Oxford/Orion FISH: Newsletter Winter 2022

Oxford/Orion FISH: Newsletter Winter 2022

Dear FISH supporters,

We are pleased to send you the attached copy of our Winter 2022 Issue of FISHline, along with our sincere thanks for your continued support.  As our lead article reports, numbers alone don’t tell the story of what your support is making possible.  Three of our FISH volunteers who helped at the pantry recently shared their experiences.

Also, please note that ONTV’s 12th Annual Food Drive will be held virtually on Feb. 7-11.  The drive rallies wonderful community support in the middle of winter to help keep our pantry shelves full for client shoppers.  You can get details at orionontv.org.

Thank you on behalf of many of our community’s most needy individuals and families.  You are helping to make a difference in their lives.


Oxford/Orion FISH Board of Directors


FISH Newsletter:  http://oxfordorionfish.org/FISHline_Fall2021.pdf

Scouts exceed goal for annual food drive

Scouts exceed goal for annual food drive

Scouts exceed goal for annual food drive

Scouts with the local Michigan Crossroads Council exceeded their goal for this year’s Scouting for Food drive, assembling 112,732 pounds of food for charities during November.

According to event co-chairman Scott Nehls, approximately 4,600 participants from 152 units across southeastern Michigan helped make the drive a success. Around half a million homes were canvassed across Oakland, Genesee, Wayne and Macomb Counties. Through these door-to-door collection efforts, the youth exceeded their objective of 100,000 pounds as well as the totals collected during their 2020 drive.

“This year the scouts collected 10,000 more pounds than last year,” Nehls said. “I think that shows how vital our work was this year and how giving members of our community are.”

The drive was carried out in partnership with Gleaners Community Food Bank, which operated a number of collection sites with the scouts. Participants were also given the option to donate food to local nonprofits of their choice. A joint effort by Lake Orion Pack 59 and Pack 128 brought in over 2,000 pounds of food for the Woodside Bible Church food pantry.

Project lead Bob DeWar explained that civic service is at the core of Scouting, and the drive helps to educate young people about giving back to the community.

“I’m always so excited to see the Scouts in action during this project,” DeWar said. “As Scouts and adult volunteers deliver and sort countless bags of food, a spirit of cheerful service permeates the collection sites.”

According to DeWar, his youth were surprised to see how much food their neighbors contributed to the drive. However, he said they were even more excited after they dropped the food off at a Gleaners collection site.

 “When they arrive at the collection site and see how their one car load combines with hundreds of others to make a much larger impact, their smile tells me they realize they are part of something bigger,” DeWar said.


Philo Festival of Media Arts: ONTV Earns Three Awards

Philo Festival of Media Arts: ONTV Earns Three Awards

Philo Festival of Media Arts:

ONTV Earns Three Awards


Orion Neighborhood Television was honored at the Philo Festival of Media Arts, earning three awards for excellence in local programming. The Central States Alliance of Community Media held a virtual ceremony last month announcing the awards. Political Awareness category

ONTV was winner in the Political Awareness category for its “General Election Night Special.” On Nov. 3, 2020 ONTV brought the election race into the homes of local residents with its LIVE coverage and results. “One of the main goals of ONTV is to provide local news and information for Lake Orion residents, and that’s even more important during our elections, said production manager Tessa Penzien.” It feels great to be able to give Lake Orion a live and in depth look at election results that effect our community.”

ONTV was also recognized as a finalist for its “2020 Virtual Flower Fair” program in the community events professional category and for its “ONTV Newscast” in the news professional category. “The ONTV News episode that was submitted for a Philo award was our recap of the impact COVID had on the community in 2020, said station manager Joe Johnson.”  “I’m very proud of that particular episode and being named a “Finalist” reaffirms that ONTV News ranks among the best in the nation when it comes to local news coverage.”

The Philo Awards in an annual public access television cable TV competition within the Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan region. The “PHILO” is awarded for excellence in community media in various categories.

The Philo Awards is named after Philo T. Farnsworth, the father of modern television. The ACM Central States Region honors the memory of Philo T. Farnsworth by recognizing the effort of access producers who promote the use of media in their community.

