Event looks to ‘shake off the Grinch,’ donate Toys for Tots Byrne Electrical Specialists Inc, a local manufacturer privately owned and operated for 40 years by Norman and Rosemary Byrne, has decided to “shake off the Grinch” this holiday season with its bi-annual Christmas party to be held Saturday, Dec. 5, in downtown Grand Rapids. The company plans on more than 450 in attendance. Started in 1979 with a small celebration at the company’s headquarters in Rockford, the event focuses on celebrating four main facets of its business: employee, customer, and supplier appreciation, as well as giving back to the community. “We have been blessed with loyal employees, customers and suppliers throughout the years. Being a local partner with global value is a modest value we all share,” stated Managing Director Dan Byrne. “Part of being a good neighbor is giving back to those that are in need. It’s a culture that we enjoy with all of West Michigan.” The theme of this year’s party, “The Grinch Who Couldn’t Steal Christmas,” was developed as a play off of the famous Dr. Seuss tale that tells of a grumpy hermit that hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. Guests are asked to dress in their best Whoville-style attire or color scheme. Most importantly, all guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Toys For Tots. “We thought, given all the ‘doom and gloom’ being reported out there, we want to celebrate the gifts we share” said Byrne. “With 450 or so expected, that’s a lot of young children being helped in our community.”
November 25 2009
This holiday season, wouldn’t it be nice to know the gifts you purchase for your loved ones are directly helping change the lives of others? This Christmas, Women At Risk (WAR) International has a couple ideas to help you do just that! The Grand Rapids-based nonprofit is founded on a passion for creating circles of protection around at-risk women both in the United States and overseas. Their main focus involves rescuing women and children from slavery, offering them a safe place to heal, and empowering them with the gift of work—finding that when a woman makes something beautiful with her hands, she feels beautiful herself. This holiday season, there are a number of ways you can help WAR make a difference. The funds raised go directly to their programs, rescuing and protecting as many women and children as possible. First, you could host a WAR tree. Are you a health care professional in the West Michigan area? If so, WAR International would like to invite you to partner with them by hosting a tree filled with beautiful hand-blown glass ornaments from Egypt in your waiting room. These ornaments fund the rescue of women and children from the fastest-growing arm of organized crime, human sex trafficking. Joining the fight against this evil tells your patrons you not only care for them, but an entire world in need. For more information about partnering with WAR this holiday season, contact Jennifer McDonald at (616) 855-0796 or e-mail to email@example.com. Second, visit the WAR Chest Boutique in downtown Rockford. Take a stroll down Courtland Drive and see the store-front filled with beautiful ornaments and handmade jewelry. The store gives patrons a permanent location to come in and be an active participant in this great cause and allows them to “shop with a purpose.” Third, if you are not a business owner or near Rockford, you can visit WAR’s ebay store or website to purchase these stunning items from afar. Visit www.warinternational.org to order gifts, donate money, join their prayer circle, or just learn more about this wonderful cause.
Bylsma Mr. Donald “Don” Bylsma, age 63, of Rockford passed away on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, following a brave and courageous battle with his illness. Don graduated from Union High School in 1964, and served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. After returning home, he worked for VanAndel & Flikkema, Carstar, and then opened his own restoration business of classic and antique automobiles, the Body Shoppe in Marne. He liked going to car shows and NASCAR races. His children were taught good work ethics by Don’s example. There are many special memories of camping, bonfires and fireworks. He enjoyed fishing and could drive for hours to look at the scenery. Don, with the help of Pam, kept their lawn in perfect shape. He also liked to fish, collect antiques and lighthouses, but his lifelong dream was to finish restoring his 1940 Ford. Don is survived by his loving wife, Pam; children, Scott Bylsma and special friend Stacie of Grand Rapids, Kurt and Andrea Bylsma and their son Drew of Grand Rapids, E-5 Chad Bylsma (serving with the U.S. Navy), Brittany Bylsma of Rockford; brothers, David and Florence Bylsma, Chuck and Sharon Bylsma Raymond, Ira “Ike” Bylsma and special friend Sandy Hahn; mother-in-law, Mrs. Marilyn Stallman and special friend Bill Midyett and her family; and many nieces and nephews. His parents, Charles and Ruth Bylsma, preceded him in death. The service for Don was Sunday afternoon, November 22, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church with the Rev. Timothy Gauger officiating. Military honors were under the auspices of the U.S. Army. Interment was in Algoma Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods or the American Heart Association. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford. King LaMonte “Monte” William King of Rockford, aged 89, died Friday, November 6, 2009, at Metro Hospital in Grand Rapids after a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, Blanche Pullen and Owen King. He was born on July 8, 1920, in Grand Rapids. He was a veteran of WWII and served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in India. 5He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Shirley […]
Donehoo Big brother Daniel Donehoo welcomes Nolan Harwell Donehoo, born October 16, 2009, at 8 pounds, 15 ounces and 21.5 inches long. Nolan is named after the Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame broadcaster, Ernie Harwell. Nolan’s parent’s are Jeff and Emily Donehoo of Broomfield, Colo. Nolan’s grandparents are John and Jackie Donehoo of Rockford. Nolan’s great-grandparents are Walter and Louise Dilay of Rockford.