September CanDo! Panel Focuses on Education

The monthly Can Do! presentation will include a panel of Charlotte High School seniors who will discuss leadership, programming, arts, sports and community involvement. The program will take place at 7 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Charlotte Community Library.

“The students will provide a glimpse of the wonderful opportunities available to the youth of Charlotte, said Bill Barnes, Can Do! president and Charlotte High School principal.

Each month, Can Do! programs focus on one of the “Seven Elements of Healthy Communities” from the standpoint of community vitality and prosperity.  Each time, the four pillars of Can Do! come into play, which are Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Charitable Assets and Youth. As each “element” is discussed, community leaders and interested individuals become more aware of the vision, strategies, resources, and trends in our region.

The Charlotte Community Library is located at 226 S. Bostwick St., in Charlotte, Mich.

CanDo! Looks To Celebrate The Success Of Its Pillars In August

CanDo! is excited to announce that this month’s general membership meeting will be focused on the outstanding work spearheaded by its pillars. CanDo! is organized around a structure which provides opportunities for individual groups, or pillars, to spearhead community engagement activities. Focused on a multitude of projects, these pillars have become an integral part of the positive developments in Charlotte. Each pillar has a leader, and anyone can join.

The first of the four pillars, leadership, is headed up by Adrian Bass. For a number of years, the group has hosted a year-long leadership academy called LEAD, which provides aspiring leaders with skills that they need to be successful in their own organizations. The next pillar, entrepreneurship, is led by Kellie Hanford. It is currently focused on activities surrounding small business Saturday and helping engage and support entrepreneurs in Charlotte. The third pillar, charitable assets, led by Barbara Fulton, has been instrumental in developing a women’s giving circle, which allows local citizens to provide funds to help non-profits advanced their missions. The fourth and final pillar, youth, led by Bill Barnes, has developed a Key Club through Kiwanis to engage students in community leadership, and it developed a youth entrepreneurship pitch competition last year, which will be repeated this winter.

At the August general membership meeting, which takes place on August 23rd at 7:00am at the Charlotte Community Library, each of the pillar chairs will share stories about their success and plans for the future. This event will provide a great opportunity for community members to find ways to get involved in positive projects around Charlotte, and it could also be a way to introduce new and exciting ideas and opportunities. Can Do! believes that, in our community, anything is possible. Its diverse, welcoming membership creates an environment that awakens the imagination and invigorates a spirit of collaboration and generosity among community members, youth, entrepreneurs and leaders to transform the wonder of small town possibilities into realities. Its goal for 2017 to create a space to inspire everyone to engage with the community in an intentional way, to ignite action to create positive community experiences, and to celebrate results. The August general membership meeting will be, without a doubt, the embodiment of those ideals!

CanDo! Summer Storytellers Event

CanDo! hosted its first-ever summer storytellers event on Wednesday, June 28th at Windwalker Underground Gallery. Modeled after other local, statewide, or nationally recognized storyteller programs, this event showcased local storytellers as they shared their experiences or stories about pieces of local history and events.

There were six storytellers lined up for the evening: Don Colizzi, Julie Kimmer, Latrell Levanduski, Nataliya Malaydakh, Ben Phlegar, and Lansing Poet Laureate Dennis Hinrichsen. Don Colizzi is longstanding community member with great knowledge of the military and our local veterans, and Julie Kimmer runs the Courthouse Square Museum and has vast understanding of local history. Latrell Levanduski is a 2014 Charlotte High School graduate and a member of the 2017 Western Michigan University Cotton Bowl team, while Nataliya Malaydakh is an Olivet College student who has led a very interesting life and has enthralling stories to share. Ben Phlegar is a retired social studies teacher from Charlotte High School, and he is famous among his students for his engaging lectures on history, pop culture, and his own life experiences. Finally, Dennis Hinrichsen is the Poet Laureate for Lansing, has written extensively, and has vast knowledge of poetry and his craft. Each storyteller will have 10-15 minutes to share his or her story.

“We were very excited about this standing-room-only event,” said Bill Barnes, 2017 CanDo! chair. “It provided an opportunity for local storytellers to share their stories, was in line with the resurgence we are seeing in arts and culture our community, and connected with the enthusiasm around all of the great things happening in Charlotte.”

The videos that follow are the presentations by 1) Don Colizzi, 2) Dennis Hinrichsen, 3) Latrell Levanduski, 4) Julie Kimmer, 5) Ben Phlegar and 6) Nataliya Malaydakh.

CanDo! General Meeting Focuses On Basic Needs in July

CanDo! believes that, in our community, anything is possible. Its diverse, welcoming membership creates an environment that awakens the imagination and invigorates a spirit of collaboration and generosity among community members, youth, entrepreneurs and leaders to transform the wonder of small town possibilities into realities. Its goal is to create a space to inspire everyone to engage with the community in an intentional way, to ignite action to create positive community experiences, and to celebrate results.

To those ends, CanDo! will host its next general membership meeting on Wednesday, July 26th at 7:00am at the Charlotte Community Library. All community members are welcome.

This month, the meeting will focus on basic needs in the community, and it will include panelists from local organizations, such as Samaritas, the Teen Center, and the United Way, which provide a wide range of services to people who need them. For example, Samaritas works with Charlotte Public Schools to provide education for refugee and international students from all over the world, the Teen Center provides opportunities for youth, while the United Way provides a wide range of services and opportunities for people to engage at many levels. The panel is sure to generate excellent discussion, and the more community members attend, the larger the impact on Charlotte.

May Can Do! Panel Focuses On Economy

Can Do! will focus on engaging in the economy in a meaningful way for its May monthly program. A panel of community speakers will discuss their unique perspectives at the Charlotte Community Library at 7 a.m., Wednesday, May 24.

Panel speakers include Stacy Anderson, transition coordinator with Eaton RESA; Kristoffer Hulsebos, a Charlotte High School senior, local entrepreneur and “5 Minutes Tops winner; and a representative from the Eaton College Access Network.

The panel discussion will focus on opportunities and services available in Eaton County and Charlotte that allow community members to help improve local economic and career prospects, especially for college, high school and trade school graduates.

“Attendees will hear about local data connected to graduation rates and college enrollment, as well as career outlooks,” said Bill Barnes, Can Do! president. “We are also excited to welcome Kris who will share his perceptions as a young entrepreneur, and how he has taken advantage of regional and local opportunities.”

The presentation is designed to generate conversation around the local economy from a perspective that’s not often heard, Barnes said.

Each month, Can Do! programs focus on one of the “Seven Elements of Healthy Communities” from the standpoint of community vitality and prosperity. Each time, the four pillars of Can Do! come into play, which are Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Charitable Assets and Youth. As each “element” is discussed, community leaders and interested individuals become more aware of the vision, strategies, resources, and trends in our region.

The Charlotte Community Library is located at 226 S. Bostwick St., in Charlotte, Mich.