Category Archives: Community


One step at a time

Elite Feet shoe store makes strides in Port Huron

Nichole Hatcher
Staff Writer

Dustin Jenkins started Elite feet in 2008 because of his passion for running he developed while being in the marines.
They have two locations, one in Lapeer and another at 908 Military, Port Huron. They can also be found on Facebook or they can be reached at 810-824-3272.
Everyone has unique feet. Elite Feet is designed to help find the perfect shoe for each individual.
“We measure every aspect of the foot” said Jenkins. They also even have a computer that measures the uniqueness of the feet.
Jenkins stated that once the measurements are taken, “we pick out the shoe that will best fit your foot.” They then let you test run it on the treadmill to make sure it feels and fits properly.
The atmosphere at Elite Feet is warm and inviting. When you go there you get one on one service with an employee. Their goal is to help you with your specific need and get you into shoes that will make you feel like you’re walking on clouds.
They not only find you the perfect shoe but they can also give you tips on how to run properly.
However it’s not all about running, they also help people that are on their feet all day. Nurses are a great example of this because they are on their feet for 12 plus hours at a time.
They sponsor many different runs throughout the year. POHO hot cocoa is the biggest event they take part in every January.
If they aren’t doing a run, you may still see them since they also run a timing business. This times the individual runners.
In addition to the timing business, they just started doing pancake runs. This is where everyone meets up at the store, goes out for a run and they return to enjoy a pancake breakfast on Elite Feet.
“To find out all running events going on in Port Huron and surrounding cities, you can check our Facebook page,” Jenkins mentioned. They are always posting the latest events.
Elite Feet’s mission statement is, “To spread our passion for a healthy lifestyle; delight our customer with superb service, value our employees, and support our community.”
If you notice that your feet hurt as you walk around campus, or you want to start running before spring semester gets here, head on over to Elite feet and let them help you out.

Mustache a question

Shave it for later

Managing Editor
Gregory Garofalo

On Saturday March 22, the ‘Stache Bash returns to downtown Port Huron.
The fourth annual Blue Water Social Club charity is held at Kate’s Downtown Bakery, and Lynch’s Irish Tavern.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to “The Thin Blue Line,” an organization that financially aids disabled police officers.
It isn’t the cause however that creates all the buzz, but the means to achieve the ends. ‘Stache Bash participants grow out their facial hair while attendants place pledges to shave or save the ‘stache.
The highest bidder gets to choose to let the hair be or shave it off.
“We’re real people trying to do fun cool stuff, which I think makes this accessible to everybody,” said Ryan McInnis the president of the BWSC.
McInnis spoke of a story from a previous year where a former police chief’s mustache of thirty-eight years raised around $500.
If proceeds exceed the set goal, leftovers are poured into various smaller local charities.
For more information, contact the Stache Bash Facebook page.

Pet of the issue – Drum and Spud

Angie Stoecklin
Copy Editor

Meet feline brothers Drum and Spud.
Both are male domestic shorthairs about 3 or 4 months old. They were brought into the humane society at 6 weeks old. They were then hand raised by a volunteer at the humane society.
Both of the cats are extremely lovable, a positive result from being hand raised. They are very playful, especially when it comes to playing tug of war with news reporter’s camera strap.
These two brothers stick together like glue, constantly grooming each other and sleeping next to each other. Therefore the volunteers at the humane society would like to see them go to homes together.
Their adoption fees are $100 each. An anonymous donor has offered to help out with adoption fees for any pet featured in the ESG.
This donor is not affiliated with the humane society so those interested should contact the Erie Square Gazette or Angela Stoecklin via the e-mail at the end of this article.
For more information on Spud or Drum, contact the Blue Water Area Humane Society at 810-987-4357.

Contact Angie at

Pet of the Issue – Mozart

Angie Stoecklin
Copy Editor

He may not be a famous composer, but somehow the name Mozart fits this loveable and incredibly fluffy long hair Siamese.
For being a stray cat roaming the streets of Algonac, Mozart is not shy when it comes to crawling in a person’s lap and giving the friendly head butt. He is much more interested in people than he is in toys.
Because Mozart was a stray it is unclear as to the specific details of this handsome feline’s background. He is estimated to be about 4 years old. Since he was brought in already neutered, his adoption fee is only $50.
An anonymous donor is willing to pay the adoption fee for any pet featured in the ESG. For anyone interested in this offer, contact Angie via the email at the bottom of this text.
For more information about Mozart, call the Blue Water Area Humane Society at (810) 987-4357.

