The Community Service Awards was held Friday evening, June 27 at the Calumet Colosseum. Our three award recipients this year are Sue Dana (receiving the Rita Finch Community Service Award), Dick Dana (receiving the Russell R. Erkkila Community Service Award), and Ed Gray (receiving the John Perona Copper Country Traditions Award).
Here is a brief description of each of the awards and the people they were created in memory of:
About the John Perona award:
The John Perona Copper Country Traditions Award
Giovanni Batista Perona, a.k.a. Johnnie Perona, was born in 1920 near Calumet on the farm owned by his Italian immigrant parents. Johnnie was born into a musical family, and Calumet in those days was an ethnic and musical melting pot. John learned to play French-Canadian reels, Slovenian polkas, Croatian waltzes, and Finnish schottisches. He became a proficient player of the fiddle, the Polish concertina, and the rhythm bones.
It was his bones playing that was largely responsible for his being designated a Master Folk Musician by the Michigan Traditional Arts Program. As a Master Folk Artist, John taught bones-playing to two apprentices and dozens of workshop participants and was honored with awards at the American Rhythm Bones Festival.
John passed away in February of 2009, and it was with much sadness that our Copper Country community said goodbye to a great man and legendary talent. For an individual who so celebrated life and music, we honor John’s memory with this award.
About the Russel R. Erkkila Award:
The Russell R. Erkkila Community Service Award
Russell was instrumental in shaping the Village of Calumet for more than twenty years, serving on the Village Council and as President Pro-tem from 1983-1986, as Village President from 1986-1996, as a member of the Village Downtown Development Authority from 1986-1999, on the Village Planning Commission from 1988-1999, and on the North Houghton County Water and Sewage Authority from 1986-2002. He was a strong supporter of the Keweenaw National Historic Park and even testified before a U.S. Senate Sub-Committee Hearing on the formation of the Park. He was also a member of the Village Fire Department for eighteen years. Sadly, Russell passed away in 2002. We honor his memory with this named award.
About the Rita Finch award:
The Rita Finch Community Service Award
Rita Barbara Jean Dower was born the youngest daughter of Polish immigrants on September 28, 1931, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She married Chet Finch in 1945 and had two sons. Rita graduated from the Petoskey Beauty Academy in 1965, and the Finch’s moved to Calumet in 1968. Rita opened Rita’s Barberette in 1969, running it until 1981. She became the first female Calumet Village president in 1976, serving two consecutive terms. She was very community-oriented and was involved with the Altar Society at St. Paul the Apostle Church, the Ingot Club, The V.F.W. Auxiliary, the CLK Sportsman’s Club, the Calumet Downtown Development Authority, and the Calumet Theatre, from which she received the Helen Baratono Award. She was known to all as the “hat lady” because she was rarely seen without one of her hats. Sadly, Rita passed away in March 2005. It is with great honor that we name this award after her.
Join us on Saturday, June 28th
Food - Fun - Games - Pasties - Music-Crafters
Click here for an application form if you wish to be a 2014 PastyFest vendor
Click here for an application to participate in the parade
The Bake Off
Click here for an application to enter the Pasty Bake Off
Schedule of Events
Friday June 27th
7:00 pm Main Street Calumet Community Service Awards – Calumet Colosseum Ballroom – coffee & cake
Saturday June 28th
11:00 am – PastyFest Parade – 5th Street
11:00 am - registration opens for Horseshoe Partners Tournament – Agassiz Park
11:30 am – 5:00 pm - PastyFest in Agassiz Park
Music – The Backroom Boys Jazz & Polka Band
Vendors – Main Street Calumet Market
Free Horse-drawn tours
Old-fashioned Kids Games
1:00 pm Pasty Bake-off Judging begins (winners will be announced once judging is complete)
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