The kindness of strangers can save the day

IRON MOUNTAIN – In reference to my column last week about my car overheating, there is a footnote. We would have had to abandon our car, find a way home, and locate a mechanic the next day if it weren’t for the kindness of a stranger actually, two strangers. A woman who was pumping gas into her car noticed our predicament and walked over to us with her young daughter. She recommended a mechanic who was a friend and might help us.

We were very grateful, especially in our desperate situation. We were in a Chicago suburb and didn’t have anyone to call. Just as we didn’t feel comfortable approaching strangers, this young mother could have felt the same. Yet, she did approach us. Her friend said he’d be there in half an hour. But as we waited, doubt and anxiety took over. Could this be some kind of scam? Could this woman have something to benefit from referring stranded motorists to a friend? Would our car be towed away to a remote area and held for a high ransom? And, finally, what kind of person comes out on a Sunday afternoon to help strangers with car trouble?

A person named Damien. After calling first to check the model of our car, he arrived with a new thermostat that he thought might solve the problem. It did. And for less money than a towing fee in Chicago would have cost. This young family man had recently begun his own car repair business. We thanked him several times for coming out so far on a Sunday. He smiled and said it gave him an opportunity to meet nice people like us. He believed in serving with honesty and goodwill, unusual qualities in many young adults these days.

On the drive home, we talked about how lucky we were. In an hour and a half, no one except that woman asked if we needed help. And what are the chances of getting a mechanic to drive out on a Sunday afternoon, especially one who was about to jump in the shower after a long day of work? We were a little embarrassed about our initial suspicions and misgivings, but that is a result of living in a world where trusting strangers often results in being victimized.

Sad, isn’t it? Jumping in to save someone from drowning may be a natural instinct, but going out of your way for strangers is an uncommon risk. Most of us have been taken advantage of, and we are wary because it’s better to be safe than sorry in this day and age.

But every once in a while someone restores your faith in the human race. Like the young mother and the mechanic. All Damien requested was that we go on his website to express our appreciation. I hope to do more than help his business; I hope to share a good deed with those who might pass it on.




Sunday: Mingle and Munch coffee social, 10 a.m.; Protestant services, 2:15 p.m.; Pokereno, 3 p.m.

Monday: Fact or Fiction Reminisce game, 10 a.m.; Bowling, 2 p.m.; Ice cream, 3 p.m.; Bingo, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Uno, 10 a.m.; Bingo, 2 p.m.; Sit and Fit on the patio, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; Rosary, 11 a.m.; Horserace game, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Bible study, 10 a.m.; Pokereno, 2 p.m.; Gardening on the patio, 3 p.m.

Friday: Pamper and polish nails with coffee, 10 a.m.; Golden K Bingo, 2 p.m.; Happy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Word Scrabble, 10 a.m.; Birthday party, 2 p.m.


Iron Mountain

Coffee and cookies social daily, 10 a.m.

Sunday: Easy listening music and movie, 10:30 a.m.; Bible Church, 2:30 p.m.; Visitation and Card Club, 3 p.m.; Sit and Be Fit and movie, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Pet therapy with Kathy and Toby, 9:30 a.m.; Reading and Reminisce group, 10:30 a.m.; Music by Jim Edberg, 2 p.m.; Social hour and Card Club, 3 p.m.; Sit and Be Fit and movie, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Bible education, 10:30 a.m.; Church services, 2 p.m.; Social hour and Card Club, 3 p.m.; Aroma therapy and movie, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Rosary group with Margaret and communion, 10:30 a.m.; Birthday party with music by the Golden Throats, 2 p.m.; Social hour and Card Club, 3 p.m.; Sit and Be Fit and movie, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Sit and Be Fit, 10:30 a.m.; Piano music by George Hirn, 2 p.m.; Social hour and Card Club, 3 p.m.; Activity cart and movie, 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Movie, music, and activity cart, 10:30 a.m.; Bingo, 2 p.m.; Social hour and Card Club, 3 p.m.; Sit and be Fit and movie, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: Reading and reminisce group, 10:30 a.m.; Jackpot, 2 p.m.; Social hour and Card Club, 3 p.m.; Aroma therapy and movie, 3:30 p.m.



