Monday, January 5, 2009

Peace JAM - Be 'Instrumental' to Peace

As I review all our students have accomplished in 2008, I am proud and inspired for 2009! Learning what we can, and cannot change an important part of social entrepreneurship. To build on the lessons of 2008, we resumed Third Coast band practice and held a brainstorming session to set goals for 2009. The students have chosen to join the Midwestern Peace JAM at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and to perform at an Earth Day Benefit in Petoskey as their next goals. To expand the 'reach' of the band, the students will be inviting 'guest artists' and helping younger students to participate by mentoring a 'Third and a Half Coast Band' of middle school musicians. In future meetings, we will discuss other avenues for sharing the Peace JAM leadership methods and building Earth Day awareness. As always, we invite your input and participation! We will be meeting on Thursdays at Countryside Lane where we can share a meal and make some noise as we collaborate to become instruments of PEACE.
Check the calendar at the right for future dates. To learn more about Peace JAM, click on the link below or videos at the right.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Compassion + Action

“We can’t do something about everything,
but we can do something about something.”

Marta Donahoe, Program Director
Clark Montessori Junior/Senior High, Cincinnati, OH
Excerpts from
"Doing something brings out the more noble parts of who we are, brings us closer to our most authentic selves. It reminds us that we are all connected in the mystery of life and spirit. Serving brings both hope and compassion into the realm of education. That is why I believe that it is important to help students connect to service projects and to understand the difference between helping and serving. Helping means seeing life as broken or helping those less fortunate, while serving is a healing act, an act of joy between equals.

Our schools are microcosms of the world community and as such, our task to widen our circle of compassion has far-reaching implications. I am reminded of Parker Palmer’s wisdom, “If you ask what holds a community together, what makes the possibility for relatedness possible, the only honest answer I can give brings me to that dangerous realm called the spiritual. The only answer I can give is that what makes community possible is love.” How else do we prepare children to take their place in society? We talk about the events of the world as if they really matter. We create a safe place for the expression of truth. We encourage ideas in the context of hope and compassion. When we do these things with love, the love of learning and the love of the learners, it makes powerful medicine for children and for this world."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just Add Love

'Community of Peace' Students
Lend a Hand to 'Neighbors in Need'
Five years ago one of the regulars at Stafford's Pier Restaurant threw a $100 bill on the bar and said, “Find a needy family, and give them Thanksgiving dinner.” So they did. The next year, the patron solicited donations from friends and Stafford’s invited participation from other 'regulars'. They began working with area food pantries, and the ‘Neighbors in Need’ program was born. For the past five years the project has grown. Last year, Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs, Michigan, with the volunteer efforts of four delivery teams armed with map-quests, delivered 52 Thanksgiving dinners to area shut-ins and needy families. With the challenged economy this year's need is even greater.

Almost all volunteers come back with a tear in their eye and a wonderful story to tell, understanding they are truly fortunate people. Some insist on participating as a family to model humility and stewardship to their children. This year ‘Community of Peace’ students and parents will be meeting at the Crooked Tree Arts Center Art Room and Kitchen on Monday, November 17th and Monday, November 24th from 5-7pm to share a soup potluck while creating handmade cards for the recipients and promotional art for the project. To donate online contact

Friday, November 7, 2008

Holiday Family Photos by Anita Raymond

True giving blesses both the giver and the receiver. It is in this spirit that Community of Peace families reached out to help one of our own families who have survived tremendous physical, financial, and spiritual challenges. We were blessed to share Anita's photographic talents while she and daughter Maggie are demonstrating there is life after cancer. We continue to send strength as they rebuild.
(Above) A 'Cuddle Puddle' for Hope, Peace & Love
Photo by Anita Raymond
Lower Puddle Left to Right: Petra Tank, Lydia Pugh, Jesse Rumpca
Middle Puddle Left to Right: Katie Davis, Jake Keyser
Top of the Puddle Left to Right: Jenna Keyser, Jess Lange

Friday, October 17, 2008


“Help UNICEF save some lives”

PETOSKEY, MI With the lyrics, “Now I’m asking all of you, help us save some lives,” Beatle,George Harrison turned music in to a political and social force. August 1, 2008 marked the 37th anniversary of George Harrison’s historic Concert for Bangladesh, which pioneered the all-star-rock concert benefit model. Harrison set the precedent that music could be used to serve a higher cause. The concert for Bangladesh raised more than $15 million for UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.

This Halloween, high school musicians from Petoskey, Michigan will follow in Harrison footsteps. The band, 'Third Coast,' will be debuting at a Halloween Benefit Concert at Stafford’s Perry Hotel in Petoskey on October 31, 2008. At 6:00 pm students will distribute Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF ‘orange boxes’. After seeking donations, students will return to the Perry Hotel for a Halloween Benefit from 7-10 pm.

'Third Coast' features Jake Keyser on drums, and Jesse Rumpca on lead guitar, Ronnie Jakuviak on bass guitar and Will Bednar on vocals. The rock band features ‘covers’ of The White Stripes, The Strokes, The Who, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and others. 'Soul Shine's' Brian Fischer will be assisting the students with the band's P.A. system and technical support. The UNICEF benefit concert is sponsored by ‘Community of Peace’ and the Perry Hotel.

‘Community of Peace’ began with a small group of students and parents from Petoskey, Michigan. Their vision is the creation of a sustainable future through community-based education. ‘Community of Peace’ seeks to serve as a catalyst for inter-generational learning by strengthen the bonds between parents and children, home and school, school and community, and community and global village.

UNICEF works in more than 150 countries and territories, helping to save, protect and improve the lives of children around the world through immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. A donation of $.03 can boost one child’s immune system and prevent blindness for one year with Vitamin A capsules. $.06 can provide one packet of oral re-hydration salts, preventing the leading cause of death among young children. $.50 can immunize a child against Polio for life. $1.05 can provide a child with pencil and paper to use in the classroom. UNICEF is the oldest children-to-children charity in the world.

Can a girl have too many pair of shoes?

There's a way to contribute to your favorite charities by using the internet. The amazing part is that it doesn't cost a thing to do a world of good!

We can give to charity just by searching the internet and shopping online. By simply going to Each search contributes $.01 to our favorite charities. That means for every 1,000 searches, we're contributing $10.00. There are currently 67,000 nonprofits and schools receiving thousands of dollars from internet searches. Type in UNICEF to contribute this month. And, add your nonprofit to the list, too.

We can contribute even more by going to Every time we make a purchase at eBay, you're contributing 25-37.5%. Every time we book a trip at a portion of your purchase is donated to the charities we choose. There are more than 700 online stores participating.

Click on the links at the right to learn more.

"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." --Martin Luther King

Our children will inherit an increasingly complex and diverse world. If our vision for our children, and for all children, is wholeness and fullness of life, we must teach them to care for themselves and to care for others.

Mutual respect is our best and only hope for a world at peace.

Much of popular culture glamorizes disrespectful and uncaring behavior. Television programs thrive on physical and verbal violence; reality shows emphasize the poorest human qualities. Even the nightly news airs a political campaign which has become increasingly disrespectful. Video games turn acts of violence in to entertainment in a way that would have been unacceptable only a generation ago.

We need to challenge each other to say “No Thanks” to the disrespectful influences in our lives and in our children’s lives. We can begin by modeling caring and respectful behavior to our children. Behaving as we want them to behave lifts us while teaching them. By surrounding our children with care and respect, they learn to care for and respect themselves and others.

This is the road that leads to peace, joy, hope and love…for us all.