OUR VIEW: Chamber meeting highlights area’s best

One week ago today, a couple hundred community leaders and business owners gathered at the Candlestone Inn in Belding for the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting — and a lot of fun.

Calling this event an annual meeting makes it sound kind of stuffy. While there was an agenda of items to tick through, such as reviewing good things that happened here in 2012, the night gave folks a chance to practice their card games, mingle and network, too. And three very well deserving individuals were honored for their commitment to making good things happen in our area.

We were glad to hear Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Pete Haines, who sits on multiple boards and advisory committees, was awarded the Coalition of Greater Greenville (COGG) Spirit of Collaboration Award for 2012. This is a man who seems to eat, sleep and breathe ways to help students in Greenville succeed.

Blake Hollenbeck, who owns Blake Hollenbeck Auto Sales, is a man who shies away from the spotlight but doesn’t hesitate for a second to help an individual or community cause in need — either as an individual or through his business. Blake was honored as Small Business Person of the Year.

And finally, Kathy Jo VanderLaan received the 2012 Marian Kemp Outstanding Citizen Award for her years of dedication through her work and volunteer efforts to making this a better place to live. Congratulations to all three.

• • • •

Switching gears, local weather experts tell us we’re about to get hit with another snowstorm — possibly a doozie. While these forecasts are never a sure thing, we wanted to put out a plea for drivers to use common sense on the roadways.

During the past couple of snow events, we’ve seen some pretty reckless driving. Remember that ultimately the best advice during a storm is to stay home until plows and road crews have had time to do their thing. But we realize that’s not always possible. Just remember if you do have to drive, go slowly, pay attention to the brake lights of cars in front of you and give that driver enough room in case something unforeseen happens. Ultimately, it’s all about safety first.

And with temperatures about to dip, remember to take extra care with your pets. Many breeds are just as affected by the cold as we are. For example, outside dogs need to have a warm shelter or place to escape to when it gets cold. And don’t forget to wipe off your canine’s tummy, legs and paws especially after walking on roads. Believe it or not, they can get sick after licking the salt, antifreeze and other chemicals off their paws.

And those of us sun-loving Michiganders can hold on to the fact that the groundhog didn’t see his shadow this year. That means spring is on its way.


Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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