Independence Village of Oxford to host Senior Safety Series

Independence Village of Oxford to host Senior Safety Series


October 4, 2021

Independence Village of Oxford to host Senior Safety Series

Topics include, self-defense, avoiding phone scams, prescription interactions and more.

Brighton, Mich. — Independence Village of Oxford  is partnering with the Oxford Senior Center to host several presentations on senior safety. The first event is from 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, October 12, with a deadline to register of Thursday, October 7, and it will be hosted at Independence Village of Oxford. 

The Senior Safety Series includes three events, each covering a different topic to help seniors stay safe. The events are free, and each guest will enjoy lunch prepared by the Executive Chef and culinary team at Independence Village of Oxford. The first event includes a presentation from Empower People’s Agency on self-defense and boundary setting for seniors, and all are welcome to attend this and upcoming presentations. 

The second presentation of the Senior Safety Series by Vibe Credit Union will discuss how seniors can protect themselves from phone scams, phishing and identity theft. The event is from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 19, with a deadline to register of Thursday, October 14, and it will be hosted at Independence Village of Oxford.

The third presentation in the series by Apothecary & Co. will cover how to safely use and discard prescription drugs and education about some drug interactions. The event is from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 26, with a deadline to register of Thursday, October 21, and it will be hosted at Independence Village of Oxford.

To register for one or all of the events, guests should visit Bit.ly/seniorsafetyseries or contact Dawn Medici at 248-963-7660 or dawnmedici@oxparkrec.org.

Independence Village of Oxford is located at 701 Market Street in Oxford. To learn more about Independence Village, call 248-236-8300.


About Independence Village Senior Living

With 40 years of experience developing and operating senior housing communities, Independence Village Senior Living is the premier choice for seniors and families looking for an individualized, purposeful and engaging senior living setting. Independence Village operates communities across Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio. Each location offers unique independent senior living options with select locations offering enhanced living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing options. To learn more about Independence Village, please visit IndependenceVillages.com


Irina Olgart

Director of Marketing



Eagle Scouts complete service projects at Agawam

Eagle Scouts complete service projects at Agawam

Brandon Kathman

District Executive



Prospective Eagle Scouts complete service projects at Agawam


Brooke Muzzy, a scout with Troop 185G in Clarkston, cleared new paths and installed benches along the lakefront at Orion Township’s Camp Agawam, fulfilling the community service requirement for the rank of Eagle Scout.

With the final criteria met, it is almost certain that Muzzy will be the first female Eagle in Scouting’s local Pontiac-Manito District since the movement began welcoming female participants in 2019. The rank is Scouting’s highest honor, achieved by only 4% of youth in the program.

“It means everything to me,” Muzzy said. “I wanted to be part of it ever since I was six years old and my brother joined Cub Scouts. When I was fifteen, we formed Troop 185G; two and a half years later, here I am.”

Her project transformed much of the Tommy’s Lake waterfront at Agawam. While access was previously limited to a small footpath to the swim area and fishing dock, Muzzy’s project established new trails to the water’s edge, providing patrons with a new opportunity to experience the lake’s natural beauty. Furthermore, the scouts took special care to remove invasive plant life from the area.

“Behind the scenes there was fundraising and budgeting and paperwork,” Muzzy said. “There’s always more behind the scenes.”

Muzzy said she learned many lessons over the course of her project, foremost among them that it’s ok to ask for help or advice. Dozens of fellow scouts from several different troops attended her workdays. Casey Houlihan of Troop 128, a candidate for the Eagle rank himself, expressed that he was glad he could support her as a fellow scout. 

“I just think it’s cool to see that girls are now recognized for doing the same things we’ve been doing,” Houlihan said.

Wayne Beutler, who has served as scoutmaster for Troop 185G since its founding, expressed pride in Muzzy, noting that she displayed indomitable persistence throughout her time in Scouting.  

“Brooke is one of the founding members of our troop,” Beutler said. “From the beginning, she has been a role model for the other girls. Being the first female Eagle Scout in the district is quite a distinction, and I am thrilled that Brooke was able to accomplish this while enjoying the adventure, learning so much, and actively giving back.”





