With the 68th annual Perchville USA winter festival quickly approaching, February 1-4, event organizers have announced that the 2018 Perchville King and Queen are Dareck and Kristin Cherwinski.
“The Cherwinski’s are a fantastic selection for Perchville royalty,” said Annge Horning, President of the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. “Crowning a King and Queen for Perchville is a long-standing tradition to honor individuals who give back to our community and Dareck and Kristin really exemplify this spirit of giving.”
Dareck grew up in Vanderbilt in northern Michigan, together he and Kristin moved to the Tawases in 2002, which is also the year they got married (Kristin grew up in Wisconsin and Indiana). Dareck travels throughout Michigan doing maintenance, wire-lining and anything else Cobra Oil & Gas needs him to do on their oil wells. Kristin works part time at State Farm Insurance and has also opened her own business with her twin sister, Erin, nearly three years ago, Twisted Twinz Emporium, a retail shop in Tawas City that sells unique goods and artist’s works as well as offering a full schedule of art classes. She loves that the store gives her the ability to be involved in the community and share her creativity.
Dareck and Kristin love doing things for others. Kristin explains it by saying “We think a good deed every day just makes the world a better place.” Dareck agrees, saying “Anything we can do to put money back into our community and help others in need, we do.” The Cherwinski’s have had a ton of success at doing both: by channeling another of their interests, riding their Harley Davidson Motorcycle, they have organized the highly successful “Rug Rats Ride,” which has raised over $17,000 for Tawas area youth organizations. The ride takes place in early June each year; the couple and their team of organizers are currently reviewing applications to decide who will be the recipient of this year’s event proceeds.
Dareck and Kristin are also involved in organizing another fundraising ride in West Branch, named Reece’s Ride. Originally started to raise college tuition for the daughter of a close friend who tragically passed away, the success of the annual ride means that they will soon be able to start raising tuition for another student. They hope to continue the event to help as many students as possible continue their education. Dareck tries to explain their motivation, saying “in our group of friends, we’re really a tightknit family and we want to help them. We love people who love kids.”
The Cherwinskis are involved members at the local Moose lodge, aiding in the organization of that group’s events like the Chocolate Extravaganza, Moose on Bikes, which has helped dozens of local families by supplying gifts and necessities to families at Christmas, and other retirement and kid’s programs. They also belong to the East Tawas Church of the Nazarene.
Kristin gives her time endlessly to area kids, she was Cub Master for many years, volunteers at Clara Bolen Elementary every Tuesday with the accelerating reading program, and also volunteers her time through the District Library system by teaching art classes to kids in Tawas, Oscoda, and Hale. She was also involved helping with costumes for the most recent Witz End/WE Players production.
Dareck takes up the cause and organizes his friends and acquaintances to help people he sees in need, whether it’s a fundraiser for a close friend or a call out for support for a local resident whenever he sees a need. The couple explains that anyone can fall on hard times, but they believe that a simple act of kindness can really help turn someone’s life around. “We have this one life to make a difference,” says Kristin, “God put us all here to help other people.”
The couple also organized and supported a Buy Local campaign and Facebook page called the “Tawas Area Cash Mob” for at least five years. Once or twice a month, they would randomly pick a local business then challenge everyone they knew to visit that business and buy something, no matter how big or little. This effort, especially during the slow winter months, was a huge success at helping local businesses make extra sales and gain familiarity with a wider audience.
The couple has two sons, Zane and Keegan. Zane is a 2012 Tawas graduate who is newly married and settled in Illinois working as an engineer. Keegan is a freshman at Tawas Area Schools and has been in Cub Scouts and also has an artistic streak. Kristin and Dareck are very proud of both of their sons.
Kristin and Dareck are both so excited to represent the community as Perchville King and Queen. They annually host numerous out-of-town friends to come to Tawas for the Perchville celebration. Make sure to say “thanks” to the Cherwinskis for all that they do for the community when you see them during Perchville.
A Junior King and Queen will also reign over the Perchville festivities. Junior royalty is nominated by their peers and selected from area 5th, 6th, and 7th graders. According to Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce managing director, Penny Payea, the selection criteria is similar to the adults. “The Junior King and Queen were chosen based on outstanding character, community service, leadership, or academic achievement. We are so pleased to present this year’s Junior King and Queen: Joshua Wooton and Katelyn Papenfus.”
Joshua Wooton is a 6th grader at Holy Family School who represents the outstanding character of a Junior Perchville King. His parents are Charles and Joan Wooton, and has four siblings: Savannah, Landon, Emma, and Jack. He enjoys math and plays trumpet, as well as being very involved in church and school activities, including altar service and singing. He was nominated by his classmate who said “he is honest, fair, a great leader, and he accepts responsibilities for his actions.” Josh says he “loves having a big family, spending time with them and doing things outside.” He helps out with his family’s farm animals and likes learning how to help his dad fix things. He is looking forward to seeing the Polar Bear Swim and says that “his goal is to have a good day and be a better person.”
Katelyn Papenfus is a 7th grader at Tawas Area Middle School who stays very busy, participating in ice skating, competitive cheerleading, altar service and youth group at Holy Family, does plays at Witz End, and likes to go horseback riding. Her parents are Alissa and John Parnicky and Kraig and Erin Papenfus. The classmate who nominated Katelyn explained, “She is the kindest, friendliest, most thoughtful, and just downright best person you’ll ever meet.” The nomination also stated, “Katelyn is always showing some sort of act of kindness. For example, she helps out with the Salvation Army. Not many kids our age take the time to stand out in the cold and ring that bell.” Katelyn explains her outlook on life: “My goal every day is to make at least one person smile or laugh.” It’s obvious that Katelyn takes the time to help others: listening to friends, asking how classmates are doing, saying the right thing to make people feel better, running errands for teachers, and always with a big smile on her face. Katelyn has big plans for the future, too: she sees Ferris State University in her future to become a dentist. She is looking forward to being the Junior Perchville Queen, and especially being in the parade.
The junior royalty will participate in the Coronation Breakfast and also preside over the Family Tent during Perchville.
The community is encouraged to join the Perchville celebration and congratulate our 2018 Royalty at the Coronation Breakfast on Saturday, January 27th at the East Tawas Community Center. Admission to the breakfast celebration is just a $5 Perchville button, which are on sale at local businesses throughout town, at the Chamber and will be sold at the breakfast.
Attendees to the breakfast will also have an opportunity to enjoy some fun Perchville style entertainment and win great prizes.
For a complete schedule of Perchville activities, visit tawas.com or call the Chamber at (989) 362-8643. Event schedules are posted throughout town and are available at the Chamber.