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My Town Muskegon: Applebee's celebrates grand re-opening with donation to Kids' Food Basket

My Town Muskegon: Applebee's celebrates grand re-opening with donation to Kids' Food Basket

MUSKEGON, Mich.—A newly-renovated Applebee’s restaurant celebrated its grand re-opening Tuesday, Feb. 18 by helping hungry children.

During the ribbon cutting event, the restaurant located at 1825 E. Sherman Blvd. presented a check for $5,573.22 to Kids' Food Basket.  The donation marks nearly $35,000 Team Schostak Family Restaurants has donated to non-profit organizations throughout West Michigan.

“We’re so excited to be here on the lakeshore now and we’re serving two schools- almost 600 students a day,” says Kids’ Food Basket Executive Director Bridget Clark-Whitney. “This kind of donation is going to provide over 5,500 meals to kids right here in the community. Every dollar means a meal and every meal means a time that a child isn’t going to bed hungry and that child is able to get up, go to school and learn right here in Muskegon County.”

Jury duty, trampoline court guidelines signed into law by Governor

Jury duty, trampoline court guidelines signed into law by Governor

LANSING, Mich.—Full-time college students called to jury duty can now postpone their service until the end of the school year.

Governor Snyder signed that bill into law Tuesday.  It allows students attending higher education in Michigan to delay jury duty if they can prove it will interfere with their class schedule. A similar exemption already exists for eligible high school students.

“Serving on a jury is an important part of our civic responsibility,” Snyder said. “However, for college students, jury duty can be disruptive to their studies. This law gives them the opportunity to focus on their education while still giving them the opportunity to serve after the school year.”  

My Town Ada: Relay For Life returns June 6-7

My Town Ada: Relay For Life returns June 6-7

ADA, Mich.—Preparations are already underway for this year’s Relay For Life of Forest Hills.

This year’s event will take place June 6-7 at Ada Christian School. 

Relay For Life is a 24 hour event in which teams camp out around a track and take turns walking.  When participants are not walking, there are games, food and other activities to entertain them.  Proceeds from Relay For Life go to the American Cancer Society, for research and to support cancer patients and their families.

For more information about this year’s Relay For Life of Forest Hills, contact Elizabeth Balder at Elizabeth.balder@cancer.org.

New project teaches STEM skills through Tinkertoys

New project teaches STEM skills through Tinkertoys

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  A group of Grand Rapids area preschoolers will get an early introduction to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills when a new initiative starts Monday, Feb. 10.

The Goddard School at the corner of Cascade Road and Macnider Road SE is setting up “build stations” equipped with drawing materials and a variety of Tinkertoy products.  From Feb. 10 through Feb. 14, children will be encouraged to team up and create something using Tinkertoy pieces that solves a problem.

Approximately 400 Goddard Schools nationwide are taking part in the program, called Teach, Play. Learn.  All of the creations will be posted on the Goddard School National Facebook page.  The projects that earn the most “likes” will be announced on March 4. 

Kent County Commissioner stepping down Feb. 1

Kent County Commissioner stepping down Feb. 1

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The search is about to begin to replace another Kent County commissioner.

Sandi Frost Steensma will officially resign from her post on Saturday, Feb. 1.  Steensma began serving on the Board of Commissioners seven years ago.  She was re-elected three times to represent District 5, which covers Bowne Township, Cascade Township, Lowell Township and a part of Caledonia Township.

“Commissioner Steensma has operated in a bi-partisan manner in the commission chambers,

while working to maintain the county’s balanced budgets and AAA Credit Rating,” said commission chairman Dan Koorndyk of the Kent County Board of Commissioners. “She has shown a passion for the parks and other programs that make Kent County a quality community, and has worked diligently to create a new entity to oversee John Ball Zoo.”

Steensma was recently appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to serve on the Board of Trustees for Lake Superior State University.

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.

Avoiding winter break brain drain: Tips to keep students focused

Avoiding winter break brain drain: Tips to keep students focused

With the winter break approaching for students across Michigan, so too approaches the end of one semester and the beginning of another.

To facilitate a smooth transition while keeping students’ minds sharp and focused during their time off, Great Lakes Cyber Academy educators recommend a series of time-tested tips for maintaining the momentum so  the second half of the school year is even better than the first.