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Welcome to Families First Monthly

From The Heart


Welcome winter and all it has to offer. Our breezeway now offers baskets filled with hats, mittens, and gloves. Wall hooks support heavier coats and favorite scarves. Bulky warm boots are taking space where sandals used to be. A room ready for cold and snow where the beach things used to go.

The cities and villages offer lights of many colors, and decorations to embellish the holiday season. People offer an array of lawn ornaments, lights on trees or shrubs, wreaths, lights around windows and along the eaves, candles in the windows and more.

Music is offered by choral groups, bands, orchestras, bell choirs and there are special concerts and performances. Sing or hum your favorite carols and holiday tunes. It is a wonderful time of year to embrace these.

Peace and Goodwill is offered in many ways. Take it. Be kind to people who offer you Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or Happy ____. The spirit of Christmas is offered in many beautiful ways during this special time, such as shoveling a neighbor’s walk, making cookies for someone, or letting another go first in a line. Protect the spirit of goodwill when it is offered.

This issue offers an opportunity to win prizes offered by some of our advertisers. Throughout the pages are display ads to color on, then cut out and send in (see the form below) for a chance to win a prize in a drawing. Get out your crayons, colored pencils, or markers, and have fun coloring them.

Have a holly jolly Christmas, a joyous holiday season, and a happy 2018,

Laura Lee Kalchik

Bringing The Three Sisters to Area Schools

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From Loss to Love

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A "Grand" Grand Traverse Lighthouse Christmas

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The time is right to warm up your taste buds at the 27th Annual Downtown Chili Cook-Off presented by Pepsi Cola, C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc, Golden Shoes, Monstrey MacDonald, MyNorth Media and Bay Area Recycling on January 13. The Downtown Traverse City Association invites the public to sample the mild to the wild as the area’s restaurants vie for awards in various categories. Northern Michigan’s ultimate chili challenge takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the the State Street Marketplace in Downtown Traverse City. Additional seating will be provided in a heated tent in the alley behind the facility.
The Chili Cook-off attracted over 1,400 participants in 2017, who sampled the many chilies and voted for their favorites. Area restaurants will be cooking up their special recipes as they compete in eight different categories – 1, 2 and 3-alarm, white, vegetarian, no bean, seafood and ethnic as well as the coveted “people’s choice” award. Top competition will be in the white category and 2-alarm category where four restaurants will showcase their best. Morsels Espresso & Edibles will provide cornbread morsels and Peace Love and Little Donuts will be providing sweets.
Chili lovers can choose a sampler of eight chilies for $10 or single bowls of their favorites for $4. Pepsi products will also be available. No tickets sales in advance, door only. All proceeds from the event help support such Downtown community activities as Friday Night Live, Celebration for Young Children, the Downtown Art Walk, holiday activities and many other free downtown events throughout the year. “With the removal of the Park Place Dome, we are pleased to still host this community favorite in Downtown Traverse City. This annual fundraiser financially contributes to a year long calendar of community events. We are thankful for the participating restaurants and look forward to another fun competition,” says DDA Marketing & Deputy Director, Colleen Paveglio. Following is a peek at who will be competing:

7 Monks • Aerie Restaurant • Bayside Market • Betty’s Hot Dish • Blue Heron 2
Brew • Burritt’s Fresh Markets • Francisco’s Market • The Franklin
Hopscotch Brick Oven & Taproom • Raduno • Rare Bird • Red Mesa Grill
S2S Sugar 2 Salt • Scalawags Whitefish & Chips • Ziatun Cafe

The Annual Chili Cook-off is hosted by the over 200 merchants, restaurants and businesses who are members of the Downtown Traverse City Association. For more information or to volunteer, call the DTCA office at (231) 922-2050 or email
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