News Bits — December 3, 2009

Offer joins Rockford Rotary

Tim Offer joined the Rockford Rotary Club in September. Offer is currently the branch manager for National City Bank in Rockford. He has had this position for the past four years. Prior to branch management, Offer spent time as a personal banker at various branches throughout West Michigan. He has become active in the Rockford community, and continues to devote his time to the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Rockford East Business Association, and Rogue River BNI.

Offer graduated from Michigan State University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in general management. He is currently attending Western Michigan University earning his MBA with a focus in marketing. He is married to Ann.

Animal enrichments used to keep zoo animals engaged

How do you get an 800-pound bear to exercise? Dab a little honey way up high on the walls of his exhibit! This is just one little trick John Ball Zookeepers use to ensure that their animals stay interested in their surroundings, alert and, in fact, busy! With a lot of thought (and a little scheming) John Ball Zookeepers, along with zookeepers around the country, devise ways to recreate the natural conditions that the animals might encounter in the wild. This is called Animal Enrichment, and Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., John Ball Zoo is hosting an event all about it.

Each year, John Ball Zookeepers ask the community for enrichment “presents” for the animals. This year, any guest who makes a donation of one or more animal enrichment items, will get their admission to “Christmas for the Animals” absolutely free!

Christmas for the Animals also offers a free visit with Santa and his reindeer, and the animals will be receiving enrichment so people can see how it works. Without a donation the event admission is still only $3.50.

For the safety and health of the animals, items must be unopened and not past the expiration date. Diabetic and sugar-free items are also needed. John Ball Zoo is located at 1300 Fulton Ave., Grand Rapids. For more information and a list of Enrichment items, visit

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