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My Town: A dozen children to 'Shop with a Hero' for the holidays

My Town: A dozen children to 'Shop with a Hero' for the holidays

CASCADE, Mich. – A group of Grand Rapids area children is getting some help with filling the space under their Christmas trees.

Tuesday, a dozen children from Coit and East Leonard elementary schools will meet up with Grand Rapids police officers and firefighters to “Shop with a Hero.”  Each child will be given a $100 Meijer gift card to purchase holiday gifts for family and friends at the Meijer store at 1997 E. Beltline Ave. NE. Community Officer Neil Gomez says the children chosen to participate work hard in school while facing financial hardships at home.

This is the third year Grand Rapids police and firefighters have teamed up with Meijer for the event.  Including this year, Meijer has donated $4,000 to the event, helping 40 children.

My Town: Businesses hold holiday drives to feed families in need

My Town: Businesses hold holiday drives to feed families in need

CASCADE, Mich.—If you’re looking to give more than gifts to loved ones this holiday season, several businesses are accepting cash and canned food donations for families in need.

The food and funds will be shipped to Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. 

  • Nov. 24 - Dec. 19: Goldfish Swim School, 2845 Thornhills Avenue, Suite S, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
  • Nov. 24 - Dec. 22: KoKo FitClub 2845 Thornhills Ave. SE, Cascade, MI 49546
  • Dec. 1- Dec. 31: Hampton Inn and SpringHill Suites (5200 28th Street SE and 5250 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512)

For a list of most-needed food items, visit Feeding America West Michigan’s website.

In the Kitchen with Kal: Pastry Cream - the versatile dessert

In the Kitchen with Kal: Pastry Cream - the versatile dessert

If you are looking for something unique for a dessert during the holidays, here is a versatile dish. I had a basic recipe for this pastry cream, but tweaked it to my liking. I think it is a fairly easy recipe. I certainly recommend using a double boiler when making a filling like this.

This cream would really look nice in a pretty stemware glass with fresh berries on it along with the other suggestions I have at the bottom of this recipe.

PASTRY CREAM                        Makes enough for a deep dish pie crust

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids hires school recruiters

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids hires school recruiters

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The Diocese of Grand Rapids has hired two more people to ramp up enrollment for its Catholic schools.

Dan Plachta will serve as an admissions enrollment field consultant, guiding the diocese’s 29 schools in outreach and recruitment. While supporting current students, the diocese plans to focus on traditionally underserved groups who could take advantage of school tuition assistance, which is quadrupling to $1,000,000.

Plachta is an alumnus of Blessed Sacrament School (now All Saints Academy) and Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids.

“As a graduate of Catholic schools in the diocese, Dan brings a personal passion for the importance of Catholic education in West Michigan,” said David Faber, superintendent of Catholic schools.

My Town: Where to find Santa and holiday cheer this season

My Town:  Where to find Santa and holiday cheer this season

----NEWS RELEASE-----

(West Michigan Tourist Association)-- It’s getting to be that time of year when good ole’ St. Nick starts getting his list out, and checking it twice. Find out where in West Michigan you can catch Santa Claus this holiday season, along with some other special events that will let you get in the Christmas mood.

 

South

Live Reindeer at Silver Beach Carousel

Silver Beach Carousel has some jolly fun planned for the entire family! Come meet two live reindeer on Friday, Nov. 28, noon to 5 p.m., and Thursday, Dec. 18, 4 to 8:30 p.m. Come into Santa’s Christmas Corral in the Shadowland Ballroom where you can pet and have a professional keepsake photo taken with these friendly, gentle animals of North Pole fame.

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids boosts tuition assistance; deadline nears

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids boosts tuition assistance; deadline nears

The Diocese of Grand Rapids is boosting tuition assistance for students, but time is running out to apply for it.

The deadline for applying for first round funding is Nov. 22.  The first round of grants will be announced in early February and distributed in early fall.

Bishop Walkowiak recently announced the Diocese is more than quadrupling tuition assistance, from $240,000 to $1 million each year.  The funding boost, made possible through donations and diocese scholarship accounts, is part of a three-year effort to make Catholic schools affordable to more families.  According to Private School Aid Service, even after all tuition assistance is distributed, Catholic school families still need $1.2 million a year.

Girl Scouts to take part in Gerald R. Ford Tree Lighting tonight

Girl Scouts to take part in Gerald R. Ford Tree Lighting tonight

Make it a point to stroll downtown this evening for the Annual Presidential Museum Tree Lighting Ceremony at 7pm at the Gerald R. Ford Museum at 303 Pearl St. NW in Grand Rapids, MI.

For the first time in its history, Girl Scouts, with Rockford Service Unit 322, will be included in  performing the Flag Ceremony at the outdoor event.

Immediately following the tree lighting, there will be live music, a sing-along and the announcement of the 2014 Community Tree Awards.