Contact Angie at

Pet of the Issue – Grr

Angie Stoecklin
Copy Editor

This issue’s featured pet is known as Grr. Grr is a male domestic short hair believed to be approximately 8 to 9 months old. He was brought in as a stray and soon after was adopted by a man who ended up returning Grr due to the unfortunate discovery of being extremely allergic.
Grr’s has an extremely active and playful personality which would make him a decent fit for anyone who wants a cat they can play with regularly.
The fee to adopt Grr is $100. However, there is a chance he may be available among other cats for the humane society’s event St. Catricks day. During the St. Patricks day season, a number of cats will be available for a small fee of $17. Just look for the shamrocks on the cages.
If Grr is the cat for you, and is not part of the St. Catricks day event, don’t be discouraged. An anonymous donor has offered to provide help with adoption fees for any pet featured in the ESG. This donor is not affiliated with the humane society so those interested should contact the Erie Square Gazette. If the ESG cannot be reached, contact the writer via the e-mail below.
For more information on Grr or other available pets, contact the Blue Water Area Humane Society at 810-987-4357.

Contact Angie at

Pass it along

Young girl’s kindness inspires community

Erick Fredendall

Ryan Hiller, barista at the Exquisite Corpse Coffee House, was handed a twenty dollar bill Saturday morning with instructions to buy the following customers’ drinks for as long as he could.
Neither Hiller nor the benefactor knew how far the simple act of kindness would carry itself.
That is, all weekend.
From Saturday morning through Monday afternoon, no one paid for their own drink orders.
SC4 International Student Services Coordinator Lisa Tobiczyk gave the money to Hiller with a simple instruction: pay the money forward, and when you do, tell them about a girl named Rachel Kolar.
Kolar, Tobiczyk explained, was injured in a serious car accident on Jan. 21 and is currently in recovery.
On her birthday Feb. 23, friends decided to celebrate Kolar’s kindness and compassion by doing a random act of kindness in her name.
“We wanted to celebrate who she is, but we also wanted to bless other people, just like she does,” Tobiczyk said.
Visitors at the coffee shop loved the gesture.
Throughout the weekend, customers would regularly hand the baristas’ more than what their drink orders were worth, followed by three words:
“Keep this going.”
Tobiczyk’s gesture was one of many. On her birthday, Kolar’s Facebook wall was filled with pictures and comments of her friends and family sharing their stories and the acts of kindness they performed throughout the day.
When contacted by the ESG, Tobiczyk painted a stunning portrait of Rachel Kolar: a 19-year old freshman attending SC4, active in the women’s volleyball team, and working at the Fort Gratiot Toys-R-Us.
“She sponsors four kids around the world on her Toys-R-Us income,” said Tobiczyk, “there was a phrase that she always used, ‘love does.’ She got it from a book, Love Does by Bob Goff, and it totally defines who Rachel is.”
Perhaps unknowingly, the customers and employees at the Exquisite Corpse Coffee House receive a small insight into the kind of person Rachel Kolar is by the actions her loved ones made in her name.
And on behalf of the Erie Square Gazette’s editorial board, we wish to celebrate Rachel Kolar’s life, loved ones, and expedited recovery by making the following statement:
Each editor of the Erie Square Gazette pledges to do a random act of kindness for someone in the following two weeks, and continue to tell the story of a young girl who touched the hearts of those she came across.
We encourage our readers to share this pledge and story.

Contact Erick Fredendall at or follow him on Twitter @MrFredendall.

Praise, Jazz, and a family band

Gospel Jazz for Black History Month at SC4

Kristopher Reynolds
Staff Writer

The Thomason Family Band came to lay down the soul Feb. 20 as part of the “SC4 Thursday Noon & Night Free Concert Series” hosted in SC4’s Fine Arts Theatre.
The quartet’s performance blended classic smooth jazz, soul, and instrumental gospel with songs such as “Christ is All,” “Awesome God,” and “Speak to my Heart.”
The band is composed of all family. James Thomason Jr., known colloquially as “The Sax Man,” has over 30 years of experience in delivering the word of the good Lord via saxophone. Thomason Jr. is also the night foreman of the SC4 custodial staff. He plays Alto, Tenor, and Soprano Saxophones.
Minister Joel Thomason handles keyboard for the band, and is known as ‘The Maestro’.
John Thomason Sr. is in charge of slappin’ the bass, an instrument he fell in love with after breaking the first two strings of an acoustic guitar.
Melvin Duren III handles the drum work for the group, at the mere age of 15. According to his family, he began playing at the age of two, where there realized his prodigal gift for the rhythm section.
At the end of the night, Thomason Jr. remarked “We play gospel jazz. They had asked us to come because they wanted something different for black history month. I enjoyed myself, I loved playing here tonight. God has blessed me with this talent, and I love it. It’s good playing with my family.”
Loreleen Nichols of Port Huron said “I’ve known them my whole life. Minister Joel was the musician for the choir at my church, known him for 37 years. Tonight is long overdue. I just love them. Glad they could make it happen tonight.”
Coming up March 27 for the next installment of the Thursday Noon & Night Free Concert Series, Moxie Strings, a Celtic/Americana group.
Admission is always free, and will be held at noon and again at 7 p.m.
For a fee of $10 and phone call to (810)-989-5709, reservations can be made to have a lunch in with the performers following the noon show.

That’s all, folks!

