West Michigan

The Literacy Center of West Michigan needs volunteer tutors

August 6, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Literacy Center of West Michigan has scheduled an information session on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, for prospective volunteer tutors. The session is held at 2 p.m. and lasts one hour. It allows persons interested in becoming volunteer tutors to find out more about the Center and its literacy programs. At the end of the session, there will be an opportunity to sign up for tutor training. The Literacy Center of West Michigan is a non-profit, United Way agency devoted to reducing illiteracy in our community. Based on the 2003 National Assessment for Adult Literacy and the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey, up to 14.6% of adults in Kent County lack basic prose literacy skills and have difficult using certain reading and writing skills considered necessary in everyday life. By training people to be tutors, the Center can offer one-on-one reading help to adults asking for assistance in reading or English as a Second Language (ESL). You do not need to speak another language to tutor ESL. The information session will be held at the Literacy Center of West Michigan, located at 1120 Monroe Ave., NW Suite 240, Grand Rapids. Please call 459-5151 (ext . 10) or email us at infor@literacycenterwm.org to register.

Family Fitness Event Supports Great Cause

October 4, 2012 // 0 Comments

On October 7, 2012 your family can move for a cause. The third annual Race for Healthy Kids 5K run, walk and fun run helps encourage West Michigan families to be active together while raising money for local schools to become healthier places to learn and grow. Race for Healthy Kids is organized by West Michigan Action for Healthy Kids (WMAHK). WMAHK is a local coalition helping our kids, families and schools to become healthier through good nutrition and physical activity. The group focuses on total health, not weight. “All kids, no matter their shape or size, need to move everyday and make healthy food choices,” says Dawn Davies, Co-Chair of the WMAHK. Enjoying activity as a family sets a great example, and makes it more fun! Race for Healthy Kids is the perfect place to start. Whether you’re a seasoned runner, a casual walker, or a first time 5K finisher, this event at is perfect for you! Join us on Sunday, October 7th at 2:00 pm at Rockford High School for a day dedicated to being fit, and having fun, together. Visit www.actionforhealthykids.org/michigan for all race day details.

New focus on West Michigan in Hospice of Michigan changes

December 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

Hospice of Michigan (HOM) is returning to its roots in Grand Rapids with leadership changes designed to better respond to West Michigan needs and to expand awareness of the organization’s end-of-life services. The statewide group will shift greater authority in the West Michigan region to the Ada-based regional headquarters and to the new post of executive director, to be held by Marcie M. Hillary of Grand Rapids. The office will operate under the new title of Hospice of Michigan/West Michigan. Hillary, who presently serves as vice president of community relations for HOM, will provide executive leadership for the West Michigan program which already oversees care for nearly 200 adult and pediatric patients daily in the region and is a partner with other health-care providers in the region, including with Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine in development of a new physician fellowship in end of life care. As West Michigan executive director, she will have increased flexibility and authority to engage with other regional leaders, with donors and with hospitals and other patient-care organizations. “Our board members and community leaders in West Michigan felt strongly that we wanted to intensify our efforts to build awareness of Hospice of Michigan services to everyone in this growing part of the state,” said John Maurer, M.D., chair of the HOM Board of Trustees. “This isn’t about the care we provide. We’ve been leading the way for more than 30 years in that area. It’s about getting our message out, having greater locally based decision-making and about thinking more strategically with others in the West Michigan healthcare field about managing end-of-life issues.” “Marcie has been part of our team for 14 years,” said Maurer, “and she understands intimately how we can make end-of-life more comfortable, more peaceful and less stressful for patients and their families.” HOM, serving 54 counties in Lower Michigan, grew out of the former Hospice of Greater Grand Rapids, which was founded in 1981 and is the original hospice in West Michigan. In 1994, HOM was born from the merger of the Grand Rapids agency with other community based programs throughout the Lower Peninsula. It is the second oldest hospice in the United States, the largest in Michigan and maintains a nonprofit, open-access policy of […]

Happy Trails to you, Fred

December 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Last Tuesday afternoon found us at Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park to attend a visitation and pay our respects to a man we had personally come to know as one without equal – Fred Meijer. We were not there as reporters to cover Fred’s passing but rather as two of thousands, that afternoon and evening, who felt compelled to gather and reminisce with one another and Meijer family members about the life and times of Fred and the role he played in all of our lives. The “six degrees of separation” theory refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth. That theory did not apply to Fred Meijer. In Fred’s case, it was more like one degree of separation. Is there a person in West Michigan that does not have a Fred story to tell? Certainly everyone present last Tuesday could attest to that. So much for computer-age social networks, Fred accomplished much the same with countless thousands of peoples in good old-fashioned face-to-face conversation. Fred was a man of the people who had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. If you crossed paths with him, he was always graciously approachable. In conversation, you became his new friend. He learned your name, what you did for a living, and how you felt about things in general. Both parties were enriched by the encounter and parted ways having learned something new and possibly, at the same time, enjoying a good laugh, oftentimes at Fred’s expense. Is there another billionaire anywhere who has freely made himself available to his fellow man more than Fred Meijer? We think not. Your reporters, the Hills, had the good fortune to meet Fred numerous times in covering events where he was present. Sometimes, also, it was just happenstance. It could have been at Meijer Gardens itself, where we are members, or it could have been at one of the local Meijer stores while we were shopping. Two occasions that stand out in our minds occurred while we were covering local events for the Squire where Fred was the focal point. On one in 2008, Fred was the guest of honor at a […]

HUGE broadcast at Corner Bar for Tigers opening day

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

On Friday, April 10, the Corner Bar will swing into spring with a daylong event featuring the HUGE show’s Bill Simonson and a WBBL live radio broadcast. On Friday, April 10, a day-long event at the Corner Bar will celebrate the opening baseball game and air live on local station WBBL and on eleven affiliates, broadcasting across the state of Michigan. Simonson is a very popular radio celebrity known for his HUGE show. “The Corner Bar is a sports bar landmark in West Michigan,” said Simonson. “It is an honor to celebrate the Tigers home opener with the people of Rockford and northern Kent County.” Corner Bar owners Andy Tidey and Jeff Wolfe plan to offer trivia contests and prize give-aways througout the day. The Corner Bar will also feature special menu items designed to give patrons an “at the ballpark” experience. Since the Corner Bar is noted for its Hotdog Hall of Fame, diners and Tiger fans can also expect the delicious dogs. Drinks will be offered in special opening day commemorative cups.