Our network

Community Spirit

Q & A: Best Medicine

Q & A: Best Medicine

Written by Mitchell Terpstra

Questions for Leann Arkema, President and CEO of Gilda’s Club, a cancer support community with the three-fold mission of learning, sharing and laughing. Gilda’s Club is the organizational brain behind Grand Rapids’ first-ever LaughFest.

Could you tell me a little bit about Gilda Radner?
Gilda is Gilda Radner, one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. She was always getting noogies from co-star Bill Murray. She lived to make others laugh. But in 1986 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and after her diagnosis she realized, and wrote in her book It’s Always Something, “My job was to find what was funny about whatever was going on. So I began to think that I should do the same thing with cancer.

Kenowa Hills High School Blood Drive

Kenowa Hills High School Blood Drive

Kenowa Hills High School is sponsoring a Blood Drive on Monday, March 21, 2011 from 7:00am to 2:00pm at the school. The Blood Drive is usually located closest to the west entrance of the school. The school is located at 3825 Hendershot Ave NW, just off 4 Mile NW. Phone: 616-784-2400 if you have questions.

Students 16 years of age may now donate blood with a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian. Students 17 years and older are encouraged to donate as well.

If you are a parent, grandparent or friend of a student, your blood donation is appreciated. For every pint of blood donated, at least 4 people in need of blood are helped.

Inside LaughFest

Inside LaughFest

J. BENNETT RYLAH

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids sits on Bridge St. NW, serene and quiet in late afternoon. I am able to meet President and CEO Leann Arkema in the kitchen. She tells me it gets peaceful before dinner.
 
In this moment of silence, I ask her to tell me how LaughFest came to be.
 
LaughFest has been brewing for a long time, it turns out. While the press releases say they've been planning the 10-day festival for 20 months, it seems as though LaughFest has been there all along.
 
Arkema became involved with Gilda's Club near the beginning, in 1998. She had been the medical power of attorney for a close friend who passed away unexpectedly.
 
"I just sat down one day and had a conversation with God about how angry I was that He had taken this person from me in such an unexpected way," she says.

West Catholic's "Bag and a Buck" nets more than 400 lbs of food

West Catholic's "Bag and a Buck" nets more than 400 lbs of food

From: http://www.grwestcatholic.org

West Catholic collected more than 400 pounds of beans and rice in addition to $569 in cash for their "Bag and a Buck" drive held during Catholic Schools Week.

Students, faculty and staff were asked to bring in a bag of rice or beans and $1 (to offset shipping costs) to support Rays of Hope Haiti Warehouse. Special thanks to Guidance Director Heidi Smitley who donated 100 lbs of beans from her parents' farm.

Terraces resident honored by John Ball Zoo

Terraces resident honored by John Ball Zoo

From: http://www.lssm.org

It was an exciting day for the residents at The Terraces at MapleCreek, but especially so for Herb Schaefer, 92. He and his wife Ruth were on hand when Herb's friends, volunteers for John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, brought animals to show. Near the end of their visit, they presented the zoo's Lifetime Achievement Award to Herb for his 24 years of working as a volunteer with two of the ladies. He was very pleased to receive the honor in front of his friends at MapleCreek.

"I started helping at John Ball Zoo soon after my retirement, and volunteered from 1982 to 2006," Herb said. "My animal I was assigned to bring places and talk about was the Great Horned Owl. It was a big bird. One time, we were set up in the center of Breton Village Mall. During the program, the owl would always wear a band on its leg that was attached to my wrist so it wouldn't fly away.

Richmond Park prepares for Two Week WinterWest Fest

Richmond Park prepares for Two Week WinterWest Fest

NEWS RELEASE:

West Grand Neighborhood Organization, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, and the City of GR are teaming up to bring winter fun to the West Side of Grand Rapids. The organizations are constructing an ice rink and holding winter-themed events from January 28-February 13. The rink is scheduled to be built on 1/20/11.

Among the festivities being planned are a broomball tournament, a 3 v 3 hockey tournament, open skating, a crazy cardboard creation sledding contest and others.

Grand Rapids neighborhood prepares for 'Winter West'

Grand Rapids, Mich. (WZZM) Grand Rapids West Side is preparing for some winter-time fun. West Grand Neighborhood Organization, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, and the City of GR are teaming up to bring 'Winter West.'

The organizations are constructing an ice rink and holding winter-themed events from January 28-February 13.