State House Speaker to lead Constitutional Day panel

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – More than 230 years ago, the Founding Fathers gathered together in Philadelphia to sign the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

And, on Monday, Sept. 16, the Kalkaska County Republican Party is hosting a Constitutional Day Celebration to honor that history gathering at the Kalkaska County Civic Center on Fairground Road in Kalkaska.

The special event, which is described as “not political” and open to the public, is slated to include a panel of elected officials led by the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, Lee Chatfield of Levering, which will both answer questions and discuss the importance of the Constitution.

“We’ve done Constitutional Day Celebrations before,” said Stuart McKinnon, a former county commissioner and member of the county’s GOP chapter. “We thought we’d do something bigger, better this year.”

That led to the group inviting Chatfield, the youngest speaker in Michigan history, to lead the discussion panel which will also include state Rep Daire Rendon of the 103rd District, Rep. Triston Cole of the 105th District, state Sen. Curtis VanderWall of the 35th District and U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman of the 1st Congressional District, as well as District No. 3 Commissioner Kohn Fisher, chairman of the Kalkaska Board of Commissioners.

“That’s a really impressive group to spend a couple of hours with,” McKinnon said.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 16, and a light dinner served at 6 p.m. The panel discussion will begin at 7 p.m., with a question and answer forum set for 7:25 p.m.

McKinnon said any interested person is welcome to attend, especially students, as the gathering is planned to be a learning experience, not a political debate.

“Educational but fun,” McKinnon said. “That’s our whole goal.

“It’s not political,” he added. “This event is for all ages. Youth are encouraged to attend.”

For more information on the local celebration, contact McKinnon by calling 231-620-6436 or emailing



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