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Grand Rapids Community Foundation announces $385,000 in grants

Grand Rapids Community Foundation announces $385,000 in grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Four non-profit organizations are getting $385,000 in funding to improve the neighborhoods, health, engagement and environment of Kent County.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation announced the grants Tuesday.   The foundation awarded Habitat for Kent County $150,000 for its Building Blocks program, which is expected to restore or rehabilitate 36-40 properties in two years for low income families.  The funding also includes $150,000 to West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition to expand and improve trails, and a $60,000 grant to Health Intervention Services (HIS) for dental rooms, a nursing station and an improved volunteer area, which should allow HIS to double the number of patients it serves.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation also awarded $25,000 in grants to John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to create three Grand Rapids area programs to support local arts.

'Stuff the Bus' challenge to help 3,000 students

'Stuff the Bus' challenge to help 3,000 students

The “Stuff the Bus” community challenge is back.

 Now through August 9, Hand2Hand Ministries and the Student Advancement Foundation will be collecting school supplies and personal items for children.  The donations will be distributed to about 3,000 middle school students in the Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Wyoming, Godfrey Lee, Jenison and Hudsonville school districts.

 “Soap, Socks and Supplies” is the theme for this fourth annual campaign. Donations can be dropped off Fifth Third Bank locations throughout metro Grand Rapids.  Financial donations are also being accepted.

 "Each year Fifth Third supplies the backpacks for the students, and we look forward to working together with the community to fill them," said Scott Stenstrom of Fifth Third Bank.

Fishing event for kids and families in Ottawa County

Fishing event for kids and families in Ottawa County

Saturday, July 27 is the day that kids and some family members can fish for free at Grand River Park, in Ottawa County.

This event is sponsored by friends of Ottawa County Parks and runs from  9 a.m. to noon. Anyone wishing to fish is asked to meet at the pond that is located in Georgetown Township, just north of the intersection of Fillmore St. and 28th Ave.

Supplies including bait and extra poles will be provided, along with experienced fishermen to help those interested in learning. Fishing licenses are required for people 17 years and older.

Refreshments will be served at this event.

Ottawa Hills track and field team breaks three school records

Ottawa Hills track and field team breaks three school records

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Ottawa Hills High School is celebrating the success of its boys track and field team, which took second place in the Division II MHSAA State Finals and broke three school records.

The school held an assembly Monday morning to congratulate the team.

Fish for free June 8 & 9

Fish for free June 8 & 9

All anglers can fish for free June 8 and 9.

As part of Free Fishing Weekend, the state is waiving all fishing license fees for residents and out-of-state visitors. Free Fishing Weekend applies to all species of fish in inland waters and Michigan’s Great Lakes.  All other fishing regulations still apply.

Michigan is home to more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, over 11,037 inland lakes and 36,350 miles of rivers and streams.  To find inland lakes in your area, click here.

Join Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell for a ride May 21

Join Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell for a ride May 21

All community members  are welcome to participate in a free family-friendly bike ride with Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell on Tuesday, May 21.

The Mayor's Bike Ride kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Kroc Center,  located at 2500 S. Division Ave. Participants will have their choice of three routes that will start and end at the Kroc Center, including a two mile or six mile ride along Plaster Creek Trail, or a 24 mile ride to Millennium Park, which will be led by Alger Bikes.  All routes are round-trip on pave surfaces.

There is no need to register but helmets are required.  For more information, call (616) 588-7200 or visit http://www.grkroccenter.org/.

WAVE Award nominations open

WAVE Award nominations open

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Lodging Association have opened the 6th Annual WAVE Award nominations.

The annual awards program recognizes outstanding service providers in the Grand Rapids and Kent County hospitality industry. Nominations will be accepted from employers and guests from April 30 to Oct.7, 2013. One award will be presented in each of the following categories: Transportation, Retail & Service, Attractions/Events, and Nightlife. New categories to the 2013 awards program include: Restaurants/Breweries, Lodging, and Volunteer in Hospitality.