Thursday, January 26, 2017

Walkabout Sculpture Show wants you to vote for your favorite

Vote for your favorite, take a photo, take a selfie, write an essay
Walkabout sculpture
"Free Fall" Walkabout Sculpture in Sunset Park.
Boyne City's Walkabout Sculpture Show is again asking people to get involved by voting for their favorite, taking a picture, taking a selfie, or (if you're a student) writing an essay. "We are encouraging people to get involved in several ways," said sculpture committee member Becky Harris. "First, people can vote for their favorite piece either online at or by picking up a brochure at downtown businesses in Boyne City, taking a tour of the pieces and completing the ballot." The People's Choice Award of a $1,000 prize will be presented to the winning artist at the culmination of the show in June. "Second, we are continuing our photography contest open to all amateur or professional photographers. This year we will have two photo contest categories: selfie photo and regular photos. Additionally, we will be introducing a student essay contest on why students think the Walkabout Sculpture Show is important and which sculpture is their favorite and why." The winner for each photo and essay category will receive $100. All photo and essay entries must be posted on the Boyne City Main Street Facebook page. The photo and essay contests will run from now until March 17, with the winner announced and recognized at the Second Annual Boyne Bee Event on March 22. The winner will be chosen by the Walkabout Committee. 
> For more information call 231-582-9009 or email

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chamber honors community leaders, installs board

CONGRATULATIONS to the award winners from the January 19th Chamber Annual Meeting! From left in the photo are Ashley Cousens, Chamber executive director; Scott MacKenzie, Volunteer of the Year; Mark Kowalske, Heritage Award; Sara Manchester, Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Pat O’Brien, Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award; Elizabeth Looze and Bill Aten of Challenge Mountain, Civic Pride Award; and Mike Cain, tied with Mark Kowalske for the Heritage Award. Not pictured is Entrepreneur of the Year Rich Bergmann of Boyne City Taproom. Photo by Kim Ritsema Photography

A record crowd of 340 people attended the Boyne Area Chamber Annual Meeting at Boyne Mountain Thursday night, enjoying great food and drink, entertainment and the presentation of awards to community leaders and organizations. The Chamber Board of Directors was installed by State Senator Wayne Schmidt, with Michael Doumanian continuing to serve as president for the year ahead. Full board. State Representative Triston Cole and numerous other civic and business leaders also attended. 

Here are the award winners, as determined in online voting by 355 people:
Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award - Pat O'Brien gives more than money to the community. He is the chair of the Main Street Board, a member of Team Boyne, sponsors numerous events including Chamber Expo, 4th of July race shirts and more. He supports almost every event in Boyne City and gives cash and sponsorships to many organizations. He and his team are consistent cheerleaders for Boyne City and active participants in community events.

Entrepreneur of the Year - Rich Bergmann of Boyne City Taproom has made a success of a restaurant location that has struggled in the past. He is strongly invested in the local community, as evidenced by a strong entertainment lineup, their showing videos of BCHS football games, hiring local young people and training them, and advocating for more affordable housing to address needs expressed by his employees. Rich has brought a nice new energy to the local restaurant scene and is also known to be environmentally conscious.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Sara Manchester orchestrated an amazing transformation of the old Depot building and started a non-profit organization: Create Community Arts Studio. The studio not only greatly improved a historic building that had fallen into disrepair, but also provides creative space for the entire community. With a specific focus on school children, Sara has designed artist-in-residence style experiences for kids to participate in after school. This beautiful building and the programs it houses will benefit Boyne Area kids for years to come.

Heritage Award for ongoing contributions (tie) - Mike Cain has been the City Manager for 14 years. He has brought in over 9 million dollars in grant funding to help improve buildings, infrastructure, and community programs over the years and most recently secured a grant for 2.4 million dollars to go toward purchase of the Open Space on Lake Street, which will remain a public park open space forever. He has been a constant advocate for business and economic development in Boyne City and shows no signs of slowing down.
Heritage Award for ongoing contributions (tie) - Mark Kowalske of Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors has been involved in the Boyne City community for 40 years. He came up with the idea for Buff up Boyne, a spring cleaning initiative that helps our community prepare for the busy tourist season. He was one of the founding members for the DDA/Main Street program, is one of the main sponsors for Stroll the Streets, wrote a motivational book called The Boyne Advantage, and sponsored the a song contest that produced over 55 songs written about Boyne City.

