#1StudentNWI: Switzerland, Sweets, and Summer in Lowell

#1StudentNWI: Switzerland, Sweets, and Summer in Lowell
By: Sarah Richardson Last Updated: July 9, 2018

Student Spotlight:

Lowell High School hosts foreign exchange students nearly every year. In the 2017-2018 school year, Lowell gained a student from Switzerland, Carla Lechner. Carla quickly became liked among students and made many friendships through her vibrant personality.

Carla joined her host family, the Mescals, at the beginning of the previous school year. Despite the schooling system in Switzerland being quite different from the one in the US, she didn’t have much difficulty with the transition. She explained that the hardest part was finding her classes and working with the primary website used at Lowell High School, which is to be expected of any new student.

During her school year in the United States, Carla was able to experience many new things. Carla said that her favorite part of living in the United States was “Having a totally new life with new people, and new habits.” In Switzerland, Carla is on the lacrosse team. In Lowell, she was on the cross country and track and field teams, which she would’ve never tried in Switzerland.

In Carla’s opinion, the biggest difference between the two countries is the prices. Everything is much cheaper in the United States. Also, the hardest part of living in the US was her inability to drive. She had to ask for rides everywhere she went, which served as an inconvenience.

Carla returned to Switzerland in June, but left a lasting impact on many people in Lowell.

Community Member Spotlight:

Around 3 years ago, The Gold Star Cafe opened in Lowell. Since that time, the cafe has grown into a staple for many members of the town. Initially, they started as a Chicago style Vienna Beef hot dog cart, but have grown from there.

Owner, Charlene Hall, previously worked as a sous chef at Harrah’s Joliet Casino and also as a chef at Blue Chip Casino. Upon leaving her job at Blue Chip, she gave herself a year to open a small storefront. This endeavor was successful as Gold Star is now thriving.

Gold Star Cafe and Catering is also very involved in the community.

“We try to do anything we can to support our local community organizations, or anyone in need,” explained Hall.

This year they will hold their 4th annual Thanksgiving Day dinner. This dinner is not financial need based, but rather gives people without many friends or family a place to eat filled with conversation, laughter and love.

Additionally, they cater events such as fundraisers or grad parties. They also pride themselves in their sweet treats.

This cafe definitely has a special, authentic feel to it.

“When you walk through the door, you might enter as a stranger, but when you leave, you leave as part of our family,” said Hall.

What’s Going On:

Hello Beautiful Salon had their 2 year anniversary celebration on June 27. They offered $10 haircuts and $10 massages. Customers received a free lunch along with the purchase of either a haircut or massage.

The Lowell Football team is has begun their preparation for the 2018 season. After their state appearance last year, they’re hoping to uphold the high expectations. They attended the Grand Valley State University Football Camp for the first time. Despite graduating a talented class, Coach Kilmer stated he believes the team will be “just fine” this upcoming season.

What’s Coming Up:

The annual Buckley 5 miler race will take place on July 21st. This popular race features a scenic route through Lowell. Pre-race registration is $20, and race day registration is $25.

The Lowell Public Library will be hosting multiple fun events during July. On the 26th, there will be a kid’s mini carnival. On the 31st, David Dinaso’s Traveling World of Reptiles will be in town for a show.

July 30-August 3, Lowell Church of Christ will host their vacation bible school. This year’s theme is Camp Kilimanjaro. This camp features games, snacks, crafts, music, and lessons.