Since the nation of Haiti was struck with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12, people and organizations from across the globe have coordinated a massive relief effort. However, there is still a need for more support to provide things such as food, water, shelter and medical support.
To get some information on how to help, contact the American Red Cross of Port Huron. As of now, they are only requesting monetary donations rather than food or water, due to shipping costs. There are several payment methods available to those who want to contribute.
You can donate at www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or show up in person at 615 Pine Street. You can also text “Haiti” to 90999 on your mobile phone to make a 10 dollar donation that will automatically be added to your phone bill. To find other charities that are helping you can visit www.guidestar.com, where they have a directory service for charities across the country.
While many people have shown great generosity, there have been some reports of scammers taking advantage of that. Make sure to protect yourself by following a few simple rules:
Never give out personal information. Scammers will try to find out as much about you as they can to use it against you.
Do not respond to e-mail requests for donations. This could be any individual trying to take your money.
Choose a reputable charity. Make sure that the organization you are giving to is known as a legitimate charity.
Rachel Olivia Kobylas
Tread marks, paw prints, and hoof silhouettes are just some of the tracks that will be left behind by this weekend’s Chilly Fest. The event is scheduled to take place in Downtown Port Huron, Friday, Jan. 22 through Sunday, Jan. 24.
For those feeling a financial pinch, this weekend provides opportunities for family fun that is free of charge. John Henry, local artist and professor at St. Clair County Community College will be creating ice sculptures with other artists in front of McMorran Place Friday and Saturday.
According to Lee Ann Peart, Director of Downtown Port Huron, “There will be over 63 ice sculptures downtown for viewing.” If you get too chilly during demonstrations, Power’s Diner on Military St., will be offering free coffee and hot cocoa to spectators and participants all weekend.
One of the main focal points of Chilly Fest is the snowmobile races in Desmond Landing. There will be approximately 250 professional snow mobile racers at the event, and on Friday admission is free. Peart said, “The tent will be open at noon and they will be doing trial runs all day.” Sunday is the main race where Peart said “the big dogs” of the race will be on the track.
On Saturday, the ladies may want to take part in the ‘Women’s Pampering Place’ provided by BRIDGES Wesleyan Church at 1101 Fourth St., which is near the corner of Wall St. and Fourth St., downtown. They will be offering an assortment of free treatments between 11a.m. and 4p.m. Some treatments include: manicures, pedicures, facials, and massages.
Scheduling an appointment will be necessary, contact Lee Ann Peart at (810) 984 9790. Pastor Scott Bin of BRIDGES said, “This is for the ladies looking for a getaway from all that testosterone laden stuff. We want to let them know that we’re glad they’re in Port Huron.”
During the same time frame on Saturday, weather permitting, there will be dog sled demonstrations at Desmond Landing. Saturday and Sunday the World Series on Ice Snowmobile Drag Races begin, admission to the event will be 10 dollars per day, but parking will be free at Desmond Landing.
There will be horse carriage rides, a “Kidzone” area complete with televisions and video gaming systems, tours at Knowlton Ice Museum, and the Budweiser Big Igloo where there will be daily live entertainment, local bands, hot food and cold beer.
There are seven different local vendors, all that will be serving an assortment of goods as well as the traditional chili. Transportation between Chilly Fest and the festivities, stores and restaurants downtown will be provided by the local trolley system.
SC4 is hosting a Battle of the Bands from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, Jan. 28 at the Fine Arts Theater, to raise money for the Skippers baseball team.
Doors open at 6:30p.m. Four bands will compete for a 500 dollar cash prize, including Bishop’s Collar, Gasoline Gypsy, Reckless Ambitions and Walking Past Nowhere.
Admission will cost 10 dollars for public, five dollars for students. Fans can spend money to vote for their favorite band, costing one dollar for a single vote or five dollars for 10 votes.
Advance tickets can be purchased by calling (810)989-5513 between 8a.m. and 4:30p.m., or by purchasing them at the door on the night of the event.
One man is on many students’ minds today: Benjamin. Many reasons have come into play on why it is hard to make “Benjamins,” or money. Now St. Clair Community College is offering free help to those seeking financial aid.
There has already been a presentation in Port Huron on January 5 and there will be another night devoted to financial aid and scholarship help on January 26 at the Sanilac Career Center.
Josephine Cassar, Executive Director of Financial Assistance and Services, was the representative at the M-Tech Building here at SC4. About 200 people showed up for the night event.
“This is a ‘financial aid 101’ class that gives the general ideas of financial aid,” said Cassar. “It is important for students to realize how important financial aid is. It can be like the early bird gets the worm.”
And that worm is as exposed as it has ever been. With loss of job percentages rising and the enrollment record breaking, students are facing longer lines at financial aid registration.
“The event that was in Port Huron and the events coming up in Sanilac and Huron Counties are not the only nights we will be doing this,” said Shawn Starkey, Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Legislative Affairs. “We have representatives that go to different school districts and present this information as well.”
Collegebound.com presented some fact and fictions about the financial aid process. One fiction that may be on students minds is once the school year starts, it’s too late to apply for financial aid. However, the fact of the matter is, it’s not. Students have from January 1, the earliest date for completion of FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), till 18 months after January 1.
“Another event that is coming up will be College Goal Sunday,” Starkey said. “This is on February 14 and is more of a one-on-one approach to help students fill out FAFSA and scholarship applications.”
This free event is planned to make it easy for students to get all necessary paperwork completed, even if it is just simply filling out their name.
“Let’s say it took you 10 hours to fill out a scholarship for 500 dollars,” said Cassar. “That’s 50 dollars an hour that you’ve earned if you receive the scholarship.”
Who doesn’t want to make 50 dollars an hour?
Students returning to school this January had quite the surprise when paying to park in the South McMorran lot. Previously, the price to park on the South lot was a single dollar, but as of Jan. 1, the price has doubled.
The students may have gotten a surprise but the school knew of the price increase ahead of time, according to McMorran’s General Manager Randy Fernandez.
The reason for the increase is to lower McMorran’s running cost; the subsidy they’ve been receiving is in the process of being lowered. “The city has asked myself and the board to reduce operating costs and one of the ways we can do this is parking,” Fernandez said.
SC4 student Amanda Hartfil, 23 of Croswell, parks on the South lot. She was surprised. “I saw it, but everything is going up these days, isn’t it. I’ll still occasionally park here, on my long days” she said.
Whether parking in the school’s lot, which is free and frequently full, or on one of the McMorran lots… a student does have options.
Mary May, 79 of Port Huron, works for McMorran in the guard booth at the South lot. She said, “Many are surprised (about the increase), and question the price, because the North lot is still one dollar.” Just remember to bring your school id or backpack to receive the discount. May also said, “Some days are busier than others, but at night kids still like to park here because they feel safer.”
McMorran also offers parking booklets for 25 dollars which contain 40 passes. Permanent passes can be obtained at the office inside McMorran and are 250 dollars for the South lot, and 120 dollars for the North lot according to Fernandez.
It may cost an extra dollar to park in the South lot, but it is convenient, and what may cost an extra dollar now could be saving pennies upon pennies of tax money.