Bringing change to the community
While it’s not easy to dedicate one’s life to making a community great again, that doesn’t stop Trina Kern-Avedisian.
Born in Port Huron, Avedisian, founder and president of the Citizens for a Vibrant Community (CVC) and employee of Wolverine Market, made it a goal to show the world Port Huron stands just as relevant as it did many years ago.
Avedisian’s father worked as a pressman in his print shop on the corner of Griswold and 9th Street. He then bought Riverside Printing in 1976.
“I went to work in the shop when I wasn’t in school,” Avedisian said.
In 1986, she married and had a son, Joshua in 1988. Her husband wanted to sell cars for his brother in Florida, so they moved out of state.
Avedisian then moved to Honeoye Falls, New York until she divorced then returned to Port Huron.
“When I moved back into Port Huron in the mid-90s, I saw how ridiculous Port Huron was being run,” Avedsian said. “They had just announced the $186 million sewer separation project. I was outraged that the state of Michigan would make us do that so I started writing letters to the DEQ as well as the Governor.”
Avedisian found out the city of Port Huron kept information from the public and began writing letters to the editor of the local paper exposing what she had learned.
This lead Avedisian to getting involved with a local activist group called the Mavericks.
It was Avedisian’s job to take any information she was given and share it how she best saw fit to make sure the public knew. Avedisian took to writing letters to the editor of newspapers and speaking at City Council meetings.
“I was told on more than one occasion that I had a target on my back,” Avedisian said. “Since I had been through a lot with an ex-boyfriend (who was very abusive and the son on the devil himself) I had very little fear of what the Powers that Be could do to me so I basically took on the attitude of ‘give it your best shot’.”
In 2007, Avedisian met a few women who wanted to see Port Huron grow again. They formed a group and called it Citizens for a Vibrant Community. The CVC formed first as a political group, speaking at City Council meetings.
The group started to tackle events as well, the first being Car Show Afterglow in 2008, followed by Happy Apple Days in 2009.
“Unrest in the group and infighting prompted me to shut the group down for a year (as I was president), take a step back and find something we could do that we could all agree on. After much thought, we came up with Art on the River,” Avedisian said. For the last 6 years, Art on the River brings music and art to Downtown Port Huron.
“This year we will be bringing Black Oak Arkansas as our headline band on Saturday, as well as hosting the Traveling Michigan Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Tess Tobolic, an award winning chalk artist, and much more. We are very proud of our efforts with Art on the River,” Avedisian said.
Trina Kern-Avedisian proves the attitude of “give it your best shot,” can make a difference.