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My Town: Rangers rally for Gilda's Club in inaugural game Sept. 26

My Town: Rangers rally for Gilda's Club in inaugural game Sept. 26

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Forest Hills Central’s varsity football team is taking the battle against cancer onto the gridiron this week, with an inaugural game benefit ting Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.

The Rangers will take on West Ottawa Friday, Sept. 26 in the charity game at the FHC stadium.  Tailgating will start at 6 p.m. and kick-off is 7 p.m. All proceeds from the event will go to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.  For additional information, contact Kathleen Buzzitta at kathleenswanson@hotmail.com (616) 308-1646.

Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids provides emotional support to cancer patients and their loved ones through networking, workshops and community activities.  The nonprofit organization serves more than 10,000 people each year at its two club houses in Grand Rapids and Lowell and five community centers.  

My Town: Tim Hortons serves up sweet treat for Special Olympics Michigan

My Town: Tim Hortons serves up sweet treat for Special Olympics Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids area Tim Hortons are serving up some sweet smiles for a good cause.

Now through Aug. 17, participating Tim Hortons Café and Bake Shops will be selling Smile Cookies to benefit Special Olympics Michigan’s Young Athletes program.  The cookie is chocolate chunk with a smiley face draw on it in pink and blue frosting.  Each treat is $1 and available while supplies last.

The Young Athletes Program introduces children ages 2-7 with intellectual disabilities to sports, fostering their physical, cognitive and social development.

This is the second year for the Smile Cookie program in Grand Rapids; last year, participating businesses collected more than $5,000 for Special Olympics Michigan in just 10 days.

My Town: Pilates studio expanding physical therapy services

My Town: Pilates studio expanding physical therapy services

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—A Pilates studio is expanding its services for those trying to bounce back from injury.

Beginning Aug. 18, physical therapist Annette Schwartz will be increasing her time at BodyMind Pilates to approximately 40 hours a week.  Studio owner Carolina Pava added a physical therapy program after noticing a need for unique and effective rehabilitation within the community.

“I strongly believe that healing can take place faster and more effectively when a patient gets full hour sessions of one on one attention, treatment and directions from a fully licensed physical therapist that treats the entire body along with the specific symptoms.  No two bodies are alike, no two injuries are the same and therefore, I wanted to create a truly personalized service I felt wasn’t available yet in our city,” says Pava.

My Town: Cornerstone University 'Night of Nets' founder up for $10k charity prize

My Town: Cornerstone University 'Night of Nets' founder up for $10k charity prize

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  A soccer advocate from Cornerstone University is in the running to win $10,000 to help fight malaria.

Chip Huber founded “Night of Nets” at CU in 2009 to raise awareness and funding for bed nets that prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne illness.  Since then, the benefit has led to $60,000 and 10,000 bed net donations, which Cornerstone soccer team members have delivered to Ndola, Zambia over the past three years.

Huber was selected to represent Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire for connecting soccer with community outreach. He will make the first kick during the Fire’s game this weekend.  He’s  also one of 19 people competing for a $10,000 prize to the charity of their choice. Voting will run through July 25 online at www.MLSsoccer.com/community-mvp/vote.

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

My Town: Free tickets still available for 'Lets Go to Bat for Kids'

My Town: Free tickets still available for 'Lets Go to Bat for Kids'

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—The Media Giants and Catholic Charities West Michigan Padres will battle it out at Fifth Third Ballpark as “Let’s Go to Bat for Kids” returns this Thursday, June 26 with even more family-friendly events.

More than 1,200 people are expected to fill the ballpark for the fundraiser, which supports Catholic Charities West Michigan.  Tickets are free and can be reserved by visiting the organization’s website.  In addition to the softball game between local priests and media personalities, families may take part in a Lego building station, face painting, crafts, a doughnut dunking station and meet Crash of the West Michigan Whitecaps.

My Town: Army of volunteers create new play space for children

My Town: Army of volunteers create new play space for children

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hundreds of Grand Rapids children have a new place to play, thanks to an army of volunteers.

On June 13, more than 300 people from Amway,  Ellington Academy of Arts & Technology and KaBoom! pitched in to build a new playground at in front of the school, located at 600 Burton Street SE.  The volunteers spent several hours transforming children’s designs into a place to play. 

Dr. Marvin L. Sapp and other community leaders will celebrate the playground’s grand opening Tuesday, June 17 at 5 p.m., before officially welcoming children to play at the new site, which is the 16th of its kind built by Amway and KaBOOM.