By Andrea Gregory
ROSCOMMON COUNTY – Known by her students as the former arts and social studies teacher, Mary Michela, of Roscommon, is now a community organizer.
Michela has lived in Roscommon County for 20 years and while she says she found teaching ‘very rewarding,’ she now looks at bringing the community together through volunteer efforts.
Michela is co-founder of ‘Friends of Trestle Park,’ a group that hosts community events, including a Concerts in the Park series, which is held at 7-9 p.m., every third Thursday throughout the summer months at Trestle Park. This year, there will also be an all-day concert at the park on Sept. 10 with the hopes of a positive community response.
‘If this all-day music event goes well and has a good turnout, we hope to make it an annual event.’ Michela said.
Another project Michela is involved in is the ‘Blue Water Trail’ project, which is a federal, state and locally funded initiative that aims to increase tourism in and along Michigan’ Great Lake waterways.
As an alternate member of the Denton Township Park Advisory Board and active volunteer with the Roscommon County Economic Development Corporation, Michela says the groups are trying to fix up what is referenced by some as ‘Down Town’ Denton Township and the four surrounding townships, Roscommon, Denton, Markey and Lake, which are all working together on promoting the Blue Water Project.
There will be a Launch Party held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Trestle Park on June 4 to initiate Phase 1 of the project. Michela says the party will include kayak fun racing, vendor booths, music, food and safety education.
‘We’re always accepting donations because all of the money we collect from the community gets put right back into the community, for the community,’ Michela said.
But Michela’ volunteering doesn’t end there. She is also the secretary of the Houghton Lake Lake Association and sits on the board for the Houghton Lake Public Library.
‘The library is just another place where I can be a part of community outreach, and I’m so pleased to be a part of it,’ she said.
But there is always room for more.
According to Michela, all the summer events need additional volunteers, so if people are interested they may contact her at 989-366-6740, via e-mail at: email@example.com or through the Friends of Trestle Park Facebook page.
‘We will need not only volunteers, but also people who may have certain skill sets like technology skills and good ideas for the future,’ she said, adding she is always looking at how to make things happen in a positive way for are businesses and market the current services the area does offer.
Building on that concept, Michela is also involved with a new group called M55 Alive, where members explore ways to improve the economic climate up and down the M55 corridor.
‘It’ not about me; it’ about team work from all the different teams working together with similar goals to make our communities that much better [and] with that much more to offer those who live here.’