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Public invited to duathlon, village celebration

August 23, 2012 // 0 Comments

A “labor lf love’’ takes place in the Village of Cannonsburg September 3 with the second annual Honey Creek Duathlon charity event. If you can ride a bike, walk or run, you can participate in the Labor Day event, which benefits North Kent Community Services and The Kids’ Food Basket. A duathlon is an athletic event that consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling leg and concluding with another running portion similar in format to triathlons. Nearly 100 people participated in last year’s event. Participants cover slightly more than 18 miles on foot and on bike through one of Kent County’s most beautiful areas, including Townsend Park. The Labor Day event offers more than a good workout. Post race festivities include live music, entertainment for kids and adults, along with award-winning food and drink. “Even if you can’t ride a bike or run, come down to cheer participants and enjoy myriad family-friendly events,” urged event organizer Don Kurylowicz. Feedback from 2011 participants helped organizers enhance and improve this year’s event. Some of the add-ons include more live music, an expanded food and beer tent, duck races, an ice cream eating contest and competition at an old-fashioned horseshoe pit. “It’s not so much about winning the race, but completing the race,’’ laughed Michael Jonkman of Rockford, who participated in the 2011 event. “The duathlon was great, but I really liked the food and family-friendly events, especially pitching horseshoes. Who needs to walk the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day; Cannonsburg has it all.” For those not tuckered out by the race, there will be a classic two-person crosscut saw competition. Cannonsburg Museum will also be open for visitors. “We’ve added more activities for the kids and expanded the entertainment to include folk and blues music along with country and rock,” Kurylowicz said. The American Red Cross will be on hand for blood donations. “This is a community event and the focus is to give back to our community,” Kurylowicz said. “Whether you’re donating blood or just showing up for a good time, all money raised will be put back into the community.” Primary beneficiaries are North Kent Community Services and The Kids’ Food Basket, an organization seeking to eradicate childhood hunger in greater Grand Rapids. […]

Annual run continues to spread word about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

‘We are blessed by support and generosity’ When Sandy and Steve Peterson’s son Mitchell was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) in 1999, they wondered where they could turn for support. They reached out to another family who also had a son diagnosed with DMD and through them made a connection with Parent Project MD (PPMD). “Sandy and I were introduced to PPMD in the very earliest stage of Mitchell’s diagnosis. During those early stages we were very confused and had little information on what we should do, what specialists we needed to see, and knowing the best care we could provide for Mitchell,” recalled Mitchell’s dad Steve. “Parent Project MD offered to us a complete education and a road map to follow in caring for our son. They are an amazing recourse for parents and families of boys with Duchenne MD.” “Our ultimate objective of Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford [MRTR] is to find a cure for Duchenne MD,” added Steve. “MRTR is working to raise funding and raise awareness of DMD. When celebrities like the Green Bay Packers’ Clay Mathews, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, and the NCAA Coaches for a Cure become involved, it’s amazing how the level of awareness increases. Awareness increases 10 fold. At a local level, MRTR has created a high of awareness of DMD in West Michigan. I believe awareness creates personal and community interest, community interest creates funding, funding will ultimately lead to a cure.” Those within the Rockford community are becoming more familiar with PPMD from the efforts of the Peterson family and their 5K race named Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford 5K Run/Walk and Kids for Kids K. All proceeds from this race are donated to PPMD in Mitchell’s name. This year’s event is set for Saturday, August 18, at 8:30a.m. “This will be our 14th year,” said Sandy. “The truth is, our family and all the families affected by DMD are blessed with the amazing generosity of all of the people who have participated, volunteered and supported Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford over the years.” To register or volunteer for the event, visit their website at

