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My Town: Shaved heads and blood donations add up to $16,000 for Gilda's Club Grand Rapids

My Town: Shaved heads and blood donations add up to $16,000 for Gilda's Club Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Shaved heads and blood donations are adding up to a big boost for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.

The organization today accepted two checks from Blue Care Network, Michigan Blood and Grand Valley State University’s Delta Tau Delta fraternity, totaling more than $16,000.

The check from BCN and Michigan Blood comes from LaughFest-related blood drives. BCN donated $5,060, which was matched dollar for dollar through the High Five Campaign, which benefits child cancer, grief and emotional support programs provided by Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.

The second check came from Delta Tau Delta, which raised more than $6,500 through a head-shaving event held after a fraternity member’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids provides emotional support for people battling cancer, as well as their loved ones.  GCGR is located at 1806 Bridge Street NW.

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: The Hashtag Battle over the 2014 Jump Jam

My Town: The Hashtag Battle over the 2014 Jump Jam

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  What started as a hashtag battle about the 2014 Jump Jam has turned into a friendly wager between Grand Rapids Public Schools’ superintendent and Spectrum Health’s senior vice president.

GRPS posted the hashtag battle between Theresa Weatherall Neal and Steve Heacock to YouTube last Friday.  In the video, Weatherall Neal challenges Heacock to a friendly bet on two of the Jump Jam teams, with the loser buying lunch from either the hospital or school cafeteria.  Mayor George Heartwell makes a surprise appearance at the end of the video.

My Town: Arthrits Walk returns under new name and leader

My Town: Arthrits Walk returns under new name and leader

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Arthritis Walk will return with a new name and new leader when it returns to Grand Rapids next month.

Dr. Thomas A. Malvitz of Ada will serve as medical chair of the 2014 Grand Rapids Walk to Cure Arthritis, formerly known as the Arthritis Walk.  Malvitz is a surgeon with the Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan in Grand Rapids.

The Walk to Cure Arthritis is a three-mile walk aimed at raising awareness and funds to fight arthritis.  Proceeds from the event go to the Arthritis Foundation, which works to help some of the more than 2.3 million Michiganders with arthritis.

It's still cold out- A great Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

It's still cold out- A great Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

It's still pretty cold outside so a good bowl of soup always hits the spot. I have made soup with this squash before but this recipe that I got from my friend, Sandy Gensen, is much better than my own, I think. It really is good and rivals any like soup that you will find in Grand Rapids. Give it a try.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP                     

1 butternut squash peeled and cut up

1 sweet potato or large baking potato peeled & cut up (I used 2 med)

3 large leeks cut up (white parts only)

3 garlic shallots minced (reg shallots are OK, even mild onion)

1 stick butter to sauté all of the above to a soft consistency. (I used olive oil & ½ stick butter)

I sautéed’ all this in a large skillet until the veggies were softened.

Add:

Salt and pepper 

1 tsp. cumin 

1 tsp.

My Town GR West: Three-year-old to be honored during arthritis walk

My Town GR West: Three-year-old to be honored during arthritis walk

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The date is set for a walk to benefit the more than 50 million Americans suffering from arthritis.

The John Ball Park Zoo will host the 2014 Grand Rapids Walk to Cure Arthritis on May 3. The walk is a non-competitive three mile journey to benefit research and programs provided by the Arthritis Foundation.  This year’s event will honor 3-year-old Mackenzie Proefrock of Norton Shores, who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the age of 2 years.  Mackenzie is among the 300,000 children and 50 million adults in the United States faced with arthritis.

To register for this year's walk or for additional information, visit the event website here or call (616) 949-9938.