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Celebrate the Mitten Writers Conference registration now open

 Celebrate the Mitten Writers Conference registration now open

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- Rub shoulders with other wordsmiths for free, as the third annual Celebrate the Mitten Writers Conference returns to Grand Rapids.

Publishers, editors and novelists Kristina Riggle and Aric Davis will be among the speakers sharing their tips on how to take your writing to the next level.  Writers from all generes and skill levels are welcome for the free conference, which will take place Saturday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kent District Library Cascade Township Branch.

 “Libraries wouldn’t exist without readers, and that requires writers,” said Morgan Jarema, KDL communications assistant and conference organizer. “Last year’s conference drew a full house of 200 people and had a waiting list, so writers in West Michigan clearly are looking to hear from experts in their field to help them navigate the path to publication. We really want to support them.”

Now is the time to register for the conference.

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Six people from Grand Rapids and Ada are among the winners of the second annual Write Michigan Contest.

Judges reviewed nearly 900 entries from writers across the state- that’s nearly double the amount the received last year.  Nearly 500 of the submissions were to the new teen category.

All last month, the public voted for their favorites on the Write Michigan website.  The winners were announced this week.  The Judge’s Choice winners took home a $250 award; Judges’ Choice runners-up were awarded $100.  Readers’ Choice winners were also awarded $250.

This year’s winners are:

Adult Category

  • Judges’ Choice Winner: Oscar Bee, Chelsea
  • Judges’ Choice Runner-Up: Connor Newton, Waterford
  • Readers’ Choice Winner: Eric Dobson, Ypsilanti
  • Published Finalists: Anne Brandt, Benton Harbor; Robert Vander Lugt,

Nonprofits getting $13k in grants from Grand Rapids Jaycees Foundation

Nonprofits getting $13k in grants from Grand Rapids Jaycees Foundation

WYOMING, Mich.--  Five nonprofit organizations supporting children are getting a financial boost.

The Grand Rapids Jaycees Foundation recently awarded more than $13,000 to Roosevelt Park Ministries, Autism Support of Kent County, Kendall Continuing Studies, Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports and West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology.

Roosevelt Park Ministries plans to use the $5,000 it was awarded for career camps for children ages 12-17.  The four week-long camps will take place in summer and highlight the importance of graduating from high school and pursuing higher education.

Autism Support of Kent County will use its $2,520 grant for Project Lifesaver, providing transmitters/locator units  which will be worn by autistic individuals who may wander off.

Never before seen exhibit opens at Frederik Meijer Gardens Jan. 31

Never before seen exhibit opens at Frederik Meijer Gardens Jan. 31

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  The countdown is on to the opening of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s newest exhibit.

“Committed to Paper: Master Drawings and Prints by Sculptors” opens to the public on Jan. 31.  The exhibition will feature more than 40 pieces by sculptors, on view for the first time.

“Meijer Gardens is deeply honored to premier this incredibly rich collection of drawings and prints by sculptors,” said Joseph Becherer, chief curator and vice president of exhibitions and collections. “This incredible visual treasury is full of rich imagery by many of the most important sculptors from the 20th and 21st centuries."

The exhibition is composed of three distinct categories: preparatory works, drawings and prints based on completed sculptures and the life studies and completed works of modern and contemporary sculptors.

Orchids invade Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Jan. 25-26

Orchids invade Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Jan. 25-26

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—While most West Michigan gardens are covered with a thick layer of snow, flowers will be in bloom this weekend at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Meijer Gardens is hosting the 16th annual Orchid Show Jan. 25-26.  Visitors can view hundreds of orchids in lush displays in the Grand Room.  Members of the Grand Valley Orchid Society will be on hand to answer questions and highlight the unique specimens at the show, which is free and open to the public.  

The orchid display will be open Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Vendors will also be available to purchase orchid supplies and plants on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 Free orchid talks will also be held at the following times:

Saturday
1 p.m. Orchids for Beginners
2 p.m. How to Repot Orchids
3 p.m.

Kent County Conservation District sets plant sale dates

Kent County Conservation District sets plant sale dates

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Forget the snow and get your greenthumb ready: the Kent County Conservation District has set the date for its native plant sales.

The KCCD will hold its Native Michigan Spring 2014 Tree and Shrub Sale April 5.  The Conservation District’s Native Plant Gardening Workshop is scheduled for May 21, and its Native Plant Sale will take place May 31.

The Kent Conservation District is located at 3260 Eagle Park Dr. NE in Grand Rapids.

Get dinner and a movie while helping schools Jan. 25

Get dinner and a movie while helping schools Jan. 25

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—The Comstock Park Parent-Teacher Organization is inviting families for a night out to help the schools.

The Comstock Park PTO Annual Night Out will take place Saturday, Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. in the Wave Room at Celebration Cinema North.  The event includes dinner catered by Twisted Rooster followed by a private screening of “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”.  An auction to benefit school programs is also planned.

ChoiceOne Bank is one of the sponsors of the event, contributing $1,500.

 “The Annual Night Out event is focused on the Comstock Park schools and community. We are pleased to be a part of such a generous and exciting event,” said ChoiceOne Bank President and CEO Jim Bosserd.

Tickets to the Night Out are $30 per person or $25 each for two or more, and can be purchased in advance by contacting Julie Couturier at (616) 889-8490 or jcouturier7282@gmail.com.