Ceremony planned for Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. on the Paint Creek Trail

 Oakland Township, Michigan: Join the Paint Creek Trailways Commission on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. on the Paint Creek Trail to celebrate the opening of Bridge 33.7 and the 2019 trail resurfacing along with a Recognition Ceremony for several past Trailways Commissioners.

Bridge 33.7, a 95-year-old timber pedestrian bridge located on the trail between Dutton and Silverbell Roads, was completely replaced during the summer of 2019. The design of the new seventy-five-foot keystone-style steel truss bridge greatly improves accessibility for trail users and also supports a greater load capacity, allowing maintenance and emergency vehicles to safely cross. The bridge is fundamental to the operations of the Paint Creek Trail and the new bridge provides safe, continuous use of the trail for cyclists, pedestrians, equestrians, nature lovers, and anglers. Funding for the project was provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Trust Fund grant program, a Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Oakland Township Parks and Recreation, who is responsible for the maintenance of Bridge 33.7, also contributed a $156,000 cash match for the bridge replacement.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will also celebrate the Trail’s 2019 resurfacing. As part of this project, the entire Paint Creek Trail was resurfaced with crushed limestone. Resurfacing of the trail is an ongoing event of a cyclical nature and last occurred in 2004. The four Paint Creek Trailways Commission member communities of the Oakland Township, Orion Township, Rochester, and Rochester Hills each committed funds towards the resurfacing of its section of the trail. Additional funding for the project was generously provided by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. This project greatly improved the smoothness and regularity of the trail, and provides a safer and more predictable and enjoyable surface for all trail users.

In addition to the ribbon cutting, the Trailways Commission will also honor six past Trailways Commissioners for their service to the Paint Creek Trailways Commission. Each of the past Commissioners will be presented with a commemorative pewter Paint Creek Trail spike in a display box. Being honored that day are Dr. Susan Bowyer, former Commissioner for the city of Rochester Hills; Frank Ferriolo, former Commissioner for Oakland Township; Kim Russell, former Commissioner for the city of Rochester; Lisa Sokol, former Commissioner for Orion Township; and Hank Van Agen, former Commissioner for Oakland Township. Former Paint Creek Trailways Chairperson and Commissioner for Rochester Hills Rock Blanchard will also be honored at the event with a resolution recognizing his longtime service to the Commission.

Attendees are asked to please park at the Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd., Rochester, Michigan, 48306 and walk 1¼ miles south down the Paint Creek Trail to the bridge site for the ceremony. Please contact the Trail office at 248-651-9260 if you have a disability and require accommodations to fully participate in the event.

The Trailways Commission had planned to hold a ribbon cutting in 2020 to celebrate the opening of the new bridge and the trail resurfacing but social distancing guidelines prevented it. “The Commission is excited to celebrate the completion of these two projects with our member communities, our generous project supporters, and our enthusiastic trail users,” said Paint Creek Trail Manager Melissa Ford.

“During this ribbon cutting event, we are celebrating the completion of many needed projects along the Trail. We also are honoring our past Commissioners for their community service,” said Donni Steele, Paint Creek Trailways Commission Chairperson. “Over the past several years, these Commissioners selflessly donated their time and energy to improving, watching and caring for our Paint Creek Trail – truly, one of our community gems,” she continued. “We are also very thankful for the generous grants bestowed upon us, along with the continuous community collaboration, which allowed these long-standing projects to become a reality.”

About the Paint Creek Trail: The Paint Creek Trail was the first non-motorized rail-to-trail in the State of Michigan, and traverses through the communities of Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township, and the Village of Lake Orion. The Trail annually serves approximately 100,000 pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians, anglers, nature enthusiasts, and users of all ages and abilities. For more information about the Paint Creek Trail, visit www.paintcreektrail.org, or call (248) 651-9260.

About the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund: The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is financed by royalties paid on the sale and lease of state-owned oil, gas, and mineral rights. Applications are accepted from state and local government agencies for the acquisition and development of outdoor recreation facilities. The deadline for applications is April 1st of each year, with the decisions made in early December. The MNRTF makes the grant recommendations and submits them to the state legislature for approval and appropriations.