time, the team is 2-0 with a tight 4-3 victory over Ann Arbor Pioneer and an 8-2 rout of Gibraltar Carlson.
“I’m pleased that we were able to win both games,” Durbin said. “We haven’t played our best hockey (but) it’s early in the season so hopefully we can sharpen our passing, sharpen up our shooting and sharpen up on the defensive zone going forward.”
The Red Devils took on Ann Arbor Richard at home in their annual night-before-Thanksgiving game; a team new to the Metro League this season.
Durbin was looking forward to the competition from Richard as well as some new to the schedule local teams this season.
“This year we play Wyandotte and Allen Park,” he said. “Both of those programs have had some very good teams over the last handful of years (and) we’re going to finally get an opportunity to play both of them. We’re definitely excited to play.”
BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT
A year after a district finals appearance, the Grosse Ile boys’ basketball team is back and ready for another season on the court. Last March, the season ended with a 14-9 record before the Red Devils bowed out of the MHSAA state playoffs in the district finals. This November, the team came back to the court, ready to attack the new season.
The Red Devils will be small this year, but they’ll turn to their strengths to help guide them through the season.
“Our team this year is pretty small,” Coach Mohamed Elhaj said. “We will have to use our speed and quickness to our advantage.”
This year the Red Devils are working under Kevin Durant’s quote, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
Elhaj expects his team to use a good mix of veterans and newcomers to pave the way for success on the court this winter. (read more…)
BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT
Ten years is a long time for anything. While it has not quite been 10 years, it has been nine and it does not look like things will be slowing down anytime soon.
On Oct. 20, the Grosse Ile boys’ soccer program dominated its way to its ninth straight District Title in the MHSAA state playoffs. The win came in front of the home crowd when the Red Devils shut out Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 2-0 for the hardware. It was the team’s third straight post-season shutout. The feats have not come without acknowledgement.
With the district title win, the Red Devils moved to 25-0 on the season and were ranked No. 1 in the state in Class C. The season also brought yet another Huron League championship. (read more…)