Community Services

Blythefield Memorial Gardens held their 19th annual Girl and Boy Scout Memorial Day Event

May 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

On Thursday, May 21 Blythefield Memorial Gardens held their 19th annual Girl and Boy Scout Memorial Day Event.  Each year the family owned business celebrates and pays honor to veterans by inviting Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts to place flags on graves of every veteran in the gardens. The event begins with a flag ceremony, followed by a brief history of Memorial Day given by Alexis Clemens the director of the gardens.  After placement of the flags the family and staff then provide a cookout for everyone. The cemetery was developed in 1957 and Fran and Herb Clemens (grandparents of Alexis) took over ownership in 1962.  Since then, the Clemens family, have been taking care of their customers for over 6 decades. Curt and Ron Clemens (second generation and brothers) now own the cemetery.  Third generation, Alexis is a director of the company and Cameron and Nicholas are very involved as well.  It is family effort to provide great service to their customers. The family takes great pride in being recognized as one of the most well maintained cemeteries in the state of Michigan.  Alexis Clemens states that “being such a close knit family run business, we make sure to treat each and everyone of our customers as if they were a part of our family.” “I have people come up to me all the time when I’m at the cemetery, telling me how great my grandma was to their family during the difficult time of losing a loved one….Out of painful times we remember compassion…”  Alexis is happy that her family can help other families when they need it the most.   A Memorial Day service was also held on Monday, May 25 at 11:30 am. It was a a great time for the community to get together and honor our veterans.

LifeWalk Events – June 20

May 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

Alpha Family Center will host its annual LifeWalk Events on Saturday, June 20th at Morley Park in Cedar Springs. The events include a 5K LifeRun at 8:30 a.m., Kids’ FunRun at 9:15 a.m., LifeWalk at 10 a.m. and Blood Drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also, the Baby Bottle Blessing change drive runs through June. LifeWalk is a great time for families, including a coloring contest, clown, candy, face painting, balloons, door prizes and a chance to help local families. “For people who don’t have a lot of time, but are looking for a practical and fun way to put their pro-life beliefs into action, LifeWalk is the perfect opportunity,” says Teresa Hathaway, LifeWalk Coordinator of Alpha Family Center. To participate in LifeWalk 2015, get your pledge form, and for more details, call (616) 696-2616. Alpha Family Center is a non-profit, faith-based pregnancy care center servicing hundreds in the West Michigan area. Last year, they were able to offer help 2,619 times to families with over 18,600 free baby items given out. Their services include: pregnancy testing, peer counseling, community agency referrals, maternity clothing and baby and toddler care necessities. They also provide accurate information on abortion, adoption, and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as parenting classes, sexual abuse, miscarriage and post abortion support.

It’s Not Just a “Wish Upon a Star”

May 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

by Marcia Hufstader, member of Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Grand Rapids   “Lord, hear our cry” is the theme for National Day of Prayer this year, May 7th. This is taken from 1 Kings 8:28, which reads: “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.” Interestingly, the first thing I read this morning falls right in line with that theme: “I have called upon thee, for Thou wilt hear me, O God” (KJV Psalms 17:6). I pondered, do I call on God with the conviction that He will hear me, and that He will meet my needs? The question came to thought, is that the same thing as wishing on a star? How do I know that God is more than some other worldly idea that simply gives me hope? Reasoning this through a bit more, I asked myself, how do I know that mathematics works? I can’t see the principles of math or hold them in my hand. But I can see them in action by solving an equation or using mathematical principles to, for example, build a house. The application of a principle proves that it governs in a way that makes it real and understandable – and practical – to everyone. I have found that calling on God really is just as practical as utilizing the principles of mathematics. For that reason, I often think of God as divine Principle – a term Christian theologian Mary Baker Eddy used as synonymous for God. The application of divine law results in tangible proof of God’s presence and makes it clear that God is more – so much more – than simply a comforting idea out there somewhere. He does hear our cries and our prayers. I experienced an example of this practical help this winter. Shortly before arriving at my son’s house in Colorado, I started having a troublesome cough. This condition caused my son – and me – a bit of concern. Right away, I turned my thought in prayer to ponder God’s love for me as part of His creation. I consciously and persistently affirmed that God is all-knowing and sees His entire creation as “very good” as Genesis chapter one says, […]

Scouting for Food donations surpass last year’s record

April 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

With the generosity of the Rockford community, Boy Scout Troop 282 was able to collect 984 pounds of food as part of the 2015 national Boy Scouts of America Scouting for Food Drive.   Members of the troop distributed a 1,000 collection bags and flyers in Rockford neighborhoods on March 19 and returned on Saturday, March 21, 2015 to collect the donations. All goods collected were delivered to North Kent Community Services for distribution to local families. “Once again, many people in our community will have nourishing food to eat, thanks to Boy Scout Troop 282,” said Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director of North Kent Community Services. “The 984 pounds of food the Scouts collected surpassed last year’s record of 907 pounds. I am grateful for their generous hearts and for thinking of those families in our area who are struggling.”   Troop 282, chartered to North Kent Presbyterian Church in Rockford, would like to thank the Rockford Family Fare for their donation of collection bags and to all the members of our community who helped make this year’s drive a success. North Kent Community Services is a Christian organization in northern Kent County that provides basic life needs for struggling families and helps guide them to self-sufficiency. To learn more about volunteer and donation opportunities, visit their website at

2015 Grand Rapids Walk to Cure Arthritis set for May 2nd, John Ball Park Zoo

April 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

Sowa family (Jenison, MI) travels to Washington DC advocating for legislation to help people who have arthritis. Patient’s Access to Treatments Act of 2015 introduced on March 25 in House of Representatives. Grand Rapids, MI –Help find a cure for arthritis by participating in the 2015 Grand Rapids Walk to Cure Arthritis on Saturday, May 2, 10 AM, at the John Ball Park Zoo in Grand Rapids. Walk to Cure Arthritis is the Arthritis Foundation’s fun and non-competitive one to three-mile walking event that supports programs, research and advocacy initiatives to help people today while finding a cure for tomorrow. Register for the 2015 Grand Rapids Walk to Cure Arthritis by going to or calling (616) 949-9938. Arthritis causes painful and progressive deterioration of the body’s joints – bones, ligaments, cartilage and tendons. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States affecting more than 2.3 million adults and 10,300 children in Michigan. The cause is unknown and there is no cure. The 2015 Grand Rapids Walk to Cure Arthritis will honor Brayden (4-years-old), Ryan (9-years-old) and Conner Sowa (11-years-old) of Jenison, MI. Sons of Steve and Christina Sowa, all three have juvenile arthritis. On March 23-24, 2015, the Sowa family traveled to Washington DC as part of the Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Summit where they met with Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Gary Peters, Representative Bill Huizenga and Representative Justin Amash. The Sowa’s advocated for federal regulations, including the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act (PATA) of 2015, that will help people who have arthritis and other serious diseases. On March 25, 2015, PATA was introduced in the House of Representatives. If enacted, this legislation will make innovative and necessary medications more accessible by reducing exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses for specialty tier medications. Specialty tiers are insurance industry categories for medications that commonly require the patient to pay a significant percentage of the drug’s cost – oftentimes more than $1,500 per month. Many of these medications are commonly prescribed for arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other serious diseases. This can make medically-necessary drugs unattainable for the average insured American, which can lead to worse health outcomes, higher rates of disability and higher health care costs over time. Since 2004 the percentage of employer health plans […]

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