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MSU’s second annual Gran Fondo cycling event raises funds for skin cancer research

MSU’s second annual Gran Fondo cycling event raises funds for skin cancer research

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Michigan State University College of Human Medicine announces plans for its second annual Gran Fondo on June 28, 2014.

Italian for “Big Ride,” proceeds from this this non-competitive cycling event go towards programs to increase awareness, prevention and detection of skin cancer and supports MSU’s skin cancer research.

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  The Kent Intermediate School District is getting a federal boost to physical and nutritional education programs. 

 U.S. Department of Education has awarded 67 grants totaling more than $33 million to local education agencies and community-base organizations.  Only two groups in Michigan were awarded funding; KISD is getting $429,404 for programs to help K-12 students develop healthy lifestyles and meet state standards for physical education.

“A healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants are a resource to help schools and communities develop programs that teach students the importance of staying active and developing healthy lifestyles. We need more states, districts, schools and communities to recognize the critically important role of physical education in improving student engagement and achievement.”

My Town: Anti-bullying concert tour arrives in West Michigan

My Town: Anti-bullying concert tour arrives in West Michigan

SPARTA, Mich.—A music tour aimed at preventing bullying among teenagers is making its rounds in West Michigan.

The Teen Nation Anti-Bullying Music Tour kicked off Monday morning at Sparta High School.  The 90-minute performances feature young Top 40 recording artists who are also speaking out against bullying.  This tour’s headliners include  former ‘X Factor’ contestant J Ryan, 14, of San Antonio, Texas; and Tristan Blaine, 14, of Frisco, Texas.  Additional guest performers include Faith Marie Shirley, 15 of San Antonio, Texas; Collin Kozola, 17, of Naperville, Illinois, Radio Disney star Celeste Kellogg, 18, of Smithville, Virginia; and Branden Mendoza, 20, of New Carney, Texas.

The school concert assembly schedule is as follows:

My Town Wyoming: Volunteers needed for golf course cleanup April 12

My Town Wyoming: Volunteers needed for golf course cleanup April 12

WYOMING, Mich.—The snow is melting which means it’s time to clean up West Michigan’s green spaces.

The Kent County Parks and Recreation Department is calling on volunteers to help rake and clean up L.E. Kaufman Golf Course, located off of Clyde Parke Avenue, south of 44th Street.  The cleanup effort will run from 10 a.m. to noon on April 12; participants can enjoy a lunch provided by golf course staff afterward. 

The Parks and Recreation Department will provide all supplies and tools needed for the cleanup, but registration is required.  The deadline is Wednesday, April 9.  To sign up, call Virginia Sines at (616) 632-7842.

My Town: Kroc Center to extend hours, welcome animals for spring break

My Town: Kroc Center to extend hours, welcome animals for spring break

WYOMING, Mich.—The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is extending its hours and  teaming up with John Ball Zoo, the Kent County Animal Shelter and Blandford Nature Center to provide spring break staycation solutions for children.

From Monday, April 7 through Friday, April 11, kids can take part in activities like three-on-three basketball tournaments, dodgeball, bounce houses and art activities.  Animals from John Ball Zoo, the Blandford Nature Center and the Kent County Animal Shelter will also visit the Kroc throughout the week.    Children will also get more time to enjoy the climbing wall, pool and game room throughout the week.

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

LOWELL, Mich.—Spring is here, which means the Kent District Library has officially opened its Seed Library at 13 branches.

Patrons can visit the library to “borrow” up to three packets of heirloom seeds for their garden.  People who take seed packets are asked to save seeds from the plants they grow and return them in late summer or fall for someone else to use next year.

The library is also accepting any heirloom variety seeds gardeners want to add to the library.  For more information, visit the library’s website.

Participating branches include those in Alpine Township, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, Grandville, Plainfield Township, Rockford and Wyoming.

My Town: Nominations sought for Heart of West Michigan United Way awards

My Town: Nominations sought for Heart of West Michigan United Way awards

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Heart of West Michigan United Way is seeking nominations for its inaugural GIVE, ADVOCATE and VOLUNTEER awards.

The awards are meant to celebrate nonprofits, companies and people who have made a difference in the community.  The GIVE Award goes to a company that has displayed generosity within the community, and created a culture of giving within its organization last year.

The ADVOCATE Award honors a person or nonprofit organization who leads and works with people to improve the health and wellness of the community, leaving a lasting impact on Kent County.

The VOLUNTEER Award goes to a company that promotes and provides year-round opportunities for employees to volunteer within their community, improving Kent County.