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Dutch-American Heritage Celebration to Honor Entrepreneur and Philanthropist J.C. Huizenga | News

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Dutch-American Heritage Celebration to Honor Entrepreneur and Philanthropist J.C. Huizenga
News, People
Dutch-American Heritage Celebration to Honor Entrepreneur and Philanthropist J.C. Huizenga

Extreme Storm Chaser and Meteorologist Reed Timmer to speak at dinner
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (Oct.. 31, 2014) – This year’s Dutch-American Heritage Day Celebration will take place on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 and will honor entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist J.C. Huizenga for his outstanding leadership.  Reed Timmer, a West Michigan native, meteorologist and renowned storm chaser, will be the keynote speaker.
The celebration will be held at the Pinnacle Center at 3330 Highland Drive in Hudsonville, beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and a dinner program beginning at 6:45 p.m.
The annual dinner strives to keep Dutch history and culture alive for future generations, while celebrating the strong ties between the Netherlands and the United States. The event will feature a traditional Dutch inspired dinner and music.
A graduate of Hope College and Michigan State University, Huizenga is the founder and chairman of National Heritage Academies, a network of 80 charter schools operating in nine states.  PrepNet, a network of 5 high schools was launched by him in 2008.  Huizenga’s manufacturing enterprises includes several auto related companies.  He serves on several boards including the Salvation Army National Advisory Board and previously chaired the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.  He is a champion of efforts to celebrate and perpetuate Dutch heritage in America, and helped to restart this dinner in 2003 after its 9/11 hiatus.  It is believed that this is now the largest celebration of Dutch-American heritage in America.
Timmer, a fellow Dutchman, is a star of the Discovery Channel’s reality series Storm Chaser, and will bring his storm chasing vehicle for display at this year’s celebration. Timmer is also CEO of Weather Fusion, LLC and Extreme Tornado Tours, LLC, which offers forensic meteorology and consulting services, extreme weather media, and storm chasing tours.
This year’s Dutch Heritage Essay Contest winner will be announced during the event. The essay topic explores the influence of the Dutch on the United States. Students from West Michigan will submit essays prior to the October 31 deadline in hopes of winning the top prize of $500, or $250 being offered to the second place winner. The top two winners’ schools will also receive cash awards of $1,000 and $500 respectively.
Tickets for the Dutch-American Heritage Day celebration cost $15 and can be purchased by calling 616-726-8010 or emailing info@wmdutch-americanheritage.com; visit wmdutch-americanheritage.com for more information about the event.

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