Lerews receive Northern Lights Arts and Entertainment award

NORTHERN LIGHTS: Tom Hogenson (left) and Alice Bandstra (second from left) surprised Dave (right) and Shirley Lerew with the Northern Lights Award for Arts and Entertainment during the Artworks Gala on Friday evening. (Pioneer photo/Candy Allan)

NORTHERN LIGHTS: Tom Hogenson (left) and Alice Bandstra (second from left) surprised Dave (right) and Shirley Lerew with the Northern Lights Award for Arts and Entertainment during the Artworks Gala on Friday evening. (Pioneer photo/Candy Allan)

BIG RAPIDS — At the exact moment Dave and Shirley Lerew realized they were about to receive the Northern Lights Award for Arts and Entertainment, Dave handed his coffee cup to someone at his table and his wife’s face broke into a grin as she looked up at her husband standing behind her.

The couple’s daughters were all smiles as they watched their parents realize the achievements listed from the stage were theirs.

When their names were finally called, the Lerews stood, hugged their daughters and posed for a quick family photo before threading their way through the crowd to the stage at the Artworks Gala on Friday evening.

“We are stunned and speechless,” Shirley said as they received the plaque from Northern Lights committee member Tom Hogenson. “Thank you so much for the honor.”

The Northern Lights Awards are given by the Spectrum Health Hospital Foundation to recognize area residents in several categories who make the Mecosta and Osceola county communities better places to live.

The gala was selected for the award presentation because the Lerews are longtime supporters of Artworks.

Dave volunteered to do the books for Artworks and kept the job for 15 years. Both he and Shirley have served on the Artworks board and Shirley currently is a member of the Foreign Films committee, which selects the movies shown in the annual Foreign Film Festival.

“We give this award because people make this a great community,” Hogenson said during the presentation. “You can have all the art you want to, but without people to enjoy it, you don’t have much.”

The Lerews felt honored and awed they had been selected for the award.

“It’s nice to be recognized by the community,” Dave said. “The whole experience, all 15 years, has been wonderful.”

“There are so many people deserving of this type of recognition, it’s humbling to find yourself being recognized,” Shirley added.

“We have been involved with Artworks for almost 15 years helping to bring to life the vision of an art center for our community,” she continued. “Beyond the vision, it has been all of the people who have made Artworks such a wonderful organization. We’d like to urge everyone to become involved and help Artworks continue to enhance creativity in our community.”

avatar

Posted by Candy Allan

Candy is the Pioneer's associate editor. She also coordinates the Family & Friends, Religion and Parenting pages. She can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8386 or by e-mail at callan@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply