September 2016 Family Friendly Community Guide

MOPS chapter opens in Marquette

A Mothers of Preschoolers chapter has opened in Marquette, offering area moms of young kids a chance to meet other moms in a similar stage in life.

“It’s a great way for moms to share their joys and their struggles,” said Nancy Hoover, a MOPS mentor.

The group will meet the second Thursday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. through May at Messiah Lutheran Church in Marquette.

Each meeting will have a monthly theme provided by MOPS International. While their moms are meeting, children will have supervised play and learning activities with BOZ the Green Bear curriculum. Food and beverages will also be available at the start of each meeting. A fee of $50 will cover meeting supplies and materials for the entire year and will include a membership to MOPS International.

Area moms can register and pay at Messiah Lutheran Church, located at 305 W. Magnetic St., or register online by clicking on the “Youth & Family” tab at, or by clicking on the “Sign UP” button on the group’s Facebook page,

Hoover said being a new mom can be a tough experience, and it’s great to have support from other moms who are going through the same thing.

“It can be a real tough time in their lives,” Hoover said. “It can be very overwhelming and straining and this gives them some relief and some connection with other moms. Hopefully we can give them some uplifting connections.”

The group held an open house in August, which Hoover said was well-attended. The MOPS Marquette chapter’s first meeting will be September 8. Though the group meets at a church, religion does not matter for those who wish to join the chapter.

“It does not matter where you’re coming from; all are welcome to join,” Hoover said. “We hope to connect people with other moms.”

Amarah Filizetti, pictured here, died unexpectedly at the age of 4. Her family has since created an organization, “Amarah’s Light,” to help other families in similar situations. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Johnson)

1609 FFCG1 Amarah Swinging

‘Amarah’s Light’ to shine September 10

Saturday, September 10, will mark the kickoff event for Amarah’s Light, an organization founded by Stacey and Wayne Filizetti of Gwinn.

Their 4-year-old daughter, Amarah, suffered fatal injuries a year ago when a heavy wooden partition in the Gwinn High School gymnasium fell. Now, as they continue to work through their own grief, the Filizettis are launching Amarah’s Light in hopes of helping other families who have lost young children to find some relief in the support of community.

The kickoff event, called Amarah’s Princess Parade, will take place at Presque Isle on Saturday, September 10. Registration, including the opportunity to make a free-will donation, will start at 9 a.m. by the ice cream stand. At 10 a.m., there will be a “Princess Parade” around Presque Isle for adults and older children, and a “mini-parade” to the breakwater and back for younger children and their families.

All are encouraged to wear “royal” garb—princess or prince, queen or king. That is because Amarah loved her princess outfit. Stacy Filizetti’s aunt, Lisa Johnson of Skandia, said the little girl would sleep in it, have breakfast in it, wear it “every single day that she could.”

Other activities are planned to continue the princess theme. An Ishpeming organization, Once Upon A Birthday, is donating the time of three “princesses” who will visit and provide photo opportunities.

Marquette’s Studio 231 is donating the time of make-up artists who will provide “princess make-up” to interested children. Double Trouble DJs is donating the use of two inflatable Big Bump slides, and Jilbert’s Dairy will provide ice cream.

Families are encouraged to bring picnic lunches to cap off the event.

“This first Princess Parade is in part a celebration of Amarah’s life,” Johnson said. “But it’s also a celebration of other lives, the lives that other families have lost.”

All donations will go toward helping the new organization, Amarah’s Light, get up and running. Though the group is still in the beginning stages, it hopes to  help support the immediate needs of families with child loss with things like transporting parents to the hospital in which their child is a patient or arranging meals for the family.

Economics for preschoolers

Do you have a change jar? Do you carry around heavy coins? These can be a source of easy and fun economic activities for young children.

Take out your change jar of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters when your children need a new quiet activity. Be sure your children know not to put money in their mouth and continue to watch them. It’s also a good idea to wash hands after handling money.

Money games

Make a game out of sorting the coins into piles according to denomination. Younger children can use shape, color and size to determine the correct pile. As you work together, mention the names of the different coins. Line up each type of coin and count how many are in each category. Which group has the most coins? Which has the fewest? Count the pennies one by one. Older kids can practice counting the nickels and dimes by fives and tens. Show how to write the cent and dollar signs.

Sorting things by similarities is a very useful skill for reading, science and math. Teach young children to count by touching each object. By teaching coin names, we are helping children to understand our monetary system.

Adults can talk about how people earn money and how your family uses money to buy things. The Savvy Pig savings banks help children collect coins and watch their money disappear when spent. They are divided into save, spend, donate and invest to help teach children to save and give to charity. The Money Jar program is another. These help children learn early about choices and opportunity costs. The money people spend on one choice is not available for other things.

Take a closer look

Use a magnifying glass to study pictures, numbers, and words on coins. What do they mean? Why are they on the coins? State quarters are especially interesting.

Look in the paper or at stores to see how much things cost. Children can make simple copies of the coins by rubbing over the surface of the metal.  Older children will like to play an exchange game where you trade pennies for nickels, dimes from a pile of coins.

Simple games are based on “heads or tails.” Cover three coins with cups, one being tails. Move them around and ask children to pick up the cup with the tails coin. Teach children to flip a coin and call heads or tails similar to a football game. Use heads or tails to decide who goes first.

A favorite economics activity is playing store. Children set up a store, create or use real coins, determine or negotiate prices, and sell toys to each other just for fun.

For more activities visit and Through the Seasons live and podcasts.

— Grandparents Teach, Too

MAPSEF offers new scholarships

The Marquette Area Public Schools Education Foundation is seeking donations for four newly established scholarships for graduating high school seniors. Named for Marquette Senior High School, Graveraet, Bishop Baraga Central and John D. Pierce, the scholarships were created through a partnership between MAPSEF and an anonymous donor, who will, for a limited time, match on a dollar-to-dollar basis the first $10,000 raised for each scholarship.

In a press release, the foundation said it hopes that the scholarships will bring together 50-plus years of MSHS graduates with alumni from Graveraet, Bishop Baraga and John D. Pierce schools so the scholarships can be awarded in perpetuity. Heritage Scholarship donations will be acknowledged on a digital donation wall at on the MAPSEF web page.

Each donor name will be listed in the section of its school and graduating class year. Donations are accepted online and also mailed to the MAPS Education Foundation office at 1201 W. Fair Ave. The school, year and/or honoree should be included in the memo line.


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