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Help save lives with a 'Night of Nets'

Help save lives with a 'Night of Nets'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Enjoy a “Night of Nets” while helping prevent malaria in Zambia during next week’s Cornerstone University games. 

Cornerstone is teaming up with Hope and Calvin colleges to purchase bed nets that prevent infected mosquitoes from spreading malaria.  The first of five fund-raising games took place Saturday, September 14.  The next benefit is Tuesday, October 1 at 7 p.m. during the Cornerstone men’s soccer game against Siena Heights.  The last match-up to prevent malaria will be Wednesday, October 2, as the Cornerstone women’s volleyball team takes on Aquinas. 

Each suggested donation of $6 will provide a bed net for a family in Zambia.  Over the past three years, the Night of Nets campaign has generated more than $35,000 to purchase nearly 6,000 bed nets for families living in sub-Saharan Africa.  Cornerstone’s goal this year is to raise $30,000 for the project.

Volunteers needed to help feed thousands of starving children

Volunteers needed to help feed thousands of starving children

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Knapp Street Reformed Church is looking for volunteers to help them pack 10,000 meals for starving children and their families.

The Kids Against Hunger food packing event will take place Sunday, September 8 at noon at the church, located at 4025 Knapp St. NE in My Town Ada/Cascade.  The work is expected to take about two hours.

Volunteers are asked to register in advance. If you would like to help pack or donate to Kids Against Hunger, email tammi@knappchurch.org.  

Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Organizations in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties are teaming up this week to encourage people to take the stairs.

Take the Stairs Week runs September 3 through September 6.  The three-day campaign is meant to encourage people to become more physically active while saving energy.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, graphic designs promoting healthy behavior have been shown to motivate stair users; that’s why Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University created images for this campaign.  Free color signs are available at the Heart of West Michigan United Way for businesses and organizations with escalators or elevators.

Participating agencies include:

The American Institute of Architects, Grand Rapids Chapte

August 11 'Gym Jam' to benefit Helen DeVos Children's Hospital

August 11 'Gym Jam' to benefit Helen DeVos Children's Hospital

FOREST HILLS, Mich.—  Grand Rapids Gymnastics will transform into a carnival August 11 for the “Gym Jam” open house.

From noon until 4 p.m., visitors can visit the gym, located at 1601 Galbraith Ave.

Billy Bear Hug Foundation to receive $10,000 from Amway's 'Who Cares' Challenge

Billy Bear Hug Foundation to receive $10,000 from Amway's 'Who Cares' Challenge

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The Billy Bear Hug Foundation, a non-profit organization in West Michigan which provides quality of life support to children with chronic and terminal illness, announced August 1 that it has been selected to receive $10,000 from Amway’s “Who Cares” Challenge: Youth Leadership Contest.

The online contest selected the top 10 outstanding youth change-makers from across the U.S. and Canada to give them a chance to amplify their impact on the world. The ten recipients were given $10,000 each to provide to the non-profit organization of their choice. Charlie Wondergem, co-founder of the Billy Bear Hug Foundation, nominated the organization in memory of his brother, William B. Wondergem.

East Grand Rapids gears up for triathalon after GR Facebook honor

East Grand Rapids gears up for triathalon after GR Facebook honor

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—East Grand Rapids is getting ready to host the Reeds Lake Triathalon again this year.

This is their 30th year for the race, which will take over portions of M-21 on September 7, leading to lane closures around 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.  The Reeds Lake Triathalon is expected to attract 1,200 athletes—approximately the same amount who turned out for the Grand Rapids Triathalon on June 9.

This week, Facebook named Grand Rapids the top U.S. city for triathalons.   Grand Rapids was the only Michigan city to make Facebook’s list of fittest cities, which was compiled based on fitness-related status updates, gym check-ins, use of fitness apps and fitness-related life events listed by Facebook users earlier this year.

'Meals at Home' awarded Group Volunteer of the Year Award

'Meals at Home' awarded Group Volunteer of the Year Award

A West Michigan group providing food for the elderly and people with disabilities is being honored.

LeadingAge Michigan recently awarded its Group Volunteer of the Year Award to “Meals at Home.”  Sunset Retirement Communities & Services started Meals at Home in 1997.  Each year, a team of 150 volunteers use their own vehicles and gas to deliver more than 23,000 meals throughout Grand Rapids.  Because of volunteers, Meals at Home has kept costs down to just $5 per meal.

During its 2013 gala, LeadingAge Michigan also honored Porter Hills Retirement Communities from My Town Ada/Cascade with its Care & Services Award.  The non-profit organization serves more than 800 adults from all income levels.