Coffee time daily, 9:30 a.m.

Movie, 10:45 a.m. (daily), 3:15 p.m. (Monday through Saturday).

Gathering place, 11:40 a.m. (daily), 4:30 p.m. (Monday through Friday).

Protestant Church service, Sunday, 3 p.m.

Games, 10:15 a.m. (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), 5:45 p.m. (Monday through Thursday).

Exercises, 10 a.m. (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday).

Maryhill Manor

Niagara, Wis.

Rosary Sunday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.

Communion service Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.

Coffee social every day at 9:45 a.m.

Pet visits throughout the week.

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Exercise, Monday through Friday at 11 a.m.

Juice time, daily at 10 a.m.

Shopping days: Tuesdays, 10 a.m. and Fridays, 1 p.m.

Sunday: Bible study, 2:30 p.m.; Refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; Refreshments, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Smile a Whiles, 1:30 p.m.; Refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; Refreshments, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 2 p.m.; Rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; Refreshments, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.


Note: All centers ask for 24 hour advanced reservations for lunch. If you have meals delivered and will not be home, notify the center.

Alpha-Mastodon Center

(906) 875-3315

Meal every Monday and Thursday at noon. Reservations requested 24 hours in advance.

Amasa Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Craft time on Wednesdays after the meal. Ladies: bring your craft to work on.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Breen Center

(906) 774-5110

Meals: Monday through Friday.

Cards and games available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Hostess on duty Monday through Friday.

Treats and coffee, 8:30 a.m. through 12 p.m.

Tuesdays, Craft class at 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Center retail store is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; volunteers and donations are welcome.

Birthday party, every third Tuesday.

Blood pressure and blood sugar testing, every fourth Wednesday.

Crystal Falls Center

Head Cook, Donna Sjoquist

(906) 875-6709

Meals: Monday and Tuesday, noon. Wednesday meal is salad bar, 4:30 p.m. and dinner, 5 p.m. Suggested donation is $4. Center is closed Thursday through Sunday. The first Sunday of each month is a card party from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ($3 for cards of choice and lunch). Potluck dinner and cribbage on the second Saturday of each month at 5:30 p.m.($2 for cribbage). A site council meeting on third Wednesday at 3 p.m. For members, a potluck lunch at noon on the third Thursday of each month with bingo afterwards. Blood pressure taken by request anytime the center is open.

Crystal Lake Center

(906) 774-5888

The center is closed on the weekends.

Monday: Casino bus, 9 a.m. (through April); Woodcarvers, 10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: Cards.

Dances are held every second and fourth Friday of the month at 7 p.m.

Spinning Spools Quilters Guild meets Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Crafters, scrap bookers, etc. also welcome.

Transportation is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Call the center to book your ride.

Aug. 8: Bill Hassey Band.

Aug. 22: 2X4 Band Western Jamboree.

Aug. 29: Larry Jankowski Electronic Orchestra.

Felch Center

Director: Norma Dixon

(906) 246-3559

Meals served Monday through Thursday at 11:15 a.m.

Bingo on the first and third Wednesday of each month after lunch.

Congregate jigsaw puzzle done daily.

Please call for meal reservation.

Fence Center/Town Hall

(715) 336-2980

Meal at noon on Wednesdays only. Reservations requested 48 hours in advance.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall

(715) 528-4261

Meal at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Reservations requested 48 hours in advance.

Social hour, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. Jigsaw puzzles, cards, cribbage, board games, and recreational bingo. The coffee is always on.

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County

1-855-528-ADRC (2372)

Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora

(715) 589-4491

Meal at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Reservations requested 48 hours in advance. Social hour from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Jigsaw puzzles, cards, cribbage, board games and recreational bingo. The coffee is always on. Walk Fit offered free on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call (715) 589-2768 for information.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska

(906) 498-7735

Meal is Monday through Friday at noon. Suggested donation is $3.