Community Pride Award - Challenge Mountain invested in the community in a big way when they purchased the mostly empty building on M-75 and within 8 months opened a new resale store. The renovated building exterior is a great improvement to the M-75 corridor and the store is meeting a need to provide gently used quality household items, clothing, furniture, books, and sporting goods. Proceeds from the store support year-round adaptive recreation opportunities for children and adults living with disabilities at no cost to participants, families, or schools.

Volunteer of the Year - Scott McKenzie is a long-time major ambassador and cheerleader for Boyne City. He is a member of Boyne City Kiwanis and volunteers as auctioneer at many events. He is always willing to spend his time helping any project that benefits Boyne City, including the Mushroom Festival. He is present at just about every event in Boyne.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Boyne City Main Street hires executive director

Kelsie King-Duff
   Boyne City Main Street has hired Kelsie King-Duff as the program's Executive Director. Ms. King-Duff was selected from a field of over 40 applicants for the position and comes to Boyne City after two years with the City of Allegan and its Positively Allegan program. While working in Allegan King-Duff helped double the size of their Farmers Market and oversaw the operation of the city's two theaters, one showing first-run movies and the other serving as a venue for community functions and live performances. She also helped relaunch Allegan's long dormant Bridgefest community festival, which attracted thousands of participants. 
   King-Duff said, "I look forward to many collaborations in the Boyne City community, and am excited to get started." She and her husband are looking forward to moving to Boyne City and enjoying the Northern Michigan lifestyle. “In my free time I enjoy skiing, hiking, kayaking, and just being outside in general.” 
   She participated in three interviews as part of the hiring process and was unanimously recommended by the program's four-person executive search panel and unanimously approved by the Main Street Board at a special meeting on December 29th. King-Duff becomes the Boyne City Main Street program's fourth Executive Director since its establishment in 2003. She will start work in Boyne City on Monday, January 30th and after that can be reached via email at or by phone at 231.582.9009.
   Main Street Board Chairperson Pat O’Brien expressed his and the entire board’s pleasure with King-Duff’s hiring and looks forward to her becoming an important part of the Boyne City community and building on the ongoing successes and important work of the Boyne City Main Street program.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Stiggs Brewing to serve up beer, food starting in January

From the Petoskey News-Review: As he prepares to open Stiggs Brewing Co., Mike Castiglione sees a couple of reasons why its downtown Boyne City setting should be favorable for business. Castiglione expects a soft opening for the brewery at 112 S. Park St. during the first week of January and plans a grand opening on Jan. 27. “Boyne City is a vibrant small town,” Castiglione said. “It’s really growing.” And, with Stiggs joining other beer-focused establishments downtown — including two taprooms that have opened during the past year — “I think if you’re a beer connoisseur, you’ll come to Boyne City to try them all.” The bar at Stiggs will feature more than 30 taps. About seven of the brewery’s own beer selections will be available at launch. Full story.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Which of these deserving nominees will win awards at Annual Meeting on Jan. 19th?

Find out who wins the awards for leadership, entrepreneurship, volunteerism and more - at the Chamber's Annual Meeting on January 19th. The readers of the Boyne Chamber/Main Street newsletter picked the winners. More than 350 people responded to an online survey and voted for the best of Boyne in December. As one respondent commented: "Wow, what great and difficult choices. There are several deserving choices in every single category. It's the people who make the Boyne City area so successful and great. No wonder Boyne rocks!"
Here are the terrific nominees in six categories:
> Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award
  Michelle Cortright of Harbor House Publishers
  Elizabeth Looze of Challenge Mountain
  Jane McKenzie of Northern Homes Community Development Corporation
  Pat O'Brien of Pat O'Brien and Associates Real Estate
> Entrepreneur of the Year
  Chuck, Joel, and Jeff Smith from Northern Michigan Sports Medicine
  Rich Bergmann of Boyne City Taproom
  Shelley Bush of Up North Imagewear
  Jim Smolak and Matt Cozzens of 7 Monks Taproom
> Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  Michael Cortright of North Country Cycle Sport
  Sara Manchester of Create Community Arts Studio
  Mike Dunlop of Boyne City Taproom
  Donnie Towns of Friggy's SOBO Pub
> Heritage Award
  Jeff Wellman & Gary Deters of RE/MAX Resort Properties
  Mark Kowalske of Coldwell Banker Schmidt Associates
  Michelle Cortright of Harbor House Publishers
  Mike Cain of the City of Boyne City
> Community Pride Award
  Challenge Mountain
  Mushroom Festival Committee
  Eta Nu
  Northern Homes Community Development Corporation
  Boyne Valley Lions Club
> Volunteer of the Year
  Susan Conklin of Good Neighbors Food Pantry
  Mike Sheean of the Top Of Michigan Trails Council
  Scott MacKenzie of Boyne City Kiwanis
  Jackie Wollenberg of Boyne Arts Collective
  Cindy Janssens of Boyne App├ętit!
> Here are the winners, announced Jan. 19th at the Chamber's Annual Meeting.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Last River Draw sculpture installed in the Boyne River

