21 June 2018


D. Baker & Son Lumber Company Partners with The Salvation Army of Grand Haven for Woodchopper’s Ball dance fundraiser

For the second year, two local institutions, D. Baker and Son Lumber Company and The Salvation Army of Grand Haven are teaming up for a big-band benefit dance to help raise funds for The Salvation Army’s local efforts.

On Thursday, July 12 D. Baker and Son Lumber Company, located at 720 Pennoyer Avenue, will serve as host to The Woodchopper’s Ball. 

Last year the goal was to help raise $1.1 million for a capital campaign to expand the Salvation Army facility on North Despelder in Grand Haven. That total was realized in May. So, this year’s dance is both community celebration and a return to funding programming efforts, particularly for children.

 “We have met our goal our goal,” stated Major Jay Davis. “And this is a way to both say ‘thank you’ to our supporters and to keep the ongoing needs in the community before the public. One of the reasons we hold this dance in July is because it’s six months out from our usual Christmas efforts.”

The July 13 evening will begin at 5:45 p.m. with an hour and a quarter of music provided by The Heritage Hill String Quartet, both traditional and contemporary string music, include music for dancing.

Big-band dancing will be from 7:00-9:30 p.m. and will feature the music of The Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Bob Nixon. While the GRJO is a contemporary big band, for this event it will be playing from its dance book, to include tunes that are well known and long appreciated.

There is no charge for the event, but donations will be appreciated. There will be light refreshments provided.

A dance at the D. Baker and Son lumberyard is more than appropriate and it all goes back musically to the late Doug Baker, both a lumberman and a professional sax player.

“Doug was a great talen,” said event co-organizer David Schock, who had plenty of opportunities to play with the elder Baker. “And he chose to play as a serious avocation and work in the family business. I think it was he who—in honor of the legendary Woody Herman tune ‘Woodchopper’s Ball’—dubbed his lumberyard the ‘Home of the Woodchopper.’ And now this event brings it all together again, maybe even as he intended.”

Nada Edson (née Baker) co-owns the lumberyard with her uncle, Bruce Baker. She is one of three fifth-generation descendants who now work at the lumberyard. "Gramps and Grama instilled a sense of community, goodwill, appreciation of music and all other arts that runs deep through our entire family,” she said.  “We are proud to be Bakers and to be able to support the community and the Salvation Army by hosting The Woodchopper's Ball. I think my grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents would be happy with us!"

The lumberyard is no stranger to community events. There have been a series of “pop up” arts shows, Art at the Yard, to benefit not only art lovers and local artists but also the Grand Haven Schools Foundation.

The Salvation Army of Grand Haven will share pans and drawings for the upcoming ____ square-foot addition to its physical plant. Contractors also will be on hand. The expanded facility will include a new multi-purpose room, three classrooms, kitchen, restrooms, office and storage space. “We are so thankful for how the community has supported us during this campaign,” said Major Sally Davis.   “Our hope is this building expansion will allow us to have the space to continue to provide current and new programs and services to this community like we have done for the last 90 years.”

Along with D. Baker and Lumber Company, The Salvation Army of Grand Haven is grateful for D&W Fresh Market, Desserts by Design, and Christian Haven Independent and Assisted Living Center for their support in hosting this event. Underwriters for the music include Grand Haven Custom Molding, WestWind Construction,                                            Linda and Stephen Vanos, and penULTIMATE, Ltd.