Bus goes to Norway the first Monday of the month for dinner. Check with center for time and cost.

Monday: Rides to Iron Mountain during the day.

Tuesday: Bingo, 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Movie Day once a month.

Thursday: Rides to Escanaba.

Friday: Bingo, 12:30 p.m.

Iron River Center

Directors: Katherine Bortolameolli and Brian Kassa

(906) 265-6134

Meals served Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; $4 (over 60) and $5 (under 60).

Evening meal on Thursdays with salad bar at 4 p.m. and dinner at 4:30 p.m.

Bingo is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1:15 p.m.

Cards are played on Thursdays, 1 p.m.

Bus trip to Iron Mountain is on the third Wednesday of the month.

Dance on the second Saturday of the month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cover charge is $5.

Pancake day on the third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Transportation available Monday through Thursday with the bus running 8:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. $4 (over 60), $5 (under 60), wheelchair.

Aug. 5: Site council meeting, 4 p.m.

Aug. 9: Dance night with music by Crossroads, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; $5 cover charge.

Aug. 16: Pancake Day, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; adults, $5 and under children under 12, $2.50.

Aug. 20: Iron Mountain trip, $10.

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Meal site Manager: Kathy Schutte (715) 251-1603

Center Director: Jill Anderson (715) 251-4154

Noon meals served Monday through Thursday.

Transportation to the meal site from the Niagara area is offered.

Wii games, cards, puzzles, and board games available to play for your enjoyment.

Outreach worker on site available by appointment for fuel assistance, Homestead tax credit, Seniorcare, and other senior resources. Please call 24 hours in advance for meal reservations.

Senior groups who would like to use our meal site as their meeting place may join us for lunch and stay to have their meeting or social time.

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining

(906) 563-8716

Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon with salad bar. Soup is also available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (Suggested meal donation is $4)

Cards daily before and after the noon meal.

Craft classes: Mondays and Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Exercise classes: Monday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. All welcome.

Medical appointments to Iron Mountain can be arranged from the Crystal Lake Center.

Telephone reassurance is available. If you are a senior who doesn’t get out much and would like a friendly daily phone contact, the center will have someone check in to see that all is well.

Aug. 4: Dinner, 5 p.m., serving company chicken, soup and salad bar, veggies and dessert. Bingo, prizes and 50/50.

Aug. 6: Blood pressure clinic, 11 a.m.

Aug. 11: Center board meeting, 10 a.m.

Aug. 12: CSFP food distribution, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at old Northland building.

Aug. 12: Summer celebration dinner, 50/50 drawing, bingo, and prizes.

Aug. 15: Center dance, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., $5 at door. Music by Paula D, snacks, sweets and coffee will be provided.

Aug. 20: DCHS blood pressure clinic, 11 a.m.

Aug. 21: Birthday Club dinner.

Aug. 26: Fair Days dinner, 50/50 drawing, bingo, and prizes.

Note: Orders are being taken for the Sept. 13 pasty sale.

Now through Aug. 5: Diabetes-Path: free program for persons living with diabetes. A workshop will be held in Iron Mountain at Our Saviours Lutheran Church from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. Call UPCAP to register, 1-800-338-7227 or 211.

Attention: The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides qualified older adults with free coupons for unprocessed, Michigan-grown produce from authorized farmers markets and roadside stands throughout Michigan.

Note: Ask about the Medicare Savings Program. This program helps people pay their Medicare part B premium. You may be eligible. Your local MMAP Counselor can be reached at 1-800-803-7174, or dial 211.

Sagola Center

Director: Bette Christian

(906) 542-3271

Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m.

Cards: Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.

Bingo every third Tuesday of the month.

Commodities every second Wednesday of the month.

Puzzle table for all to enjoy.

Treadmill available during Center hours.