Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Best of NM 2012 · Best Heroes!
. . . .

Best Heroes!

- March 26th, 2012  

Father Fred

It’s been more than 12 years since he died, but the legacy of lives on through the foundation that bears his name.

Even though the Rev. Edwin Frederick is gone, his vision and compassion continue to serve the community. Anyone whose life crossed paths with him cannot forget him. But there are many who may know little about the man whose foundation has aided thousands in the region.

Father Fred was born and raised in Grand Rapids. As a young Catholic priest, he was assigned to serve as a chaplain for the Traverse City State hospital in 1959. He served staff and patients there for 30 years until the aging facility was finally shut down in 1989.

The closing of the state hospital left many of its residents out on their own for the first time in their lives. Many had no family, no support system, no resources to begin a life of independent living. Father Fred recognized the need and began helping people who were falling through the cracks of society.

In 1990, a group of concerned citizens incorporated the Father Fred Foundation. Thanks to the support of a generous community, a dedicated staff and devoted volunteers, the foundation has steadily grown to where it is today. It has helped countless people over the past 22 years.

Even though he served as the Catholic chaplain at the hospital, Father Fred wasn’t a stickler about religion or social status when it came to lending a helping hand. He treated all with dignity and his example lives on through the volunteers and staff of the Father Fred Foundation today.

Father Fred was not above climbing on the back of a motorcycle in the annual Harley Davidson Owners Group fundraiser. And he didn’t shrink from sharing a beer or cigar with the Ancient Order of Hibernians at their annual cigar dinner. He knew these public events helped raise much-needed funding for folks facing desperate situations.

Northern Michigan is richer for having Father Fred as an example and inspiration. Anyone who knew him and remember him can attest that he served his community without preaching, without judgment and with dignity for all.

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