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Community Spirit

My Town: Meijer shoppers receive checkout surprise

WALKER, Mich.—Christmas came early to 213 Meijer shoppers, who received a checkout surprise.

 

On Dec. 13, the Walker-based retailer paid for all of the gifts and groceries filling each shopper’s cart, ranging from $350 to $1,200 each.  The company posted video of the event on YouTube, which you can find here.

 

“The holidays are a time for kindness and joy, and the Very Merry Meijer event was a perfect opportunity for us to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear: our customers,” Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Our family has always believed that our customers don’t need us, but that we need them. That philosophy still guides us today. We are very thankful for our customers, and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Merry Christmas.”

 

My Town GR South: Date set for ice rink build at Wilcox Park

My Town GR South: Date set for ice rink build at Wilcox Park

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The date is set to rebuild a wintertime attraction at Wilcox Park.

A team of volunteers will create the outdoor ice rink Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. Help is still needed to maintain the ice rink through winter.  Volunteers will be responsible for clearing snow off the ice.   

Sponsors are also needed to help make this attraction a reality.  The Eastown Community Association still needs to purchase a new liner for the rink. 

Those interested in helping with the upkeep should contact Lindsey at lindsey@eastown.org.

RELATED STORY: Ice rinks popping up around Grand Rapids

My Town: Lake Michigan Academy students donate to Toys for Tots

My Town: Lake Michigan Academy students donate to Toys for Tots

GRAND RAPIDS,  Mich. -- WZZM 13 is celebrating the end to yet another successful Toys for Tots School Spirit Challenge, thanks to an army of students scattered across West Michigan.

More than 40 schools participated in this year's drive, collecting more than 11,000 toys.  Students from Lake Michigan Academy collected 21 toys.

For additional toy totals and videos, visit the WZZM 13 Toys for Tots page.

My Town: WAVE Award winners

My Town: WAVE Award winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The businesses and people who take the Grand Rapids experience above and beyond are being honored.

More than 60 people were nominated for this year’s Way Above Visitor Expectations (WAVE) awards.  A panel of judges whittled down the nominees to just eight who exceled in attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency within the local hospitality industry. 

Guests and employers nominated over 62 individuals in eight categories between April and October. A judging panel evaluated the nominees on a set of criteria, including the individual’s attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency within the local hospitality industry. Winners were selected in the categories of Restaurants/Breweries, Attraction/Events, Lodging 150+ Rooms, Lodging less than 150 Rooms, Nightlife, Retail/Service, Volunteer in Hospitality and Transportation.

The 2014 winners include:

My Town: Officer's legacy of love benefits Grand Rapids police dogs

My Town: Officer's legacy of love benefits Grand Rapids police dogs

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  Even in death, a Grand Rapids police officer is caring for the dogs he loved.

Monday afternoon, the father of Officer Andrew Rusticus will present a check to the Grand Rapids Police Canine Team, to cover the cost of purchasing and caring for retired police dogs.  The money came from the inaugural K9K race created in honor of Rusticus, who died from a heart attack while on a training run to become a canine handler.  Rusticus was just 29 years old when he collapsed Feb. 25, 2012.

The first K2K race took place Aug. 9, 2014 at Riverside Park.  Proceeds from the event are going to the Grand Rapids Police Department Canine Unit Foundation, the Thin Blue Line of Michigan and a scholarship at Trinity Christian College, in Rusticus’ name. 

My Town GR South: Wintertime attraction returns to Wilcox Park

My Town GR South: Wintertime attraction returns to Wilcox Park

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A wintertime attraction in Grand Rapids proved so popular last year, it may return this season.

The Wilcox Park ice rink is expected to welcome its first skaters of the season in January.  Last year, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, Aquinas College hockey players and community volunteers constructed three outdoor ice rinks at Wilcox, Cherry and Richmond parks to encourage people to visit these public spaces during the normally quiet winter season.

The Eastown Community Association needs volunteers to help maintain the ice rink at Wilcox Park. Ideally, at least a dozen people would help build the rink, and eight people would maintain the ice throughout the season.  If you would like to help, e-mail Lindsey at lindsey@eastown.org.

RELATED STORY: Ice rinks popping up around Grand Rapids

My Town: Reduce fire dangers with free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

My Town: Reduce fire dangers with free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—As temperatures drop, the risk of chimney and heater fires rises, which is why now is a good time to pick up a free smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector from the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan.

The organization is providing these devices for free to households in Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming with a child who is 14 years or younger. For more information, call (616) 241-3300 or email info@healthyhomescoalition.org.