Alpine Township unanimously passes sewer agreement

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Fourth township of five approves NKSA maintenance contract In a special meeting held 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25, the Alpine Township Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve a contract to allow staff at the North Kent Sewer Authority (NKSA) to provide service and maintenance for the sewer system within the township. Board members in attendance were Supervisor Alex Arends, Clerk Jean Wahlfield, Treasurer Jim Townsend and trustees Ron Cordes, Jim May, Ted Wallace, and Bill Schweitzer. The motion to approve the contract was made by Schweitzer with support of Wallace to approve the Collection System Service agreement for the sewage disposal system. Arends commented on correspondence received from Mike Oezer (Progressive Engineering), the Alpine Township engineer, regarding competitive bids from Operations and Maintenance. In discussions with Bowne Township, he was quoted 60 to 80 dollars an hour for typical operations and maintenance. Township Attorney Jeff Sluggett (Bloom, Sluggett, Morgan) raised questions in earlier correspondence, and NKSA Attorney Jim Scales addressed them. Discussion was centered about costs and, based on the numbers available, NKSA will have a lower hourly rate than Bowne. Studies to date show the rate will also be lower than the current DPW rates and will be cheaper than a private contractor rate. The board believed that at this time the logical thing to do was sign the agreement. NKSA Director Larry Campbell provided a draft Work Plan to Arends last week. The Work Plan is due by August 1, 2012. “There is a changing philosophy taking place with the transition from DPW to NKSA. The members will each work with their own budgets; the input from Alpine will determine scheduled cleaning and maintenance,” Campbell said. The changes are different from Kent County DPW based on past history. In comparing the “old” way to the “new” way, Alpine can determine its needs. Campbell commented that Alpine has 42 miles of sewer lines. The goal of the Work Plan is to prevent backups, reduce I/I (inflow and infiltration), introduce a five-year cleaning cycle, and continue with routine maintenance. Once the Board adopts the August 1, 2012 Work Plan, then NKSA has until October 1 to implement the plan.  (DPW turns the system over to NKSA on October 1, 2012.) The final work […]

ArtCapsule, Taste of Rockford slated for Saturday

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

The community is invited to hone their eyes and prepare their appetites for this year’s ArtCapsule and A Taste of Rockford. These crowd favorites are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4 from noon until 4 p.m. This is the third year for both of these events, hosted by the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC), and they have been crowd favorites. Both events display the best that Rockford has to offer through amazing artwork and delicious food. Plenty of talent will be showcased during ArtCapsule. There are three categories: 3-D, 2-D and photography. During the week, visitors may check out the artwork at various venues and then vote for their favorite entries on Saturday from noon until 4 p.m. Ballot boxes will appear throughout the downtown area on Saturday—just look for the tents with banners to enter your votes. New this year is an app for the two events. It was designed by Jeff Lewis of Fluis Inc., who is also chair of the RAAC, and features plenty of bells and whistles. “We are trying to make it easier for people to find ArtCapsule artwork and A Taste of Rockford samples this year,” said Lewis. “We have created a mobile website that visitors with smartphones can access at” On the mobile website, visitors may see the artwork, the artists’ bios and a map of the venues where the artwork is displayed. Also featured is a menu for A Taste of Rockford and the location of the restaurants for ease in locating the food samples. A special entry for ArtCapsule will be featured throughout the week, and will be on permanent display at Rockford High School during the upcoming months. It is entitled “Courage,” and is the only teen entry in this year’s event. The work is a collaborative installation by 14 recent Rockford High School graduates. The school purchased four flags from the West Michigan Healing Field and worked on various pieces for the artwork. The work features ceramics, sculpture, carpentry and multi-media to commemorate the flags and the victims attacked in America on 9/11/02. The public is advised that this entry cannot be seen on Saturday, due to the school being closed on weekends, but are welcome to visit the school to see this wonderful […]

Lemonade sale hopes to give girl last wishes

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Ten-year-old’s transplanted organs failing by BETH ALTENA Lily Evans would love to ride a horse, stay in a cabin with her family, have a girl party with friends and see a movie in a theater. According to her doctors, she has just six months to one year to do any of these things. Lillian Josephine Evans was  born in 2002 and diagnosed early with conditions that made her survival dependent upon a donor for a heart and double lung transplant. According to family friend Christine Leasher, Lily received the transplant five or six years ago and has been struggling with rejection ever since. “She struggled with degrees of rejection but it was controllable,” said Leasher. Now, at age 10, Lily suffers from damaged kidneys, and doctors have given her six months to one year to live. “She has a bucket list of things she would like to do,” said Leasher. As a fundraiser for the bucket list, friends of Lily will hold a lemonade sale at Ric’s Food Center, 6969 Belding Road, Saturday, August 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to Leasher, her family is hoping to raise money for Lily’s wish list of things she would like to do. “They would love to get a cabin on Lake Michigan and have a family vacation together,” Leasher said, listing some of Lily’s hoped-for events to experience. She said one of Lily’s wishes, a dog that she can actually hold and pet, has come to be in the form of a hypoallergenic Bichon Frisé. Lily’s mom, Sue Evans, said her daughter is under Hospice care already. “This will probably be her last regular summer, so we’d like to be able to do everything she wants to do. We are hoping for a little more time to be with her, to enjoy her.” Leasher said there is a post office box for donations or correspondence, since the family experienced unexpected visits of well-wishers to their home in the past, which isn’t good for Lily’s frail condition. She has to be extremely careful of exposure to germs and other things that might make her sick. “One of the things she wanted to do is have a girls party out, getting pampered with her friends and be […]

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