• Quarter four has officially begun, don't get behind at the start.
  • TESTING WEEK! Keep a positive attitude and try your best! You've got this!
  • Today is Eclipse Day! Protect your eyes with eclipse glasses.
  • Good luck to all our track athletes today!
  • Boys JV baseball plays Bronson on Monday.
  • Varsity Baseball and Softball will play at home on Tuesday vs. Bronson. Golf will be at the Quincy Jamboree, and then in Hillsdale on Wednesday.
  • Thursday baseball and softball take on Columbia Central at home.
  • Saturday will be a round robin tourney at CHS for both baseball and softball!
The Student News Site of Concord High School

Concord Chronicle

Concord Chronicle

The Student News Site of Concord High School

Concord Chronicle

Concord Chronicle

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Concord’s Not-So-Secret Santa: Brenda Walters

This+is+the+amazing+Brenda+Walters.
Lucy Otto
This is the amazing Brenda Walters.

‘Tis the season to be giving. During the holidays, many people are moved to give back to their communities by participating in service. Community means a group of people living in the same area who share similarities in characteristics, while service means someone helping someone with work. Put them together, and you have Brenda Walters. Walters is known for doing numerous acts of service for Concord that leave a long-lasting impact on the community.

Walters was born and raised in Concord. She began her education in a one-room schoolhouse at Island School in Albion. She graduated from Springport High School in 1968. Walters then went to Spring Arbor College and graduated in 1971. She returned to Concord in the fall of 1972 as a teacher.  While teaching, Walters coached basketball, volleyball, and softball.  She taught here at Concord until 1988. After teaching, she then went into massage therapy and auctioneering.  Walters is now the manager of the Free Store in downtown Concord and also performs both marriages and funerals as a chaplain.

Brenda standing next to the memorial of those who have served in Concord. (Lucy Otto)

Walters was inspired by her family who had been in the military, which led to her patriotic service within the community.  The story of her great-great-grandma who dressed as a man during the Civil War, so that she could serve our country was a large part of her inspiration to give back.  When Walters was asked why she did all of her volunteering she explained, “This is my home and this is my family. Where you live reflects on you.”  She continued, “Concord means peace, harmony, and tranquility. This is what I want for our community.”  This inspiration leads to the many types of service with which she has been involved. 

Walters standing next to the painting memorial (Lucy Otto)

Along with managing the Concord MI Open Door Free Store, a store where people can go to get items that they need, Walters operates the area’s WAA (Wreaths Across America). Her work with Wreaths Across America includes researching and creating a file for all of the soldiers who have passed away in eight area cemeteries.  Walters makes sure that each soldier has a wreath placed on their gravestone during the ceremony each winter. This year, Wreaths Across America happens on Saturday, December 16th. As part of this ceremony, a group of volunteers go out and place wreaths on fallen soldier’s graves.  Recently the DAR (Daughter Of The American Revolution) awarded her the award, #ShareTheSpark, for all of the community service she has done over the years.  Along with her service at the Concord MI Open Door Free Store and with Wreaths Across America. Walters received recognition from DAR for other community service activities such as running the Concord MI Open Door Free Store, WAA, part of the Rosie The Riveter group, and many more.

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A photo of the medal she was awarded.
Courtesy of Brenda Walters

Concord students get involved with some of the community services that she runs. Students get to know and see her firsthand. Senior Savanna Payne remembers back when she was in elementary school, she was a member of Girl Scouts, and they would volunteer to help with WAA. Savanna explains, “She helps bring light to things that are important to the community. An example is the cemetery; she makes sure that we honor those that have fallen in the military.” 

Former student Josef Bulko has worked with Brenda; he has worked most of the summers for her since 2020. “I believe very strongly that Mrs. Walter’s impact on the village of Concord and on those who lived, live, and will live in Concord is immeasurable,” he explains. She has made a huge impact on Josef, and he thanks her for her compassion towards him and others. 

Lori Gardner has worked with Brenda on many occasions, such as WAA, Concord MI Open Door Free Store, Concord’s Civil War/Americana Day, and many other occasions. She met her back when Gardner had moved into Concord back in 1991. Gardner says that part of Walters’ impact is due to her, “deep, long-lasting friendship in the area with many people.”  Gardener continues, “She shares her time, interests, and talents with everyone…youth…Girl Scouts…etc.” 

If you too would like to be Santa in our community, there are many ways to help out with donations. WAA (Wreaths Across America) will be held on December 16, 2023. Everyone is encouraged to come and help place wreaths on soldier’s gravestones. Another way people can do this is by donating to the Concord MI Open Door Free Store. Walter explains, “We will not be taking donations till the beginning of the New Year, but when the time comes, we need things that are essential household items. Lightbulbs, lamps, sheets, blanks, and things that people need in their homes.” They are also looking for casual clothing and baby items. These are a few ways to help. If you want to find out more go to WAA and Concord MI Open Door Free Store. It will take you to a website where you can find all the information you will need on how you can help. 

Thank you, Brenda Walters, for all of your contributions to Concord’s community!

Brenda Walters at the Concord Classic (Lucy Otto)

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About the Contributor
Lucy Otto, Staff Writer
Lucy Otto is a bibliophile. She is also into art, writing, and playing volleyball. She is taking multi-media to improve her writing skills. If you ask her to talk about books, you will wish you never asked. Her goals are to be more confident in herself and what she does. She is proud of her poems and short stories.

Comments (3)

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  • M

    Melany ChalkerDec 15, 2023 at 11:12 pm

    Way cool! She’s an amazing lady who pours herself into the community!

    Reply
  • J

    Jacqueline HillsDec 15, 2023 at 9:54 pm

    Brenda is a truly awesome person. I appreciate her as a friend and for all she does for others.

    Reply
  • J

    Jo BunceDec 15, 2023 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you for your service to the Concord Community, Brenda.

    Reply