Community Services

YMCA offers fun options for kids this summer

May 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

The YMCA has plenty of options this summer to keep your kids active and having fun. Whether you put them in for one week or the entire summer, we have a diverse selection of camps and programs in a safe and caring environment. There are different locations as well between Howard Christensen Nature Center and the Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA. The Howard Christensen Camp offers programs June 24th-28th, July 8th-12, July 22nd-25th, August 5th-9th and August 19th-23rd. Day Camp will be available at the YMCA. The Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA offers summer camps for kids ages 5-12 years. A fully licensed camp through the state of Michigan, that offers an experience for many kids with fun filled challenges that will keep them active and engaged for the entire summer. Swimming, field trips, sports, nature hikes, and crafts are only a few things kids will be able to participate in on a regular basis. Stop into the YMCA to register your child before it’s too late. Camp is available all summer, Monday – Friday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Grand Rapids’ version of The Amazing Race travels to Rockford

May 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race: Summer Edition will be held June 29, 2013 in Rockford. Racers will start and finish their adventure along the Rogue River in downtown Rockford, with over 30 miles of biking, canoeing, running, and Amazing Race-like challenges in between. Registration is now open. Two-person teams will set out from Garden Club Park, searching for checkpoints pre-marked on a map, collecting as many points as they can within four hours. Racers looking for an even greater challenge can tackle the six-hour race which covers over 50 miles of fun and challenges, including some of the best mountain biking in the Midwest. “When racers voted Rockford as their top destination for a race outside of Grand Rapids, we were more than happy to oblige. The area offers a lot of natural beauty and challenges.” says Mark VanTongeren, race director and owner of Michigan Adventure Racing. “Four or six hours seems like such a daunting challenge but the change from one activity to another uses different parts of the body and allows racers to catch their breath. First-time participants are surprised at how long they can go as a result.” The charity partner and primary source of volunteers for this race is 20 Liters. GR-based 20 Liters is committed to creating access to clean water for the one billion people worldwide who lack it. The highly effective, sustainable methods employed by 20 Liters are currently focused in rural areas of Rwanda and have already improved the health and quality of life for over 30,000 Rwandan children and adults. View the infographic and learn more at Sponsors to date include: Meijer, Gazelle Sports, The Corner Bar, 8th Day Gym, Central District Cyclery, West Michigan Bike & Fitness, Let Us Design/Build, Founders Brewing Co., and Zanfel. For more information about the race and to register, go to and visit to join a growing community of adventure racers.  

Early opening for Rockford’s Farm Market

May 9, 2013 // 0 Comments

Voted “America’s Favorite Farmers Market” in 2011, the Rockford Farm Market is not content to rest on its laurels. Bowing to vendor and customer demand the Market’s sponsor, the City of Rockford, has decided to open the 2013 Farm Market Season three weeks early. So, mark your calendars. This year the Rockford Farm Market will open its 2013 season on Saturday, May 11 (previous seasons, the Market opened on the first Saturday of June) and will close, as usual, on the last Saturday of October. Begun in 2001, the Rockford Farm Market has become a wildly popular Saturday morning destination for “foodies”, both local and from all over West Michigan. Weekly, they arrive by the thousands in search of the wide assortment of flavors and cuisines offered up by “America’s Favorite Farmers Market”. Great cooking starts with great ingredients and there is no better way to celebrate food than to create a dish that utilizes ingredients straight from a local farm. Also keep in mind when you Market shop in Rockford, whom ever is behind the stall’s counter is an expert. Don’t hesitate to ask the merchant questions. They all are happy to share what they know with you and the fact is, they know a lot! So as we look forward (hopefully) to a beautiful May 11 bluebird Michigan Saturday morning, here are a few tips for a rewarding Farm Market experience as harvested from the Reader’s Digest. It’s best to get there early. But it’s all right if you can’t get there until later. What you’ll get is still fresher and healthier than any that’s been shipped (oftentimes from out-of-state) to a supermarket. Most every farmer harvests the produce they offer the day before it is sold. Farmers depend on you to survive. Farmers depend on the income from markets to get by. Nearly all run very small operations and the profit margin is slim. Where do you want your money to go? If you spend $100 at a Farmer’s Market, $62 goes directly back into the local economy and $99 stays in the state. If you’re not sure, ask to taste before buying. Almost all vendors are happy to provide a taste and offer preparation ideas. Farmers don’t do deals. With the […]

100th Anniversary Celebrations of the Kent Garden Club

May 9, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Kent Garden Club (KGC) will celebrate its centennial celebration at the Women’s City Club (WCC) at the corner of Lafayette and Fulton on May 15, 2013. A play “Thanks for the Memories” commemorating many of the ground-breaking, community minded activities of these women will be performed by members in period appropriate clothing. The Kent Garden Club will also celebrate its centennial year with a standard flower show at Meijer Gardens June 28th – 30th. Critiquing will be done by National Garden Club accredited judges. The public may view the show as part of the admission cost to the gardens. They also may vote for the People Choice Award Winners; one is awarded for both horticulture and floral design. The show will showcase horticulture exhibits of plants grown in Michigan, floral designs which were popular during the various decades of the past 100 years, educational exhibits, a youth division, artistic crafts and a new photography category. There will be special children’s activities daily. Kent Garden Club Members will gather at the museum to dedicate the Anniversary Garden, a Knockout rose and Green Velvet boxwood garden, on the banks of the Grand River. Dedication will be held July 10th at 10:30 am. There will be a short ceremony to unveil the marker that signifies Kent Garden Club’s commitment to the past and future. We hope that people will stay to see the Kent Garden Club exhibit on the second floor of the museum that Donna Koledo and her committee designed for our 100th Anniversary. For more information about centennial events, contact Karin Maupin, or 616-682-1434.

Wolverine Building Group “Takes Action” at Camp Roger

May 9, 2013 // 0 Comments

Camp Roger and Wolverine Building Group joined forces on April 26 to “Swing Into Spring,” to construct a rope swing for use by campers and visitors. In preparation for their 75th anniversary, Wolverine Building Group donated labor and materials to construct the rope swing. This project is Wolverine’s first official “Take Action Day,” an annual company-wide community service project. Take Action Day provides the Grand Rapids-owned and run company an opportunity to offer time, manpower, and expertise to local organizations selected by their employees. “Camp Roger has been around for a long time, has a great history, and is known for consistency and quality in their programming,” says Wolverine’s Vice President, Curt Mulder. Camp Roger provides a rustic natural environment for young people to enjoy the outdoors. The organization offers a summer camp, an adventure course for school, team, and corporate team building, and a Discovery Nature Center with customized programming for local schools and homeschooled students. Of their 1500 summer camp attendees, approximately 65% are from West Michigan. The rope swing is the latest unique addition to the camp, which also boasts a zip line, a yurt, a rustic cabin, a four-story tree house, and a climbing tower. “A rope swing sounds like a simple thing to build, but with (2) 60’ poles that weigh 3,000 lbs. a piece cantilevering 50’ out over water, it was a fun and exciting challenge even for a group of experienced construction company employees,” says Mulder. “It took many creative minds and lots of ingenuity to devise a plan to build it all in one day with no machinery, the old school way.” Camp Roger will be celebrating their 100th anniversary on June 8, 2013. From 1-3pm on that Saturday, the rope swing and many other activities will be open to the public. For more information on Camp Roger or to register a camper, visit For more information on Wolverine Building Group, visit  

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