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Billy Bear Hug Foundation donates bears to grieving children

Billy Bear Hug Foundation donates bears to grieving children

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –    A nonprofit organization is making sure every child involved in Gilda’s Club’s support groups has something to hug.

Thursday, the Billy Bear Hug Foundation donated 150 teddy bears to every child who takes part in Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids’ grief and cancer support groups.

 “This generous donation from Billy Bear Hug Foundation will bring a smile to the face of hundreds of children,” said Wendy Wigger, president of GCGR. “Something as simple as a teddy bear can make all the difference to a child. Here at Gilda’s Club, we work to bring the children the best care possible and as an organization run entirely on donations, we are excited to receive this gift. We look forward to a great relationship and partnership with the Billy Bear Hug Foundation for years to come.”

Black Friday band reunion to benefit those battling cancer

Black Friday band reunion to benefit those battling cancer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  A Grand Rapids band is bringing its original lineup to headline a Black Friday benefit concert for a band member battling cancer.

Mike Smith, the bassist for Kamilla, was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma in April 2012, just months before his wedding.  Smith underwent intensive surgery to remove the tumor and two lymph nodes, but the cancer came back.  In May, he was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma.

As Smith continues his battle with cancer, he is also working to launch The Free & Clear Foundation to provide resources for other people affected by melanoma.  Proceeds from the November 29th concert will support the non-profit organization.

East Grand Rapids to join group setting ambulance standards

East Grand Rapids to join group setting ambulance standards

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The standards for ambulances running in East Grand Rapids may soon change.

During its regular meeting Monday night, the city commission approved joining an ambulance consortium with other Kent County communities.  The consortium would establish across-the-board ambulance service standards for all communities involved, through contracts. East Grand Rapids currently works with AMR Ambulance, but the city does not have a contract with the company. 

City Manager Brian Donovan says communities that are part of the consortium will create an oversight group which will make sure all ambulance companies are abiding by contractual standards. By consolidating regulation, each community will save staff time and money.

21st GRPS Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day

21st GRPS Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 8:00am is the 21st Grand Rapids Public Schools Turkey Trot 5K Race. Doors at VanAndel Arena will open at 6:30am for packet pick-up and Day of the Race registration.

Participants can register ahead of time at:  grps.org/athletics/turkeytrot at a cost of $25 thru November 26th; after that it goes to $30. You may also pick up your packets ahead of time on November 27th at Union High School located at 1800 Tremont Blvd. NW in Grand Rapids, MI 49504.

There is always a need for volunteers at such events and you can register to be one at grps.org/athletics

Gymco gives kids a leg up on building healthy bodies, strong minds

Gymco gives kids a leg up on building healthy bodies, strong minds

By Chealsea Slocum
Photography by Adam Bird 

Family Food Day

Family Food Day

Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a healthy, affordable and sustainable food movement!

In celebration of Food Day, Blandford Nature Center located at 1715 Hillburn NW in Grand Rapids, Michigan welcomes guests to reserve their spot to visit on Thursday, October 24 from 6pm to 7:30pm to tour their 3 acre farm, sample fresh foods, play garden games and more.

Admission is $3.00 for members and $6 for non-members.

Call: (616)735-6240 to reserve your place.  Check out www.blandfordnaturecenter.org for more event listings.

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids hosts free informative cancer series

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids hosts free informative cancer series

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Throughout October, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids will host a free series focused on educating and assisting those impacted by cancer.

This series will include "Cut the Cancer," a martial arts based movement program, and a speaker series featuring experts in the fields of health, wellness and finance.

“We’re excited to bring these opportunities to the community at no cost to attendees,” said Beth Nelson, program director at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. “We’re continually searching for new ways of expanding our programs and we believe that these events will be of great benefit to those impacted by cancer.”

On October 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., children and adults are invited to take part in Cut the Cancer, which derives from the martial arts of Aikido philosophy and has been developed specifically for cancer patients.