By Hailey Huffman Tuesday, June 23 at the Rockford American Legion the 57th pantry was held for Operation Cornucopia. Operation Cornucopia works in cooperation with the Feeding America Program at the West Michigan Food Bank. Feeding America is a nationwide network that provides food to people across America and has been the first responder to hunger crisis in America for the last 35 years. The idea behind food banking was developed by John van Hegel of Phoenix, Arizona in the 1960’s. Van Hegel met a mother who had been digging through a trash bin to find food for her children, when she suggested that a place be developed for discarded food to be stored for pick up by families in need. Volunteers from Merritt Lamb Post 102, boy scouts from troops 228, 282, and 283, along with local volunteers and the Rockford Masonic Lodge come together on the last Tuesday of every month to help bag and box food to give to people in need. Clyde Sinclair, commander of Merritt Lamb Post 102 and operation organizer, says on average per month they give away 7,500 pounds of food, which can feed approximately 130 families. Since the beginning of the program in November of 2009, volunteers and businesses among the community have donated around 460,000 pounds of food, an estimated total of $998,200.00 worth of groceries on the table. Members of the Post are quick to agree that it would not have been possible without the help of local community members. Funding and supplies for the pantries not only comes from member donations but from local businesses and civic organizations. Upcoming 2015 event dates include July 28, August 25, September 22, October 27, November 24 and December 22. If you would like to volunteer, please feel free to contact the Merritt Lamb Post at (616) 866-2001.
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.
He was awarded the Super Achiever award on January 6, 2015. Roman earned this special achievement by fulfilling all the requirements needed for all 20 Webelos badges. Roman will also receive the prestigious Arrow Of Light award in February, and then transition into Boy Scout Troop 228. A job well done!
Independent Bank offices across the state are collecting donations for Boy Scouts of America to support “Operation Popcorn,” a program that raises money for the Boy Scouts and sends popcorn to our troops overseas for the holidays. Donations can be made at any Independent Bank office through December 30. The donations will be given to the Boy Scouts of America so that they can purchase the popcorn from Trail’s End and send it to troops. “Independent Bank is proud to support the Boy Scouts and give back to our dedicated troops for the holidays,” said President and CEO Michael M. Magee Jr. For more information on Operation Popcorn, visit www.supportourtropps.org.