After years of planning and months of construction, a new sculpture celebrating Boyne City's historic roots was installed on the banks of the Boyne River in the heart of the downtown on Wednesday. The permanent sculpture entitled "The Last River Draw" was created to celebrate Boyne City's lumbering heritage. This life-size sculpture represents a "River Rat" using his pike pole to help move the logs down the river. The sculpture depicts the interaction of the person, log and water. While the sculpture is anchored on land, it is partially out in and floating on the river for a very realistic representation. Local artists Martha Sulfridge and Wally Barkley along with local artisan and builder Andy Poineau are the three key people behind transforming the vision and models of the sculpture into the fully developed reality. The project has been sponsored by the Boyne City Main Street program and its Design Committee. It was funded primarily thru donations from members of the public in a crowdfunding campaign and a $25,000 matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. A formal dedication will be help at a later date.

City receives $2.7 million in grants for Open Space and Boyne Valley Trail

Boyne City Mayor Tom Neidhamer speaks to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board, which approved two major grants for the city.  
The City of Boyne City was awarded a $2.4-million grant Wednesday, Dec. 7th, to help purchase the Lake Street Open Space property, and another $300,000 to help build the first phase of the Boyne Valley Trailway, a non-motorized biking and hiking path from the Boyne City Airport to Boyne Falls.

Before sunrise, at around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, December 7th, six members of the Boyne community left to appear before the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) Board at their annual grant award deciding meeting in Lansing. Traveling to Lansing were Boyne City Mayor Tom Neidhamer, Commissioner Hugh Conklin, City Manager Michael Cain, Boyne City School Board President Ken Schrader, Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce Board President and Boyne Mountain Food and Beverage Manager Michael Doumanian and Chamber Executive Director Ashley Cousens. Also attending were State Senator Wayne Schmidt and Little Traverse Conservancy Executive Director Tom Bailey, who joined Mayor Neidhamer in expressing their support of a grant to help purchase the Lake Charlevoix Open Space property at 475 North Lake Street.

After presentations to the MNRTF Board, it approved a motion making additional income they had received thru the year available to help fund both property acquisition and site development grants. In doing so the board was able to fund all active property acquisition requests statewide and many more site development projects. The MNRTF, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016, is primarily funded by gas and oil lease revenue generated on State of Michigan lands. Two projects applied for by Boyne City were funded. Funding for the MNRTF Board’s recommended projects next goes before the State legislature for final approval. Much additional local work such as providing appraisals and developing more detailed plans for the trails will be taking place well into 2017 in the months ahead.

In addition to those sizable awards, Boyne City received a check for $35,218 for improvements funded by the mParks recreation program at Waterworks and Avalanche Parks. Some of those improvements, such as a new trail linking the two properties have been fully completed while others will be finalized in the spring.
On Monday of this week Boyne City was notified that it received a $47,500 grant from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust to help Catt Development develop a new proposed public fishing pier at the west end of the Water Street walkway. The pier is expected to be constructed in 2017.

In addition the City of Boyne City appears to be in line for an additional $4,000 tree planting grant from DTE Energy. Paperwork has been submitted and is awaiting final approval.

In a little over two weeks just over up to $2.8 million in grant funds have been received, awarded or pledged to the City of Boyne City. These five grants have taken months and in some cases years to get to these points and while much work remains to bring them to final completion the efforts to date will bring long term benefits to residents and visitors to the region for years to come.

News-Review story with Boyne Valley Trail details and map.

Trails Council map of all regional trails below: