August 25 2011

Local Red Cross blood supply slowly rebuilds, blood donors still needed

August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

The American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region needs approximately 700 eligible donors to donate blood each day in August to continue rebuilding an already fragile blood supply. The Red Cross appreciates the hundreds of donors in your community who responded to the appeal for blood issued in July. However, the need still remains as the blood supply is not yet back up to adequate levels, and blood products continue to go to area hospitals just as quickly as they are coming in. Nationally, more than 500,000 blood donors are needed during the month of August to help the Red Cross keep up with demand across the country, and each and every blood donor can make a world of difference to a patient in need. “The Great Lakes Region is extremely grateful to those who have rolled up a sleeve to give blood in answer to our urgent appeal for donors,” said Sharon Jaksa, CEO for the Great Lakes Region. “However, we’re not out of the woods yet and we need to continue rebuilding our blood supply to adequate levels.” The Red Cross understands that many donors are busy or traveling and thanks those who have come out to donate to help patients in need. But the need is constant. As the summer months come to an end and families plan their vacations before school resumes, the Red Cross encourages everyone who is able to make blood donation a part of their vacation plans. There are many stories of why people donate blood and many stories about why people need blood. Each story is a true testament to the mission and goals of the Red Cross. Every blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives. The lives could be those of a co-worker, a neighbor, a family member or friend. Those lives could be in your community, across the state or around the world. The Red Cross is in those communities, positively impacting lives. In an effort to help increase donor turnout, the Red Cross Great Lakes Region continues its partnership with Meijer to offer a chance to win free groceries ($250 value) to every person who comes out to donate. In addition, everyone who comes out to donate also has […]

Visitors launch over 300 butterflies

August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

John Ball Zoo hosts second annual butterfly release event  This summer, John Ball Zoo—with support from Michigan Butterflies, a locally owned company specializing in monarch butterflies—raised over 300 monarch butterflies in a small interactive exhibit. Throughout the season, visitors watched the entire life cycle from egg to larvae to chrysalis to adult. On Saturday, August 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Zoo will be hosting a hands-on release of those same butterflies, and they invite families to be a part of it. Releases will take place on the hour—11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.—a total of five releases. Since there will no doubt be more kids than butterflies that day, families will enter a drawing to be one of the “releasers” who will have an opportunity to tag and hand launch the butterflies. Other winners might take home a monarch chrysalis that will emerge into a butterfly for later release. But even if they are not actually selected, kids will still feel part of the action because everyone can gather at the launch site on the boardwalk of the Zoo. There will be lots of other butterfly related activities going on that day as well. The monarch is the only butterfly that travels over 2,000 miles to a very small region in Mexico. It’s not completely understood why all monarchs are driven to return to this area, and even more mysterious is that the offspring of the butterfly that makes the trip returns to the same area its parent came from. The event is free with admission. There is no cost to release a butterfly. John Ball Zoo is located at 1300 W. Fulton, one mile west of downtown Grand Rapids. Hours through September 5, 2011 will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ; admission is $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for kids ages 3-13.

Football, Hots ‘n’ Brats, and Super Fans Two

August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Last Friday evening’s annual kick-off to the Rockford High School (RHS) 2011 football season played out to everyone’s delight. Football players, their parents and grandparents, extended families, friends and Rockford football fanatics all enjoyed an evening of preseason community building fellowship. The Rockford Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium’s home seating section was packed and rocking in anticipation of yet another successful football season. The annual Hots ‘n’ Brats event began with a varsity football practice after which everyone present, including all of the RHS varsity football coaches and 2011 football team members, gathered on the stadium’s concourse for hotdogs and brats with all the trimmings. Following the meal, Head Coach Ralph Munger thanked the Hots ‘n’ Brats committee and invited everyone to relax and, as he put it, “Talk some football.” Moving on, Munger introduced the offensive and defensive team captains, Mark LaPrairie and Ben Braden respectively. Each, in turn, went on to introduce their teammates on either side of the line. Munger then introduced what he called “a great group of assistant coaches.” Next up was an unveiling of the team motto board, which was engraved with the 2011 inspirational motto: “1st Things 1st.” Coach Munger gave meaning to the motto in saying, “Keep first things first in all facets of life. It starts with your behavior and attitude in taking the first step, moving on to the first down, and carrying it over into your home and your community. Simply put, take care of things one at a time.” A highlight of the evening then followed as Coach Munger introduced two people who are “pretty special, not only to football but to all Rockford sports teams. They are at every game, rain or shine, sitting on the 50-yard line oftentimes bellowing encouragement and admonition to their beloved football team.” Lyle English and his mom Rose Grindle, both recognized as official “Super Fans,” were on hand to present a 14”x24” stained glass work of art to the eight-member assistant coaching staff. English, a 1976 RHS grad, has a many-year habit of creating and gifting stained glass pieces to varsity lettermen and head coaches. This year he wanted to recognize those who work unselfishly behind the scenes in assisting Coach Munger […]

Sitcom stars coming to West Michigan

August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford will again be the site of a movie brought to you by Joel Reisig, who last year filmed “Win by Fall” in Rockford. The film is currently in preproduction for and will be a PG-rated Christmas movie titled “A Dog For Christmas.” The intended shoot dates in January and February will take place in Rockford and Grand Rapids. Reisig is excited to bring some notable talent to his second filming in Rockford. The movie will star Sherman Hemsley of “The Jeffersons,” Richard Karn of “Home Improvement,” and Dustin Diamond of “Saved By The Bell.” Also starring will be West Michigan native Sophie Bolen, the 11-year-old star of last year’s movie “The Christmas Bunny.” The movie is described as a hilarious family comedy about life during the holidays. David and Janet Feldman make the classical mistake of inviting all of their relatives into their home for the holiday season. Anything that can go wrong does, especially when Santa Claus (Grandpa) decides to go against their wishes and buy their daughter an untrained dog for Christmas! Reisig is a Hope College graduate. He recently completed a 1910 period piece on Belgium immigrants in America, shot partially in Allegan, Mich. You can view the trailer of “Win by Fall” on You Tube where you can see Rockford City Manager Michael Young in his role in the film as a wrestling referee, which he actually does in real life in his spare time. Bruce Snider of Rockford will co-produce. Reisig also teaches a two-day seminar on the film business called “Be Your Own Hollywood.” More information can be found at The film will be distributed by All Channel Films, which has been in business since 1987. They intend to bring the film to one of the following networks: Showtime, Starz, Hallmark, or ABC Family. Reisig is currently seeking product placement. Product placement in film is an excellent way to get your brand seen in a positive light.

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