Blue Water Film Festival takes a leave of absence

Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Staff Writer

Darkness naturally falls over any theater, and the Blue Water Film Festival (BWFF) is no exception.
The Blue Water Film Festival has been cancelled this year.
According to the BWFF official website, “the board cites the need for additional staff and volunteers as well as financial independence and an increase in festival audience attendance as reasons for the event’s postponement.”
Jeremy Stemen, executive director of the BWFF could not be reached for comment.
The Film Festival started in 2009 and has been annual until this year.
According to “Blue Water Film Festival rolls up its tent,” an article by The Voice, 110 films by 87 directors from Michigan and Ontario have had their work showcased for any that would see it.
While the event is gone this year, there is no word on if this will be a permanent change.
The news of the BWFF cancellation effects people from all walks of life. One such person is local Port Huron resident Travis Boone, 21. Travis had high hopes of showing his film “Here We Are” to the public through the Film Festival, but was shot down when he learned of the Festival being postponed for the year.
Mr. Boone said he was asked to make “Here We Are” by a manager at his grandmother’s retirement home after he showed a previous film of his there.
By genre definition, his movie would be called a documentary. However, Travis made it clear that the film is “natural and unscripted, but I don’t explain anything.” The movie is set entirely in a retirement home.
When asked about the film and his process, he responded with “I made a boat by stringing mattresses together with dental floss.”
Damion Pearson, 18, also of Port Huron, fellow filmmaker and friend to Boone expressed his frustration at the situation. Damion’s work had not yet made it into the Film Festival, but that never stopped him from trying.
The Zombie Defense Council has hinted at a possibility of Travis’ film being shown somewhere on campus, but no concrete details have arisen yet.
Travis Boone stated that, in the case of having his movie shown, if there isn’t a way “then I plan to make a way.”

Van Gogh in the making

Elementary students from St. Clair County display their art

Hannah Hunter
Staff Writer

After months of planning, the 46th annual Beatrice Thorton exhibit is finally underway.
Planning for this exhibit takes months of preparation. Local elementary school staff and SC4 staff start to get the ball rolling for preparation as early as November. The elementary exhibit is one of two parts to this show.
The high school exhibit will kick off Thursday, March 6 with a reception from 3 to 6 p.m. in the SC4 Fine Arts building.
The elementary exhibit took place from Feb. 3 through Feb. 20. Families could be seen wandering the halls of the Fine Arts building admiring student’s artwork. Students are able to view their artwork at a place where they can further their education in the not-so-near future.
At the elementary exhibit reception held on Feb. 3, a crowd of 1,000 people came out to celebrate with the young artists. The exhibit consists of 2D and 3D art. There are approximately 1,000 2D pieces and 150 3D art sculptures.
The exhibit was named after Beatrice Thorton, a much loved local art teacher. Until eight years ago, this exhibit was held at the local historical museum.
It became so large that SC4 was asked to help display a portion of the student art. Six years ago, the Beatrice Thorton exhibit was moved completely to the SC4 Fine Arts Building.
With every year that the exhibit continues, the number of piece submission goes up, which means the number of young artists in our community is rising.
“I think it’s a great community outreach” said Karen Jezewski, fine arts building Secretary.
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

March of Dimes: Jail & Bail

Our community comes together for charity

Kimberley Dunkin
Staff Writer

Fighting birth defects and premature birth since 1957, the March of Dimes organization held the 58th annual Jail & Bail at the Port Huron Masonic Temple this Saturday to raise money for the cause.
The March of Dimes previously arranged a volunteer judge, volunteer prisoners, and what they like to call “Keystone Cops” for the Jail & Bail event. The “jailbirds” came before the judge on peculiar charges such as pranking their friends too much and reckless golf-cart driving.
The jailbirds were then sentenced in the “jail cell” for some time while people called in to post bail for them, raising money to donate to the organization.
People of all ages came to support the event this past weekend with enthusiasm to help out.
Port Huron is the only city in Michigan who participates in Jail & Bail.
One volunteer, Daniel E. Burtch, has attended the Jail & Bail 19 times, raising $7,103.85 over the years.
“What’s best about this organization is that the money we raise stays right here in St. Clair County.” Burtch said.
Burtch added that the all day long party for the event is just a bonus to the great feeling of helping premature babies with birth defects.
St. Clair County prosecutor, Mike Wendling, was also in attendance of the event. Wendling spoke with the “prisoners” as they were pleading their impractical cases in front of the judge.
Wendling has volunteered since he was 14 years old with his mother and has continued since.
“The goal of this event is to involve as many people in this community in the March of Dimes program as possible.” Wendling said.
Not only was there a plethora of volunteers but there was a great quantity of staff too.
Sarah Zimmer is one of the newest members of the March of Dimes team as of January. “I grew up volunteering in St. Clair my whole life and knew the March of Dimes program was something I wanted to be involved in. It all starts with healthy babies,” said Zimmer, “I love healthy babies!”