At a time in the summer when many kids are getting bored and complaining about the heat, a group from Rockford and Saugatuck decided to do something. Six Rockford High School (RHS) students, four Saugatuck students and one Central Michigan University student, accompanied by three adults, recently made a weeklong trip to the La Romana, Dominican Republic, to make lives better for the people there. The July 7-14 trip focused on installing bio-sand water filters in some homes of the poorest residents of that area. Thanks to the efforts of these young people and their chaperones, 17 families and their neighbors are drinking clean water today. The group also worked one very hot, long day doing construction at the Good Samaritan Hospital. Construction was for an addition to set up a water filtration system for use at the hospital. The students hauled gravel, sand and cement, pouring the foundation for the cistern, one bucket at a time. High temps and humidity did not discourage any of their efforts at making a difference. Attitudes were always upbeat and positive. Additionally the group helped distribute over 325 pairs of footwear, donated by Wolverine Worldwide, to the underprivileged in a village and to girls at a local orphanage. The footwear was greatly appreciated by all who received them and is a luxury to many of the recipients. The group was able to spend some time playing games and doing crafts with the girls at the orphanage. Kelly Gardner, RHS Spanish teacher, and leader of the RHS student group “Thirsting To Serve,” said, “The kids were amazing. Their hearts, minds and souls were bent on service. They made us proud and served their communities and the world well. The phrase we heard repeated in by Dominicans during our trip became our mantra: OK. No problem. We can do that.” After all the hard work put into the trip, the group was rewarded with a couple of recreational outings. One day was spent in the historic area of Santo Domingo. Touring streets that were walked by legends such as Christopher Columbus were highlights of the day, along with visiting the tomb and museum dedicated to Columbus. Each participant paid for his or her own trip. Costs for the trip for […]
by BETH ALTENA One year after beginning an investigation into the potential leak of contaminants on the Wolverine Worldwide (WWW) former tannery site and surrounding areas, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has returned authority to local agencies while reserving the ability to resume control if necessary. The EPA was petitioned June 2011 by three Rockford residents, Lynn McIntosh, Grant Medich and Gail Mancewicz. In a June 27 letter to Wolverine attorney Michael Robinson, the EPA states that the federal Preliminary Assessment requested by citizens on June 21 has been completed. The letter states that under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) the EPA has one year to conduct a study unless it determines that such assessment is not appropriate. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and EPA’s Superfund Removal Program participated in the assessment and found: “Elevated levels of several inorganic contaminants have been detected in the surface and subsurface soils in portions of the Site. Chromium, arsenic and mercury have been detected in sediment samples. Arsenic and chromium have also been detected in groundwater. It is likely that contaminated groundwater discharges to the Rogue River. However, the EPA has concluded that a CERCLA removal response action is not warranted at this time, since the concentration and quantity of known contaminants does not present an immediate and substantial threat of release.” The letter continues, noting that the site scored above 28.50 in the EPA’s Hazardous Ranking System and merits further investigation. On June 14 a letter from the MDEQ recommends further investigation under “Other Cleanup Authority.” “The EPA has concluded that such a referral is appropriate for the Site. MDEQ has based its request for referral upon receiving your [Wolverine’s] letter (date June 11, 2012) in which Wolverine Worldwide Inc. commits to working with the MEDQ.” With this decision in hand, WWW will develop an assessment plan to continue the evaluation of the property. The plan will be reviewed and approved by the MDEQ, and WWW will decide what further steps need to be taken, if any, based on the plan. In a letter dated June 14 from the EPA’s Nuria Muniz to the MDEQ, Muniz states that the property in question was operated as a tannery from 1908 to […]
Each year, Mitchell Peterson’s parents, Steve and Sandy, are amazed at the support they receive from the community. Over 100 volunteers help to make the race run smoothly and to bring awareness and money to be donated to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), a national nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by parents of children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford has more than doubled in size and scope since the Petersons established it in 1999. Since then, the event has raised over $600,000, all donated to PPMD in the name of their son Mitchell Peterson, 16, of Rockford. “After our son was diagnosed, my wife and I wanted to make a difference,” explained Steve Peterson. “We’re thrilled this race has helped to raise awareness and support, at least in our neck of the woods. More people now know about Duchenne MD, which is important because this disease can happen in any family and currently affects many boys and their families here in West Michigan.” This year’s event, sponsored by Wolverine World Wide and Meijer, takes place on Saturday, August 18 at 8:30 a.m. The Kids for Kids K starts at 9:30 a.m. This is a competitive race but also a family event featuring a silent auction during and awards ceremony following the race. For more race details, visit www.mitchellsrun.org. PPMD is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by parents of children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Duchenne MD is the most common lethal genetic disorder diagnosed during early childhood, affecting approximately one out of every 3,500 boys and 20,000 babies born each year. The organization’s mission is to improve the treatment, quality of life and long-term outlook for all individuals affected by Duchenne through research, advocacy, education and compassion. PPMD is the largest grassroots organization in the U.S. entirely focused on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is headquartered in Middletown, Ohio with offices in Fort Lee, New Jersey. For more information, visit www.parentprojectmd.org.
Wolverine Worldwide is teaming up once again with the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA to help improve the health and wellness of the communities it serves. On Thursday, June 7, from 12 to 8 p.m., the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA will host a tent sale on its property at 6555 Jupiter Avenue in Belmont (north of West River Drive), offering discounted prices to the general public on popular Wolverine Worldwide brands like Bates, Merrell and Sebago. All proceeds of this sale will benefit the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign and the “Boot Campaign,” aiding military families with YMCA membership, child care, and other support programs and services. The YMCA is committed to providing programs and services that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign provides financial assistance to those who are facing economic challenges. YMCAs throughout the United States provide family members of active service men and women free membership; the “Boot Campaign” and Strong Kids Campaign help military families when they are not on active duty. The Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA is currently assisting 65 military families in northern Kent County, as well as underwrites more than $110,000 a year in Strong Kids financial assistance. “We are thrilled that Wolverine Worldwide is underwriting this tent sale to support our military families,” noted Dean Herried, executive director of the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA. “We couldn’t ask for a better corporate partner. It’s a win-win for all. Shoppers will get great deals on footwear, we’ll be raising needed dollars for military families, and we’ll also be providing a full day of free family fun at our YMCA for the public.” In addition to the tent sale, the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA will be offering the following free demonstrations to the public: • 12-8 p.m.—fun games and activities for kids, sponsored by military recruiting officers • 12-4 p.m.—swim tests—find out what level your child is in our swim lessons and receive info on classes • 2-6 p.m.—Challenge Course—try out the Y’s 18 acres of trails and low elements course • 4-4:45 p.m.—guitar • 5-5:45 p.m.—Speed and Agility (9+ years only) • 5:45-6:25 p.m.—ballet • 6-8 p.m.—chair massages • 6-6:45 p.m.—X-fit (18+ years only) Michael Stornant, a member of […]